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Hammer Time
Hammer Time, L1 Master Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 4942
Experience:  ASE Mastertech with Adv level Engine performance cert.
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how do you set the timing on a 1991 honda civic

Customer Question

how do you set the timing on a 1991 honda civic
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Hammer Time replied 11 years ago.

onda recommends that the ignition timing be checked every 60,000 miles (96,500 km) and adjusted (if necessary).

On all Civic series engines the timing marks are located on the crankshaft pulley, with a pointer on the timing belt cover. All are visible while looking at the driver's side of the engine compartment. The timing is checked with the engine warmed to operating temperature-176°F (80°C)-idling in Neutral (manual transaxle) or Drive (automatic transaxle), and with all vacuum hoses connected.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 1: Timing mark location on the timing cover and crankshaft pulley-1984-87

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Fig. 2: Clean the notches prior to setting the timing. This will make identifying them much easier

1988-91 MODELS

Except CRX

See Figures 7 through 10

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Fig. 7: Location of the service check connector for 1992-95 models-shown is post-1993 model which also includes a 3-pin data link connector

  1. Start engine and allow to reach normal operating temperature (cooling fan comes on).

  2. Remove the YEL rubber cap from the ignition timing adjusting connector. This is located at the rear of the engine compartment on 1988-89 models or under the right side of the dash on 1990-91 models.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 8: Location of the ignition timing adjusting connector-1988-91

  1. Connect a jumper wire between the BRN and GRN/WHT terminals of the connector.

  2. Connect a timing light and check timing using the red timing mark.

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Fig. 9: Aim the timing light at the crankshaft pulley-1988-91

  1. Timing should be:

    • All Models Except Wagon-16-20° BTDC 675-750 rpm

    • Wagon Models Except 1988 4WD-16-20° BTDC 700-800 rpm

    • 1988 4WD Wagon-16-20° BTDC 675-750 rpm

  1. Adjust timing as needed, by turning the distributor counterclockwise to retard the timing, clockwise to retard the timing.

  2. Turn engine off, remove jumper wire and install the rubber caps.

Click image to see an enlarged view
Fig. 10: Timing mark locations on the timing cover and crankshaft pulley-1988-91