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How to properly set timing when changing distributor?

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Old 06-11-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Default How to properly set timing when changing distributor?

I drive a 1998 Honda Accord LX 4 cylinder VTEC, MT. Need to replace the o-ring between the distributor and the head. It sounds like the thing to do is set the crankshaft to TDC, and make sure the rotor points to #1 position. Then remove the distributor and replace o-ring (and muck with anything else needed while that is off).

I know you can do things by making a mark before removing the distributor but I'd rather know how to adjust things properly... Directions I have seen seem to advise lightly tightening the distributor bolts, then presumably the distributor is rotated slightly until the timing is correct, and then the bolts are tightened.

What trips me up is this statement from the manual: "Connect the PGM tester to the data link connector (DLC), and follow the tester's prompts in the"SCS" menu (see the Honda PGM Tester Operator's Manual)." I assume this is to set the engine to test mode so that I can get an accurate timing adjustment/reading. Of course, I don't have a Honda PGM tester so what alternatives are there for putting the engine in test mode? I have searched Google, the forums, etc. and haven't really figured it out yet... (On my Miata it is easy: temporarily short the "Test Engine" pin to ground...)

Once in test mode, I assume it is easy: rotate distributor slightly until it's set properly, then tighten the bolts...
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to properly set timing when changing distributor?

I've always drawn a mark with a pen or something, removed, installed back on the mark and called it a day....as long as it was correct to begin with.

IF like the 5th gen's (94-97), which means use this at your own risk.

You'll need to look up the pins on the connector that need to be jumped to get the codes, search on-line or in this forum, I think I saw something just in the last week on here about which ones. Once those are jumped you should be in "test mode", which means the ECU is not trying to adjust the timing....so you can set the base timing.

I'm sure to get flamed from here....good luck.
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1990, 1998, accord, adjust, changing, distributor, honda, lx, mark, odyssey, replacing, required, ring, set, timing

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