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1. Clean the notch on the crankshaft pulley and paint it white or silver (sharpie), do the same for the timing alignment gauge next to the pulley, but just paint the tops of the timing marks. This makes it much easier to see what the timing is at, since the marks are pretty far down the side of the engine and there is not enough room to get a timing light close.

2. The timing marks are 5 degrees apart. The front most is marked 0, then a mark for 5, then the middle mark is 10 (*which is the spec for my federal emissions model, CARB models with an EGR may be different, see the hood label), the 15 mark, then an arrow for the 20 mark.

3. Strip the insulation off a 1-2 inch 18 gauge wire on the ends, bend it in a U shape, then use it to short out the service connector to put the engine controller in service mode. (the idle will change a bit usually). Your model may be different, on mine, you short Terminals TE1 and E1 of the check connector. Again, your hood label indicates which to use.

4. Assuming you warmed up the engine fully, and the AC is off, and no lights or defroster are on, and the steering wheel is not loaded (the engine revs up if you put a load on the steering), you should see an idle of around 700 (800 for cars with DRLights). Mine doesent idle too well at 700, I use 800-850, which might skew the timing a bit. You can use a tach connected to the diagnostic connector to confirm this.

5. Use a timing light (connect the ground first, then power, then clamp it on cylinder 1's spark plug wire), and see the timing. It may jump, but it should be close to 10 (or whatever the spec if according to the label) degrees. If it is not staying near the spec, you may have other ignition, valve or fuel problems causing erratic idle. Might be hard to set.

6. Assuming it is indeed off, turn off the engine, and loosen (DONT REMOVE) the bolts at the base of the distributor. Make sure they are almost finger tight, so you can twist the dist with a free hand but the distributor isn't totally loose.

7. Start the engine. Use the timing light to check the timing while turning the distributor back and forth. Set it to the factory spec. You wont get much of a performance improvement advancing on these engines, and if you have a federal emissions spec, you REALLY need to leave it to specs in order to pass emissions (since EGR is done by valve timing, not an external egr valve).

8. Once set, tighten everything down and remove the jumper. has online manuals for this car, you can also buy manuals.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-12 23:06:46
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Q: How do you adjust the timing on a 1990 Toyota Corolla?
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