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7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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Old 11-22-2007, 02:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

When timing a diesels you can play a little with the static timing to best suit your power/fuel efficiency needs. At what degrees is the best compromise of both?
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Old 11-22-2007, 02:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

when refering to "degrees" static time how does one measure this with simple hand tools? When adjusting dynamic timing on 7.3 IDI diesels where is the sweet spot where everything runs smoothly?
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Old 11-24-2007, 01:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

This info from Ziggster's files....

You need to line up the scribe mark on the pump flange with the scribe mark on the pump gear housing. That's essentially it to start with. Hopefully the gear housing hasn't been removed, 'cause if it has it is possible the pump timing gear has been moved, and it is very difficult(but not impossible) to get it back to the right spot.

On the housing that's mounted on the top front of the engine where the pump bolts into, There is a small line about 1/4" long stamped into the rear/upper face of the housing just where the pump would mate to the housing. Likewise, on the pump almost at exactly the same spot on the flange of the pump where it bolts to the housing is a similar line scribed into onto the top of the pump flange.

The idea is that when you put the pump into the housing on the engine, and if you have those two marks lined up such that the almost form one 1/2" Long line, then the timing will be close enough that the engine should start and run. This is known as static timing.

Dynamic timing via luminosity is done where a probe is put into the cylinder, and actually sees the light from the explosion of the fuel, and the timing is set accordingly.

Some of us set the timing by "ear". This comes from some experimentation and experience.
I like mine so that when the engine is cold, as the cold advance is on, the engine rattles pretty loud, but once the cold advance drops off, then the rattle smooths out and the engine is much more quiet. If you have it too advanced, then it makes that loud rattle all the time, often accompanied by lots of black smoke, and if too retarded, will sound kinda flat most of the time, lack power, and often not smoke at all, or may even smoke greyish/whitish(unburned fuel).
When you are standing at the front of the truck facing the engine, if you turn the pump couterclockwise(top of the pump to the passenger side) you'll be advancing the timing, and obviously clockwise will retard the timing.


Zigg

If you line up the gear cover and pump top center lines you will be able to start it.

The marks on the pump to housing are only accurate if it is the original pump from the factory. Turning the injection pump 1/16" to either side (measured at the pump to housing flange marks) that's about 4 deg. Turning IP to pax side is advancing timing, to drivers side is retarding, engine off for all adjustments and tighten nuts on IP before start.

Pete

6.9IDI ( Navistar method ): 6-7 degrees BTDC
7.3 NA: 8-9 degree BTDC*
7.3 IDI Turbo: 8-9 degrees BTDC*

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Old 11-28-2007, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

Where do you live? Maybe your close to someone like me who can time it properly for you.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

I live north of Toronto, ontario, Canada
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Best static timing for 7.3 IDI

Put that info in your my stuff profile under location......do some truck info too........
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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man I am still really confused as to how to advance my timing just a hair I even saw a video on youtube and it looked nothing like what I see in my truck. Does anyone have a picture of the bolts you loosen and the line marks? even a diagram? Im getting 10 mpg or less and loads of white/blue smoke.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds like the timing isn't advanced enough (blue/white smoke). I've found I get the best feel of power and measurably the best fuel economy with the timing about 1/16" retarded from the factory mark. This results in light clatter with the cold advance on and very light clatter once warmed up. It sounds "cooler" when more advanced but my mpg drops from 20-22 down to 14 or worse. Try advancing your pump about 1/16" toward the passenger side, check the noise and smoke both before and after. You're looking for that sweet spot of light diesel clatter and no smoke (assuming your rings and CDR are in working order) at idle. To give you a feel my truck has no smoke at hot idle running 85% waste motor oil for fuel. If I let it idle long enough I'll see a little wisp of smoke, I think from my CDR valve. Cold start (below 20F) I have about the same amount of smoke as a gas car has steam when cold. Give it about 2 minutes or less and the smoke is completely gone. Warm start and normal driving the only smoke I see is when I floor it until my turbo spools up (my IP is turned up 2 flats) and then it's black smoke.
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Old 02-09-2011, 12:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Oops, didn't read your whole post. The injection pump is held to the gear cover by 3 nuts that take a 9/16" wrench. You'll likely need a crows foot or timing wrench to get at least the lower passenger side one. Where the pump meets the top gear cover there is one bolt at 12 o'clock, the other two are below at about 5 and 8 o'clock. The timing marks are on the pump and housing where the two meet on the top. The holes in the pump are slightly slotted to let you move the pump when the nuts are loose. Moving the pump body top towards the passenger side advances it while the other way retards it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks, so I just loosen those 3 bolts a little, then slide the whole thing towards the passenger side? If I am sure of what Im lookin at (wish there was a clear picture pointing out the bolts and the marks) then the line on my gear cover is almost a whole inch away from the one one the ip. like the pump is slid over to the drivers side as far as it can be.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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That's pretty much it, though you MUST do it with the engine off unless you like damaged injector pumps. There shouldn't be enough slot to allow the pump to move 1", I'd have to guess there's maybe a total of 1/4" - 3/8" of adjustment there. The pump will be pretty hard to move due to the tension from the injection lines, some have a boss that you can slip a wrench on for leverage. Others have 2 holes for use with a spanner wrench. Leave the wrench on the top pump mounting bolt and tighten it with one hand while you hold the pump steady with the other, or have a helper do one task. Then tighten the other two.
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1990 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, in the process of a major overhaul/upgrade. OM617 on the horizon! Front & rear Dana 44s from a Wagoneer till I get some 1-ton axles built & narrowed, and eventually a front shackle reversal. Diesel YJ, bay-BEE, and not a cookie-cutter 4BT conversion!
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I just used 9/16 craftsman wrench and ground a little off the boxed end side worked alright but poor people have poor ways lol.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Nothing wrong with that, and in all likelihood Sears will exchange that wrench with no questions asked if you ever wanted to LOL
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1991 F350 Lariat XLT, 7.3l, 5-speed, crew cab, SRW, 3.55, 2WD.

1990 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, in the process of a major overhaul/upgrade. OM617 on the horizon! Front & rear Dana 44s from a Wagoneer till I get some 1-ton axles built & narrowed, and eventually a front shackle reversal. Diesel YJ, bay-BEE, and not a cookie-cutter 4BT conversion!
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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well i guess here soon im just gonna hafta get a good look at the pump and lossen em and see. still not exactly sure what im looking for in the way of the timing marks, anybody have a picture?
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shakes in o/d, new booster and master, power steering is sure nice to have now. if only i can make it not shake and smoke
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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At the very top of the injector pump mounting flange, above the nut, you'll see a line going across the thickness of the flange. There's a matching line on the pump mounting boss, and you want these lines aligned for your static timing setting.
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Check my lists of common part numbers in my photos! Updated often!

1991 F350 Lariat XLT, 7.3l, 5-speed, crew cab, SRW, 3.55, 2WD.

1990 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, in the process of a major overhaul/upgrade. OM617 on the horizon! Front & rear Dana 44s from a Wagoneer till I get some 1-ton axles built & narrowed, and eventually a front shackle reversal. Diesel YJ, bay-BEE, and not a cookie-cutter 4BT conversion!

Last edited by NH2112; 02-10-2011 at 03:38 PM.
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