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Practical Standalone Tuning: Step 4: Base Ignition Timing & Fuel Pressure

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Step 4: Base Ignition Timing & Fuel Pressure


00:00 - Our next step is to set our base fuel pressure and base ignition timing.
00:04 And with both of these parameters, these can be coarsely set now before we get our engine up and running but once our engine is running, we're going to want to come back and revisit these and get them really precisely adjusted.
00:18 With our fuel pressure, in this pressure the Corrado is fitted with an aeromotive fuel pressure regulator in the engine bay so it's as simple as adjusting that fuel pressure regulator until the gauge fitted to the regulator reads whatever fuel pressure we want.
00:34 The Corrado actually operates the fuel pumps using mechanical switches, so we can switch them on, and make adjustments to our fuel pressure at the regulator.
00:45 In most instances where the ECU is controlling the fuel pump relay, what we'd want to do is go into the auxiliary output that's defined as the fuel pump control and then set this to test on to continuously run the pumps.
01:00 Now this will coarsely set our fuel pressure, it'll get us close, but of course at this poing the engine isn't running so the battery voltage is likely to be lower than what we'll see when the engine is running and the alternator is charging.
01:15 In turn this can result in an increase in fuel pressure when the fuel pumps reach full operating voltage.
01:22 So what we'd do is once we've got the engine running, in our next step, we can come back and revisit this and make finer adjustments until our fuel pressure is exactly what we want.
01:34 It's important to note, when we're doing this though that once the engine is running, in order to adjust our base fuel pressure, we do need to remove the vacuum hose from the fuel pressure regulator.
01:45 Now we're going to look at setting our base ignition timing and we're going to start on our fuel main screen and we're going to set our injection mode to off and this is just going to prevent our engine from starting while we're cranking it to check the base ignition timing.
02:00 Next we can go across to our calibrate menu and this is where we can make adjustments to our base ignition timing.
02:07 I'm going to start by double clicking on the set base timing icon.
02:11 And this will bring up our set base timing window.
02:15 First parameter in here is our lock ignition timing two parameter.
02:20 And this is the timing that the ECU will output regardless of engine RPM or our engine load.
02:27 What we want to do here is select a number or a timing value that's easy to see on our crank pulley.
02:33 Now if we have crank pulley that has a full array of timing values, we can set this to any value we want and generally we would select something where we know that the engine will idle and run happily, perhaps in the region of 10 to 15 degrees.
02:48 In some engines though, we will only have a mark for TDC and in this case we're going to need to set this parameter to zero so that we can physically see the timing marks.
02:58 Once we've done this and we've hooked a timing light up to number one coil, the cylinder one ignition lead, we can then actually crank the engine over.
03:08 Now the engine won't start, and really what we want here is a helper, someone who can watch the timing at the engine using the timing light while we crank the engine and make adjustments to the laptop.
03:19 And what we're going to do is adjust our offset value here until the timing that we're seeing at the crank pulley with the timing light, matches whatever we set our lock ignition timing value to.
03:32 Now once we've got that reasonably close, we can move onto the next step in our process and actually get our engine running for the first time.
03:40 But what we will see is particularly at cranking speed, it's common for the ignition timing to wander around a little bit.
03:48 And that's why it's important to come back and revisit this step, once our engine is actually up and running.
03:54 So once we've gone through our next step, our engine is running, we're going to come back to this step, and now what we're going to do is more precisely set our base ignition timing and I like to do this with the engine RPM raised slightly above idle, and this ensures really solid accurate timing.
04:13 So I'm going to typically bring the idle speed up to perhaps 1500 RPM, and again simply adjust out offset value until the timing is exactly what we've locked our timing to.
04:25 And once we've done this, there's one last parameter which is the delay.
04:29 And this simply allows us to correct for any slight drift we see as we increase the engine RPM.
04:39 So it's not uncommon for example to see that at 6000 RPM, our timing may have drifted by one or two degrees.
04:46 And we can adjust our ignition delay so that our ignition timing remains constant and solid across the engine RPM range.
04:55 I'll point out here that if you're seeing really significant drifts in your ignition timing as the RPM varies, and this is normally a sign that the polarity of a reluctor sensor is incorrect and this will require you to go back and readdress that.
05:11 So at this point we've got our fuel pressure and our ignition timing coarsely adjusted, and we've also talked about what we're going to do to precisely adjust these two parameters once we've gone through our next step and we've actually go the engine running for the very first time.