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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2002, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Reinstalling dist???

Well, I screwed up. I was trying to reinstall my dist and seem to have moved something and now can't get it started. Here is what I did (the second time) if you can help.

I bumped the engine until I could see the #1 piston in the spark plug hole. I did not confirm that I was at exactly TDC (perhaps I am solving this myself. I didn't do this thinking that I would be able to turn the dist enough either way to get it started then time from there). I then installed the dist and cap. I put the #1 spark plug wire above the rotor then installed the rest of the plug wires in the correct firing order. The engine still wont start.

I know this is a timing problem.


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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-14-2002, 09:29 PM
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Re: Reinstalling dist???

the #1 piston will be at TDC twice for each complete revolution of the distributor. once on the compression stroke, and once on the exhaust stroke. you could put your thumb over the hole and have someone else turn the crank pulley and when you feel the pressure, you know you are on the compression stroke. seeing as how it wont run at all now, i would guess you are 180 degrees off. you could bring the crank around to tdc, mark where the rotor is pointed, pull the distributor. turn the crank one complete revolution to TDC and reinstall the distributor, matching up with the mark you made. should get you running.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2002, 03:24 AM
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Re: Reinstalling dist???

I'd say you have already hit the head on the nail... [img]images/icons/blush.gif[/img]

Crank the engine over until you can feel compression (not exhaust stroke) stroke on #1.
Use a socket on the crank bolt to sneak up on TDC BY HAND, DON'T USE THE STARTER.
Use a Chop stick or wooden dowel rod to feel for the top of the piston at TDC.
Check your balancer when you know the piston is at TDC on compression.
The balancer mark should be at '0' (zero) on your timing scale.
If it's not, your balancer is bad.
If it's at TDC, and the balancer is at '0' (zero), you are ready to prepare your distributor, you have just verified both TDC of compression stroke, and the integrity of your balancer and timing marks.
Put the cap on the distributor, and mark where the #1 plug wire tower is on the base of the distributor with a black marker.
Take the cap back off, and install the rotor correctly.
Now, aim the nose of the rotor at the mark you made on the distributor housing.
Drop the distributor in the engine, but keep it from engaging the teeth.
Move the rotor COUNTER CLOCK WISE about 20 Degrees, and see if you can get the distributor to go fully down in the hole.

If it stops about 1/4" to 1/2" from seating, don't worry, this is normal...
Did you watch the rotor as you dropped the distributor in?
The rotor will rotate (angle cut of the gears cause this) clockwise as you install it.

If your rotor is pointing just before the #1 mark on the housing you made, you are almost home.
Watch the balancer mark, and turn the engine over BY HAND, 2 (two) full revolutions.
The distributor should have dropped into place during the turns, or can now be pushed down fully with ease.

If the rotor nose is past the #1 mark you made on the housing (and it often is!), pull the distributor up, back the rotor up counter clock wise more than the 20 degrees you originally did, and try again until it comes up just before the #1 mark you made on the housing, then turn the engine over by hand for two full revolutions to seat the distributor.
(that just aligns the oil pump drive the easy way...)

Now, it's time to put on your distributor cap.
Turn the distributor housing so the rotor nose is pointing at the #1 cylinder tower on the cap.
Make sure the rotor is still seated properly, install the cap, and CAREFULLY CHECK YOUR PLUG WIRES FOR FIRING ORDER!
(I've seen long time racing mechanics make plug wire mistakes, so I know we all can!)
Now, your balancer mark should be at the '0' (zero) mark on the timing tab, your piston should be at Top Dead Center on compression stroke, and your distributor rotor should be pointing at the #1 plug wire tower...
It's time to put the plugs in and see if this thing is going to get us to the liquor store for beer!

Have the distributor bolt only tight enough to hold the distributor from turning free, but loose enough you can turn it by finger tip pressure on the vacuum advance...
Hook up the timing light before you try to crank over the vehicle...
Watch the timing tab and balancer mark, and move the distributor as needed to get the correct timing while it's cranking.
Remember, clockwise to retard, counter clock wise to advance.
You will probably need to advance the timing right out of the bag, so expect to move the distributor counter clock wise at first...

Let me know how it turns out!
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