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Practical Standalone Tuning: Setting Base Ignition Timing - Pre Startup

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Setting Base Ignition Timing - Pre Startup


00:00 To properly set the base ignition timing, you really need to have the engine running.
00:04 But obviously this can be a little difficult if you have no idea where the base ignition timing is meant to be set.
00:10 If I have no starting point for the ignition timing calibration, then I normally start by checking the ignition timing during cranking.
00:17 This isn't a perfect method because you can see the timing move at cranking speed due to the engine speed being unstable.
00:24 It will be enough to get the timing set roughly so you can start the engine though.
00:29 To do this you will need to disable the fuel injection so the engine can't start.
00:34 You can either do this by physically unplugging the injectors or the fuel pump, or alternatively you can turn the injection mode off in the ECU if your ECU has this function.
00:45 Now you need to clip your timing light onto the ignition lead for Number One coil.
00:50 With a lot of modern engines being coil unplugged now, this is getting more difficult.
00:55 Often just clipping your timing light around the wiring loom that runs to Number One coil will provide enough energy to trigger the timing light.
01:03 If this doesn't work, your only choice is to remove the coil from Number One cylinder, and temporarily run a lead from the coil output post to a spark plug.
01:12 You can then clip your timing light onto the lead like a conventional ignition system.
01:18 Once you have your timing light connected, you need to put the ECU into base timing mode where it's providing a fixed advance and crank the engine over so you can watch the timing that the engine is seeing.
01:28 This is a two-person job.
01:32 By adjusting the ignition offset in the ECU, you can get the timing map to match the ignition advance on the ECU.
01:38 Don't worry about getting it perfect right now.
01:41 Anything within five degrees will be close enough to start the engine at this stage.
01:46 If your engine is running a coil unplugged direct-fire ignition system, it's still possible that the ignition timing will be incorrect even though you are seeing the correct timing at the crankshaft.
01:56 Because each engine cycle takes 720 degrees, it's possible for the spark to fire at the correct crank angle, but be 360 degrees out.
02:06 This means the spark is occurring on the exhaust stroke, and obviously this means the engine won't run.
02:12 If you can't get the engine to fire and run when the time comes, this is likely to be the problem.