How to Set the Ignition Timing on a 1986 Toyota Cressida

The 1986 Toyota Cressida comes equipped with a 2.8-liter, six-cylinder engine. The ignition timing controls when the spark in the engine occurs. You can change the ignition timing of the engine with a simple procedure and a few tools. You should periodically check the ignition timing of your vehicle's engine as part of your routine maintenance. The 1986 Toyota Cressida has an ignition timing of 10 degrees before top dead center (BTDC). Use caution when adjusting the ignition timing and be careful not to damage or interference with the moving parts on your engine.

Tools Used: Timing light, Tachometer, Wrench

Set Ignition Timing

Turn your 1986 Toyota Cressida on by placing the key in the ignition. Turn off all electronic accessories such as the heater and radio off.

Place the transmission in neutral and engage the emergency brake. Turn the wheels to the left or the right as an additional safety precaution and bring the car engine to an idle speed of 650 rpm.

Open the hood of your car and connect the timing light and/or tachometer to the battery by placing the red clip on the positive terminal and the black clip on the negative terminal. Then, connect the timing light to the No. 1 spark plug and the main crank pulley.

Check and see where the timing mark on the pulley falls compared to the standard 10 degrees, which is the correct setting. Do not change the timing if it reads 10 degrees because that is the correct ignition timing on the Cressida.

Use a wrench to loosen the distributor lockdown bolt located by the base of the distributor housing.

Disconnect the distributor vacuum hose from the distributor housing. This will allow you to adjust the ignition timing correctly. Be careful not to disconnect any other vacuum hoses attached to other parts of the engine.

Rotate the distributor with your hand until the ignition timing on your Cressida aligns with 10 degrees BTDC.

Use your wrench to tighten the distributor lockdown bolt after you have set the timing to 10 degrees BTDC. Reconnect the distributor vacuum hose back to the distributor housing. Remove the timing light and/or tachometer from the battery, spark plug and main crank pulley.

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