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base timing on 3rd gen 3sgte on elite1500

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I'm attempting to set base timing with a timing light on a 3rd gen 3sgte so I can get this idling before i turn it over to my tuner. Electronics are Haltech elite1500 and oe toyota distributor, coil, and ignitor. I have a patch harness to convert the toyota wiring loom to the haltech plug set, so I'm able to convert back and forth between the toyota and haltech ecu's very easily.

I'm running into struggles with getting the timing light to fire. With the toyota ecu, I get it to light up no problem. No luck when I switch to the Haltech though.

I had some initial issues with mis-routed wires in the patch harness for trigger/ home, but after some time with a multimeter I believe I have them resolved and there are no errors when cranking now. I'm sending ig#1 on the haltech to pin igt on the ignitor and I verified that the coil is getting constant power from the main relay.

To try to get the light to fire, I've been changing the tdc offset in 40* increments from 5 to 365, thinking that something would have lit in that range. I do have lock mode set to always on.

Am I doing something wrong in the procedure or is there something I'm missing ? Any help is appreciated since I've run out of ideas on what to check at the moment.


Can you confirm that you're seeing rpm when cranking and that there are no sync errors? I've found that some of the Toyota VR sensors produce very low signal levels at cranking speed and this requires the trigger levels to be reduced at 0-500 rpm as low as perhaps 0.2-0.3 volts. Next you can try putting your timing light on the main ignition lead from the coil to the distributor and this will confirm that the ECU is triggering the igniter. Assuming that your setup is correct and the the ECU is synchronising properly and generating a spark then the issue is likely to be the physical timing of the spark event but jumping the offset in 20-30 degree increments should quickly get you ion the ball park.

Thank you for the response Andre. I was able to get this figured out with a very valuable phone call with Haltech support.

In case anyone else runs into similar symptoms in the future, I recommend confirming your key barrel is sending 12v to Haltech pin A13 (Ignition Switch).

My patch harness did not include a mapping from the Toyota harness and I missed it when reviewing the connections. The engine was cranking over but nothing was telling the ECU that it was go time.. so the ECU never activated the ECR. I was able to get around this by removing the "Ignition Switch" function in the main setup.

In case anyone is still using factory Toyota triggering and is stuck in the mire like I was, on gen 3 3sgte's you need to wire your distributor as follows:

Yellow (NE) -> crank trigger+

Red (G1) -> cam/home+

Green (G2) -> no connection

Black (G-) -> signal ground

Send Haltech ignition 1 driver to Toyota ignitor pin IGT to trigger spark.

All are reluctors and share G- as the neg side. You need to use either G1 or G2 for home, it doesn't matter which.

Obviously running a smart coil like an LS will simplify a lot of this, but then that breaks the factory tachometer and will lead you to lusting over an IC7 dash.

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