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Old 04-13-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
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Default Because I'm paranoid... am I timed correctly?

Well after quite alot of downtime..... my car is nearly back together and running. I'm going to finish re-attatching all the wiring and vacuum connections tomorrow.

I've never done a timing belt before, let alone a headgasket job... add in a bit of self doubt.... and I'm worried I did something wrong :( I followed the directions in Keith Tanner's book (which was very helpful) and I still feel as though I need clarification.

It seems like putting the timing belt back on was too easy! I made sure that the car was at TDC when I pulled it all apart, and I didn't move it around at all. As far as I can tell I haven't made any mistakes.... but I'm going to post some pics for you guys so you can tell me for sure!





Anything look amiss to you guys?

and some bonus pics because I took them



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Old 04-13-2009, 10:32 PM   #2
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Looks good to me. You have the requisite 19 teeth between cams and all the marks look lined up. Another check for the paranoid, turn the crank so you pass TDC several times and then line up the crank mark at TDC again and recheck to see if the cam I/E line up the same way again. When I had mine off by a tooth, after several rotations, the marks were off so I knew it was off.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:45 PM   #3
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The intake cam needs to rotate counter-clockwise one tooth of the belt. If you compare the alignment of the blue arrows and the red arrows you will see that if you rotate the exhaust cam slightly clockwise to align the blue arrows, the red arrows will clearly be a full tooth off.

How all of this compares to your crank timing should be evaluated by turning the crank in the direction of rotation (clockwise) to TDC and check the marks as you reach that point. That way the timing belt is in tension in the proper direction and there is no slack that would skew the results. If you would like to do it the easy way you can turn the crank backwards several degrees before TDC and then rotate it forward as opposed to turning it all of the way around twice.

Was that confusing? I've suddenly become muddled in my explanations. Damn liquor...

Ask questions if I did a poor job explaining. Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:57 PM   #4
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Ok, so do I line things up with the letter... or with the notch? I had a feeling I was off a tooth on the intake side....

Thanks for the help guys! I'd love to get this buttoned up tomorrow!
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
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PS... the avatar rocks sixshooter! Who is the girl.... looks like a playboy shoot?
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:09 PM   #6
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Well at first I was gonna say it looked alright, assuming the perspective of the pic made it look a bit off, but I'll have to agree with sixshooter. Btw, that radiator setup is awesome. Is that a '99 head you have there? I don't see anything for VVT so that's my guess.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:22 PM   #7
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The notch.

That is Regina Deutinger. She is the same one that was holding the pretzel as my previous avatar. There is a short video of her in the subscriber's section (1337), yet another reason to be a subscriber. And yes, it was a Playboy Germany shoot.
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Old 04-14-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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It's a 2000 head

The rad setup is a koyo with the Ron Davis fan shroud that miataroadster sells.

Thanks again sixshooter!
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:24 AM   #9
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Ok, I went back and made sure everything was correct with the timing, got the car all buttoned up today.... and no dice! It won't start!!!!!!!!!!! arghhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

The car will turn over fine (with Jumper cables, as the battery is rather discharged from 6 months of sitting) And it seems like it WANTS to start, but then Dies. crank crank crank crank sputter die.... crank sputter crank crank crank crank sputter die....

I pulled a plug wire, placed an old plug in it, and cranked the car.... it has spark
I pulled the plugs, and they smell a bit like fuel.
The car puffs a small amount of whitish smoke from the tailpipe while cranking, there was also a small puff from the valve cover breather once or twice.
The car also backfired while cranking a few times

I'm exhausted and pissed off at the car and myself at this point. It's 2am here lol...

What is my next step? What do I check? Do I kill it with fire?
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Old 04-28-2009, 03:38 AM   #10
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White smoke should be the unburnt gas, and since you have spark apparently, sounds like timing. Fully charge your battery, and put some fresh plugs in just in case. I've managed to foul some plugs which resulted in the same symptoms.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
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loving the flares wish I had a pair...
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:24 AM   #12
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loving the flares wish I had a set...
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:40 AM   #13
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What are you using for engine management? If its megasquirt, you might want to reburn everything. You said it was sitting for 6 months so I would check everything before you pull it back apart. You may have a sensor unplugged that you forgot about. Even when my timing belt was off a tooth it still started.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:23 PM   #14
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I'm using Hydra.... I had thought it was possible that perhaps it had reset for some reason. I will research that possibility today
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:11 PM   #15
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Check spark on all four cylinders. I recently had the same issue with an NA (which I know is a bit different) where it would crank and sound like it wanted to start. I only had spark on two cylinders and not the other two. In my case it was a faulty ignitor. YMMV.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:16 PM   #16
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I had my belt off a tooth when I did it. The car started and ran, but was very slow due to the retarded timing.
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Old 04-28-2009, 01:17 PM   #17
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I would hope if you went through the setup of TB twice, and had already caught one mistake, that you wouldn't have done it wrong.

As long as you rotated the assembly a time or two after you were done, and the marks were still on like brgracer was saying, then chase down other issues first.

If it is your TB...don't worry...you get faster at swapping it each consecutive time.
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Old 04-28-2009, 02:27 PM   #18
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I'll be out with the car a bit later on today. I'm going to try a new battery and swapping ignition coils.

I think I could prolly do a timing belt in under 2 hours at this point lol...

if that doesn't work I'm going to re-load my hydra map into the car, if that doesn't work..... I'm done till this weekend.

I DID pull the main relay to crank the car over and get some oil pressure.... could I have blown this while re-installing it? the battery WAS hooked up at that point.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:20 PM   #19
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ok... none of that crapola worked...... I have a new thought however!

When I had everything apart... I had noticed that my EGR blockoff plate wasn't actually blocking things off well. When I bought it, I didn't realize that it was apparently a trim to fit item, and simply installed it at the back of the intake manifold.... STUPID STUPID! Now this has been installed on the car since it has been boosted, around 2 years or so. and the entire time, the shape of the plate, and a casting ridge in the manifold had left open a rather large orfice at the back of the motor! I did all my tunin, and all my idle and start primer, post start enrichments with an enormous vacuum leak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No wonder I had startup problems.... I am assuming that I am so pig rich now that I ground down the blockoff to fit and no longer have all that extra air comin in the back, that the car is flooding and won't start for that reason.....

I wish I could upload my Hydra map..... but it's an inalid file type :( anyone care to take a look and see if they think my enrichmentys for start primer and post start are horribly high for a stock motor NB with rx7 460's and NO vacuum leaks?
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Old 05-06-2009, 01:41 AM   #20
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That new idea does make sense. Could be the problem. Did you happen to look at the AF while driving it to see if they were different than before you fixed the block off?
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