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Setting Mazda 323 Ignition Timing

Q. My husband just bought our 17 year old Mazda 323. It had a blown head gasket which he fixed. We know that it needs a new muffler and exhaust. The car runs okay but lacks power and has trouble accelerating while going uphill. My husband has checked the catalytic converter and has completely removed the exhaust thinking that it was clogged and that could be the problem.

Setting Mazda 323 Ignition Timing

Another question is when he checks the timing it says to disconnect the vacuum lines to the distributor and to disconnect the black connector but there are at least two if not three black wires connected to the distributor. Can you help us to pin down which one needs to be disconnected?

  • 1989 Mazda 323
  • 1.6 liter
  • Manual transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Thanks...

A. Here is the complete ignition timing procedure.

  1. Warm up the engine to normal operating temperature.
  2. Turn all electrical loads off.
  3. Disconnect the vacuum hoses from the vacuum control unit and plug the hose.
Setting Mazda 323 Ignition Timing
  1. Connect a tachometer to the engine and connect a jumper wire between the test connector (Green 1-pin) and ground. Check the idle speed. The idle speed should be 85050 rpm.
  2. If the idle speed is not to specifications, proceed as follows:

    1. Remove the blind cap from the air adjusting screw and adjust it.
    2. After adjusting the idle speed, install the blind cap and disconnect the jumper wire from the test connector.

  3. If not already done, remove the wire from the test connector.
Setting Mazda 323 Ignition Timing
  1. Connect a timing light to the engine and check the ignition timing. The initial timing should be 12°1°BTDC.
  2. If the ignition timing is not within specifications, loosen the distributor body installation bolt and adjust the ignition timing by turning the distributor.
  3. Connect the vacuum hose to the vacuum control unit.
  4. Connect a jumper wire between the test connector (Green 1-pin) and ground.
  5. Ensure that the transmission is in neutral, then check the idle speed. The idle speed should be 85050 rpm.
Setting Mazda 323 Ignition Timing
  1. If the idle speed is not within specification, remove the blind cap from the air adjusting screw and adjust it.
  2. After adjusting the idle speed, install the blind cap and disconnect the jumper wire from the test connector.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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