Timing marks on a CG10DE

I have a 1 litre micra, 1999, I replaced the distributor twice now over the years and each time just tried to get it as close to how the last one was set, and it's not worked out on distributor number 2 because it idles rough and sometimes rough enough to cut out, weirdly though if I keep the headlights on it doesn't cut out. It's also getting hot and I can't tell if it's just summer and slow drives or if the slightly wrong timing is contributing to it getting hotter than it used to.

Can anyone tell me all the places I can see the timing marks on the various pulleys or belts or chains and what I need to remove to be able to see these marks. Ideally I want to do the easiest one that involves removing the least amount of stuff. Get a timing light on amazon and have it done checked and adjusted in an afternoon

Can someone also tell me what I'm supposed to set it to? I know you put the induction timing light on cylinder 1 and there's supposed to be a setting slightly in advance of TDC on cylinder 1? What should I be going for, it's a stock set-up.

Thanks in Advance,
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Club Member
15 deg (3 notches) before the 2nd (yellow) notch on the pulley matt, have you removed the tps and blipped the throttle ?
yes but leave it unplugged while checking with the strobe
I'm hoping disconnecting and reconnecting the TPS sorts it now, I don't think I've got it too wrong when I changed it over. Should I do it with the engine fully warmed up?

tbh, if I'm not going to do any damage to the engine being a little bit out of timing then I'm happy to just drive it with the lights on all the time for now, if it passes another MOT then I'll sort it, but I have that sinking feeling that it's going to fail big time this year


Club Member
yes warmed up mate, it puts the ecu in base timing mode, else checking with the strobe is pointless
and a retarded spark will affect the emissions readings