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Old 12-20-2006
Needforspeed3685's Avatar
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Timing experts (or not) - I need your opinion/advice!

Okay, for those who may have been actively reading the General Discussion boards lately, you'll know I replaced the head gasket on my 2000 2.5L.

Not that I've gotten it all put back together, I'm suspecting my timing is off a degree or two....so here are the symptoms.

(I'm posting this in General because it's a timing-related quesiton, not so much a 4-cylinder question)

HORRIBLE idle - sputters and stumbles around the RPM's until it dies, unless I keep pressure on the throttle to keep the RPM's up.

Neutral Revving - in an effort to keep it running, I would shift to neutral only to hear the RPM's rise to a suspected (no tach) 3K RPM's.

Valve train noise - sounds like the valves are bottoming out on the pistons, or something is clanking around inside the combustion chamber.

GREAT performance at regular speeds - while traveling down the road it runs good and smooth, until I release the throttle.

Vacuum leak sound - can't pinpoint it just yet, as I haven't taken a good look at it yet; but it sounds like it would if I had left my brake booster vacuum line disconnected, and it runs like it too!

I got a check-engine light, so I got the codes read to find out it's a P0171 - Bank 1 is too lean.
Does this mean I have my ignition wires crossed, or my timing is off a bit???


Thanks for any help or advice! I thought I had my timing lined up when I put tension on the timing belt, but evidently it's off a tooth or two???
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Old 12-20-2006
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Sounds like a timing issue to me.

Here are a few things to look at.

Firing order: Your truck is 1-3-4-2. Cylinders numbering from front of engine to back is 1-2-3-4. I would verify that this is correct first off.

Then I would check your timing. There should be a mark on your dampener, and another on your block, line these dots up, then set your Cam. Then put your belt on counter clockwise < Key part. There should be marks on the Cam, crank, and Oil pump sprocket. Make sure you line them all up with the corrasponding marks on the motor.

I hope this helps... Let me know if you need pictures.. I got access to a how-to if needed.

Good Luck!
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Old 12-21-2006
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I don't really need any pictures, just the time to go take a look at it. I suspected the ignition firing order was off too, so I'll check my wires on both sides (intake/exhaust).
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Old 12-28-2006
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Wow...all this time of letting the truck sit in my garage, waiting for Christmas to pass by and things to calm down so I could get a chance to tear back into it and adjust the timing.


Come to find out...my PCV vacuum supply line was disconnected from the intake manifold, causing a vacuum leak and poor idle. I plugged it back in and the truck ran great!

Lesson learned - check EVERYTHING 10 times, not 5 like I originally did (and still missed this hidden connection!)
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Old 12-28-2006
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Haha I did something like that when I rebuilt the carb on mine. I unhooked the advance wire on the distributor so I could check the ignition timing, then forgot to hook it back up. Drove around for a week trying to figure out wtf was wrong with it. Got 80 miles on almost 28 gallons of gas. Finally gave in and had a mechaninc from work look at it for me, he pointed to the advance wire and goes "Whats that for?"
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Old 12-28-2006
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Thank God only my wife was around to make fun of me on this one! After she realized I was embarassed I was so stupid, she helped me bolt the A/C compressor back on!
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