Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information




See Figure 1

Except 3.0L Flexible Fuel (FF), 3.0L and 3.2L SHO Engines

The timing marks on the 2.5L engine are located on the flywheel and are visible through a hole in the transaxle case for manual transaxles. To view the timing marks, a cover plate on top of the transaxle must be removed. For 2.5L engines equipped with automatic transaxles, the timing marks are visible through a hole in the transaxle case.

The 3.0L and 3.8L engines have the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley and a timing pointer near the pulley. To check and adjust the ignition timing:

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Timing mark location-3.0L except Flexible Fuel and SHO engines

  1. Place the transaxle in the P (AT) or N (MT) position. The air conditioner and heater must be in the OFF position.
  3. Open the hood, locate the timing marks and clean them with a stiff brush or solvent. On vehicles equipped with a manual transaxle, it will be necessary to remove the transaxle cover plate which allows access to the timing marks.
  5. Using a white chalk or paint, highlight the specified timing mark and pointer.
  7. Near the distributor, detach the inline Spark Output (SPOUT) connector or remove the shorting bar from the double wire SPOUT connector. The spout connector is the center wire between the Electronic Control Assembly (ECA) connector and the Thick Film Integrated (TFI) or Ignition Control (ICM) module.
  9. Connect an inductive-type timing light, Rotunda tool No. 059-00006 or equivalent, to the No. 1 spark plug wire. DO NOT puncture the ignition wire with any type of probing device.

The high ignition coil voltage generated in the EEC-IV ignition system may falsely trigger the timing lights with capacitive or direct connect pick-ups. It is necessary that an inductive type timing light be used in this procedure.

  1. Connect a suitable tachometer, Rotunda tool No. 099-00003 or equivalent, to the engine. The ignition coil connector allows a test lead with an alligator clip to be connected to the Distributor Electronic Control (DEC) terminal without removing the connector.

The ignition coil electrical connector allows a test lead with an alligator clip to be connected to its dark green/yellow dotted wire terminal without removing the connector. Be careful not to ground the alligator clip, for permanent damage to the ignition coil will result.

  1. Start the engine, using the ignition key, and allow it to run until it reaches normal operating temperature.

Only use the ignition key to start the vehicle. Do NOT use a remote starter, as disconnecting the start wire at the starter relay will cause the TFI or ICM to revert back to the start mode timing, after the vehicle is started. Reconnecting the start wire after the vehicle is running will not correct the timing.

  1. Check the engine idle rpm; if it is not within specifications, adjust as necessary. Idle speed is not adjustable on 1991-95 vehicles. After the rpm has been adjusted or checked, aim the timing light at the timing marks. If they are not aligned, loosen the distributor clamp bolts slightly and rotate the distributor body until the marks are aligned under the timing light illumination.
  3. Tighten the distributor clamp bolts and recheck the ignition timing. Readjust the idle speed, if necessary or possible.
  5. Turn the engine OFF , remove all test equipment, reconnect the inline SPOUT connector to the distributor and, if necessary, reinstall the cover plate on manual transaxle vehicles.

3.0L Flexible Fuel (FF), 3.0L and 3.2L SHO Engines

The base ignition timing is set at 10° Before Top Dead Center (BTDC) and is not adjustable.

See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Timing mark location-3.0L SHO engine


On distributor-equipped models with an "E'' type ignition coil, the tachometer connection is made at the back of the wire harness connector. A cut-out is provided and the tachometer lead wire alligator clip can be connected to the dark green/yellow dotted wire of the electrical harness plug.