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Old 03-12-2014, 06:17 PM
ericwest ericwest is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: sacramento california
Posts: 3
Gender: Male
Vehicle: 89 dodge d150 5.2L
Trim Level: base
Color: tan white
Engine: 1981-1987 318ci (5.2L) LA V8 140hp
Rep Power: 0
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Default how do you set timing on a 1989 tbi ram 5.2L 318 cu in.....which wire do you disconnect?

My dads truck failed smog...because of the ignition timing....and he is 85 so its up to me to try and fix it....I have a timing light and I believe you use the number one cylinder which is closest to the front of the truck on the drivers side, right??....and I think you have to disconnect one wire. I think its the coolant sensor??..which is located on the front of the drivers side of the intake manifold??..please message me and let me know if this is correct...I did this procedure but the timing seems to be 16 degrees BTC....the smog shop said it was only 6 degrees BTC but needed to be at 10 degrees BTC,..the smog guy does this all day long so I would think he is right and I am doing something wrong....or maybe he was in a hurry...but I dont want to make the timing please let me know if you know the correct procedure for setting the timing....also one last question...this truck is OBD1 ....I know on obd2 if you disconnect the batter you have to drive 50 miles or so before attempting that true on obd1??

thanks so much
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:17 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: MS Gulf Coast
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Vehicle: 1990 RamCharger
Color: Red
Engine: 1988-1991 318ci (5.2L) LA V8 140hp
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You're pretty much on the money. Start and run til at normal operating temperature. Number one cylinder, driver side front of the engine. Disconnect the coolant temp sensor, also driver side front of engine, intake manifold, between the radiator hose/thermostat housing and the throttle return spring bracket. It's a little oblong-shaped plug with clip. The timing marks reference area shows the numbers 10-0-10 across the scale. If you're thinking 16 degrees, you're probably reading it wrong. 16 degrees BTDC even on premium gas would probably not work. 16 degrees initial timing would cause horrible pinging. I'm not sure even premium gas would totally handle it. That's +10, 0, and -10 degrees on the housing. There are ridges in-between those numbers for the other degree marks. If you are actually at 6 degrees BTDC, you will be twisting the distributor counter-clockwise a small amount so as to increase to 10 degrees BTDC. It is OBDI. The OBDII is a learning system, OBDI is "what you see is what you get." So, if you pull the battery for a few minutes for a reset, once you restart, what the computer sees, is what it uses. It doesn't need time to learn. That's why it's so important to reset when replacing O2 sensors, etc. If not reset, it'll keep on running like it still has the old one in. Not an issue with timing, but wouldn't hurt to do it.
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