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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 minutes

Tools: Timing light and wrench or socket to loosen and tighten distributor bolt

Summary: How to check the timing on the '02 to '04 Nissan Xterra VG33E Engine





Comments: I'll edit this as soon as I get the info on the exact wrench/socket size and/or specialty tool to loosen the distributor bolt
 

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nice!!
 

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Can someone confirm that my timing should be at 10* + - 2* at idle with the TPS unplugged. Thanks. Oh yeah, Do timing lights work when it's 10* outside? LOL! kidding:kalt-big:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
That 10 degrees is right out of the manual.
 

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After following the steps above, should my timing light be set to 0 or 10? Also, it appears that there are 3 bolt connecting the distributor, 2 on left and 1 larger one on the right with a phillips slot on the top. Do all 3 need to be loosened? One last thing, am I the only one who can't read the damn numbers on the balancer?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It should be 10 degrees. Also, no, they aren't shown IIRC, so you go by the pic above to know what they are. Look down from the front of the engine, left to right, it's 0, 5, 10, 15, and 20 degrees and all you'll see is the notches in the crank pulley.

Mine was always dead on so I never had to loosen the distributor to change it so I'm not sure on the three bolts.
 

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I'm missing you on IIRC. I guess what I'm saying is, if my light is set to 10* will the notch show 0* and if my light shows 0* will the notch show 10*? If timed properly of course.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
IIRC - If I Recall Correctly......sorry

So, you have a timing light with the advance feature, so, I believe you set it to 0 degrees advance and then aim at the crank pulley and the center timing indicator pointer (that metal thing above the crank pulley in the pic above) should be at 10 degrees,
 

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Thanks. Thats what I figured.
 

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Hey all - be sure to check the sticker under your hood. Mine says timing should be 15 degrees BTDC (2000 X, 2WD, auto, 3.3L).

Which way do I rotate the distributor to advance it from 7 degrees to 15 degrees?
 

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2001 is 10*
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks. I'll edit the original post to reflect the models.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Does the vehicle need to be in OBD mode?


Sent from my command center
You just need to follow the instructions as they are shown. It's right out of the service manual. Nothing else special to do.


NOTE:
One other thing. I will check the '00 & '01 manual to make sure the procedure is the same and check the timing spec also for those years.
 

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the bolt to loosen to adjust is a 12 mm head. just adding to an old thread. And the 3 bolts he is talking about, 2 hold the cap on, that what you loosen to change and view the rotor and its position. The 12 mm bolt is to the right, tucked down about 6". you'll see it down there. Also it has a groove for the bolt to slide thru while adjusting.
 

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thanks for the info I hate trying to read the manual on this 11 inch laptop screen (scroll city ) would it be safe to use the odb reader using live data to set the timing or do i really need to go find a timing light ?
 

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I don't think the ECU can read ignition timing, only coil on plug engines can.
 

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the code reader i have does live data from the engine. coolant temps / throttle position / sensor levels and reports timing advance ...when i checked the timing with the tps disconnected it dropped to exactly 10 degrees. when connected it reports ranges from 12 to 25 degrees... I know ideal would be for me to have a timing light to compare but fixed income/medical bills reduces me to fuel and food...sigh, no builds for the old guy ;)
 
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