Ignition timing appears alien to most people. Even the mechanics try to stay away on occasions and when you will ask them to address it, they will give you a strange look. To be honest, the ignition system is pretty basic but when the terms like top dead centre get thrown out, people hurriedly make a run towards repair shop.

The fact of the matter, if the ignition timing is out, you cannot really drive that car to the repair shop. You get it off by a margin and it might not start altogether. Moreover, it can even cost you a hefty sum if the engine heats up due to ignition being poorly timed.

If you take the timing too far off, it may even lead to fireworks, meaning it can backfire when you try turning on the ignition key. So when the ignition timing is off, you’ll be the first to know. If the timing is out the vehicle will naturally function in a poor state. But there are other things as well that can occur due to poorly timed ignition such as hard start and slow acceleration.

The case in point here is Mazda 323 coupled with a 4-cylinder engine. The process is more or less for cars from that era, meaning the 80s. Contemporary engines cannot be timed the way old engines used to because they were timed by rotating the distributor to change inside of the engine.

However, even if your Japanese used car dealers in Japan has an 80s engine, you can still follow the guide below and consult your car repair manual in tandem so as to get a more thorough description of your car. It will also include specifications for modifications.

The Procedure

First, you will have to warm up the engine to bring it down to normal operating temperature. Then you will have to make sure that you have turned off all electrical loads. Take a look whether or not key of lights, flashers are marked as ‘OFF’ or not.

Now disconnect the vacuum hoses from the vacuum control unit and insert the hose. Now connect it (engine) with a tachometer and connect it with a jumper wire to check for idle speed. The idle speed should be 850150 rpm.

However, if the ideal speed is not up to standards then remove the blind cap and from the air adjusting screw and set it accordingly. When you have accounted for idle speed it is best to install the blind cap so as to disconnect jumper wire from the test connector.

If you still haven’t, do so. Next, connect the timing light to the engine and now give your ignition timing a go. If the ignition fails to meet the standard specifications try loosening the distributor body and installation bolt by subsequently tampering with the distributor.

Connect the vacuum hose to vacuum control unit. Also, ensure that the transmission in neutral during this while before checking the idle speed. Remember the idle speed has to be 850150 rpm. If still, idle speed is not within the confines, remove the blind cap from the escaping air and turn the screw for adjustment.

By now you will have the desired idle speed, place the bling cap back and detach the jumper wire from the test connector.

Published by Julia Morison