The turbo diesel kind of engine is a favorite of enthusiastic motorists from Europe and Asia. This is because of the fact that diesel engines are more economical to run compared to a comparable gasoline engine and produce greatly more torque which is responsible for the massive pulling power that TDI (turbocharged direct injection) and other diesel engines are known for. Diesel engines have greatly lower NOx (Nitrous Oxide) emissions than a petrol powered vehicle, and the availability of low sulfur diesel fuel in the market further lowers the occurrence of black smoke and soot.
If a sudden loss of power is experienced or excess smoke is evident on the tailpipe, then adjusting the timing could bring improvements and sort out the power issue. Please take note that different makes and models of diesel engines will make the procedure to differ, but the basic fundamentals are almost the same.
How to Adjust the Timing
Brand new vehicles and trucks equipped with a turbo diesel engine will generally be tuned towards a modest power input with little or no smoke but should be adjusted as the engine piles up on mileage. This is accomplished by adjusting the pump to addup the flow of fuel in the combustion chamber to generate power. However, engine timing should equally be measured and adjusted to generate the desired effect.
Step 1 – Warm-up
Start the engine and allow it warm to a normal operating temperature. Shut the engine off when it is fully warm. Never try the following procedures with your engine running, as this could result to serious engine trouble and costly damage on the injection pump gear train.
Step 2 – Mount the Luminosity Probe
Diesel engines depend on a timing meter that employs luminosity and magnetic probes to properly detect ignition patterns. A proper diesel timing meter is an important tool to accurately read ignition timing. With a timing meter at hand, carefully take out the appropriate glow plug and install the luminosity probe.
Step 3 – Connect the Meter to Car Battery
Power the meter through the engine battery and mount the magnetic probe in the front cover holder. Ensure no cables are dangling and are in the way of the engine fan to stop accidents when the engine is started.
Step 4 – Inspect Existing Timing
Start the engine and check the timing on various intervals to establish an accurate baseline for analysis.
Step 5 – Adjust Engine Timing
Turn the injection pump to increase or decrease engine timing as required. This is often accomplished by loosening the bolts and rotating the injection pump in small increments either clockwise or counterclockwise. Re-tighten the bolts after adjustment.
Step 6 – Observe and Assess
Stay to observe idle clatter and smoke before going for a test drive. A lean burn is often preferred for the perfect balance of less smoke and ideal power delivery. Refer to your car owner’s manual for proper timing figure.
Adjusting the timing on a turbo diesel engine is easy, but it does need some technical knowledge and proper diagnostic equipment to properly accomplish. Remember that proper tuning can only be gotten through numerous adjustments and test drives to properly know the right increment that strikes the balance between power, fuel economy, and emissions.