mitsubishi 3.0 timing

Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 Distributor Timing

This article covers the procedure for fitting and adjusting the distributor on Mitsubishi’s 3.0 V6 after the distributor has been removed. We have had a couple of emails regarding this issue lately and in hindsight I should have included this info in the Timing Belt/Waterpump Replacement Article, better late than never though!

The first thing we need to do is ensure that the engine is at top dead centre and set to fire on No.1 cylinder. If you are doing this without the timing belt covers fitted (i.e. after replacing the belt/waterpump) setting the engine at tdc and firing on No.1 cylinder is easy, just set your timing marks up as indicated in the following diagram –

mitusbishi 3.0 v6 timing marks

If the timing belt covers are still in place we can use the harmonic balancer marks to set the engine to top dead centre, however to be sure that the engine is set to fire on No.1 cylinder we need to remove one of the upper timing belt covers to check the position of the camshafts (from memory the left hand side or passengers side one is the easiest to remove – but don’t quote me on that!). Start by setting the crankshaft/harmonic balancer to top dead centre as shown below and then check the mark on the exposed camshaft gear. If it is pointing down the crankshaft needs to be turned another 360 degrees before the camshaft will be properly aligned and the distributor can be installed.

3.0 v6 timing marks

The next step is to install the distributor, but rather than positioning the rotor pointing to the No.1 cylinder lead as in most engines, there is a mark on the distributor drive gear and the housing that have to be lined up. See pic below.

3.0 v6 distributor install

The idea is to line up the two marks and with the stud located in the centre of the adjusting slot you can then install the distributor. Fit the retaining nut to the stud and all going well you should have an engine that now has the correct base ignition timing setting.

We will cover further setting of the ignition timing with a timing light once I gather all of the necessary info. The ecu spark  advance needs to be disabled to do this and where this is done varies considerably between models.

Also, if you are replacing the timing belt and/or the waterpump on a Pajero I highly recommend you check out the Pajero V6 Crankshaft Pulley Issues article.

22 thoughts on “Mitsubishi 3.0 V6 Distributor Timing

  1. how do you determine that this is cylinder no 1 since its av engine block. do i have to count from passenger side or what. can you please include the firing order.

  2. The firing order for the 3.0 V6 is 1-2-3-4-5-6, and the cylinder layout (assuming you have a right-hand drive vehicle) is from front to rear – right-hand side (drivers side) 1 – 3 – 5 and left hand side (passengers side) 2 – 4 – 6.


  3. Hi Karl,
    From memory, and not a real good memory at that, your car will have cylinders 1-3-5 across the front with one being the closest to the passengers side guard and 2-4-6 across the back with 2 being the closest to the guard.


  4. Those two little dots on the bottom of the distributor do they line up by facing towards the front of the car or facing directly at the stud.


  5. Hi Nic,
    I suggest lining them up facing the front of the car as the slot in the body of the distributor will then be able to fit over the stud. As long as you have the two dots lined up (the one on the gear and the one on the distributor body) you can fit the distributor anywhere the slot will allow the body of the distributor to go. Lining the two dots up is only an initial setting and this will change once the distributor is fitted and you need to rotate the distributor body to set the timing.

    Hope that ramble makes sense!


  6. Hi Craig
    Does the distributor just lift out once the lock nut is removed? seems the helix on the gear does not allow this.

    can you please help?


  7. Hi Glen,
    Yes, the distributor will lift out once the nut is removed. The distributor shaft will turn a little as it comes out but the helix on the gear won’t stop it from coming out.

    Hope that helps.


  8. Hi Craig
    thank you for your help, in setting up the timing does the mark on the crankshaft pulley need to line up with the tdc marked on the cowling or on the mark on the motor where oil pump is?

    thanks for your help again


  9. No worries Glen, thanks for the feedback. Initially you can set the timing up to tdc on the plastic timing belt cover and this should position the crank so that the marks behind the case (on the motor body) are lined up also. Does that make sense to you? It’s a little bit hard to put into writing!


  10. I have a problem with my Toyota Land Cruiser FJ75 3F, it can not show that that it is being switched on, and does not show when one indicates that the vehicle is turning, wipers are not working.
    My Toyota mak II is auto transmission and does not engage in reverse and 3rd and 4th gears.


  11. I have a problem with my Toyota Land Cruiser FJ75 3F, it can not show that it is being switched on, and does not show when one indicates that the vehicle is turning, wipers are not working.
    My Toyota mak II is auto transmission and does not engage in reverse and 3rd and 4th gears.


  12. Hey guys, just bought a 93 3l and I’ve ran into an issue. Engine at TDC, all timing marks line up where they should, however when the distributor drive marks are aligned and fitted the rotor cap finger points towards cylinder no 2. Where am I going wrong? Any thoughts as to why this is?

  13. Hi
    I just had the water pump seize and this caused the timing belt to “melt”. I’ve replaced the timing belt & water pump. The car will start with several winds but is running very ruff, sounds like 2-3 cylinders. Does this mean there are bent valves? or is there some other reason? Help please.

  14. Hi I’ve just had a top. end gasket done on my 1993 pajero it starts up A1 drives A1 but when I slow down at intersections it back fires a bit and smells like petrol

  15. Looking to find the ignition timing degree BTC or ATC for the Mitsubishi 3L V6 Rodeo with the electronic ignition. I have a sticker inside the bonnet saying 5degree BTC not for electronic ignition.

  16. Hi I need for a mitsubishi challenger 2001 V6 petrol. Help If it is possible putting the timing belt back on if I didn’t move anything else to disturb the timing as I did not move loosen anything else in any way. All the timing marks on the engine is the same as before I started.

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