Rob Kinnan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
May 1, 2000

Step By Step

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The stock timing sensor is located on the lower, passenger side of the engine, behind the front timing chain cover. Remove the retaining bolt, then pull the sensor out.
Attach the sensor to the aluminum bracket. The Steeda bracket has an O-ring installed to seal the hole left by the vacant sensor. Make sure it’s installed or you’ll have an oil leak. Then, bolt the bracket to the engine.
To mount the trigger wheel, the front pulley bolt must be removed. The wheel is sandwiched between the bolt and the pulley, and replaces the stock washer. This wheel also works with all the different brands of underdrive pulleys. Verify that the air gap between the sensor and wheel is between .020- and .080-inch, and set the indicator to 10 degrees. That’ll be stock timing. To bump timing to 14 degrees, loosen the screws and move the sensor until the 14 mark lines up. Simple!

The 4.6 is a completely different animal than the 5.0 for more reasons than just its overhead cams. One of these differences is that the 4.6 doesn't have a distributor, something we didn't think was that big a deal until we installed nitrous on our '96 GT. It was then that it hit us that we had no easy way of retarding the timing. And one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to a 5.0 Mustang for more power is to bump up the timing. To do that to a 4.6, though, you have to go into the computer. But no longer, thanks to Steeda's new timing adjuster for the two- and four-valve 4.6 V-8s.

The 4.6 ignition operates off a crank trigger, with a sensor and trigger wheel behind the front timing cover. The Steeda timing adjuster relocates the crank-trigger sensor to the outside of the engine, and allows you to move it to advance or retard timing up to ten degrees in either direction. It's one of those simple Why didn't I think of that? things. The installation only takes about 10 minutes.

Once the part is installed, timing is adjusted by loosening the two set screws and moving the sensor bracket. The factory base timing setting is 10 degrees, so to bump it to 14 degrees, move the bracket until the marks say 14. Then lock it down (Steeda recommends using thread-locking compound to keep it from vibrating loose) and you're done. The price of the adjuster is $179.95, and the same part number fits both the SOHC and DOHC engines.