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Old 03-16-2018, 07:59 PM   #1
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Default Ignition timing light eratic timing mark

I have a 1989 D21 2.4L pickup. The engine stumbles and the timing marks (timing light) jump all over the place. I was thinking this could be from a loose timing chain. There is no noise and this started after I messed with some vacuum hoses.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:26 PM   #2
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My guess is a vacuum leak. Go back over the lines you messed with and see if there are cracks.
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Old 03-16-2018, 08:54 PM   #3
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not only a vacuum leak causes this from the outside, inductive connector to you light also has a lot to play on it. I figured this one out the hard way.....if the timing light harness plugs into the light it gets worse. what i am saying is make SURE you have a proper functioning timing light.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:18 PM   #4
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A worn out oil pump drive spindle could also cause this.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:19 PM   #5
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I have snap-on timing light and ive used this on other cars, its good.

When all this started I removed the air filter housing and as it was moved over the injection body the engine wanted to stall I moved it back that would go away. So I removed the air cleaner assy. Does not run right since I did that.

Actually I just replaced the intake manifold gasket so I know its good. I had coolant leaking into one of the intake ports, that why I changed it.

It ran fine until I messed with the vacuum hoses. I pluged all the vacuum ports, still the same thing.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:53 PM   #6
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when the timing light shows the mark out of time the engine misfires.

Since im plugging all the ports, do you think this could be a PVC valve.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:25 PM   #7
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I have two questions what controls the electronic timing advance. And can the distributer cause this.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:12 AM   #8
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ECM controls the timing advance/retard.

I wouldn't expect the dizzy unless its consistence with one cylinder every time.
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Old 03-17-2018, 12:55 AM   #9
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Im a ASE L1 Master tech and this has me absolutely stumped. I even worked at a Nissan dealership for about a year, but that was years ago.

I have the service manual for this truck. I was disappointed that there was basically no info on the distributer (crank angle sensor).

With other vehicles there is a plug that needs to be disconnected or connected to set time with the advance disabled.

The only thing I can think (with the exception of a vacuum leak) is that the timing signal is fluctuating and this is being transferred into the advance/retard setting.

The best I could find was that if you disconnect the TPS it should be able to set the timing fixed. I could not find this info in the service manual...
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:58 PM   #10
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The V6 crank angle sensor aka the rotor wave plate is inside the distributor. Dunno about the 4 cylinder engine.
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