Setting Ignition Timing/steering Problem


Old 01-14-03, 08:31 PM
thiggy's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Alabama
Posts: 718
Setting Ignition Timing/steering Problem

Car: 1988 Mustang, 2.3 4 cyl, EFI, 5-speed. My daughter brought me her car because it had very little power and the steering was quite loose. This was my first time to see this car which has a lot of maintenance issues. The air filter was a bit dirty, but I tapped dust out and decided this wasn't the first priority. I replaced the spark plugs, ignition cables, all drive belts and the timing belt. I was careful to have all timing marks aligned when installing the new belt, but I am not certain that I did not slightly move the auxiliary pully which drives the distributor. After I buttoned everything up the engine cranked readily enough and ran smooth, but a drive around the block indicated a severe power shortage. I hooked up my timing light which showed that the ignition timing is significantly retarded. Well I am of the old school when it comes to autos, and I am more at home with pre-electronic ignition systems. I thought the thing to do was just loosten the distributor and adjust the timing. Well, I couldn't see any clamp which would permit such an adjustment. If there is no distributor adjustment, how can the timing be properly set? The specifications indicate that it should be 10 deg. BTDC. I have poured over Autolibrary but couldn't resolve my quandry. Does anyone have any experience with this application who may offer advise?

Topic #2 - loose steering. I was expecting a trashed tie rod end or some such component, but the problem is in a flexable connector between the rack & pinion and the steering shaft. There is a round rubber donut which acts as a universal joint. This has hardened and is broken, causing much slop in the steering. In fact, it is quite dangerious. My question is what is this rubber donut and the accompaning joint called when I go to purchase repair parts? (Autolibrary did not address this.)
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Old 01-14-03, 11:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 2,538
there is a hold down clamp on the distributer just look closer it is kinda hard to get to without a distributer wrench, make sure you disconnect the spout connector before adjusting as it says on the under hood sticker.
Old 01-15-03, 03:52 AM
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Do as BeJay said.

The other part is called a "coupling" or in slang "rag joint". Just explain to the dealer's parts department and they will pull up a photo on the parts computer and find it in a jiffy.

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