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Can anyone tell me the proper technique for setting the ignition timing on a 2002 5.9 V8? I just swapped engines in my truck. I bought a slightly used rebuilt engine and I used my original distributor. I followed the Haynes repair manual for installing the distributor. It said once you install the distributor you can tighten the clamp and no adjustment will be necessary because the PCM will make whatever adjustment is needed. Well that was not the case. I couldn't keep it idling and when we tried to road test it it was pinging like crazy. I couldn't even see the timing mark with my timing light. I managed to get the clamp loose and turned the distributor until it would idle. It idles and runs much better but the timing mark is still about 3/4 of an inch above the timing scale on the timing chain cover. I estimate it to be about 15 degrees before TDC. When I drive it I have a slight backfire when I let off the gas. I only have an older basic timing light and the scale on the timing cover is small so I was wondering if there is something you have to do to properly set the timing. Like in the old days you would unplug the vacuum advance on the distributor to set the timing.
 

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Theres gotta be a solution to that!
 

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WHen I swapped the 5.9 in mine I used an OEM aftermarket replacement Distributor, but still had a slight timing issue similar to yours not quite as bad. The fix was taking it to a shop and having the PCM reprogrammed and it is still working to this day. 130,000 miles later only cost me about 80 bucks.
 

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What they said was technically true. Install, bolt in, and go. BUT....the distributor must be installed in the same position as it was removed. Otherwise, your synch is off and it'll never run right.


Expert:* sprinkles08 replied 910 days and 3 hours ago.
Ok great. If you haven't done the synchronization procedure, it isn't set right.
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The ignition timing on your truck is electronically controlled by the engine controller. Turning the distributor does not change ignition timing, but getting it in the right spot is very important. With the timing controlled by the engine control module, you can't set the timing on these engines with a timing light. It's just all over the place.
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Putting the distributor in the right position on these is called "setting sync". This is best done with a dealer scan tool, but can be done with a voltmeter. You are setting the rotation so the cam sensor (inside the distributor) toggles its signal voltage at the perfect time. It needs to be within 10 degrees of 0 (preferred is 0), if its closer to 20 degrees it will set a code for intermittent loss of cam or crank signal, and if its far enough out it will actually send spark to the wrong pole on the distributor cap, or it will fire to two wires at once. Here is the procedure to set the distributor on your truck without using a dealer scan tool.
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Connect a voltmeter to the distributor sensor connector by removing the end seal and carefully back probing the connector. Connect the positive lead to the sensor output pin (pin 3, either a tan wire with a yellow tracer or a gray wire, depending on vehicle application). Connect the negative lead to battery ground.
Rotate the engine clockwise as viewed from the front, until the number one mark piston Top (TDC) compression on the vibration damper should line up with the zero degree (TDC) mark on the timing chain case cover.
Continue to rotate the engine slowly clockwise until the V6 or V8 mark on the damper(depending on engine type) lines up with the zero degree (TDC) mark on the timing chain case cover. The V8 mark is 17.5°after TDC and the V6 mark is 147° after TDC.
NOTE: DO NOT ROTATE THE ENGINE COUNTER CLOCKWISE. IF THE ENGINE IS ROTATED BEYOND THE MARK, RETURN TO STEP 6 AND REPEAT THE PROCEDURE.
With the distributor clamp bolt loose and the ignition switch in the ON position, rotate the distributor slightly in either direction until the voltmeter switches between the sensor transition point of 0 and 5 volts.
Adjust the distributor as close as possible to either side of this transition point and tighten the distributor clamp bolt

Someone else on another site was good enough to post this. The computer handles everything, but you have to set the starting point.
 

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Put another way, place the engine in firing position Top Dead Center on #1 cylinder. Install distributor. Install rotor. The rotor tip should be pointing towards #1 cylinder (more or less). There are 2 screws that hold the distributor cap in place. On driver side there's a small notch just behind the cap screw point. That notch is the rotor alignment notch. Rotate the distributor body til that notch is in line with the rotor. Tighten the distributor clamp, install the dist. cap. Connect the cam position sensor wire from the distributor to the main harness. Hook up the battery. Turn the key and cross your fingers.
 

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Can anyone tell me the proper technique for setting the ignition timing on a 2002 5.9 V8? I just swapped engines in my truck. I bought a slightly used rebuilt engine and I used my original distributor. I followed the Haynes repair manual for installing the distributor. It said once you install the distributor you can tighten the clamp and no adjustment will be necessary because the PCM will make whatever adjustment is needed. Well that was not the case. I couldn't keep it idling and when we tried to road test it it was pinging like crazy. I couldn't even see the timing mark with my timing light. I managed to get the clamp loose and turned the distributor until it would idle. It idles and runs much better but the timing mark is still about 3/4 of an inch above the timing scale on the timing chain cover. I estimate it to be about 15 degrees before TDC. When I drive it I have a slight backfire when I let off the gas. I only have an older basic timing light and the scale on the timing cover is small so I was wondering if there is something you have to do to properly set the timing. Like in the old days you would unplug the vacuum advance on the distributor to set the timing.
Can anyone tell me the proper technique for setting the ignition timing on a 2002 5.9 V8? I just swapped engines in my truck. I bought a slightly used rebuilt engine and I used my original distributor. I followed the Haynes repair manual for installing the distributor. It said once you install the distributor you can tighten the clamp and no adjustment will be necessary because the PCM will make whatever adjustment is needed. Well that was not the case. I couldn't keep it idling and when we tried to road test it it was pinging like crazy. I couldn't even see the timing mark with my timing light. I managed to get the clamp loose and turned the distributor until it would idle. It idles and runs much better but the timing mark is still about 3/4 of an inch above the timing scale on the timing chain cover. I estimate it to be about 15 degrees before TDC. When I drive it I have a slight backfire when I let off the gas. I only have an older basic timing light and the scale on the timing cover is small so I was wondering if there is something you have to do to properly set the timing. Like in the old days you would unplug the vacuum advance on the distributor to set the timing.
does anyone know the ignition timing degrees before or after TDC 1994 5.2 as far as the mark on crank pulley with a timing light ? or is there just a mark and a tab to line up ?
 

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1. You just resurrected an almost 9yr old thread lol
2. You're in the wrong section, you would probably get the answers you need in the 2nd generation section (which is what you have), this is 3rd gen.
 

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1. You just resurrected an almost 9yr old thread lol
2. You're in the wrong section, you would probably get the answers you need in the 2nd generation section (which is what you have), this is 3rd gen.
Hey, I searched for an answer this site came up, I saw the question so I had to take a shot lolol ! I'm old school, I tried tweeking the distributor a little not knowing about the syncing crap ! Thanks man
 
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