Helpp How Do I Adjust Distributor Bolt Car Running Rough And Bad MPG. Timing Angle Nissan

Posted in Ignition Systems

Hi, please help!

My distributor adjusting bolt is all the way to the left side of the car (viewing it if you were inside the car facing forward, meaning the LEFT side of the car). The bolt was not like that before the mechanic replaced the timing belt. How do I change it back to the original position? The original position was in the middle. Do I need to take off the distributor or any other component?

I was told once by a mechanic that the bolt has to do with the firing angle and the power the car can give in every cycle. If my bolt in my nissan is ALL the way to the left (to the battery side, the driver side), does that mean its “advanced” or “retard” the timing? How do tell if its either one or the other?

I read in an article of another nissan car, that if the bolt is exactly in the middle, thats the closest you can get to STOCK TIMING.

My car lacks power…and the MPG is horrible! Thats why I replaced the timing belt, plug wires(seiwa), spark plugs (denso), air filter, fuel filter, engine oil, transmission oil/filter.

yet, the car is still feeling rough…Can the bolt be the problem?

the history of the problem in my car is:

1. Tried to remove a plug wire to replace spark plugs(NGK) but the wire got ruined, it split.
2. Bought new plug wires (SEIWA, same as stock).
3. The car was still lacking power.
4. Changed spark plugs (NGK, properly gapped).
5. The car lack power…
6. Replaced engine oil.
7. Replaced air filter. Still lacked power. mpg was ugly!
8. Took it to a mechanic.
9. He replaced the timing belt(with 82K miles on it, the manaul says to replace it at 60K), fuel filter, transimission oil/filter. The Distributor adjusting bolt was MOVED all the way to the left, yet he told me he didnt touched THAT bolt!! Fortunately I took pictures before taking it to the mechanic, and yes…the bolt was in the center before taking it to the mechanic.
10. Replaced the O2 sensor.
10. The car was still lacking power He checked the spark plugs….and said they were OK.
11. I told him to clean and check th fuel injectors (maybe one of them was faulty).
12. He checked/cleaned them, told me that they were OK…
13. Now..he said that the problem was the spark plugs….he replaced them with DENSO.
14. The car still feels ROUGH when pressing the pedal. And also sounds ROUGH. Also, lacking power since Ive driven the car for 3 years now.
15. Now, Im thinking about adjusting the distributor bolt….MAYBE thats the problem.

In conclusion, Im guesing he did NOT adjust PROPERLY the timing in the QUEST. Maybe one of the points mentioned before was the problem, but when he replaced the timing belt, he could have missed maybe a tooth of the belt/sprocket…Yet he says the belt was properly replaced!

Do I just need a socket wrench to adjust the bolt? What is the normal procedure when doing this? Do I need to set TDC piston 1? Can I do this while the engine is running? Should I hear for SOMETHING when adjusting it? Is the center position the best one? STOCK?


1993 Nissan Quest GXE V6 VG30E

There are 2 Answers for "Helpp How Do I Adjust Distributor Bolt Car Running Rough And Bad MPG. Timing Angle Nissan"

    1. dick car guy says:

      if he missed a tooth the car would not run, the timing could be part of the problem, if you do not know how, and do not have a timing light, there is no way to explain it to you on this forum. it is not too hard or expensive find a local shop who is willing to help and will set the timing for a quick 25 bucks, also you need to replace the distributor cap and rotor, this is part of a tune up.

    2. John Paul says:

      if you move the distributor to the end of the slot approx 12 degrees that makes up for about one tooth off. Sorry Your picture tells the story. I would suspect a mistake was done when the timing belt was replaced. Nissan Factory Timing belts have a dotted line for the rear (right bank1)cam sprocket and two solid lines for (front bank2) cam sprocket and solid line for crank sprocket with mark at approx 7 o’clock key way pointing at bank 1 Nissan Timing belt is very hard to get wrong. To set timing we use a strobe light timing light to align the timing mark on the crank pulley turning the distributor with the motor runing. Many times poor running can be caused by a bad photo optic sensor inside the distributor. Some time you can see the rough running with a diagnostic Scope watching the Ignition wave forms break up