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    Thread: Setting Ignition Timing Without a Timing Light?

    1. Member danthemanohhyea's Avatar
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      Jun 7th, 2005
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      05-27-2007 04:10 PM #1
      stock 8v engine we're talking about here:

      So, I had to re-do my headgasket again because it was leaking and I found out that I put it on a bit crooked..

      Anyways, I know that I'm supposed to time the ignition to 6 degrees BTDC at idle. I know that if I follow the Bentley on how to set the ignition timing, I'll set it to 0 degrees. I do not have a timing light in order to set it to 6 degrees, and I have no money to buy one and I don't know anyone who has one. So, I came up with an idea on how to set the ignition timing to 6 degrees BTDC without the timing light but I'm not sure if it will work. So I'm asking you guys on here to see if it would work.

      Here's what I plan to do:
      1) Set the mechanical engine timing correctly as per the Bentley
      2) Set the ignition timing to 0 degrees as per the Bentley
      3) Remove the timing plug from the transmission
      4) Remove the distributor cap
      5) Manually crank the crankshaft while watching the flywheel until the pointer in the timing hole points to the dot on the flywheel indicating 6 degrees BTDC
      6) Loosen the distributor and turn it so that when the cap is put back on, the rotor will touch the point for spark plug #1, then retighten distributor, replace distributor cap
      7) Replace timing plug on transmission
      8) Ignition timing now set to 6 degrees BTDC

      So, thats my plan. In my head it seems like it would work.. Not sure if it would considering that you're supposed to set it to 6 degrees BTDC while the engine is at idle.

      Thanks in advance!


    2. Member hellgti's Avatar
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      A few Brokeswagens
      05-27-2007 05:43 PM #2
      it won't work. You won't be able to take into acount the vacuum advance at idle. You NEED a timing light. there si just no way around it.


    3. Member danthemanohhyea's Avatar
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      Jun 7th, 2005
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      2002 Jetta TDI, 1998 Jetta TDI (for sale)
      05-27-2007 06:59 PM #3
      Yeah that's what I figured..

      It doesn't matter right now anyway because I just snapped one of the thermostat cover screws off and half of it is still stuck inside the water pump! ****!


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