DOHC ZC Ignition Timing/Throttle stop screw - D-series.org

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Old 10-27-2016, 05:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DOHC ZC Ignition Timing/Throttle stop screw

Good day peeps,

So my problem goes like this, i recently installed new thermostat and fan switch as im trying to get car to stock with no hassle. i let the car heat up until the fan runs, adjust my base idle to 650rpm, all smooth idle now, but when i set my ignition timing to the red mark as mentioned on the manual, my car runs crap and feels too advanced and even vibrates alot. The moment i retard it away from the 3 ignition timing marks, it runs smoother and feels great. Now it also looks like the throttle stop screw was messed with so i turned to to just touch a lil without opening the throttle plate.

My question is, is the mechanical timing out or is it the throttle stop screw problem?
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A few important questions;

1. Have you verified mechanical timing of the engine? It should look like this on the head/cams with the red mark on the crank pulley lined up to the timing cover marks.

https://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j...77668170556602

2. Are you using an inductive timing light where you can set it to a desired measurement? ie. 16*

3. Is the ECU original, or is it chipped?

4. Has there been any milling of the cylinder head or block?

5. Is the camshaft OEM?

Last edited by curiousH; 10-27-2016 at 07:27 AM.
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Old 10-27-2016, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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After you set your base idle, does your idle bump up to 800rpm after you reconnect the 2p connector on the EACV and reset the ECU?

PS can you post some pics of your sedan? Looks sick in your avatar
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here's my pics I only have the 2 for now
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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@curiousH I have a normal timing light without settings, does it really make a difference? I also did install new plug wires new cap and rotor. Everything is still stock standard
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Old 10-28-2016, 05:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Timing seems fine
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Old 10-28-2016, 08:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Ash,

If that engine photo is current, the timing is retarded by the look of the distributor position.

If mechanical timing is good, maybe check for vacuum leaks or any hoses that might be unplugged. Also, check for any unplugged sensors or grounds. the ground at the thermostat housing is very important to the ECU function. Please don't be insulted by these suggestions, I've had it happen to me before and know how frustrating it can be.

The red mark is in the middle of the three marks correct? that should be 16* advanced which is proper spec.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Curious H I need all the help from your experience and I appreciate it. Ok will do now with regards to base idle on the stock tach where should it be because it might to high and maybe that's causing the confusion on the ignition timing. At the moment i don't have a aftermarket tach so I just wanna get the base idle as close as possible. Which mark do I set it to?
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Old 10-29-2016, 10:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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there is no specific spot where the distributor needs to be rotated

Ive seen factory setups perfectly centered, full advanced, and full retarded positions.

get the car warmed up, let it idle long enough for the fans to come on at regular intervals (generally 30-60 seconds apart)

shut her down. locate the 2-wire service connector. generally it is in the righthand footwell, or it may be underhood near the washer fluid tank/cap. check inside first, its more common.

jumper that together. key on the car, make sure nothing goes ZAP. if nothing does, congrats, its definitely the service connector!

fire her up, check timing.

spot on? job is done, you verified timing is correct.

closer to BTDC? rotate distributor slowly towards firewall.

farther away from BTDC? (bigger number) rotate distributor closer to radiator.

runs like shit when its touched? shut motor down. remove top timing/cam gear cover, manually rotate with socket, extension, and breaker bar to cylinder one TDC.
pop distributor cap off. it helps to unplug cyl#4 and cyl#3 plug leads from head. you can leave all wires hooked to cap.

With cap off, compare the tower for cylinder#1 with rotor. you want to be centered so you have room to play with dsitributor. I do this compare by using a marker, marking on edge of cap, and copying mark to distributor shell.

rotate distributor to make mark centered.


Fire her up. if its way off, it will run like shit.

repeat timing check.


if you leave service connector alone through this process, the ecu will actually attempt to correct for this, and ruin the base setting. This is why we bridge the connector, so ecu understands we are making adjustments


This is a boring time consuming task if the distributor is way off. Have patience!

EDIT it is sometimes handy to reset the ecu before doing this. yank the ecu fuse, and backup fuse if necessary. Or fuck it, yank battery negative. touch brakes, press horn, turn key over. let car sit unplugged for 5 minutes
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Old 10-30-2016, 01:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks Mattliston appreciate your assistance. In terms of base idle as sent on the pic, what mark do I set that to
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Old 10-30-2016, 03:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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My throttle stop screw was tampered with and it's causing a vacuum leak. I need to get another that wasn't tampered with. ?
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