Mazda

Have a 1990 Mazda Miata. I believe it is out of time but I…

This answer was rated:
Hey I have a...

Hey I have a 1990 Mazda Miata. I believe it is out of time but I do not know how to set it correctly. Any pointers on how to set timing? Timing belt is set correctly I believe is it ignition timing that is off.

Mechanic's Assistant: How many miles are on the timing belt? Have you ever had to change it... Read full answer

Hey I have a 1990 Mazda Miata. I believe it is out of time but I do not know how to set it correctly. Any pointers on how to set timing? Timing belt is set correctly I believe is it ignition timing that is off.

Mechanic's Assistant: How many miles are on the timing belt? Have you ever had to change it before?

Well I swapped the engine on it witch only had about 40 k on it but timing belt looks brand new

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your Miata yourself? What have you tried so far?

Yes I am. I have replaced about everything on it. I changed the MAF, the CAS, fuel pump and filter, ECU, and spark plugs.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I believe that is all

Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Answered in 4 minutes by:
2/18/2019
Dan
Dan, Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 26,805
Experience: Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
Verified

Welcome to JustAnswer, my name is ***** ***** I'm here to help get your problem solved.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question

Here are instructions to adjust ignition timing, let me know if you have questions. Thanks.

-

https://www.dropbox.com/s/pjd1pyibn9l125u/timingadj.pdf?dl=0

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you for the info !! But the car isn't starting at all it just cranks but doesn't fire up how would I go about that. To me it sounds like it is out of time.Well I am not by the car right now but I am willing to call if I need to later on but what do you think could be the problem?

How did problem start? Just all of a sudden wouldn't start, replaced a part, you bought vehicle as is, ect? Thanks.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I bought the car with a messed up engine so I went ahead and got a new used motor with transmission that I bought threw an importor the engine has about 40 k miles on it and compression is good on all 4 cylinders.Since I have replaced the motor it hasn't started at all it just cranks but doesn't start. It's getting spark and fuel

Timing should not get off enough to where it doesn't start on this vehicle. What is compression reading? What year did engine come out of?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It reads about 120 on all 4 and the engine came out of a 97 but it's a jdm 97 so it is still a 1.6 but all the electrical components are the same one that the car came with. The car is a 1990 na

Have you tried to see if it will run on starting fluid?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
it doesn't. I got a timing light to check timing but I don't know how accurate it is when the engine isn't actually running but it was reading like a good 10 degrees to the right of the t markMaybe 5 degrees

I feel like vehicle should start, I'm not sure what is going on here. I'll open question back up to see if someone else has some ideas.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay thank you. And that's what I Am saying I am lost and need some professional help
keith cook
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 56
Experience: service technician at butler toyota
Verified

You need 10* before TDC(10* BTDC) at 850RPM. At a low cranking speed, you need a significant difference. Setting timing during cranking isnt really feasible. The crank angle sensor does not have enough adjustment to bring the timing far enough out to prevent the engine from running. Lets look elsewhere for the problem.

What makes you feel that the ignition timing is the problem? What I am asking is, what is happening that youre noticing?

I know you said you have fuel and spark, but please let me know what method you used to actually check and prove that you have this. Is the fuel fresh, or has it been sitting for awhile?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay well first the car does like it is about to start ,but doesn't sometimes. I have checked the fuel system by putting the key in the run position and opening the flap in the MAF witch when I do that I can hear the injectors going off. I don't know if that's the correct way to check but that's what I found when searching on how to check if the fuel system is working. I have checked for spark by just pulling the plug out and connecting a spark plug and cranking the engine and I can see spark very visibly. And I have also drained all the fuel out of it and put fresh 91 in it.

Sounds like we're on track except for checking for fuel actually making its way into the engine. The method you used will not tell us the answer to this question, and that may be our issue. I suggest cranking the engine over for 15 seconds, and immediately after pull a spark plug and check for fuel. The spark plug should be wet. We also need to check fuel pressure, and the combination of these two tests will tell us if we're good as far as fuel goes.

We need fuel getting into the cylinder, and it has to be at the proper pressure for atomization. If the fuel drips in, it wont combust. It has to mix with the air. So we need to check fuel presence INSIDE the cylinder, and pressure outside the cylinder.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
What do I need to check for fuel pressure inside and out ?I will check for the spark plugs and let you know what I figure out

We're checking fuel presence inside engine by cranking engine over for 15 seconds and immediately pulling a spark plug.

We're checking fuel pressure outside of engine with a fuel pressure gauge.

But lets start with checking fuel presence and then proceed.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Sounds good I will let you know what I figure outThank you for the help!!

No problem!

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay so I checked like you said and we are getting fuel the injectors smell like and look like it too

Great! We have compression you say (120psi on all 4 stated earlier), we have FRESH fuel in the gas tank and it's getting into the cylinders because the spark plugs are wet after 15 seconds of cranking, and we have GOOD looking strong spark, correct?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
everything you said is correct! So now we need to check fuel pressure right ?

Yes. The fuel could be just dribbling in, which wouldnt allow it to actually run and would make it seem like sometimes it wanted to as you mentioned earlier. Do you have a fuel pressure gauge you can hook up to the car?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
No but I can go to O'Riley's to rent one if I have to

You will probably end up having to do that. I would like to ask you a few questions first though. When you checked the timing belt, what information did you use to compare to yours to make sure your timing was correct? I'd like to double check your source.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I looked up how to check it and what I did was I found top dead center in the Motor with a long screwdriver through the spark plugs hole. Then I looked for the two letters on the cams I believe it was e and I and they both matched up correctly.

With the engine at TDC, you should have a mark pointing straight up on both cam gears. Underneath one mark that is pointing straight up, you should see an E. underneath the other mark that is straight up, you should see an I.

Afterwards, if you're looking at the front of the cam gears straight ahead, the cam gear to the left at the 5'oclock position, you should see an E with a mark above it on the gear, and it should line up with an E with an arrow on the cylinder head.

On to the cam gear on the right, you should see an I and a mark in the 7o'clock position, that is pointing to an I with an arrow on the cylinder head

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That's exactly what I did and everything looked perfect

We have verified everything but fuel pressure. Checking that is now a necessity to move foward

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Sounds good will do and I'll let you know

Thank you!

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you as well!!
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay so I got the fuel pressure tester where should I test it from? The line going to the rail or the one that's going to the fuel filter ?

Test at rail if possible

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay will do !
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Alright I did the test and it gave me 40 psi and I did it twice. I don't know what it should be reading but that seems a low to me?quick question with fuel line goes to the front of the rail ? The feed or the return ?

40PSI is great. The return line exits the regulator, the feed goes directly into the rail if memory serves me correctly.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay I had everything correct then ! But what could it be then ?? Since the fuel system tested out perfect.

You have compression, correct valve timing, ignition, and fuel(and fresh fuel at that). Your engine should be running!

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
That's what I am saying !!!

We could have weak spark (spark OUTSIDE the cylinder is way easier than making a spark happen INSIDE the cylinder) an incorrect amount of fuel due to a control issue (which i doubt, it should come close to running, or run and shut off normally with this type of issue) or we have something basic and simple mixed up, such as the plug wires

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I believe I have the plugs correctWhat's the correct way for the pugs to be on the coil ? I have from left to right 3,2,1,4

That is correct

The two coils may have interchangable connectors. In other words, you could have the plug wires correct but firing totally at the wrong time due to swapped coil connectors.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Well dang :/Okay so how can I make sure that I don't have that problem ?

I took a look at a wiring diagram of the ignition system to provide details on checking this, and from the looks of it, this theory would not be a possibility. We're going to assume this is ok and move on

Starter fluid does not make a difference, correct?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay. So what's our next step then ?

I'm pondering, and questioning if we have strong enough spark for combustion. having spark on a spark plug outside the cylinder, and having spark on a plug inside the cylinder can sometimes be two different things. A weak spark can jump a gap on a plug outside the cylinder quite easy, but when you add compression pressures and fuel the resistance changes.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Makes sense what you are saying. So what would be a better way of testing for spark and making sure it is good spark ?The spark plugs are new but the coil and the wires are the are the same one that I got with the engine

Seeing how starter fluid doesnt make much of difference lets dive into ignition for a bit.

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay let's do it!

Do you have a test light with a bulb(not an LED)? Do you have a helper to turn the key for you?

Ask Your Own Mazda Question

I want you to be extremely careful doing this. Do not get shocked, and more importantly, we were messing with the fuel system earlier - lets not mix sparks and fuel.

Unplug a spark plug wire off a spark plug that is connected to the left coil (either one of the two wires). Connect your test light anywhere to a good ground on the engine(not body). Hold the tip of the test light(it HAS to be one with an incandescent bulb - LED will be BAD!) very close to the end of the wire. Watch for spark as the helper cranks the engine, and slowly pull the tip farther and farther away and take note of how far the tip can get from the end of the plug wire before it can no longer jump the gap. Repeat this test for either one of the two wires connected to the right side coil

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Okay I will be very careful. I'll let you know what I see.Well my helper left.

It happens - maybe we can attack this some more at a later time

keith cook
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 56
Experience: service technician at butler toyota
Verified
keith cook and 87 other Mazda Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Yeah that's what is gonna have to happen. But thank you for all that you have done today I really appreciate all your hard work men !! Definitely gonna give you 5 starts and I will get in touch next time I have someone an time to do it. It been a pleasure Keith :)) until next time !

Thank you for the kind words! Have a good evening and we shall get this sorted later!

Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hey Keith I have been wanting to get working on the Miata again but I just have such a busy schedule. Hopefully we can get back to work on it tomorrow and see if we can figure this out. Just wanted to keep in touch.
Not a problem!
Ask Your Own Mazda Question
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hey how are you doing?
Still looking for an answer to your question? 
Similar Q&As
I am going to do a 180,000 mile water pump and cam belt type
I am going to do a 180,000 mile water pump and cam belt type maintenance on my 1993 Mazda Miata soon and I'm now confused about what anitfeeze to use. Are there any readily available compatible major … read more
Ron
Ron
Automotive Tech,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
38,956 satisfied customers
I have a 97 Miata that cranks no start issue. This started
I have a 97 Miata that cranks no start issue. This started after putting fuel in the car started moved about 20 ft stalled and has not run after that. It is a manual trans. It has 344,000 miles on it.… read more
Amedee
Amedee
Automotive Consultant,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
20,447 satisfied customers
Car cranks but no fire. 93 Mazda miata 1.6 liter. 93 Mazda
Yes I am! I've check all fuses,replaced coil packs and ecu with a known good one! I also have to ground the ecu to get my check engine light to display. … read more
Amedee
Amedee
Automotive Consultant,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
20,447 satisfied customers
Stop searching for answers—
Is there anything that I need to know about. What has to be
Is there anything that I need to know about. What has to be replaced when putting a 1.8l engine in a 91 miata that original had a 1.6l maybe a ecm for example. … read more
Julio Quispe
Julio Quispe
133 satisfied customers
1990 mazda miata has an intermittent problem that it seems
1990 mazda miata has an intermittent problem that it seems to loose fire for a few seconds. Usually when engine is still cold and on take off, but sometimes after engine is warmed up. Has never happen… read more
Richard Greer
Richard Greer
Vocational, Technical or Trade School
1,135 satisfied customers
Crank no start. Head Lights go up but won't turn on, fuel
Crank no start. Head Lights go up but won't turn on, fuel pump works resistance on coil is good, getting 12v to the maf, tps, to cas, and the coil, starter is good, getting power to ecu but no start … read more
Matt
Matt
Engineer,
Bachelor's Degree
16,576 satisfied customers
Get a personalized answer to your question. 
I have a 1993 Miata with sporatic starting issues. Over the
Hi, I have a 1993 Miata with sporatic starting issues. Over the coarse of 2 months, the car would crank, but not start. On 2 occasions, it stalled on while in the middle of a 90 degree turn onto anoth… read more
Chad Farhat
Chad Farhat
Owner,
Associate Degree
7,004 satisfied customers
No spark at cyl 1 and 4. 91 miata base. Ive replaced the
coils both ohm out fine, fuel pressure is correct, and all 4 injectors are firing fine. Oh I forgot I replaced the AFM also. Last thing is there are no cell codes. That is after clearing the computer and reattempting to start. … read more
Ricardo Hohl
Ricardo Hohl
Auto Motive Instructor,
Automotive tech
4,320 satisfied customers
It won't accelerate cold, 1999 and yes, Once it gets warm it
when cold the flat spot is so bad you can't accelerate or it will die … read more
sprinkles08
sprinkles08
Technician,
High School or GED
18,670 satisfied customers
Still looking for an answer to your question? 
I have to give my Miata gas to get it started like a
i have to give my Miata gas to get it started like a caburated car, it will idle and rev up normally when it's cold but once it's warms up it idles funny and when I rev it, it will stall out and die i… read more
Matt
Matt
Engineer,
Bachelor's Degree
16,576 satisfied customers
1999 Mazda Miata VIN: JM1NB3530X0126700 Issue: Engine
1999 Mazda Miata VIN: JM1NB3530X0126700 Issue: Engine shutdown at Hwy speeds with no indications other than a check engine light illuminating prior to it shutting down. There were no signs of overheat… read more
Amedee
Amedee
Automotive Consultant,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
20,447 satisfied customers
We have a 2006 Mazda miata. It needed an engine so we bought
Hi we have a 2006 Mazda miata. It needed an engine so we bought one and I came from a 2009 miata. We now have a problem. The new engine wont start as the spark is weak. I have been told my tech pulled… read more
JOHN aka Eauto
JOHN aka Eauto
self employed,
High School or GED
19,233 satisfied customers
Stop searching for answers—
When I try to take off in first gear I get a slow response
When I try to take off in first gear I get a slow response from the car as if it were under a lot of weight. it lags picking up any kind of speed. until 4000 rpms and then all the power in the world. … read more
Mike V.
Mike V.
technician,
Subaru and Nissan factory training.
29,018 satisfied customers
Mazda Miata: Im getting an intermittent spark. Ive replaced
I'm getting an intermittent spark. I've replaced the cam position sensor, the crank position sensor (swapped with another Miata) plus both ignition coils. Inductive pickup timing light shows intermitt… read more
Drew
Drew
Super Mazda Tech.,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
2,188 satisfied customers
mazda miata: my 1990 mazda miata cranks but does not start.
my 1990 mazda miata cranks but does not start. I have replaced fuel pump, fuel filter, and the air flow senser.… read more
Drew
Drew
Super Mazda Tech.,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
2,188 satisfied customers
Get a personalized answer to your question. 
93 miata: misfiring..we tested fuel pressure..vacuum leaks..injectors
my 93 miata is misfiring under any load. we tested fuel pressure, and there are no vacuum leaks. all the injectors test out. the plugs are clean. we have thoroughly checked all sensors that the ecu us… read more
Drew
Drew
Super Mazda Tech.,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
2,188 satisfied customers
1997 mazda 626: sedan..it shut down checked getting fuel and spark
i have a 1997 mazda 626 sedan 2.0l manual trans it shut down checked getting fuel and spark… read more
Drew
Drew
Super Mazda Tech.,
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
2,188 satisfied customers
MAZDA 6: SENSORS..I brang cyl 1..CRANK ANGLE ARE OUT IT CUTS THE SPARK
HEY GOT A MAZDA 6 IN OUR WORK SHOP THAT WAS TOED IN AND IT CUT OUT ON THE OWNER.TESTED FOR SPARK AND INJECTOR PULSE WITCH BOTH ARE THERE ON THE FIRST REVOLUTOIN AND THEN CUT OUT I HAVE CHECKED THE SEN… read more
Mazda Ed
Mazda Ed
ASE Certified Technician,
High School or GED
268 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I would (and have) recommend your site to others I was quite satisfied with the quality of the information received, the professional with whom I interacted, and the quick response time. Thanks, and be sure that I'll be back whenever I need a question answered in a hurry.

Stephanie PElm City, NC

used your service this weekend with "Trecers" help. thank you ,thank you, thank you. replaced an A/C fan motor. Local Auto Zone had part. $15.00 "tracer" fee and $40.00 for parts, I saved several hundreds of dollers at a shop. i will recommend you and use you in the future.

David L.Richmond, TX

9 dollars, 2 hours of my time, and I drove away. Your diagnosis was right on the mark. Thank you so much.

PhilMarysville, CA

Lurch. Thank you very much. I had real doubts about this website but your promptness of response, quick followup and to the point answer with picture was incredible.

CharlesWalnut Creek, CA

As a single woman, I really appreciate an excellent and affordable opinion.
Thank you Geordie, I will not hesitate to contact justanswer in the future!

SueCharleston, WV

Another great insight to what may be the problem. I will have my mechanic take a look at it tomorrow. Thanks again, Frank...you do indeed know your stuff.

JimCastleberry, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Drew

Drew

Super Mazda Tech.

2,188 satisfied customers

19 yrs. experience. Mazda Senior Certified Tech, with Ford, Linc. & Merc. experience. ASE L1 Advanced Certified Master Tech.

Chris (aka- Moose)

Chris (aka- Moose)

Technician

1,047 satisfied customers

16 years of experience

mazdamaster577

mazdamaster577

Master Technician

691 satisfied customers

mazda master/shop foreman for 15 years.

George H.

George H.

ASE Certified Technician

462 satisfied customers

15+Years

Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly

Mazda Mechanic

273 satisfied customers

17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.

Mazda Ed

Mazda Ed

ASE Certified Technician

268 satisfied customers

ASE Certified Mazda Master Technician

Tim Mohr

Tim Mohr

ase master

246 satisfied customers

30 yrs experience in Foriegn and Domestic, Gas and Diesel

< Previous | Next >

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less
Chris

Chris

Master Mechanic

16 years repairing domestic, foreign and luxury cars

55,345 Satisfied Customers

Pearl avatarPearl, Assistant