I have a 1998 Toyota Corolla complete with a 1.3 4E-FE engine. As far as I can tell this is the 2nd generation 4E-FE engine with a distributorless set up. I'm in the process of modifying the car as well as attending to various mechanical issues that need some attention.

One area I wanted to at least play about with is advancing the timing on this engine. From what I can gather people have had great success with advancing the timing with this engine when it's been in a Toyota Starlet, and while it's not going to uproot any trees advancing the timing does make the engine a little bit more responsive and gives it a bit more power.

The problem though is that when people are talking about advancing the timing on these engines, they refer to the distributor cap. With my engine I don't have a distributor cap, so I can't use the aforementioned method.

The question I have is how else can I tinker with the timing of this engine with that particular set up, or is this something that's not possible without heavy modifications to the ECU?

  • 1
    In most cases like this, it would be done through programming the ECU. The "timing" mechanism is most likely set in place, plus it isn't used specifically for only timing of the distributor, but to know where the crankshaft/camshafts are at at all times ... moving the sensor would muck things up. Jun 29, 2017 at 10:29
  • It's not really an answer, and more of an educated guess on my part. Let's see if someone else has a more authoritative answer. Jun 29, 2017 at 10:59
  • All distributor-less ignition systems timing has do be done in the ecu software, unless you want to move the crank sensor.....
    – Moab
    Jul 2, 2017 at 1:37


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