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Old 04-06-2009, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default Symptoms of off timing

What are the symptoms of the timing being off? I don't think I aligned the cam to perfect TDC when I changed my timing belt.

The valve cover is slanted or something? I lined it up with that (slanted to the left a little).

Is it supposed to be lined straight? (with Up going straight up, two marks on side perfectly straight?

Now the car feels sluggish and I can barely go up a small hill in 3rd, for steep hills 2nd is pushing it. I even had to stop and downshift to 1st.

There's also a rattling at around 2k in 2nd-5th gear, sounds like it's coming from the engine bay area. It's only under acceleration. Sounds like metal rattling on metal, any help?
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

check your ignition timing with a timing light. usually if your timing is off the red and white marks on your crank wont be near the alignment pointer. btw sohc? dohc?
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Old 04-06-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

white mark tdc red btdc/bdc
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

dont have a red thing. there was a white mark on the small crank pulley where the timing belt wrapped around. would it be pretty obvious if i had the cam pulley a little off?
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

you may have to clean off the crank pulley to see the red mark, its to the left of the white mark. if you turn everything to TDC, where the white mark lines up with the plastic marker, and the cam Up arrow is up, with the two horizontal lines lined up with the top surface of the head, you are all TDC, then if you haven't, check the ignition timing with a timing light (adjust distributor position until red mark is lined up with plastic mark used for aligning TDC) also, when adjusting ignition timing, make sure to short the two-pin jumper on the driver side of your engine bay that should have a cap on it, and/or not plugged into anything. (thats the service jumper, to keep RPMs consistent when adjusting timing)
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

Cam timing and ignition timing are two totaly different things. Your cam timing can be jacked with your ignition timing set correctly and vice versa.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

I haven't messed with the ignition timing, period. It's fine.


My cam timing might be off. Is the "up" supposed to be straight up? I lined it up with the valve cover and it's a little crooked
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

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Originally Posted by sde780 View Post
I haven't messed with the ignition timing, period. It's fine.


My cam timing might be off. Is the "up" supposed to be straight up? I lined it up with the valve cover and it's a little crooked
My point was a timing light may not be the best tool to check for cam timing being set incorrectly.

Have you had the head surfaced? Just line up the timing mark on the crank gear and then look at the cam gear. It is really obvious if you are off a tooth. If your head has been surfaced then you will need an adjustable cam gear to fix the problem.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

Nope, head has not been surfaced. So what should I be looking for when I line up the crank gear with the timing mark?

I put the belt on with the cam gear slightly tilted towards the headlights, not completely straight up because the valve cover is tilted, I aimed it with that. Is that correct, or should I have made it straight up?
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

line the marks up with the surface of the head... thats it.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

umm i cant get my head level with it, the fenders in the way.

is it perfectly level, or is it slanted? mine was slanted when i lined it up
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

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is it perfectly level, or is it slanted? mine was slanted when i lined it up
Is the UP straight up, perpendicular to the ground? Or is it tilted a little?
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

it will be tilted a little... as the head is not perpendicular or parallel with the ground.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

Okay, that's good. How do you know exactly how much to tilt it then? There's not much to line it up with, except by eyeballing it from a tilted angle
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

Here's a picture I just snapped, can you circle where it's supposed to be lined up with?
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:31 AM   #16
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

get it as close as you can tell. if the gear is off, the crank pulley will also be off.

edit: up should be pointed up, then from that position the two horizontal hash marks will line up with the head (the aluminum you see right next to the gear/bottom of valve cover)
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

hmm well I eyeballed it and my crank pulley is not off after 1 week of driving it. Would the small chunks taken off the crank pulley be the cause of why it's got no power going up hills? Also, the noise when accelerating (metal rattling). These problems weren't there before
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:37 AM   #18
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

try running a compression test on all your cylinders, and check the coloration of the park plugs, see if there is oil on them, if they are red, grey, or just black. ideally, they should look black if I remember right.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

small bits of crank pulley will not make a noticeable difference. also, are all of your engine mounts still good? the rear one is harder to check, but you should see if the rubber is broken.

edit: also check your ignition timing with the car running (need a timing light)
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:43 AM   #20
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

Yeah, it was running great before I changed the timing belt, and after I changed it it's running not so good.

I doubt it's the mounts, but I'll check. The driver's side mount, I had to take off to get the timing belt off. I put it back the same way, there's no special way to reinstall it is there? Just put the long bolt through it, tighten the two 17MM bolts that holds the engine up, and tighten the long bolt?

Spark plugs I haven't checked yet, will take a look.

Would the alternator make a difference? I tightened the belt as much as I could, but not 100% sure it's the same as before. Has a little more play than before I removed it.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:12 AM   #21
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

shouldn't be anything special for that driver side mount, as long as the bolts are tight enough, and the alternator would not crate that kind of problem, assuming it is fine.

do check the ignition timing and make sure that the red hash mark is lined up with the tdc marker on the plastic timing belt cover with the timing light.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:31 AM   #22
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

I'll have to find a timing light. Thanks for the help man
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:39 AM   #23
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

no problem. timing lights can be purchased relatively cheap, and are invaluable to continued working on your car.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:03 AM   #24
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

I just noticed, the belt is much looser on the side that goes down to the crank pulley compared to the side going to the waterpump. I make a video to show you, http://www.vimeo.com/4077216
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:06 AM   #25
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Default Re: Symptoms of off timing

that will usually be more loose than the water pump side, but you can try to get it tighter by messing with the tensioner, and turning the crank pulley counterclockwise, then re-tightening the tensioner.
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