Flewis New Reader
12/1/23 4:57 p.m.

So, I was just gifted a '95 Miata that I fixed up for my FIL about 15 years ago. It had already had a timing belt job from the seller and I put new shocks on it, a top, and painted the bumpers. 

It ran fine but I recall thinking it wasn't quite where it should be power wise, but I discounted that as I had a turbo'd '99 and was used to that power level.

Enough rambling. I suspect the timing belt might be off a tooth. What is the easiest way to tell? I know I can physically find TDC on cylinder one and pull the valve cover and front cover off and check the marks... just wondering if there is a trick that's less hassle. 

It could also be a failed coolant temp sensor. The car is bone stock but smells rich to me. I'll be testing that also. 

Thanks for any tips. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/1/23 5:01 p.m.

No need to pull off the front cover, just the valve cover. There are marks on the top of the pulleys that are at 12 o'clock at TDC. Use the timing mark on the crank (set to T) to find TDC, then confirm the marks are at noon. If they're off, it'll be off by a full tooth and not just a little bit. 

Smelling rich is also quite possibly a failed O2 sensor, and I'd say that's more likely. I'd also verify the ignition timing. 

Flewis New Reader
12/1/23 6:53 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Awesome. Thanks Keith!

calteg SuperDork
12/1/23 7:02 p.m.

Timing light is less work, if you have one.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/1/23 7:39 p.m.

In reply to calteg :

Timing light will tell you ignition timing, but not mechanical cam timing. 

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