Engine Timing Issue 89' 5.0

Lamriokart

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Hey so let me try to explain this to the best I can since I am relatively new to mechanic work, I recently bought my 89' 5.0 and in order to pass the smog test the previous owner had set the engine on low timing. I took upon myself to set the timing to something more optimal.

I watched a few videos and thought I had this down, I let the car run for 10-15 minutes, then I disconnected the sprout connector, connected the timing light, and loosened the dist. hold down bolt. I pointed the timing light at balancer and swiveled the balancer to what was 12 degrees before TDC, following thing I turned off the car, tightened the dist. connected the sprouter, once I started the engine it made a knocking sound then sounded like normal and I figured I had set the timing too high and just tried again, this time setting it lower. Once I had it set. I turned off the car again but noticed that once I had turned off the car and connected/tightened everything again that the harmonic balancer wouldn't be pointing at the mark I set it to. So when I attempted to start the car it would crank, but not start for a few tries. It seemed each time I tried to adjust the timing as soon I shut off the engine the timing was of again. I even made sure the dist. wasn't moving. After trying for several hours it seems like the car won't start at all.

Can I get some help? sorry for the long post but I'm really not sure what I did wrong and I'm worried as to why it won't start at all now. Thank you.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Lets start with a list of modifications and what degree are you trying to set your timing at.
is the balancer new? The outer ring can delaminate and move on the hub making it impossible to set the timing correct.
Spin it around to tdc and make sure the #1 piston is at the top of the compression stroke
 

Blown88GT

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I know OP is in Cali where everyone knows that sprouts are something you put on your salad.
The jumper on the distributor is a SPOUT, acronym for SPark OUTput.
Learning how to grow sprouts will be of little use here.
 
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jrichker

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Putting the distributor back in and setting the timing.

Revised 28-Apr-2018 to add photo & description of the SPOUT connector and SPOUT jumper .

You can forget about anything beyond this point if you don't have access to a timing light. You will never get the timing set right without one.

Note: If you don't have access to a timing light, most of the larger auto parts stores will rent or loan one if you have a credit card or leave a cash deposit.



Putting the distributor back in is fairly simple. Pull #1 sparkplug, put your finger in the sparkplug hole, crank the engine until you feel compression. Then line up the TDC mark on the balancer with the pointer on the engine block.

The distributor starts out with the #1 plug wire lined up at about 12:00 with you facing it. Align the rotor to about 11:00, since it will turn clockwise as it slides into place.

Align the distributor rotor up with the #1 position marked on the cap, slide the distributor down into the block, (you may have to wiggle the rotor slightly to get the gear to engage) and then note where the rotor is pointing.
If it still lines up with #1 position on the cap, install the clamp and bolt. If not, pull it out and turn 1 tooth forwards or backwards and try again. Put the #1 spark plug back in and tighten it down, put the clamp on the distributor, but don't tighten it too much, as you will have to move the distributor to set the timing. Note that there is no such thing as one tooth off on a 5.0 Mustang if you follow the spark plug wire order on the distributor cap. If it doesn't align perfectly with #1 position, you can turn the distributor until it does. The only problem is that if you are too far one way or the other, you can't turn the distributor enough to get the 10-14 degree optimum timing range. If the TFI prevents the distributor from being turned enough to get 14°, there is a simple fix. Pull the distributor out and turn the rotor 1 tooth counterclockwise Don't move the wires from the positions shown on the cap on fuel injected engines!!!! The #1 position cast into the cap MUST have the spark plug wire for #1 cylinder in it. Do it differently and the timing for the fuel injectors will be off. The computer uses the PIP sensor to time injector operation by sensing the wide slot in the PIP sensor shutter wheel. If the injector timing of #1 and the firing of #1 do not occur at the right time, the injector timing for all other cylinders will be affected.

Setting the timing:
Paint the mark on the harmonic balancer with paint -choose 10 degrees BTC or 14 degrees BTC or something else if you have NO2 or other power adder. I try to paint TDC red, 10 degrees BTC white and 14 degrees BTC blue.

10 degrees BTC is towards the drivers side marks.

Note: setting the timing beyond the 10 degree mark will give you a little more low speed acceleration. BUT you will need to run 93 octane to avoid pinging and engine damage. Pinging is very hard to hear at full throttle, so it could be present and you would not hear it.

Simplified diagram of what it looks like. Not all the marks are shown for ease of viewing.

ATC ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '!' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' BTC
---------------- > Direction of Rotation as viewed standing in front of the engine.

The ' is 2 degrees.
The ! is TDC
The ' is 10 degrees BTC
Set the timing 5 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 5 marks towards the driver's side to get 10 degrees.

To get 14 degrees, set it 7 marks BTC. Or if you prefer, 7 marks towards the driver's side to get 14 degrees.

The paint marks you make are your friends if you do it correctly. They are much easier to see than the marks machined into the harmonic balancer hub.

At this point hook up all the wires, get out the timing light. Connect timing light up to battery & #1 spark plug. Then start the engine.

Remove the SPOUT jumper
?hash=b7aa25fb4ed28609c02557131061b91b.jpg


?hash=b7aa25fb4ed28609c02557131061b91b.jpg


It is the 2 pin rectangular plug on the distributor wiring harness. Only the EFI Mustang engines have a SPOUT. If yours is not EFI, check for a SPOUT: if you don’t find one, skip any instructions regarding the SPOUT. The SPOUT (Spark Out) enables the computer to control the spark advance. When the SPOUT is removed, the ignition timing reverts to the base ignition timing set by either the spark rod inside the distributor or the physical position of the distributor.

Warning: there are only two places the SPOUT should be when you time the engine. The first place is in your pocket while you are setting the timing and the second is back in the harness when you finish. The little bugger is too easy to lose and too hard to find a replacement.
Start engine, loosen distributor hold down with a 1/2" universal socket. Shine the timing light on the marks and turn the distributor until the mark lines up with the edge of the timing pointer. Tighten down the distributor hold down bolt, Replace the SPOUT connector and you are done.

The HO firing order is 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8.
Non HO firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8

https://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/attachments\51122[/img



[b]How to pass emissions testing:[/b]

High NO - high combustion temps - retard timing, check EGR for operation.
High CO – Rich condition - fuel pressure too high, check O2 sensors, replace air filter, Clean MAF element.
High HC – Lean misfire, vacuum leak, common misfire due to worn or weak ignition system components. On rare occasions, an overly rich mixture may be the cause. Do the ethanol/E10 fill up as suggested.
High CO & HC - Cat converters, smog pump, and smog pump controls. Make sure the smog pump has good air output at 1200-1700 RPM

How to pass emissions testing:

1.) Make sure all the emissions gear the car was made with is present and connected up properly. That includes a working smog pump and cats. The smog tech will do a visual check to make sure that all the original equipment is present and connected up.

2.) Make sure that you have fresh tune up with spark plugs, plug wires, cap, rotor, fuel & air filters. An oil & filter change is a good idea while you are at it.

Dump the codes: Codes may be present even if the Check Engine Light (CEL) isn't on.

[size=5][b]Dumping the computer diagnostic codes on 86-95 Mustangs[/size][/b]

[color=blue] Revised 26-July-2011. Added need to make sure the clutch is pressed when dumping codes. [/color]

Codes may be present even if the check engine light hasn’t come on, so be sure to check for them.

Here's the way to dump the computer codes with only a jumper wire or paper clip and the check engine light, or test light or voltmeter. I’ve used it for years, and it works great. You watch the flashing test lamp or Check Engine Light and count the flashes.

Post the codes you get and I will post 86-93 model 5.0 Mustang specific code definitions and fixes. I do not have a complete listing for 94-95 model 5.0 Mustangs at this time.

[b]Be sure to turn off the A/C, and put the transmission in neutral when dumping the codes. On a manual transmission car, be sure to press the clutch to the floor.
Fail to do this and you will generate a code 67 and not be able to dump the Engine Running codes.

Foxbody Diagnostic connector

[img] https://www.stangnet.com/mustang-forums/attachments/foxbody-mustang-diagnostic-connector-jpg.586766/?temp_hash=124ae0e661fe7ed48f0bcc9e908d5b73

Foxbody Diagnostic connector close up view[/b]



If your car is an 86-88 stang, you'll have to use the test lamp or voltmeter method. There is no functional check engine light on the 86-88's except possibly the Cali Mass Air cars.



The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.

89 through 95 cars have a working Check Engine light. Watch it instead of using a test lamp.



The STI has a gray connector shell and a white/red wire. It comes from the same bundle of wires as the self test connector.


WARNING!!! There is a single dark brown connector with a black/orange wire. It is the 12 volt power to the under the hood light. Do not jumper it to the computer test connector. If you do, you will damage the computer.

What to expect:
You should get a code 11 (two single flashes in succession). This says that the computer's internal workings are OK, and that the wiring to put the computer into diagnostic mode is good. No code 11 and you have some wiring problems. This is crucial: the same wire that provides the ground to dump the codes provides signal ground for the TPS, EGR, ACT and Map/Baro sensors. If it fails, you will have poor performance, economy and driveablity problems

Some codes have different answers if the engine is running from the answers that it has when the engine isn't running. It helps a lot to know if you had the engine running when you ran the test.

Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, and clutch (if present) is pressed to the floor, and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.

Trouble codes are either 2 digit or 3 digit, there are no cars that use both 2 digit codes and 3 digit codes.

Your 86-88 5.0 won't have a working Check Engine Light, so you'll need a test light.
See AutoZone Part Number: 25886 , $10




Alternate methods:
For those who are intimidated by all the wires & connections, see Actron® for what a typical hand scanner looks like. Normal retail price is about $30 or so at AutoZone or Wal-Mart.

Reader/dp/B000EW0KHW Equus - Digital Ford Code Reader 3145.
Or for a nicer scanner see www.midwayautosupply.com/Equus-Digital-Ford-Code-It has a 3 digit LCD display so that you don’t have to count flashes or beeps.. Cost is $22-$36.

Order it at Walmart for a better price and free shipping

41P3GQVDSHL._SS270_.jpg



Dumping the Engine Running codes: The procedure is the same, you start the engine with the test jumper in place. Be sure the A/C is off, clutch depressed to the floor and the transmission is in neutral. You'll get an 11, then a 4 and the engine will speed up to do the EGR test. After the engine speed decreases back to idle, it will dump the engine running codes.
Cylinder balance test
Warm the car's engine up to normal operating temperature. Use a jumper wire or paper clip to put the computer into test mode. Start the engine and let it go through the normal diagnostic tests, then quickly press the throttle to the floor. The engine RPM should exceed 2500 RPM's for a brief second. The engine RPM's will increase to about 1450-1600 RPM and hold steady. The engine will shut off power to each injector, one at a time. When it has sequenced through all 8 injectors, it will flash 9 for everything OK, or the number of the failing cylinder such as 2 for cylinder #2. Quickly pressing the throttle again up to 2500 RPM’s will cause the test to re-run with smaller qualifying figures.
Do it a third time, and if the same cylinder shows up, the cylinder is weak and isn’t putting out power like it should. See the Chilton’s Shop manual for the complete test procedure



4.) Post the codes and get help to fix them. Don’t try to pass with codes not fixed. Clearing the computer just temporarily removes them from memory, it doesn’t fix the problem that caused the code to be set.

5.) Be sure to do the testing on a hot engine. Drive for 15-20 minutes prior to taking the test to get operating temps up into the normal range. Do not shut off the engine while waiting for your turn on the test machine. An engine up to full operating temperature puts out fewer emissions.
 

Lamriokart

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Jun 2, 2019
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Hey everyone thanks for your replies here, I appreciate it. After I realized I'm a double idiot, one for calling it a sprout connector lol and two turns it out it was my starter all along and I'm just dumb, thanks again for all the help.
 

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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You are not an idiot or dumb. Just uninformed or misguided.
I have the market cornered on 'idiot' and have the light to prove it.
And 'dumb' would be like having a problem and you keep driving it knowing it will fix itself.
 

Blown88GT

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Nov 13, 1999
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Hey everyone thanks for your replies here, I appreciate it. After I realized I'm a double idiot, one for calling it a sprout connector lol and two turns it out it was my starter all along and I'm just dumb, thanks again for all the help.
It takes a bigger man to admit his mistakes. I almost thought you were making a joke of it. Too many acronyms confuse everyone. I'll bet you never, ever make the same "errors" again!!
 
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