How to Set the Timing on a 1988 Ford Ranger 2.0

You should occasionally check the ignition timing on your 1988 Ford Ranger for maintenance purposes. The ignition timing determines when the spark will occur in your Ford Ranger's 2.0-liter internal combustion engine. The ignition timing for the 1988 Ford Ranger with a 2.0-liter engine is 6 degrees before top dead center (BTDC). You should set the ignition timing carefully without interrupting the vital components and operations of your pickup truck.

Tools Used: Timing light, Tachometer, Wrench

Set Timing

Put your key in the ignition of your Ford Ranger and turn the car on. Turn all car accessories off, including the radio and air conditioning/heat.

Bring the engine to warm idle speed.

Put your transmission in neutral and engage the emergency brake.

Connect the timing light and/or tachometer to the Ford Ranger's battery, No. 1 spark plug and the main crank pulley.

Check where the timing mark on the pulley falls compared to the standard 6 degrees it should be.

Loosen the distributor lockdown bolt with your wrench. The lockdown bolt will be located by the base of the distributor housing.

Disconnect and plug the distributor vacuum hose. You can disconnect the two wire connector at the ignition module and install a jumper across the yellow-and-black wires if the distributor vacuum hose is already in use.

Rotate the ditributor with your hand until the timing mark drifts into 12 degrees BTDC.

Tighten the distributor lockdown bolt with your wrench once you have set the timing to 12 BTDC. Connect and plug in the distributor vacuum hose or the two wire connector. Remove the timing light, jumper cables and/or tachometer.

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