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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 5spd '89 with a 3S-FE that loses power when it warms up.

When driving it while cold, it runs great. Once it warms up though, it turns into a slug. I can barely get it up hills on highways with 4 people in the car, and acceleration isn't that great in any situation.

It idles perfectly while both cold and warm. The temp gauge is always steady when warmed up. I don't know when any of the sensors were last replaced. The flex pipe is broken, but I don't think that affects performance only when it's warm.

The reason I'm bringing this up now is that the timing belt is overdue, and I'm considering putting a different engine in, as I want something reliable for long trips. However, if it turns out to be a simple fix and the compression is ok, I may change the head+oil pump and keep this engine.

It has bad pinging when accelerating between 2000-2300 rpm, or going up a steep hill at less than 2600-2700 rpm. Could this be part of the problem? I suspect it's from the old belt or misadjusted valves.

Another thing is that when I try to start it while warm, it sometimes seems as if the starter is working against the firing cylinders. After it does this for a few seconds, I can let go of the starter, and it will sputter into life from *very* low RPMs, or just die out. Other times it just starts perfectly after 2-3 turns.

Any suggestions?
 

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poor college student
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When warm air is sucked into an engine, the air isn't as compressed. That's why cool-engines run better. But if you don't let an engine warm up in winter, the intense change from cold to warm can crack stuff.

And it's a 3s-fe. It's not meant to be fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I picked up a PowerFist "Timing Light with Advance Feature" that was on sale at Princess Auto. The manual isn't clear on how to use it, so maybe someone here can help me.

With the "Advance" dial set to 10 degrees on the light, the timing reads 11-12 degrees. When I connect Te1 and E1 on the diagnostic plug, the RPMs go up for a few seconds and then down again (should they stay up there? I don't know), and the timing then reads 14 degrees while the RPMs are up.

With the "Advance" dial set to "Timing", the timing reads way out at around 20-25 degrees.

Am I using this timing light correctly when I set the dial to 10 degrees, or is my timing actually way off, ie - 20-25 degrees.

Any help is appreciated!

userlain: I know the 3S-FE isn't a powerhouse or anything, but what I'm trying to say is that it runs like crap *while warm* when compared to some years ago. I figured I'd just replace the whole thing, seeing as how old it is, but then thought that if it's really ok, and just needs some loving care, why replace it?
 

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96 3MZ M/T
Camry
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2,879 Posts
well the worst you can do is stall your engine just try and adjust it using the light and see if it works better, also try and set it to 0 advance and see what happens.
 

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Grenaded piston
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6,580 Posts
drugal said:
With the "Advance" dial set to 10 degrees on the light, the timing reads 11-12 degrees. When I connect Te1 and E1 on the diagnostic plug, the RPMs go up for a few seconds and then down again (should they stay up there? I don't know), and the timing then reads 14 degrees while the RPMs are up.
The rpms should go up for a few seconds then back down. Tranny should be in neutral when you check the ignition timing.

I'm not sure about the advance feature on the timing light. But I think your suppose to set it at 10 (ie: stock timing is 10 degrees btdc).

So it figures why you got 20 - 25 degrees btdc when you set the knob to timing (0 degrees).
 
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