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Timing specs ~ How to time your Vanagon
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Surfalia
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:44 am    Post subject: Timing specs ~ How to time your Vanagon Reply with quote

MODERATOR NOTE: also see this linked thread about setting the ignition timing.....

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0

I was trying find out what are the timing specs are for my 87 Syncro 2.1. How come no one has even replied to my question regarding engine timing. Is it a really stupid question that has everyone is laughing their butts off at me for asking. What is the timing supposed to be and is there a special technique for setting it on this vehicle. I'm in Mexico and have your real basic timing light, no adjustable timing dials/digi set up. I know how to use it but on the vanagon is it as simple as shoot and adjust a loosened dist until the line on the pulley lines up with the block casing?

Moderator note: Original thread title changed to reflect what this thread is about.
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CF
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yep is is that simple,for top dead center on cyl 1

3* - 7* before top dead center
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I think about it more I guess setting the mark on to line up with the casing is just gonna get me TDC (0') and I'll need a dial or digi light to get a reading to show the advance 3-7'
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just set my timing with a crappy timing light. Tencent says that after it's all said and done, you want to have your TOTAL advance at about 40 degrees. This mark is not on your main pulley but it is two inches CLOCKWAISE past the v-notch on the main pulley. I measure this point and put a dab of white paint to mark it.

I just set my timing to this mark and, hey, my slight pinging went away.

There is probably a reason to set the timing this way and there is probably a reason not to as well.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

deprivation wrote:
you want to have your TOTAL advance at about 40 degrees. I just set my timing to this mark and, hey, my slight pinging went away.


Question: At what RPM is the engine supposed to reach total advance?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wll be all in by 3000rpm at the most.

Surfalia, there should be two marks on your rear pulley: a "V" notch on the forward rim nearest the engine case, and a shallow "U" dish on the next rim back, about 1/4" counterclockwise from the V when you view it at rest. The U is actual TDC, the V is 5deg. advanced from there (the pulley spins clockwise, so the V will reach the witness mark 5deg. before the U, get it?).

So, at idle, everything hooked up and engine warm, if you point your Flintstones timing strobe at the crankcase center seam, you'll see the V notch aligned with the seam, but it will dance around a bit.

You can do the method in Bentley, but myself, I find it bogus. What matters most in an engine is total advance. If you set it to total, all else should fall into line well enough.

So, 40deg. advance happens to be exactly 2" clockwise on the forward rim of the pulley from the V notch. Bring your pulley to TDC, and measure with a cloth tape or marked strip of paper the 2" to the right of the V, and make a new mark. I use a center punch on the edge of the rim, then fill the punch hole with some light-colored chalk, crayon, paint, nail polish, whatever. Then you just hook up your strobe, warm up the motor, and point your strobe while revving the motor to 3000rpm or higher. Your new mark should be seen aligned with the case seam. Make small adjustments to the diz position until you have it right.

If your principal driving altitude is over 4000 feet ASL, you can add one degree of additional advance for every 1000ft. more than 4000ft. (i.e. at 7000ft. ASL, you would add 3deg.).

With additional advance, you will be seeing the mark to the left of the case seam under the strobe light. The width of the case tab that sticks out is about 10 degrees, so you can eyeball it using that. The margin of error is minus 5deg. but shoot for the full 40 for best performance.

Test drive and check for pinging after tuning. I find it best to remove the engine cover so I can really hear it. With the motor hot, drive up a slope and put the pedal down, but not all the way to the floor. You want to avoid the WOT throttle switch enrichment. With the engine under load but just shy of WOT, you should not hear anything that sounds like a little dwarf that lives in your engine who likes to hammer at the walls. If you hear him hammering, back off the timing a couple degrees, and road test again.
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Last edited by tencentlife on Sun Nov 18, 2007 7:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
It wll be all in by 3000rpm at the most.... back off the timing a couple degrees, and road test again.

Right - that's exactly what I did. I just stuck a short stack of washers between the throttle stop on the TB and the engine held just shy of 3k rpm.
My ping went away and things run well...w/o the O2 sensor! Still working on that. Crying or Very sad
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, be warned, it runs richer without the O2. Your ping could come back when you get the sensor thing straightened out and it goes back to lambda.

Is your TBS closing at WOT?
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Well, be warned, it runs richer without the O2.

I know. It sucks. I even ran a new O2 wire - a really nice shielded cable from an airplane and then grounded the sh*t out of it. Still the same. The last thing I want to look at it the AFM. If the spring is tired, then the engine doesn't know how much air is in the system, it's gonna dump more fuel and I get poopy performance.

tencentlife wrote:
Is your TBS closing at WOT?

Yep. My refurbed throttle is da bomb.

All this might be moot, though, because I have some oil pressure problems. Buzzzz. More on that later.

I just hijacked a thread.

As always, thanks,
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, what I'm saying is that without an O2 signal, the mixture will run richer, and the richer mixture will prevent detonation. When you get the O2 feedback working again, the system will run at lambda (14.7:1 AFR, or [BIG WORD ALERT!!!] a stoichiometric mixture), which has the hottest combustion temperature, and your pinging might return. Why it's pinging, I dunno; these things are hard to make ping. Unless it has some of those cheap Cofap pistons in it (has it ever been rebuilt?). They pretty much eliminate the quench zone that makes these motors so ping-free.

I tell ya, you can mess with these AFM's all over the place, they can be really far off, but with the O2 feedback working, it will run at lambda no matter what. The only times it doesn't normally is during warmup, decel, and when the TBS is closed by WOT. During warmup and WOT open-loop acceleration are the only times the AFM determines mixture directly (decel mode just shuts off the injectors completely).

But, without an O2 signal, the AFM is determining mixture all the time. The system is always open-loop then. Normally, they run a little to quite a bit richer without the lambda, but it's possible your AFM is off toward the lean side, and that could be the reason for your pinging.

When you get out this way, if you haven't got it straightened out yet, come by and we'll put my AFR monitor on it and see what exactly is going on.
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deprivation
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
No, what I'm saying is that without an O2 signal, the mixture will run richer, and the richer mixture will prevent detonation.

Well, yeah, I can just smell the exhaust and verify that! But at this time I don't think that the 02 itself is at fault. It seems to be working fine - the voltages it puts out are proper, the wire is good, etc...But when it's plugged in, it's exposing another weakness or misadjusted component.

I've looked at tons of other postings on not just on Samba but Vanagon.com and Bently forums, among others, and no one seems to have isolated a common cause for the Vanagon that runs better without the 02. However, I read on another Digifant-forum (Mercedes or maybe BMW, I think) that a few people cured this situation by tightening thier airbox up a few clicks. I think perhaps that a weak spring is not entirely unlike a vacuum/intake leak. Essentially you have unmetered air in the system. If the mix was entirely up the the 02, then the AFM wouldn't be necessary.

I haven't tried a spring adjust yet because my oil pressure is crap and I have to deal with that now (on an engine with 109k miles, for Petes sake).

Until we get the OP sorted out, our New Mexico trip is on hold. Crying or Very sad
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using an AFR gauge on my Harleys for years now (removed the useless ambient air temperature gauge they think is helpful). It's a great tool to "dial in" the carb's getting (jetting used to be a "seat of the pants" or expensive trip to the dyno guy).

Anyhow, "stoich" (point at which maximum air to fuel ratio produces max power) is set at 13.5; the factory and manual says this is optimum, ar what you want to strive for. Slightly leaner than your posting of 14.7.

Why the difference? I spent many a day changing the low jet on my Mikuni carb to get that stoich as close to the 13.5 reading (series of yellow-orange-red LED's: yellow indicates a too lean, orange is in the "stoich" range, and red indicates a rich mixture, which is 14 and above).

Perhaps the "stoich" indication I have on my AFR gauge is a different look at the AFR then "LAMBDA" ?

Just curious as to the difference. My bike runs and pulls great, and I'm getting about 40 to 42 MPG on the 95 ci Harley engine.

I've been thinking of installing an AFR in the Vanagon; I would just need to weld in another O2 bung in the cross connect header, then use another O2 to the AFR guage. Problem is, I don't see me doing any "dialing in" as I cannot re-program the brain box.Still, It could be used as an "early detection" of something going wrong in the fuel delivery/sensor/brain box area.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think perhaps that a weak spring is not entirely unlike a vacuum/intake leak. Essentially you have unmetered air in the system. If the mix was entirely up the the 02, then the AFM wouldn't be necessary.


No, unmetered air leaking into the system would cause the AFM flap to be deflected less, the same effect a stronger spring pressure would cause. That's what you do when you open the CO bypass screw, basically let air go around the metering device. That will make the basic mixture leaner.

A weak spring would allow the flap to be deflected farther for a given volume of air, making base mixture richer, but that's not like unmetered air, that's more like extra metered air!

The mixture seems to be almost entirely up to the lambda system, but it can't compute injector duration, it only works as an on/off correction function, and a relatively crude one at that. The ECU first has to use some mixture setting so the lambda has something to correct from. The AFM and rpm give the ECU that base mixture info, which changes with every change in rpm or load. I always thought that the lambda system had a limited range in which it could provide correction, so the load signal had to be fairly close to begin with, but I'm tellng you, it can be all over the place and lambda brings it back to center. I've had the return spring cranked down over half a turn of the gear, and though warmup idle was impossible and throttle response was very sluggish, the thing ran stoich anyway. But, during warmup and WOT modes, when the ECU runs open loop, the AFM setting is important, because rpms and AFM signal are the only data the EC has to use then, and there is nothing to correct it if it is wrong.

I think one of the big misconceptions that makes this harder to understand is thinking that the AFM is giving the ECU the raw data about air mass. That's not really what's going on. Knowing rpm is primarily how the ECU knows that, the AFM gives it modifying info on load (the flap/potentiometer voltage) corrected for air density (the intake air temp sensor). Between rpm and load, the ECU can find the basic injector duration in its mixture lookup table, but the rpm signal is the baseline.

Does your van cold-start and idle OK for the first few minutes until it goes closed-loop? If it does,your AFM is probably set pretty good, as that warmup idle is really the only obvious way you can tell without monitoring AFR.

I think you might be needing another ECU.

bucko sez:
Quote:
Anyhow, "stoich" (point at which maximum air to fuel ratio produces max power) is set at 13.5; the factory and manual says this is optimum, ar what you want to strive for. Slightly leaner than your posting of 14.7.

Why the difference? I spent many a day changing the low jet on my Mikuni carb to get that stoich as close to the 13.5 reading (series of yellow-orange-red LED's: yellow indicates a too lean, orange is in the "stoich" range, and red indicates a rich mixture, which is 14 and above).

Perhaps the "stoich" indication I have on my AFR gauge is a different look at the AFR then "LAMBDA" ?


I'm afraid you've got it turned around, me bucko. 13.5:1 AFR is richer, not leaner. Above 14.7:1 is leaner, as the ratio is AIR to FUEL. Higher number, more air, leaner mixture. And stoich isn't necessarily best power; it is where combustion of the hydrocarbons is complete, that's all. It also happens to be the hottest burn. Go either rich or lean and EGT will go down.

Stoichiometric is 14.7 with a pure octane fuel as a laboratory value. Pump fuels will vary somewhat, usually a bit to the richer range from 14.7 by a few tenths at most, which is actually good because that means that a lambda system that targets 14.7 will end up being slightly lean at high-vacuum/light load running with real-world fuels.

Your AFR monitor sounds like a narrow-band type, that is just graphing the non-linear voltage of a narrow-band O2 signal as the lambda system tries to keep it centered around 0.5V. It's basically a voltmeter with a graphic display instead of a number value. The funny thing about a narrow-band lambda feedback system, which is what is in our vans, is that it only knows when it is wrong, it can't tell when mixture is right and settle there. It is a classic negative-feedback system. So when there is excess oxygen in the exhaust, it sees it as too lean, and adds fuel, overshoots, then sees it as too rich, uses less fuel, then it's to lean, and back and forth. The thing that keeps it centered around but not on lambda is the response time of the O2 sensor. A quick sensor will tell the ECU quickly that it has overshot the right mixture, so the sine wave of the response is narrow. A sluggish sensor takes longer to reflect the incorrect mixture in its signal so the response waveform varies more widely over and under lambda.

A narrow-band monitor like you have will display mixture as correct when the waveform is narrowed closely around lambda, according to the parameters the display is programmed to. It only goes to the rich or lean indications on the display when the waveform exceeds some arbitrary limit. It's useful, in that like lambda itself, it can tell you when the mixture is wrong. It's inacapable of telling you when it's right. It's like a blind man negotiating an unknown room only by feel, trying to reach a door he's told is on the other side. He only knows he's off course when he bumps into the furniture; he keeps moving forward until he bumps into something else. At no time can he be sure he's heading on a clear course straight for the door opposite, but he knows when he's not.

You could use your existing O2 sensor on your van to drive a narrow-band monitor. It shouldn't be necessary to install a second sensor.

The AFR monitor I have is a wide-band unit. It uses a special sensor, which is installed on newer cars (if it has 5 or more wires it's a wide-band), that represents mixture in a direct linear fashion as a 0-5V signal. It has to be precisely temperature-regulated by a special controller, but then the output voltage can be converted to an AFR value, and it is highly accurate.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TENCENTLIFE wrote:


"You could use your existing O2 sensor on your van to drive a narrow-band monitor. It shouldn't be necessary to install a second sensor."

If I were to install a narrow band AFR and splice into the same O2 sensor, (near the connector) wouldn't that mess up (by adding resistance) the readings going to the VW's ECU?

I went and checked the gauge on the bike and yes, the rich side (red LED's) are lower stoich numbers, and the yellow (lean) are the higher.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
No, unmetered air leaking into the system would cause the AFM flap to be deflected less

Sure but what I was very clumsily trying to say is that if the AFM spring is weak, then the flap will open more easily and there will be LESS air in the system than the AFM knows about. In other words any amount of air that's being sucked OR NOT sucked into the intake pathway that the engine (by way of the AFM, for example) doesn't know about is essentially "unmetered" or better yet, unaccounted for.

So the O2, sees that there is too little air in the poop. The ECU checks to see how much air is being sucked in and it gets bad info because the AFM is out of wack and thus my engine misses and runs rich. Or would that cause it to lean out? Crap. Now I don't know.

Now that's my little half-assed theory.

But if I understand you correctly, you are saying that the AFM's role in the Digifant system doesn't work they way I've described. I had always thought that the AFM and the 02 were interpreted by the ECU as kind of a before/after mesurement: Here's how much air is going in to the system / and here's how much is coming out.

I've been reading Charles Probst and he covers how the AFM works but not specifically it's relationship to engine management: what does the ECU do with the info supplied by the AFM after warm-up?

You're saying the ECU doesn't do much with the info but rather it relies mostly on RPMs (Hall) and the lambda to alter ignition and mixture and the AFM info fine-tunes that data. Now that's interesting because most people tell you to NEVER, EVERY touch or molest your AFM because if you even look at it funny your engine will never run again and you will make baby Jesus cry, to boot.

New ECU, huh? I didn't know they could fail partially. Alright. First the oil buzzing and then the ECU.

As always, thanks and more thanks.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bucko, I haven't looked at the installation instructions for the narrowband monitors that are on the market, but I know I can clip a voltmeter probe to my O2 signal connector, leaving it connected to the ECU simultaneously, and read the signal voltage without having any effect on the operation of the feedback loop. You're measuring voltage between the signal wire and ground, not between the signal wire and ECU input, so reading the voltage doesn't add resistance to the circuit. The narrowband monitors are doing exactly the same thing as me with my voltmeter, they're just representing the info graphically.

I suppose your Harley did not have a lambda system so you had to add a sensor to drive the monitor, but I'm pretty sure you could just add the monitor to any narrowband lambda-equipped engine without the need for a separate sensor. Look at the instructions for the one you have; I think you'll see that it can be used that way.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew, the discussion has wandered so far offthread, and I would have to write a long article (it was half-written, but I gave up) to clarify your understanding of the AFM's role in the system, that I guess I'll stop here. My own understanding of it is growing almost daily, but it's hard to put the complexity of it into words. Hopefully, you'll get your OP sitch straightened out and come to our neck of the woods. Then we can sip wine and chatter on about this stuff at will.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tencentlife wrote:
Andrew, the discussion has wandered so far offthread, and I would have to write a long article

You're right. Rest yer fingers.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, beginning in December, I will be a semi-resident in the Irving/Dallas Texas area (relocating corporate headquarters).

Mind if I join you two? I've never been to New Mexico, and I hear the weather's fine. I can bring some nice bottles of local German wine I brought back with me from my trips over there.

I might be ready to install that engine you have up for sale.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on up anytime. I'm usually here (except when I'm not). Guests are always welcome. We'll try to make you not want to go home. I just last week turned my 19 year old nephew from NC into a chile addict in four days!
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