Failed emissions due to timing? Can it be?

Schaible, David David.Schaible at
Wed Apr 7 15:20:27 EDT 2004

I was told by someone who remains anonymous that if you run your tank
down and put in alcohols ie drygas in bulk you'll pass with flying in upstate NY, no emission testing......yet

David Schaible

JRS Pharma LP
2981 Rte 22
Patterson, NY 12563

-----Original Message-----
From: Dave Haupt [mailto:quattrodave at] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 07, 2004 3:05 PM
To: 200q20v at
Subject: Failed emissions due to timing? Can it be?

Subject vehicle is a 1989 200 turbo quattro sedan,
early MC engine with single knock sensor.

The youngster at the smog station claimed "the timing
measures 10 degrees BTDC and it should be 15 degrees".
 The Bentley confirms it should be 15 degrees, however
it also claims it's not adjustable.

The basic timing setup is to set the engine for TDC on
cylinder #1 (timing mark on flywheel, viewed through
transmission housing, I think), then align the
distributor so that the rotor points to an alignment
mark on the housing.  Done.  After that, the ECU makes
adjustments to the timing, based on lots of factors. 
Therefore, I don't think one can legitimately measure
the timing and declare "good" or "bad".

However, the smog station's computer spits out a
number, and the tech "measures" it.

Anybody else run into this, and how do you deal with
it?  My mechanic basically said, "There is no
adjustment.  I don't know how to help with uneducated
smog technicians."

This is one "repair" that has to be done via careful
education and tact!

Santa Rosa, CA

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