Having a hard time aligning the bottom pointer with the V above it while setting the ignition timing.

They’re supposed to line up with the middle line of the three |||

Is this close enough or should I keep trying?enter image description hereenter image description here

  • What is the year/make/model/engine of the vehicle in question? Aug 29, 2021 at 0:40
  • 98 Honda Civic D16Y8 engine
    – ohmmy
    Aug 29, 2021 at 1:19
  • From the drawing, it looks like the three lines are at 10, 12 and 14 degrees. So if you are outside the range of the lines, yes you should keep trying! The "trick" is to spend some time before you start the engine, and adjust the distributor clamping bolts so it will turn smoothly but not slip out of position while you stop moving it.
    – alephzero
    Aug 29, 2021 at 2:01
  • Why are you having a hard time? Can you get the timing mark to move?
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 6:57
  • @HandyHowie Am I supposed to line up both pointers or can use either one? Trying to line up the bottom in between the top V is making it difficult
    – ohmmy
    Aug 29, 2021 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Following the discussion in the comments, I can now see what you are asking.

It looks like there is a pointer lower down in the shadow of your photo. As you described in the comments you should use the V and the pointer like a gun sight. This is to ensure you are looking from the correct angle. You should be able to get all 3 markers in alignment.

If it makes things easier to see, add a white paint spot on the lower pointer and on the pulley.

You need to get them perfectly aligned, not just somewhere near.

  • Thanks. I couldn’t find anywhere anyone mentioning aligning both pointers like a gun sight. Makes it little trickier to align to the crankshaft mark. The diagram says needs to be at 12 degrees +/- 2. Does that mean you can get it close to the middle mark (12 degrees) and still be within spec and not notice a difference in how the car runs?
    – ohmmy
    Aug 29, 2021 at 13:28
  • Yes, as close as possible, to 12, but no less than 10 and no greater than 14. I have no guide as to what the pulley marks mean on your car engine, do you know what they mean? It shouldn’t be difficult to get it spot on 12.
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 13:59
  • I believe the left mark is advanced and right one retarded. When I try to set it directly in the middle the car runs a little weak on power. If I set closer to the left mark it runs better
    – ohmmy
    Aug 29, 2021 at 14:01
  • Maybe I should have been a bit clearer in what I said. I understand one will be advanced and the other retarded, but by how much, 1 degree, 2 degrees, 4 degrees each mark?
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 14:03
  • Advancing the timing will likely improve power, but it can also cause damage to the engine if too far out.
    – HandyHowie
    Aug 29, 2021 at 14:04

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