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5X Racing Adjustable Timing Wheel

Question:
I insatlled the adjustable timing wheel advanced the timing on my 04 Miata to +14 deg.BTDC. Runs great. One thing though. When I check the timing with a OBD-II scanner the timing data output is still around +10deg. Can you explain this? (thanks Phil M!)

Answer:
What you've done (correctly) is purposely mis-calibrate a sensor. The OBD-II system is reading the timing off that crank sensor, assuming that the trigger teeth are where they're supposed to be. But thanks to you, they're not. So the car has no idea the timing has been changed. You advanced the timing wheel 4 degrees, so it will be 4 degrees ahead of what the OBD-II readout says. (thanks Keith T.!)

Question:
I bought one of your adjustable timing wheels a few months ago. I got around to getting it installed last week. This week my car won't stay running. It is a stock '01 Miata LS. Timing is set to ~13 deg.

Answer:
If the timing wheel was installed backwards, the engine will definitely run badly as the timing would be WAY off. If you didn't at install, I'd suggest reading over our installation guide for the timing wheel and make sure that you have the wheel on correctly. Here's a link to the install guide PDF: http://5xracing.com/files/tech/timing-wheel-install-guide.pdf
Also take our timing wheel and match it up to your OEM timing wheel by holding them together. You'll see that they should match up identically with the exception of ours having slots instead of holes for the bolts. These slots allow for the "clocking" of the wheel, which alters the original position of the wheel in relation to the crank angle sensor. The wheel can be installed backwards (there should have been a "this side out" sticker on it), and if it is, the timing would be all wrong causing the engine to run terribly (if at all). Be sure to install our wheel the same way your OEM wheel was removed.
Aside from that, I've personally experienced issues when the crank angle sensor is not adjusted correctly, or being very dirty. An FYI, the crank angle sensor is simply a electromagnet that is "seeing" the tabs of the wheel as they pass by, which it then tells the ECU where the crank location is during its rotation. The ECU bases its outputs on this (and many other things). If the sensor is not getting a good "read" of the tabs on the wheel, it will not be able to provide good feedback to the ECU. Long story short, you want to make sure this sensor is clean, and as close as possible to the tabs on the wheel. My advice is to clean the tip of the sensor, then rotate the crankshaft so the tab of the wheel is under the sensor tip. At this time, loosen the 10mm bolt holding the sensor in place and rotate it as close to the tab on the wheel as possible. Please make sure the sensor will not hit the tabs though, this would be very bad!

Question:
I'm interested in the adjustable timing wheel. Just a couple of questions

  • Can it be left in the advanced position for everyday driving without any issues?
  • Will there be any issues with it advanced at 6500-7200 Rpm?
  • Have you tried it on the vvt engine at all?
    The reason I'm asking is because I use my 2002 miata as a daily driver and as a track car, however it's more set towards track though. I have a fidanza lightened flywheel too which makes a massive improvement and hits redline a lot quicker. So I just want to be sure there wouldn't be an issue around redline Rpm.

Answer:
Our timing wheel will be fine for your daily driven 2002. You will only experience greater performance at a low cost! I have used it on our daily driven 1999 Miata development car for the last few years set to 14 degrees advanced. Our car has a full race built 10.5:1 compression engine, as well as the same flywheel you have (if you want to know more about that, see our build blog here: http://5xracing.com/n-7864-project-miata-streetfighter-vol-2-the-foundation.html). We do have a timing wheel on our 2002 swapped 99 that my father drives everyday and works just fine. There's no danger in advancing the ignition timing unless you go very radical with the setting and run low octane - or bad - fuel. Low octane fuel burns faster and could cause pinging if the timing is set too high, which is why we recommend running 93 octane when you use our wheel and set it to advanced (basically, if you're experiencing "pinging" you should either use higher octane fuel, or lower the ignition timing closer to the stock 10 degrees setting). It's quite a complex subject, and long story short we've dyno tested the wheel on our 99 when it had its 172K mile stock engine installed and found 5hp and 6 ft/lbs of torque by advancing the timing to 15 degrees, however we run it at - and recommend - setting it at 14 degrees for a daily driven car for the sake of the inconsistencies in pump gas. If you truly want to explore the theory behind ignition timing relative to a Miata, here's a good article I found that explains it thoroughly: http://www.miata.net/garage/KnowYourCar/S10_Timing.html

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