Some 1993-2003 computers have been reprogrammed at the dealership. This was called a “performance tune” – yeah right! It was for “emission performance” and causes the engine to run very poorly – regardless of what (high) performance modifications you make to your engine. It is very easy to check your computer to see if it has the “death flash” program in it. All you need is a timing light. Hook it up like normal and check the timing. If you have the “death flash” at idle, the timing will jump back and forth between approximately 8° and 24° BTDC.
If you want more proof, hook up a scanner and go for a drive. At a steady 45/50mph, the timing will jump from about 14° to 40° BTDC. Floor the throttle and the timing drops to about 17° or 20° BTDC. And stays there while the vehicle struggles to accelerate. If this is what you see –“shazam”- your computer has the “death flash.”
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