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Timing Light
04-26-2014, 12:16 PM
Post: #1
Timing Light
2000 Kia Sportage,2.0,Automatic,170kmiles,GulfCoast. I can see the scale embossed into the block located down by the crankshaft pulley, labeled BTDC, with marks and the numbers 7 and 10 on it. How do I use a Timing Light and that scale? What does it mean? Thanks.
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04-26-2014, 10:03 PM
Post: #2
RE: Timing Light
On many newer cars you can't set the timing manually but the marks are there for other reasons, which may only be to check the timing, not adjust it. Typically the sticker under the hood showing engine specs and emissions will give the proper timing info or may say it's not adjustable. Read it closely and there may be enough to tell you what else needs to be done to set or check the timing. (disconnect a wire, vac hose, etc)

That said, if you are curious you can hook up a timing light to any vehicle that has spark plug wires. Two of the wires on the light will be red and black. Those clip on the battery. The other wire may have a clamp on style that goes around the plug wire or it may somehow adapt to one end of the #1 plug wire. Make these connections with the engine off and keep all of your wires away from both moving parts (fan and belts?) plus anything hot, like the exhaust. Shine your timing light at those marks on the pulley with the engine running and you will see how things line up. You may also need to clean the pulley and find a notch on the edge, which is what the strobe light will make stand out. Sometimes a bit of white chalk or a dab of light colored paint on that notch makes it easier to see.

There's usually one larger mark for Top Dead Center (TDC) and the other marks with numbers will indicate degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC) or similar. Spark happening Before TDC is advanced and the other side of "0" is retarded. Most vehicles use a few degrees BTDC.

Cauton: The use of a timing light may make other things under the hood seem to stand still when they are in fact moving. Watch your fingers, clothing, long hair, etc!
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05-03-2014, 08:23 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2014 09:36 AM by greg2000.)
Post: #3
RE: Timing Light
Timing Light follow-up:
2000 Kia Sportage, OK, I bought the cheaper timing light at Autozone, then found the hacksaw notch on the crankshaft pulley lip, placed a dab of white paint on it, as you instructed, hooked up the lite and warmed up the engine. The under hood label reads 6 degrees (+ or -) 6 degrees BTDC. Isn't that the same as 0 to 12 degrees BTDC as stated at kiatechinfo.com under timing specifications for my model. With the timing light on, the pulley mark, in relationship to the BTDC gauge marks embossed onto the bottom plastic timing belt cover, vibrated between the 8 and 9 degree marks BTDC. Is that a good reading? I guess in a 360 degree travel of the crankshaft it is a position about 8 1/2 degrees before the #1 piston gets to the top of the cylinder. Is that when the air/gas mixture explodes? Just curious. Thanks.
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05-05-2014, 07:38 PM
Post: #4
RE: Timing Light
Sorry for the delay as I was away for a few days vacation....

Yes, the light flashes when the spark fires so that is when the mixture is fired off. I would say being within 2 degress of specification is close enough to not bother with any changes and at that age I would expect a small variation or flutter, meaning the mark appears to move a little.
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