So, I have been doing a lot of searching in the forums to try to find out why my new (to me) 1990 NA 1.6 idles like crap.
It was a known issue when I had purchased the car, and the person selling the car said it "might be a bad temp sensor". The temp sensor seems fine.
Things I have checked/replaced so far include, but are not limited to:
What I have learned so far:
Borg Warner spark plug wires are hella-super-_____-bad quality. Every single one I took out and replaced with my original NGK blues would cause my car to idle a little better. Better being a relative term. Idle with the NGK is bad, idle with the BW was terrible.
Advancing my ignition timing A LOT would cause my car to purr like a kitten and be all nice and happy. (Mentions kittens in post: +1)
The ignition timing adjustment range (CAS) is from 10 deg advanced to like 30 degrees advanced. Way off of the timing marks.
The previous owner changed the timing belt in 2004 at 95k miles. I bought the car 2 months ago with 105k miles. He had it sitting for 7 years turning it into a spec Miata racecar before he quit and sold it as parts.
Timing belt was changed less than 10k miles ago. About the time he stopped driving the car.
Lots of ignition advance (like 25 deg?) makes the car run great.
The ignition cam was installed 1 tooth off. So 25 deg advanced really means 13 degrees advanced .
My requests from my peers:
1. Does this seem to make sense?
2. Would there be any harm in setting my static ignition to 20 deg advanced and take it for a spin to see if it pings?
3. Any other ideas for what could be the issue?
If all else fails, I will do the timing belt anyway for good measure, and while I am in there do the HLA cleaning. Bubbles is starting to sound like a Ducati with all the nonsense going on under the hood.
Thanks for the help.
P.S. Compression results: 200-200-200-200. My engine is made of pure win!