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How to Adjust the Timing in a Dodge Ram

by Contributor

The Dodge Ram has been around for generations and many models require occasional adjustment of the timing. Dodge Ram trucks with a powertrain control module or PCM do not require adjustment. Changing the timing on a Dodge Ram truck requires special tools and a clear understanding of engine mechanics. This guide covers adjusting the timing on fuel injected and carbureted models.

Start the engine and allow it to reach normal operating temperature. If the vehicle is at 3,900 feet or more above sea level, open the hood and look for the pressure sensor electrical connector, if equipped. It's located across from the distributor, mounted on the fender. Disconnect the sensor.

Stop the engine and connect the timing light to the battery if necessary and then to the number one ignition wire located at the front driver's side on six cylinder engines and at the back passenger's side on eight cylinder models.

Turn the engine on and allow it to idle for 2 minutes. Point the timing light at the crankshaft pulley and determine the amount of adjustment needed.

Loosen the distributor mounting bolts and rotate the distributor until the crankshaft timing mark matches the middle line on the timing light. Tighten the distributor mounting bolts.

Check the timing again and then turn off the engine. Remove the timing light, reconnecting both the number one ignition wire and the pressure sensor electrical connector, if necessary.

Warnings

  • Take care to keep tools, wires and yourself away from the cooling fan at all times.
  • Failing to adjust the ignition timing properly causes excess engine wear or permanent damage.

Items you will need

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