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Old 08-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #1
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How to check/adjust timing?

My jeep has had a bad miss for a while and all the things I have replaced did nothing. I never checked the timing and was told that could be it. Is this hard to do? should I rent a timing light or just drop it off a mechanic? its 4.2L thanks fellas

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Old 08-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
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I like ya Wrangler so here's my honest take. If you can afford it ...... take it to a professional and watch them do it. Im personally not willing to possibly sacrifice the way my jeep rides just to be able to say i set the timing myself. Nobody cares anyway. There are many repairs (like rebuilding a carb) I would like to do just for the fun of it but 'a mans got to know his limitations and I do. Many Forum members can set the timing on a jeep in their sleep and will tell you it's a piece of cake. Maybe it is but that's because they are better than us. But...if you don't have the money I'm sure this is something you can master out because its not rocket science. There are so many articles and videos to walk you through it. Comes down to where your 'jeep fun' is. For my first time, I would rather pay someone and watch them do it so I know for the next time. That's just me and my opinion nothing more. Good luck in advance.

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Old 08-13-2013, 04:25 PM   #3
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I like your thinking Mr. Florida. Called up my Mechanic and Asked how much it would be and he said I could watch and see how he does it. I'm not a mechanic so.. why not just do it right the first time. I forgot to ask him if the timing being off would cause a misfire. Would it?
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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Not real likely. More likely, bad plug, cracked plug, bad wires, dead cylinder, lean mixture, vacuum leak, or several other things. Timing possible but not where I would start the search.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:35 PM   #5
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Unless someone has played with your distributor timing shouldnt be off unless its because its due to a worn timing chain or distributor problems.These issues require more than a timing light and a wrench. My dad always told me "IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING DONT F*** WITH IT". If it cost a few bucks so be it it will save you greif in the long run.It sounds like that you have other issues than timing.
Seek profesional help.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #6
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Not real likely. More likely, bad plug, cracked plug, bad wires, dead cylinder, lean mixture, vacuum leak, or several other things. Timing possible but not where I would start the search.
This man is the bottom line here for all of us mechanically challenged( but learning) regarding your post. It can be so many things! Think its a good idea replacing half you engine blindly stumbling around? Pay the man to check the timing. It can't cost much for that and then you would know yes or no. If its off he will adjust it. But........if its not I'm confident he will find the problem because that's how he makes his money. I try to keep my life painless and uncluttered. If the jeep isn't right it makes me crazy and sometimes i just have to throw some money at the problem. Price to own a 26 year old jeep. But bottom line for me is .......do any of us know how many wonderful jeep rides we have left? Get it fixed and enjoy the ride friend.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:30 PM   #7
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Exclamation

I am a fair mech timing is not that hard but it does take some exp. and special tools but yours doesn't sound like timing sounds more like vac leak. my worst leak was at the plate that seperates the carb and intake should be black
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Old 08-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #8
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Ok, well I over the last 2 or 3 months I have replaced EVERYTHING except The engine. timing chain is fine, all the plugs and wire are new but checked and they are fine. it runs more rich than lean. Hey when I got this thing I had no clue what I was doing, but damn i know almost every inch of this turd. Called up my old friend who worked on old Chryslers and he said he would check/set the timing for free. its the only thing I have not done so why not do it, and do it right. all the internals of the engine only have 50k mileage. I'm not sure what a dead cylinder is???
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by 1987Wrangler YJ View Post
Ok, well I over the last 2 or 3 months I have replaced EVERYTHING except The engine. timing chain is fine, all the plugs and wire are new but checked and they are fine. it runs more rich than lean. Hey when I got this thing I had no clue what I was doing, but damn i know almost every inch of this turd. Called up my old friend who worked on old Chryslers and he said he would check/set the timing for free. its the only thing I have not done so why not do it, and do it right. all the internals of the engine only have 50k mileage. I'm not sure what a dead cylinder is???
It's a VERY simple process and you'll know exactly how with no questions after you watch one time. Probably be better for you to do it and have your friend walk you through it.

Is your set up stock? Distributor, carb, nutter?
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:33 AM   #10
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Yup all stock, no nutter.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #11
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I am also having a problem to where my timing is falling back in gear. In Park or Neutral it idles up at 1500. But when I drop it into drive it goes all the way down to around 600. This seems like an excessive drop to me. I had to set the curb idle high so that when it went into gear it wouldn't stall out. That being said, it runs fairly nice, I just hate when i go to park and the thing revs way up!
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:00 PM   #12
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I am also having a problem to where my timing is falling back in gear. In Park or Neutral it idles up at 1500. But when I drop it into drive it goes all the way down to around 600. This seems like an excessive drop to me. I had to set the curb idle high so that when it went into gear it wouldn't stall out. That being said, it runs fairly nice, I just hate when i go to park and the thing revs way up!
Have you checked the idle tubes on the Carter? Issue doesn't really sound like timing, worth checking but doesn't sound like the problem.

When you check the timing follow this process...
1) disconnect and plug the vacuum advance line to the distributor
2) Unplug the CEC System controls(computerized emissions controls). It's located just behind the air cleaner housing.
3) Start and run the engine at 1600 RPM.
4) Timing should be set at 9-11 degrees BTDC.
5) if its off loosen dizzy bolt & turn dizzy counterclockwise to advance or clockwise to retard.

Search the forum for Carter idle tube cleaning. Common issue on these carbs and a fairly easy fix.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:32 PM   #13
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Check the egr valve. A bad one will cause a high idle and loss of power. Impersonates a vacuum leak. Easy fix too. They go bad frequently.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #14
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Check the egr valve. A bad one will cause a high idle and loss of power. Impersonates a vacuum leak. Easy fix too. They go bad frequently.
His high idle is caused by him adjusting it up. He had a stalling issue before he turned it way up.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:52 PM   #15
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Ok guys still reading the comments, but I went out to get some cans of brake clean and oil and my truck started stalling and the rpms started to jump all over the place. once again I cruised to a stop, then again my truck restarted on its own LOL! The idle then jumped to about 1800 then back to about 400. crawled back home and started to check for leaks. I sprayed the intake manifold to where it meets the head and it started to bog down. Got no leaks from the carter. I took a video of it running and will post in a little bit. its so sluggish and sounds like its running lean.
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:28 PM   #16
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Ok guys still reading the comments, but I went out to get some cans of brake clean and oil and my truck started stalling and the rpms started to jump all over the place. once again I cruised to a stop, then again my truck restarted on its own LOL! The idle then jumped to about 1800 then back to about 400. crawled back home and started to check for leaks. I sprayed the intake manifold to where it meets the head and it started to bog down. Got no leaks from the carter. I took a video of it running and will post in a little bit. its so sluggish and sounds like its running lean.
Sounds like a intake leak. Either a bad gasket or warped intake. Probably time to pull it apart and have a good look. Interested to see the video.
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #17
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Update: My friend steve who used to work for AMC jeep stopped by. He is an expert on these things. he told me that my EGR valve isnt working/clogged and My timing is advanced. I disconected the vac advanced line and made the go way up idle way up. the carter carb was fine. he also said that my engine was creating enough power to idle in drive thus making the idle high in park. gonna do a compression test first i will keep you all updated
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:14 AM   #18
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Good luck little Wrangler
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:23 AM   #19
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Check it mbclark!
I kid.

I hope you get it figured out.
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Old 08-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #20
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Okay guys update: got the jeep looked at, Timing is spot on, or advanced by a tad, but good. firing on all cylinders, EGR valve was bad but blocked it off. Did not have an intake leak. Got a vacuum gauge and its reading a steady 21 inches which is great. He said it runs good, but it spits and sputters at idle. So we went to put on my 32/36 weber. The throttle linkage had boggered threads so called up weber direct and ordered the part. All the lines had good suction. SO has the cantando curse stll haunts me I can't drive my jeep, which is a bummer
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Old 08-21-2013, 08:26 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear the ride is still down but for sure you are getting closer to the solution. I dread the day my jeep throws me a curve like yours did but a good lesson has been learned. Sometimes it's far less expensive taking it to a pro opposed to replacing half the jeep stumbling around blindly. Just keep thinking how great that first drive is going to be after its right again.

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