Timing Issues SOLVED - 3FE Break-In Procedure Confirmation and Questions (1 Viewer)

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Before the codes, I decided to perform some other FSM checks. I discovered that the first air inlet hose after the AFM was installed backwards, so I wasn't guaranteed a good seal between the AFM and the throttle plate. I turned it around and took it out on the street again. A little better performance. Next up - verify the ignition timing.
 

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OK, I think I've got it. First off, I only have one code - #22, water temperature sensor. That should be an easy one to fix. And I checked the ignition timing. When I installed the distributor I was really sure I had nailed the orientation per the FSM and didn't have it off a tooth, so set it initially at the center of the slotted hole and tightened it down. Well, when I went to set the timing a few minutes ago, I loosened the bolt and turned the distributor CCW until the end of the slotted hole, and the best I could do was 5* BTDC, couldn't get the pointer to the BB in the flywheel. I took it back out for a spin - all the power I expected, and maybe more. Everyone here on MUD (you know who you are) who has said the H55f wakes up the 3FE are spot on. Can't wait to get it registered tomorrow and finish the break-in.

I'll do a little more reading tonight on the distributor orientation, but here's what I know now. There are 13 teeth on the distributor gear, so that's almost 27* per tooth. If I reinsert the distributor one tooth CCW would that get me to the point where I could then adjust the timing at idle to 7* BTDC, and still have some leeway? Or would that take me too far?
 

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Another quick question - with TE1 and E1 jumpered, the FSM says to adjust ignition timing to 7* BTDC. I live at 7,240 feet, should I advance my timing to 10* BTDC like I do with my '76 FJ40? Or does the ECU take care of altitude?
 

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I think you are correct that you need to rotate the distributor one tooth CCW. Follow the FSM and you can do it. I've found that it's real easy to be one tooth off and you may have to readjust the oil pump slot a few times to hit it just right.
 
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Or set the pointer to the bb instead of the TDC mark when installing the dizzy. Then it should be centered when it’s timed to 7deg. I’m sure people will disagree with me but I have the same problem and plan to do it this way when I pull my distributor next time.
 

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With TE1 and E1 jumpered, the idle sits at 900 rpm. I've been reading a few threads on the idle adjustment screw on the throttle body, I'll go out and give it a shot. If I'm feeling better in the morning (alergies/head cold from our recnet trip) I'll reinsatll the distributor and reset the timing. If I still feel like crap, I'll drive it over to the DMV to register it at 5* BTDC.
 

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I was able to turn the idle adjustment screw in one full turn from where it had been set, it's now just about 1/4 turn backed out from all the way in. Idles right at 650 rpm and steady.
 

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Before I called it a night I decided to check into the Code #22, water temperature sensor. That bugger is hard to get to, even just to disconnect the connector at the sensor. I was able to disconnect the wiring harness but there was no way I'd be able to put some ohmmeter test leads on it to measure resistance, just can't access it with all the hoses, belts, and stuff in the way. Besides, I checked the sensor out before I installed it on the rebuilt engine. So I decided to clean the terminals in the wiring harness side of the connector and plug it back in securely. Disconnected the negative battery cable to clear any codes, jumpered TE1 and E1, and fired it up. What do you know - the CEL was blinking steady at twice a second - NO CODES :) :) :). I'll be at the DMV at 8:00 a.m. sharp, with insurance binder and title in hand. Then I'll fill the tank and proceed to the steep mountain grades into and out of town to seat the piston rings.
 

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Quick question - now that I've determined that the distributor is off a tooth, I got to thinking about how that may have affected the initial 20-minute cam lobe break-in. During that part of the break-in, the timing would have been retarded, right? When I installed the distributor I set it to where the hold-down bolt was centered in the slot. When I checked the timing per the FSM before digging into the CEL code, I had to rotate the distributor CCW as far as it could go just to get to 5* BTDC. From what I understand, the slot represents ~28*, so I figure I was maybe at 9* on the other side of TDC (5-28/2=-9). That would be retarded 9*, right. That may have been fine for the initial part of the break-in, and I'm guessing the camshaft and lifters didn't know one way or the other. Nothing to worry about?

Any affect with seating the piston rings by running with retarded timing? Would I have been running lean, or running rich, all other things equal?
 
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And before doing anything more with the distributor I'll verify the timing as it sits now with my old Craftsman timing light.
 
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In my opinion cam and lifters don't care about spark timing - long as they get oil they are happy you are good there. Same with the rings really. If I understand it was only idle so no harm there.

And this is just a guess - but if ignition was after TDC I would think that might have left some unburned fuel going down the pipe. Did the exhaust smell rich?
 

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In my opinion cam and lifters don't care about spark timing - long as they get oil they are happy you are good there. Same with the rings really. If I understand it was only idle so no harm there.

And this is just a guess - but if ignition was after TDC I would think that might have left some unburned fuel going down the pipe. Did the exhaust smell rich?
The exhaust didn't smell rich during the first 20 minutes in the driveway that I remember, but when I tried to drive it to the DMV, my wife was following me in the Malibu, and she thought there was something in the exhaust, but not oil. Probably unburnt fuel. And then after I set the timing to 5* BTDC and drove it to the DMV yesterday, she followed me again. This time she said the exhaust was "clean as a whistle".
 

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Can't really answer your question about 3FE break in and retarded timing but when I rebuilt the 3FE, did the initial break in I had the distributor off one tooth. When I check timing it was advanced to 36*. I reset the distributor per FSM. This engine now has >>200k miles on it and runs strong.
 

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Can't really answer your question about 3FE break in and retarded timing but when I rebuilt the 3FE, did the initial break in I had the distributor off one tooth. When I check timing it was advanced to 36*. I reset the distributor per FSM. This engine now has >>200k miles on it and runs strong.
That's good to hear. The machine shop that rebuilt mine has a lot of experience with Chevrolet and Toyota inline sixes, so I have a lot of faith in the quality of their rebuilds. And recently they've been rebuilding several 2Fs per month for Classic Cruisers. I'll continue to follow-up on the rest of the break-in and hopefully my 3FE will last a lot longer than I'll be driving.

BTW, as I've posted before, the inspiration for my build was your detailed magazine article Fuel Injecting an FJ60. Thanks again for taking the time to write that up!
 

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Back to the break-in. I just verified the ignition timing with my old Craftsman timing light - same reading as my newer advance timing light set to 0* advance. The distributor is rotated as far CCW as it will go and I'm at 5* BTDC. Later this morning I'll reinstall the distributor so it's not off by a tooth and reset the timing. Given the numbers I need to reinstall the distributor one tooth over in the CCW direction, right? I'll shoot for 7* BTDC to start with, even though I'm at 7,240 feet, and go higher from there before I get pinging under heavy load.

Then in next day or two I'll recheck/adjust the valve clearances and call it good.
 

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Can't really answer your question about 3FE break in and retarded timing but when I rebuilt the 3FE, did the initial break in I had the distributor off one tooth. When I check timing it was advanced to 36*. I reset the distributor per FSM. This engine now has >>200k miles on it and runs strong.
When you were off one tooth and advanced that much, did you have to reinstall the distributor one tooth CW or one tooth CCW?
 
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If you were advanced then I think that the disty was too far clockwise. You probably had to rotate counterclockwise to the limit to get 5 degrees BTDC? So I think you have to engage the gear of the distributor one tooth counterclockwise. There's a bit of "windage" necessary as the distributor shaft rotates clockwise as your pushing it home after engaging a tooth.

Was not intuitive or easy for me to get right the first time.
 

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