Originally Posted by Steve796
Still not ideal on the timing. I got the timing marks to stay still so I imagine I was in timing mode. However they marks were showing up exactly at the top of the pulley so I turn the distributor all the way counterclockwise and was able to get the marks under the pointer to where it was about 20-25 degrees before TDC. But when I turn it that far it really slows down the car and it was about as fast as it was on 3 cylinders. So I put it back at my initial mark when I started the tear down and it runs great... Not sure what the deal is with the timing marks. Maybe idle is too high or too low???
Just because the timing marks are staying still doesn't mean the ECU is in timing mode. It just means the engine is running steady
I'm gonna guess that you aren't actually getting the ECU into the timing mode correctly.
Basically all this mode does is takes the ECU out of the loop for timing and idle speed, so the engine is running off of "base timing", in other words, what you set the distributor at, no advance, no ECU monkeying with the timing while you're trying to tweak it, etc. Same goes for the idle. When you're in timing mode, the ECU will command a specific setting for the IACV, and you tweak that value with the idle air bleed screw to get the right rpm.
One way to know if you're actually in the timing mode is after you set it up so you think you're in the timing mode, turn on everything electrical you can think of, A/C, headlights, blower motors, step on the brake, turn the steering wheel back and forth, etc. If you're actually in the 'timing set mode' and you do all of this at the same time, the engine will all but die on you because the ECU isn't trying to bump up the idle for you. If you're not in timing mode, the ECU will monkey with the IACV and try to maintain a nice smooth steady rpm.
Another thing that tips me off that you're not actually getting it into the timing mode, is that you're ending up setting it at around 20-25 degrees. That's the timing the ECU will try command while running at idle during normal operation, with the ECU doing the work. If you try to set 8-10 degrees with the ECU actually trying to do the work (e.g. not in timing mode), you'll actually end up about 10-15 degrees too far retarded and it'll run like crap.
Same goes for the idle. If the idle is too high, and you start messing with the timing, the ECU might already be commanding higher timing because it's got higher rev's to deal with, in which case you'll dial back the timing even farther and make it even worse.
What would really rock on these GA16DE engines/ECU's would be some sort of indicator that the ECU is in timing mode, such as flashing the CEL in a certain pattern. Even though I've done it a number of times, I still get tripped up once in awhile, and it aggravates me to no end.
On another note...you have read the setting the timing sticky, yes?