C13, C15, and C18 Engines Troubleshooting – Timing – Calibrate

Table 1
Diagnostic Trouble Codes
CDL Code J1939 Code Code Description
(code descriptions may vary)
261-11 637-11 Engine Timing Offset fault The wiring to the sensors has the wrong polarity.
261-13 637-13 Engine Timing Calibration : Calibration Required A timing calibration is required for a new engine, replacing an Electronic Control Module (ECM) that fails to communicate or following work on the front gear train, the camshaft, or the crankshaft.

If a 261-11 or 637-11 diagnostic code is active, verify that the wiring is installed correctly to the engine speed/timing sensors.

The ECM can calibrate the mechanical differences between the Top Center (TC) of the flywheel and the TC of the timing gear on the camshaft. A transducer signals the TC of the flywheel to the ECM when a notch on a counterweight passes by the transducer. The engine speed/timing sensor signals the TC of the timing gear to the ECM. Any offset between the TC of the flywheel and the TC of the timing gear is stored into the memory of the ECM.

Note: A timing calibration will not increase the available engine power.

Table 2 lists the special tools that are required in order to perform this procedure.

Table 2
Required Special Tools
Part Number Description
7X-1171 Transducer Adapter
6V-2197 Transducer
7X-1695 Cable as
170-3519 Harness  (1)
( 1 ) This item is not required if the engine harness has a connector for timing calibration.

Illustration 1 g03048383
(A) Timing mark

(B) Idler gear

Table 3
Troubleshooting Test Steps Values Results
Step 1 applies to C18 engines only.1. Check the Gear Train Timing

The camshaft gear will be off a half tooth if the engine is timed when Cylinder # 6 is at Top Dead Center (TDC). The engine MUST be timed when Cylinder #1 is at TDC. This could be possible anytime you do not time the engine at the crank to idle gear mesh.

Note: Remove the rocker arms before rotating the engine to prevent piston/valve damage from occurring.

A. If the engine is at TDC for cylinder 6, remove cam idler gear (B) and rotate the crankshaft 360 degrees and repin the flywheel.

B. Install idler gear (B) .

C. Check timing mark (A) .

D. Rotate the engine by hand 360° to ensure that the engine rotates freely. If the engine does not rotate freely, the engine is not timed correctly. Remove the front housing and check all timing marks. Refer to Testing and Adjusting, “Gear Group (Front) – Time” for the correct procedure.

E. Connect to Cat ET and clear the DTC.

F. Start the engine.

Diagnostic code Result: After starting the engine the code is still present.Proceed to Test Step 2.

Result: After starting the engine the code did not return.

Return the unit to service.

Table 4
Crankshaft Rotation
Engine Model Number of Degrees Direction of Rotation
C7 100 Normal Rotation
C-9 85 Normal Rotation
C9 85 Normal Rotation
C9.3 85 Normal Rotation
C-10 60 Opposite Normal Rotation
C11 75 Normal Rotation
C-12 60 Opposite Normal Rotation
C13 75 Normal Rotation
C-15 60 Opposite Normal Rotation
C15 60 Opposite Normal Rotation
C-16 60 Opposite Normal Rotation
C18 30 Opposite Normal Rotation
Table 5
Location of the Timing Calibration Port
Engine Model Crankshaft Counterweight Engine Location
C7 3 Left Side
C-9 3 Left Side
C9 3 Left Side
C9.3 3 Left Side
C-10 8 Right Side
C11 8 Left Side
C-12 8 Right Side
C13 8 Left Side
C-15 2 Left Side
C15 2 Left Side
C-16 2 Left Side
C18 2 Left Side
Table 6
Troubleshooting Test Steps Values Results
2. Install the Transducer AdapterA. Remove the electrical power from the ECM.

B. Use the appropriate engine turning tool to put either the No. 1 piston or the No. 6 piston at the top center. Refer to the Systems Operation/Testing and Adjusting.

C. Refer to Table 4. After the top center position has been located, rotate the crankshaft for the number of degrees that is applicable to your engine model. Be sure to rotate the crankshaft in the direction of rotation that is specified in the Table.

D. Refer to Table 5. Locate the engines timing calibration port.

E. Remove any components from the timing calibration port.

F. Thread the transducer adapter into the port

Transducer adapter Result: The transducer adapter was installed.Proceed to Test Step 3.
3. Install the TransducerIf the crankshaft is not in the correct position when the transducer is installed, the transducer will be damaged when the engine is started.

A. Apply clean engine oil to a 2D-6392 O-Ring Seal . Install the O-ring seal on the end of the 6V-2197 Transducer .

B. Push the transducer through the transducer adapter until the transducer contacts the crankshaft counterweight.

C. Withdraw the transducer 1.0 mm (0.04 inch) and hand tighten the nut on the adapter sleeve in order to secure the transducer. Move the O-ring seal against the adapter.

Transducer Result: The transducer was installed.Proceed to Test Step 4.

Illustration 2 g02497162
Types of Engine Control Modules

Table 7
Terminal Locations for Connection of the 170-3519 Harness 
Connector P2 P1 P2 P1
Timing Calibration +
(Terminal 1) Location
22 24 26 24
Timing Calibration –
(Terminal 2) Location
23 25 36 25
Table 8
Troubleshooting Test Steps Values Results
4. Connect the 7X-1695 Cable as

A. If the engine harness is equipped with a connector for timing calibration, connect the 7X-1695 Cable as to the connector for timing calibration and to the transducer.

B. If the engine harness is not equipped with a connector for timing calibration, or the connector is not easily accessible, a connector can be installed. The connector can be installed on either ECM connector.

C. Refer to Illustration 2 to determine the type of engine ECM. Also, determine the ECM connector that is easily accessible.

D. Refer to Table 7 to determine the proper terminal locations for the connector that is easily accessible.

E. Remove the sealing plugs from the appropriate terminals. Do not discard the sealing plugs. The sealing plugs may be reinstalled when the timing calibration is complete.

F. Install the white wire of the 170-3519 Harness into the appropriate location.

G. Install the yellow wire of the 170-3519 Harness into the appropriate location. Disregard the pin-outs on the label of the harness.

H. Ensure that each wire is installed into the correct location. The timing calibration will not be successful if the wires are installed incorrectly.

Wiring Result: The wiring is installed correctly.

Proceed to Test Step 5.

5. Check for Diagnostic Codes

A. Connect Caterpillar Electronic Technician (ET) to the service tool connector. Refer to Troubleshooting, “Electronic Service Tools”.

B. Start the engine and run the engine until the engine is at the normal operating temperature.

C. Check for active diagnostic codes. Wait at least 30 seconds in order for the codes to become active.

The engine must not have any active diagnostic codes during the timing calibration except for a 261-13 or 637-13 diagnostic code.

Diagnostic codes Result: There are active codes other than a 261-13 or 637-13 diagnostic code.

Troubleshoot the active diagnostic other than the 261-13 or 637-13 diagnostic codes.

Result: There are no active codes other than a 261-13 or 637-13 diagnostic code.

Proceed to Test Step 6.

6. Calibrate the Timing

A. After the engine has warmed up, access the “Timing Calibration” screen on the Cat ET. Access the following display screens in order:

· Service

· Calibrations

· Timing Calibration

B. Set the engine speed to 1100 ± 50 rpm. The engine speed must be steady within this rpm range in order for the calibration to be successful.

C. To calibrate the timing, select “Continue” on Cat ET. Wait until Cat ET indicates that the timing is calibrated.

D. Perform the following procedure if Cat ET indicates that the timing is calibrated:

1. Set the engine speed to low idle.

2. Disconnect the 7X-1695 Cable as before you exit the “Timing Calibration” screen. Otherwise, diagnostic codes may be activated.

3. Exit the “Timing Calibration” screen on Cat ET.

4. Remove the electrical power from the ECM.

5. Remove the transducer and remove the transducer adapter.

6. Re-install the original components into the timing calibration port.

7. If you installed a 170-3519 Harness , you may remove the harness or you may permanently install the harness for future use. If you remove the harness, install the sealing plugs into the unused cavities of the ECM connector. Otherwise, moisture and debris will enter the connector.

8. If you permanently installed the harness, fasten the harness to the existing engine wiring harness with cable ties. Also, install a 3E-3364 Receptacle and two 8T-8737 Seal Plugs on the P400timing calibration probe connector in order to prevent moisture and debris from entering the connector.

Timing calibration Result: The timing calibration was successful.

Return the unit to service.

Result: The timing calibration was not successful.

The following conditions can cause the timing calibration to fail:

1. The crankshaft and camshaft gears have been reassembled incorrectly.

2. The timing calibration probe is not installed correctly.

3. The engine speed is not correct and the engine speed is unstable. If the engine speed is unstable, refer to Troubleshooting, “Engine Misfires, Runs Rough, or Is Unstable”.

4. There is a problem with the transducer or with the cables. Obtain a new transducer and/or a new cable and repeat the timing calibration.

5. There is an active 190-8 code or an active 723-8 code. Troubleshoot the active codes before calibration.

Correct any of the above conditions and repeat the calibration procedure.

Complete the procedure in the order in which the steps are listed.

If the procedure did not correct the issue, contact your Cat dealer Technical Communicator (TC). For further assistance, your TC can confer with the Dealer Solutions Network (DSN).

Posted in C18

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