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Crank position sensor


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Hi guys, I am in the process of converting a Toyota 3sge gen 3 to COP.

The plan is to tidy up the engine bay by getting rid of the coil, leads etc.

My question is, can I get rid of the whole distributer by replacing it with a Crank position sensor.

Obviously I would have to source a sensor, pick a part? And turn up a plug for the end of the cam cover, but at the moment I just want to know if it’s doable.

i am running an atom+

any input would be appreciated


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The crank trigger looks doable, however I’m still left with the dizzy. I thought I had seen a crank trigger and sync together on timing belt pulley.

Just out of interest, how much can/does the timing change , I’ve checked with a strobe and it seems pretty solid, at least at idle.

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1 hour ago, Nudgedidit said:

Just out of interest, how much can/does the timing change , I’ve checked with a strobe and it seems pretty solid, at least at idle.

That depends on many factors, engine design, valvetrain resonance, how much backlash there is in all the drive system etc.  On the modern subarus for instance the cam on one side of the engine advances about 7 degrees just from the block expanding as it warms up.  Typically distributors on a 4 cyl engine are the worst as the camshaft resonates a lot and the distributor drive generally has lots or backlash.  At certain RPM bands there will be a natural frequency where everything starts shaking backwards and forwards.  I would say you could expect around say +/- 3 or 4degs on a 4 cylinder with belt driven cam and mild cams. 


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4 hours ago, Nudgedidit said:

Hmmm, that is quite a lot. It would seem to be a good move then to fit a crankshaft mounted sensor.


its been a long while since ive played with the 3sgte stuff(have a 3sge beams in my car these days) but from memory, the later model 5s/gen4 3s stuff bolts on to add a nice factory component crank trigger setup.  

did a quick search, here ya go....


basically 97+ 5s pump and sensor with a gen4 3s crank gear. 

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Hi there Brad. Many thanks for that information, it would never have occurred to me to fit an oil pump from a different engine!

I’ve only recently fitted a new oil pump, so it may have to go on the back burner until next winters overhaul, but after reading what Adam said about the angles I will definitely  be going ahead with this.

i am assuming the atom can be set up to do this of course 

thanks again.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Good morning all

Well, the conversion to COP went great, now to make it all work.

Obviously it was going ok with the distributor. However apart from the odd very loud backfire not a lot is happening now.

I changed the setting from distributor to Direct spark and went through all the settings that I thought may need changing but I couldn't see anything obvious. I checked that each coil was firing correctly.

Ive attached the pair file. if you could have a look at it and give me a few pointers that would be great, cheers. 

Direct Spark.pclr

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It will most likely be your trigger offset wrong.  With a distributor your offset can be 180, 360 or 540 out and the engine will still run as the rotor will always send the spark to the correct cylinder.  With direct spark only the correct offset will work.

You have -23 as an offset now - so try 337.

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