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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys i just got my 79 cj5 running but i took the distributor out now its running like crap and i must have messed the timing up... i have never messed with timing so what do i do... if it is too complicated to explain in the forum lemme know!!!
THANKS
NEW GUY
 

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First make sure you have it in the right firing order. 18436572. then double check it's in the proper firing order... then check it again. If it'
still running like crap, you maybe 180 out. I haven't messed with that enough to be ceratin on destructions, but basically you want #1 at TDC and point the rotor in the Dist. at the #1 cylinder and install. but there's probably a little more to it than that, so I'l llet someone else chime in on that.
 

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[ QUOTE ]
basically you want #1 at TDC

[/ QUOTE ]

A little more than that - you need #1 at TDC on the compression stroke. Pull all the plugs. Hold a thumb over #1 plug hole and bump the starter. When the air pushes your thumb off the hole the piston is coming up on compression. Then take very tiny bumps, or put a wrench on the crank nut to turn it until the timing marks comes around to the tab.

If the rotor is pointing at #1 tower, it's in right. If not, remove it and drop it back in so that the rotor is pointing at the #1 tower on the cap. It probably won't drop all the way down because the bottom of the shaft has to engage the oil pump. You can look down the hole with a flashlight to see how the pump shaft is oriented and turn it with a screwdriver to align with the distributor.

That should get you close enough to correct that the engine will run. Then start it and time it with a light.
 

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I thought I was forgeting something...
 

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If it runs at all, it cannot be 180 out!
180 out will only backfire etc, and refuse to start.

Check and recheck the firing order - get someone else to help you -- sometimes we keep making the same mistake over and over. Duh, don't ask!

Is that all you did? Why was the distributor out?

Try something if rechecking doesn't help.

While running --
One wire at a time - pull a wire out of the dist cap.
See if you can find one - or two - that make very little or no change in the RPM. That one, or those, are the culprit(s.) If two, try swapping them.

When pull out a working cylinder, the R's should drop about 5%. Put it back in, goes back to normal.

When you pull out a wire at the cap - you are holding onto a dead wire - safe - the fire is in the cap.

But if you pull the wire off the plug, you are now holding onto a wire with 30,000 + volts in it - a shocking experience.
 

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[ QUOTE ]

When you pull out a wire at the cap - you are holding onto a dead wire - safe - the fire is in the cap.

But if you pull the wire off the plug, you are now holding onto a wire with 30,000 + volts in it - a shocking experience.

[/ QUOTE ]

interesting... how is that? I'm not being a smart ass, I just haven't heard that before. Seems to me that if current has to flow from one end to the other, it wouldn't make a difference which end you pull. kinda like a garden whether you un hook it at the spigot or at the sprayer end, you're still gonna get wet.
 

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The cap end of the wire is still hot, until you pull it. Then it is dead.
 

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Sorry I wasn't so clear -

While you are pulling the wire it's still hot of course.

But pulling at the distributor - AFTER the wire's off, the wire is no longer hot. The other end is still connected to the plug, but there's no voltage at that end. Safe!

However - if you pull off the wire at the plug end first, you are now holding onto a hot wire! YOU are essentially what the distributor is trying to light up!



He He - it's the best hair remover around ---
Shock, jump, hood latch - you get the pic.
 

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I GOT YOU!!!! you possibly being the ground to the vehicle!

reason I wondered was that I pulled at the cap one time when I had run on issues after installing the MSD. I got a HELLUVA shock, but I wasn't on a plug wire, I was on the coil wire, which was still hot. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bag.gif

remember... self proclaimed electrical idiot here.... /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thud.gif
 

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[ QUOTE ]
He He - it's the best hair remover around ---
Shock, jump, hood latch - you get the pic.

[/ QUOTE ]

He He,, yes I got THAT picture more than once /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wall.gif
I made extra room in the hood of a 60 Chevy once that way if you know what I mean /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/bag.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
"I got a HELLUVA shock, but I wasn't on a plug wire, I was on the coil wire, which was still hot. "...i was the last night ha...
ANYWAY... it will run but barely, i mean it fires puts for a few seconds the quits, i had it out because i was going to take it somewhere and have it tested(i was told you can do that) because it wouldnt start, then i figured out the colprit wire and decided i would try it, so i tossed it back in and checked 4 spark. i got it so i tried starting and i ran into this mess... is that bar at the bottom(oil pump), can that be moved real easily... if so i have the oil pan and the filter off can i move it on the pump with the filter off before i put i t back on???
thanks
new guy
 

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Obviously the same holds true for a coil wire. While connected, both ends are hot. But if you disconnect it at the coil, the wire becomes dead. Disconnecting at the distributor - it's still hot.

Once you've leaned on a fender and had the spark hit your hand, travel through your body and jump to the fender from your **** - you'll have lots of respect for it!

The Bar? I think you might mean the oil pump? Down in the bottom of the distributor hole you see it. When you pull the distributor you can see it. It has to line up with the distribor shaft on the bottom.
Sometimes they move a little, making it difficult to get back in. Simply use a screwdriver to turn the "bar" down there till it lines up. Sometimes takes a couple of tries.
 

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Oh, Btw - make sure the distributor sits ALL THE WAY DOWN before you snug it down. Sometimes it looks like it's down, but isn't. Tightening it when it's still caught on "the bar" will bend things - not good.
Once you think it's down, put the hold down on loosely, then crank the engine over a few times to make double sure.
That connection is turning the oil pump - not good if it's not turning. Once for sure it's dow, snug up the hold-down. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE GORRILLA TIGHT! Just tight enough to keep it from turning accidentally.
 

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Anyone remember which post we just covered verifying TDC of #1, Verifying the harmonic balancer, and Verifying the distributor placment?
We JUST went through this in long hand with someone else, but I don't remember who...
Anyone good with the search function?
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Was I reading the same post as everyone else?
I read he pulled the distributor, now it runs like crap...

1. He never said he pulled the plug wires off the plugs, or the plug wires off the cap...
So why is everyone assuming it's firing order?

2. RRich is correct, a V-8 will NOT run 'backwards', while an I-6 will run nearly as well 'backwards' as it will 'forwards'.
The distributor is probably one tooth off...
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No way around basics here, you have to start from scratch...
1. Unhook the coil connector, just unhooking the coil wire isn't enough.

2. Locate the #1 spark plug wire, and trace it back to the distributor cap.
It should be just to the left of the vacuum advance housing, as you are looking down on the distributor cap.
Mark the location of the #1 plug wire on the cap, AND distributor housing.

3. Remove the #1 spark plug.
On an I-6, that's the front plug, On an AMC V-8, it will be the front plug on the drivers side.
Put your finger OVER (NOT IN!) the plug hole, and have someone crank the engine over.
You will rapidly find out what the compression stroke feels like.

When you are sure you know the difference between compression and exhaust stroke, BUMP the engine over using the starter until the compression stroke starts.
Once compression stroke starts, USE A SOCKET ON A WRATCHET, and turn the engine clockwise by hand.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT YOU USE A WRENCH AND NOT THE STARTER TO FIND TOP DEAD CENTER (TDC).

4. While you are turning the engine clockwise BY HAND...
Use a chop stick, wooden dowel rod, ect. to feel for the piston top as it comes up in #1.
Do this by inserting your wooden dowel rod in the #1 spark plug hole.
DO NOT USE METAL!

It is OK to turn the engine back and forth by hand at the top until you determine TDC.

5. At this point, you have manually verified TDC of the #1 cylinder.
This is the time to take a look at your harmonic balancer.
If the groove on the balancer (TDC mark) is at the 0 (zero) degree mark on the engine timing tab (located on the front timing cover), the harmonic balancer is verified.

If the timing mark (TDC mark) on the balancer is nowhere to be found, the outer ring on your balancer has slipped, and you need a new balancer.

6. If you have Verified TDC of the #1 piston manually, and the timing mark on your balancer more or less aligns with the 0 (zero) degree mark on the timing tab, then the next step is to verify your distributor.
Flip the cap, and look at the rotor.
If the rotor is pointing more or less at the mark you made on the distributor housing for the #1 plug wire terminal, then your distributor is installed correctly.

If the rotor ISN'T pointing at the mark you made for #1, then the distributor is not in correctly, you will need to remove and adjust the distributor until you get it properly aligned.
Remember, you will have to start the distributor's gear almost a full terminal befor the #1 mark, as the gear is sprial cut and the rotor will turn as you insert.

If you have verified #1 Piston TDC, the timing mark on the harmonic balancer, and the distributor install, the only thing left is to verify the firing order, and to set the timing...

If it coughs thorugh the carb, TOO MUCH TIMING!
If it coughs through the exhaust, TOO MUCH RETARD!

Don't forget to remove the vacuum line from the advance canister (NOT THE CARB!) and plug it before trying to set timing. (A golf 'Tee' works great!)
Also, while you are verifying the harmonic balancer, clean off the timing tab really well (wire brush and carb cleaner) and clean off the harmonic balancer where the timing mark is (wire brush and carb cleaner) and apply some white paint or White-Out to the harmonic balancer on both sides of the timing mark.
Leave the mark black, or clean the White-Out out of it.
This will make it MUCH easier to see with the timing light when you set the timing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
...first of all thank you guys for all the indepth help, i appreciate the time you took posting this stuff!
down to business... now once i get the tdc mark at the zero degree mark, wires are all good havent moved in a long time, then i still have to "time" it. i thought timing it was the that right there... i get what you mean about the marks on the harmonic balancer though, i also have a buddy bring a timing light over tomorrow. well if that is it THANKS AGAIN!! i'll let ya know how i turn out!
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
oh ya ha one more small problem... i dont know what to read on the timing light of how to adjust soumething if it needs to be. also by vacuum line u mean the small black tube leaving the dist. and advanvce canister is the little wheel thing in the middle?
 
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