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Adjusting base timing - Service Connector Vs Paper clip

1999 Acura Integra with 100k

The base timing has not been adjusted since the car was made.

Service Connector needs to be shorted before adjusting the timing. Here is the instruction:

I used the paper clip but it never worked! Any thoughts?

Secondly am I correct that I need to align with the Red mark (you see two pic on the above link - mine looks like the one at the bottom)? Also would you recommend me to try to adjust this? The part from honda (instead of paper clip) is $25.

I would recommend that you not mess with it.

That connector might be the most expen$ive $25 that you ever tried to save.

If you are trying to modify your car for more power, you need advice from people on a board dedicated to doing this. Messing with the stock timing will not improve your car if it is stock.

If you are having a problem with your car, tell us about the problem.

Seems there is some mis-communication here.

All I wanted is routine adjustment - I had timing belt done - but now, I learnt that the mechanic did not adjust the base timing. Should this be done?


There is no reason to adjust the base timing after replacing the timing belt.

I disagree with the others. There is no magic or great danger in checking the base timing. After 15 years, it may have wandered, especially after a timing belt change. The distributor runs off the intake camshaft, so a timing belt change can affect ignition timing. The $25 connector may just be the biggest bargain part you buy for this car. Especially when you cannot get the paper clip to work. And, the red mark is the one you should set the base timing to. The red mark for 16 deg BTDC is the correct setting.

I agree there would be no harm in checking the base timing but I think replacing the timing belt, if done properly, would tend to bring the base timing back into spec if an issue with the timing belt had caused it to go out of spec, which is unlikely. I personally would leave it alone.

Apparently I need to keep the ignition on when inserting the paper clip - this is what I didn’t do right.