Timing Adjustment - No Tools Needed

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Poolside, May 11, 2005.

  1. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>Well ok, not really no tools, but only two wrenches.

    NO electronic tools needed, and NO electrical knowledge.

    AND no need to remove the fuel tank.

    Setting the timing uses a 'feature' of the 1150 Motronic ECU. It works on '01 and '02. But I do not know how widespread the 'feature' is across other model years.

    Edit: The process is slightly different for the 1100. The difference appears in orange text in post #2.
    If your interested, the details are discussed starting at post #42.
    If you want to cut to the chase, read the last part of post #48.


    Here's the deal. You know how the crank pulley trips the hall-effect sensors right?

    Well, if the ignition key is on, and the crank is turned slowly by hand, at the moment the crank pulley trips the hall-effect sensor, the Motronic will switch the fuel pump on for a moment.


    Roughly the process is:

    Ignition key off
    Unplug the headlight
    Remove the flywheel viewing plug in the bell housing
    Remove the alternator belt cover
    On the 1150: Rotate the crank by hand to a little before the 'S' mark (5° BTDC) on the flywheel
    On the 1100: Rotate the crank by hand to well beyond the 'OT' mark (TDC) on the flywheel
    Turn the ignition key on - the fuel pump will cycle normally
    Rotate the crank very s-l-o-w-l-y by hand until the fuel pump cycles again
    On the 1150 ROTATE CLOCKWISE until the fuel pump cycles again
    On the 1100 ROTATE COUNTER-CLOCKWISE until the fuel pump cycles again
    The crank is now at the hall sensor trip point - in this case that is also the static timing point
    Look at the flywheel marking to see where the static timing is set
    Adjust if necessary


    Pictures and details to follow.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #1
  2. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>----------------------------------
    Tools needed

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Turn the ignition off.

    Reach up under the instrument panel and unplug the headlight. This step is optional, at your discretion. I prefer to unplug the headlight. If a timing adjustment is performed, the ignition key will be on a while.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Remove the black plastic front engine cover. Behind the cover are the crankshaft pulley, hall effect sensor adjustment, and alternator belt tension adjustment.

    TIP: If an aftermarket shock is fitted, the shock may be too close to the front cover. If so, the lower mounting bolt may be removed to tilt the shock out of the way of the front cover. If a stock shock is fitted, there is enough clearance to remove the front cover.

    IMPORTANT: Think about this. If removing the lower mounting bolt of the front shock, be sure the rear of the bike is weighted so that the bike will not tip forward. And, it helps to have another person to lift up on the front wheel to remove the shear load from the shock bolt.

    After the front engine cover is removed, replace the shock bolt for safety.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    For the 1150: Rotate the crank until you see the 'S' mark on the flywheel in the bell housing hole. (This picture is staged with the technician on the left side of the bike. You may find it easier to do this from the right hand side of the bike.)

    For the 1100: Rotate the crank well beyond the TDC mark.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    For the 1150: This is the 'S' mark on the flywheel. The 'S' mark is 5° Before Top Dead Center (BTDC).

    For the 1100: The 'S' mark is Before TDC. For the 1100 continue rotating the crank well beyond the TDC mark.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Turn the ignition key on. The fuel pump will cycle normally. And if you unplugged the headlight, the headlight will not be on.

    For the 1150: S-L-O-W-L-Y rotate the crank clockwise. After about 5° of rotation the fuel pump will cycle.

    For the 1100: S-L-O-W-L-Y rotate the crank counter-clockwise. After some reverse rotation the fuel pump will cycle. The details of the 1100 procedure appear in post #48.

    You can see that 5° is not very far. If while turning you over-rotate the crank by some amount, just reverse the crank 5 degrees and try again. This is a light-handed maneuver.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Take a look at the flywheel mark again. If the timing is correct, the 'OT' mark will be lined up in the center of the viewing hole. The 'OT' mark is Top Dead Center (TDC).

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Ok. Repeat the last two steps a few times. The fuel pump will cycle each time the crank pulley crosses the sensor trip point.

    Each time the fuel pump cycles, stop and look at the location of the flywheel mark. Slowly repeat the process of crossing the sensor trip point, and checking the flywheel mark. After some number of tries, the final location of the mark will be consistent.

    The flywheel mark will be in one of three places. Exactly on TDC, somewhat ahead of TDC, or somewhat behind TDC.

    PARALLAX ERROR: It is easy enough to position your eye exactly centered above the bell housing hole. The hole in the bell housing has side walls or 'draft'. And it is easy to spot whether your perspective is lined up.

    From a look at the pictures below, it is possible to determine that the camera lens is not lined up with the centerline of the hole. The camera lens is a little above the hole centerline.

    What gives the high lens location away is the 'draft' visible along the bottom edge of the hole. Eyes will see the same thing if their perspective is a little above the hole centerline. Get your reading glasses, and a good light.

    When your eye is lined up with the hole, it is natural to draw an imaginary line through the center of the circle. Take a look at the green line, is very natural to see where the ' OT ' mark is, relative to that imaginary green line.



    ----------------------------------
    Spark advance looks like this. Some amount ahead of TDC.

    For example, this is what 2° advance looks like.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Spark retard looks like this. Some amount behind TDC.

    For example, this is what 2° retard looks like.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    The hall sensors are hidden from view. They are behind the crank pulley. The hall sensors are mounted to a circular plate. The circular plate can be seen around the perimeter of the crank pulley.

    Spark timing is controlled by the hall sensors. Spark timing adjustment is done by changing the position of the hall sensors, relative to the crank pulley. Changing the position of the hall sensors is done by adjusting the circular plate.

    The timing adjustment range is limited to about ±5°. And about the middle of the adjustment range sets the timing to about TDC.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Loosen the THREE hex head fasteners that hold the circular hall sensor plate. Fully loosen the fasteners so that the circular sensor plate will slide freely.

    People have reported that the plate on their bike was stuck in place or almost impossible to turn. If that is the case the fasteners can be removed fully and the plate can be freed by lifting it away from the surface. Some canned air and spray lube should remove any grit or debris, and keep the plate moving freely when loosened next time.

    It is much easier to make small adjustments to the plate if the fasteners are very loose. If the fasteners are even slightly snug, too much force must be applied to the plate to move it. And when it does move it will overshoot the intended mark.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    PAUSE: This just seemed worth stopping for. This is the UNDERSIDE of the front control arm. Are GSs supposed to be this clean?

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    Adjusting the timing.

    First, turn off the ignition key.

    The timing is adjusted by moving the hall sensor plate. The full range of adjustment is limited to about ±5°. The sensor plate can be moved to either end of the 10° range and the engine will start and the bike is plenty rideable.

    Make a pencil mark across the plate and front cover and experiment. I am running mine at about 3° advance timing. The idle is smoother and the pinging is about the same. Though as the weather gets warmer the engine may ping less at 0° timing.

    To advance the timing, move the bottom of the hall sensor plate to the right. A small flat blade screwdriver is used to slide the plate.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    To retard the timing, move the bottom of the hall sensor plate to the left.

    [​IMG]



    ----------------------------------
    After moving the hall sensor plate where you wish, snug one of the fasteners to hold it in place.

    Turn on the ignition key and repeat the previous steps of rotating the crank pulley until the fuel pump cycles. And check to see how the timing changed.


    ----------------------------------
    After all of this smooth sailing, there is one pesky gotcha here. When reattaching the plastic cover, it can sometimes be impossible to get the screws on the left side of the cover started.

    Here is why. The oil return tube has two brackets that are held in place with two of the front cover screws. You can see the problem you will have if the brackets are not lined up with the screw holes.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    That's about it from me. Comments welcome. Thanks for the props. Don't forget to plug in the headlight. And have a good time.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #2
  3. Capt. Blackadder

    Capt. Blackadder Caffeine Fiend

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    :lurk
    #3
  4. Frank Warner

    Frank Warner Traveller

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    Nice one poolside. Probably works with the K models too.

    :1drink
    #4
  5. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    Maybe slightly less precise....but still good :huh
    #5
  6. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>
    Slightly less precise than what JB? :confused

    A dial indicator through the center spark plug hole?

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #6
  7. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    I'm assuming it means an adjustment (mechanical) and seeing how far the "ot" mark moves when the fuel pump turns on....

    I like the precision of the pump being triggered. but if it means observing how much the "ot" mark has moved...that is pretty imprecise in observing...

    Not that you can't see it move, you can, but how much it moves would be pretty hard to judge or repeat...

    BTW, I have Ohlins on my GS and I can remove my alt. belt cover without dis connecting the shock.....

    But, what I really like is that you can easily retard the spark...and potentially cure pinging, if you need to....

    I'm trying to fix this problem for good with a change in heat range of the spark plugs, at least for the summer...which is pretty easy to do too...

    I look forward to your final chapter.... :D :D
    #7
  8. johnjen

    johnjen I've Been Resigned

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    This looks like its headed for the HoW...

    Excellent work poolside..

    JJ
    #8
  9. Vance

    Vance On my meds...

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    Thanks Poolside. I love reading your tech stuff. Sure is nice to have shortcuts when you are doing work at campsites with no room to carry extra gadgets too. :-)

    V
    #9
  10. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>
    Yea JB I thought that too. At first I did not think that 'sighting' would be very accurate. But surprisingly the 'optical' process is very accurate and repeatable.

    Thanks for the tip about being able to remove the front cover on your bike with Ohlins fitted. I changed the instructions to reflect that.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #10
  11. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    I might give this a go :thumb

    Poolside - the way you've laid this tech tip out is top notch. Precise instructions & easy to follow, thanks a lot :thumb
    #11
  12. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    And I withdraw my claim of "imprecise"...with the great photos and the "S" reference of 5 degrees it should be possible to do a fairly precise adjustment.

    Question, is it a "known" that the S mark is exactly 5 degrees??

    And, have you varified the fact that the "range of movement" of the timing plate is about 5 degrees plus/minus?

    And, is the "fuel pump cycling" triggered at the same moment the spark plug is fired?

    Finally, you are asking us to rotate the engine with the spark plugs still in...usually we do this with them removed....is it hard to rotate? ( I'm not trying to be stupid here)...Is there some risk of the engine "firing" and tearing my hand off?? Especially if I repeat the rotation several times? Or is this taken care of by doing the first "positioning rotation" with the ignition off (where the fuel injector would normally fire) and only turning the ignition on after you have reached the "spark zone" and there should be little or no fuel present??


    I really like the simplicity of this approach...

    I have wanted to try "retarding" the ingition a few degrees in the heat of the summer to eliminate heat induced pinging...this should provide a very simple approach to doing this...it could become my regular "seasonal" adjustment..

    I love it.... :D :D :D :D

    BTW, this is so simple....it could make me feel smart....... :lol3 :lol3
    #12
  13. eap

    eap El Adventurero Solitario

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    Ok you guys - This looks easy and is a great write up Poolside. But, I'm am the wrench'n retard of retards. How do I know if I want/need to do this? Is it for tinkerers to have fun, Advance/Retard timing etc...? I don't even know what that is. I've only 36K on my '01 and all I've done is adjust the valves & replace fluids and stuff and ride. :dunno
    #13
  14. Poolside

    Poolside Syndicated

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    <BR>Questions from Jim Bud:

    Question, is it a "known" that the S mark is exactly 5 degrees??


    No I measured two coordinates and calculated the degrees of arc between the two points. The result was an 'rch' this side of 5.5° and I choose the whole number 5. It could be 6° if the errors in measurement lined up the other way.

    ---------------------

    And, have you verified the fact that the "range of movement" of the timing plate is about 5 degrees plus/minus?

    That was a visual estimate made with the three hall sensor plate screws removed, and sighting the threaded hole to each end of the adjustment slot. I went and measured the adjustment range again with the screws in place, and it is more like ±3°. My error was in sighting at the minimum thread diameter. Ooops.

    Placing the hall sensor plate at the visual center of its adjustment range puts the timing very close to TDC. And here's the thing, the bike runs fine at either end of the range. When fully advanced, the idle is a little smoother and the engine pings a bit more. Fully retard the timing and the engine pings less. But at both ends of the timing adjustment range the bike is always fully driveable.

    ---------------------

    And, is the "fuel pump cycling" triggered at the same moment the spark plug is fired? ...Is there some risk of the engine "firing" and tearing my hand off??

    A series of good questions here. The ignition coil DOES NOT fire when doing this adjustment. And neither do the fuel injectors. When the fuel pump cycles, the injectors are powered, but the injectors are not operated, and the ignition coil is not fired.

    Those conditions were verified with an oscilloscope.

    ---------------------

    Finally, you are asking us to rotate the engine with the spark plugs still in...usually we do this with them removed....is it hard to rotate?

    Another nice one. The engine IS NOT rotated through a full 360° while doing this adjustment. After the crank reaches the sensor trip point, all that is needed to reach the trip point again is to rock the crank back a small amount, and bring it forward to the trip point again. Move the wrench handle an inch or so in reverse, and an inch or so forward. Do not rotate the crank through 360° each time.

    The small amount of crank rotation is centered near TDC. With almost no piston movement near TDC, and the compression long-since leaked down to ambient, turning the crank by hand near TDC is almost effortless.


    ---------------------

    But what I really want to know what the flywheel marks ' S ' and ' OT ' mean. I do not know if the 'O' is a numeral or a letter. I think it is a capital O. It looks like a letter O on this flywheel. A capital O is round and a zero '0' is more oval. And on nearly every gauge and scale (and harmonic damper) I have seen, zeros '0' are oval.

    - Jim<BR><BR>
    #14
  15. eap

    eap El Adventurero Solitario

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    I think this mostly answers my question - "...the bike runs fine at either end of the range. When fully advanced, the idle is a little smoother and the engine pings a bit more. Fully retard the timing and the engine pings less. But at both ends of the timing adjustment range the bike is always fully driveable." Looks Retard Proof, Thanks. :deal
    #15
  16. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    I'm looking forward to "playing" with this adjustment to see if it will "cure" the summer PINGS...... :D

    Like I said before....NICE WORK....

    Thanks for the effort... :freaky

    BTW, the old way to adjust ignition advance wass to advace the spark as far as you can WITHOUT having pinging occur.....which means for most of us, we will need to retard the spark a bit......if you know what I mean....but my method must be done on a real hot day....when these oilheads have a mind of their own........one can tell that the Germans developed this bike in the cool Bavarian country.....no pinging there.....
    #16
  17. johnjen

    johnjen I've Been Resigned

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    This thread is now available in the HoW

    JJ
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  18. Finglonga

    Finglonga I got a BUSTED leg!

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    Worth doing this to the bell housing plug/grommet...

    2 Slits a small zip tie or piece of wire.

    [​IMG]

    Makes them easy to get in and out, and stops them from going inside the bell housing.
    #18
  19. Gonz

    Gonz BMW Bike Bum

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    Nice write up Poolside. Well done! :clap
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  20. Whammo

    Whammo Nature's toothbrush

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    Great Idea!
    #20