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Jaxer Smith
Jaxer Smith, Auto Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1272
Experience:  17 Years Experience and presently own and operate an auto repair service center
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1991 ford tempo: 2.3L..timing marks are not where the book says they

Resolved Question:

1991 ford tempo 2.3L timing marks are not where the book says they're supposed to be. Where are they?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Jaxer Smith replied 9 years ago.


NOTE: Do not change the ignition timing by the use of a different octane rod without having the proper authority to do so as federal emission requirements will be effected.

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface. Firmly apply the parking brake and block the wheels to prevent accidental movement.
  2. Place transmission in PARK or NEUTRAL. Make sure no accessories are on, and that the A/C and heater are in the OFF position.
  3. Locate the timing marks on the harmonic balancer/crank pulley on the front of the engine. These marks resemble grooves in the balancer/pulley. Once you have found them, mark them with white paint for easy identification. In addition, if equipped with a manual transaxle, timing marks can be found on the flywheel, and on the converter assembly if equipped with an automatic transaxle. These marks are visible as grooves through the hole in the transmission case. To view the mark on the flywheel/converter assembly, the cover plate must be removed. If the cover plate is dirty, clean area with a wire brush before removing.
  4. Connect an inductive timing light to the engine using the tool manufacturer's instructions. Make sure the wires will not get caught in any moving parts when the engine is started.
  5. Connect a tachometer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Make sure no wires can get caught in any moving parts when the engine is running.
  6. Disconnect the in-line spout connector between the distributor and the control module in the interior of the vehicle. The spout is located near the distributor, and can be identified by the single wire connector.
  7. Loosen the distributor retaining bolt.
  8. Start the engine and allow it to idle until normal operating temperature is reached.
  9. Using the timing light. point the light at the harmonic balancer/crank pulley to check the timing. The light could also be pointed at the flywheel/converter assembly to check the timing. Check to see whether the groove and pointer align evenly. If they do not, the timing should be adjusted.
  10. If the timing needs adjustment rotate the distributor in either direction until the timing marks align correctly.
  11. Once the timing is set, reconnect the spout connector and check with the timing light to make sure the timing is now advancing past the initial setting.
  12. With everything functioning properly, the timing light and tachometer can be disconnected and removed from the engine compartment.
    Fig. 1: Timing pointer and marks located at front of engine

    Fig. 2: Manual transaxle flywheel timing marks

    Fig. 3: Automatic transaxle converter assembly timing marks

    Fig. 4: Location of inline spout connector


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Sorry, I've got the same book. Problem is, there is NO mark on the harmonic balancer; cut nick scratch paint or otherwise. Matters worse,there is no gage piece above the harmonic balancer, not even a broken weld to indicate one had ever been there. On the back of the engine where the flex plate is, there should be a window on the top somewhere. There isn't. Not even an outline of where it might be. I can't even find a place to put in a magnetic pickup.
Expert:  Jaxer Smith replied 9 years ago.
Is this the original engine. Reason for asking is it may be a different year engine and that might be what is throwing both of of off.... If you have the vehicle VIN# XXXXX can cross check the year if that helps.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
engine placard 911524 CZ
with numbers F23B(R maybe?) then 153 then something that could be HA