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TFI - CJDave/TR Need your help

614 Views 18 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Junk Yard Genius
After putting the cap, rotor, and wires in an 88YJ, this darn thing doesn't want to run correctly. Everything went in easy, as soon as it
started up, it idled very rough and now sounds like it runs a header ( from the back, not under the hood ). I triple checked everything,
re-timed it, and double checked the weber. What gives ? I finally have it to where it's driveable, and even ran it up and down the road
a few time. I can feel it start to really pull, but then it feels like it starts to bog down. Can you give me some help ? I did pull the
distributor to stop a leak, and put it back in according to the FSM. That's where my trouble might lie. Need help...I may even need
your help with some weber questions.... Scratching my head, and tired of the wife saying I told you so....

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
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That was going to be my question, did you pull the distributor for any reason...

You didn't say if you had a I-6 or V-8 engine?...

I would start by checking my firing order, and making sure I had the tall rotor in the distributor...

I would double check to make sure all of the ignition wire ends were firmly connected to the spark plugs, and to the distributor cap towers...

Then, verify your distributor position...

Verify your distributor position...
1. Pull the #1 spark plug.
2. Put a cork in the plug hole, or your finger...
3. Crank the engine over until you are sure you are on the compression stroke...
4. Use a socket on the crank bolt to turn the engine over until the timing mark on the balancer reaches the Zero mark on the timing pointer.
5. Put the distributor cap on the distributor, and use a magic marker to mark the location of the #1 plug wire tower on the distributor base.
6. Take the distributor cap off, and install the rotor.
7. Install the distributor so the rotor is pointing at the mark you made for the #1 cylinder.
(You will have to turn the rotor 1/16 to 1/8 of a turn counter-clockwise before you install the distributor so the rotor will line up with your mark.)
Note; If the distributor doesn't drop all the way in it's hole, don't try to force it.
It is just the oil pump drive misaligned.
Put slight down pressure on the distributor housing,
Turn the engine over TWO complete turns, and come back to the zero timing mark.
The distributor should drop right down if it hasn't already.

8. If the rotor is within 1/4" of your timing mark, screw the distributor down lightly.
9. Put the cap and everything else back on.
12. Start and time your engine.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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It's the I-6. Well, I actually have done all that. Twice for good luck. I pulled the number one plug and turned the engine over at the
crank until I saw the piston come up, then made sure to align the timing mark with 0. Made sure the rotor was straight with the
number one on the cap and made sure to give it a 1/8 turn counter clockwise. Then made sure the oil pump slot lined up with the
shaft and dropped the whole thing back in. Lined up perfect. That's when all the trouble started. I followed the FSM to the letter. It's
a little hard to start, but it does run. Not like it did though. I haven't opened the plugs up yet, still set at factory specs. What could
be the next thought.
Thanks for your help.

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif Once you are absolutely certain that you have the correct firing order and the wires are correct, try this: (1)Crank the engine over to get the crank pulley to the timing mark with #1 cylinder on top dead center. (2)Loosen the distributor slightly so you can rotate it. (3) Pull the coil wire out of the cap. (4) Switch on the ignition(DO NOT CRANK, ONLY "ON"). (5) With the ignition switch on, hold the coil lead near the block with an insulated tool, and rotate the distributor back and forth just a tad to get the coil to fire. That way, you can see where the distributor is actually firing, relative to zero Top Dead Center. Rotate the distributor clockwise and then slowly back counterclockwise till it fires. Carefully tighten it at that exact spot. Then pull the cap and see how the rotor looks compared to where the number one terminal on the cap actually is. Before TeamRush introduced me to it, I never even paid any attention to rotor-phasing, but it's REAL, and it can screw you up if it isn't right. So you need to know that when the coil fires at zero top dead center, that the rotor IS ACTUALLY pointing to the #1 terminal. The relationship between where the terminal on the cap is, and the actual spot that the trigger fires the coil is important, and you need to verify that those two spots are in perfect alignment. If they aren't, the rotor could actually be sending spark to the terminal ahead or behind the #1 cylinder at the same time, causing cross-fire and reduced power could be the result./wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif

Quadra-Trac modified by the crack moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif transfer case team.
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CJ Dave, he didn't say he verified TDC on #1, just that he waited until the piston came up...
He never said he verified TDC on the compression stroke, he may have dropped the distributor in at TDC on the Exhaust Stroke....

That's why I ALWAYS make a point of telling shade tree guys, TWO complete turns of the engine to get the oil pump tang to engage. They just don't always get it when you say, Four Stroke...
It is a hard concept to grab onto that there are actually 720 degrees in a CYCLE CIRCLE, not 360.

He's probably 180 degrees out with the distributor, that's why it 'feels' sluggish...
If he's not 180 out, he's probably got two of the plug wires crossed, or doesn't have them connected well to the cap or plugs.
That's a REAL common mistake...
CJ Dave, you have helped at least four people with the same problem in the last three months...

From the sound of the problems, I'm still inclined to believe he has a crossed plug wire, or a bad plug wire... Or the firing order is one hole off on the distributor cap...
It just has to be something assembly that is screwed up....

It was running fine before he took the distributor out...
Has to be something in the parts he installed, or the way he installed them...?...
(Can you smell the rust burning.... I'm trying to think....)

I've also seen coil connections that didn't... Spread the coil connections out so they have to be forced into the coil.
If you use the TFI coil, make sure the coil wire 'Snaps' onto the terminal, just like the cap and plug connections are supposed to.

Check the primary resistance of the TFI coil, it should be about 0.44 Ohms...

If he did the TFI conversion, he might also have the polarity to the coil backwards. That shouldn't make the problems he describes here, but about half of the conversions that I have looked at that are local had the polarity to the coil backwards.

The rotor also comes to mind. If he used the short rotor, instead of the taller rotor that was supposed to be used in the conversion, he would get these symptoms, but if he did that, I'm surprised the module lived this long...
The discharge voltage to jump a 3/4" gap in the cap has to be astronomical...
I know it will do it, because a guy in Indianapolis had problems, and trailered his jeep down here for me to fix.
It was the rotor.

We are just shooting in the dark here, it could be a lot of things.
If the jeep ran fine before he pulled the distributor, and all he did was the cap, rotor, plug wire, coil conversion, that shouldn't be the problem.

We have seen time and time again the Manuals be wrong, and he may have a misprinted manual...
(He's probably military or former military referring to the service manual as FSM... Discipline and putting his ego away will serve him well here, we WILL find this problem...)

He's a pretty sharp guy, but this is one of those 'jump up and bite you in the a$$' problems...

It's almost got to be the distributor,....

MORE INFO, We Need More Info!!!

I'm going to make a point of keeping an eye on this thread until this problem is solved...
If it doesn't turn up in the distributor timing, we'll try a test harness and see if it's wiring...
Then go on from there...

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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Ok you two, stop burning the brain cells. CJDave, I need to borrow one of your "embarrased" moonguys ( if there is one ? ). Do I feel
like going back to auto tech 101. TR, you had it. Wrong stroke. I fixed it at lunch today, finally had an extra finger ( and it was attached
to one of our better machanics ) to confirm compression. Frustration and a Pregnant wife put me in the wrong frame of mind this
weekend. Back to work and I had time to think it out. You really don't know how foolish I feel. Oh well, live and learn. TR, just
because I've been in the military for seventeen years, doesn't mean I'm that programmed, or old. I've always heard them refered to as
Factory Service Manuals, and that's what Chrysler calls them. And what's wrong with the shade tree ? All kidding aside, I want to
thank both of you for your help, and patience. I knew something was gnawing at the back of my mind the whole time. Gentlemen,
my hats off to both of you......( insert " gracious " moonguy ) Thanks again, now you two can start chuckling.

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
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/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif Here he is and ready to travel/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif Don't feel too stepped on.....I once witnessed an auto repair class AND their instructor crank a Ford engine for over an hour and all it would do was BANG! when #1 came around. guessed was wired in the opposite direction of the firing order on the cap. #1 was right, every thing else was wrong/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gifI was working on a project in the shop at the time and felt like I should walk over there and say something, but I really could NOT believe that the instructor could miss a thing like that/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gifI figured that it MUST be some other more complex problem; after all, this was COLLEGE/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif

Quadra-Trac modified by the crack moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif transfer case team.
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Thanks for the loan, I am going to break out the tach/dwell and vac guages tomorrow at lunch. Seems the only time I have to work on
it is at work. What a shame. Still needs to be dialed in some. Never can stop tinkering, one day I will learn. So that earlier post you
put up about "phasing" the timing/distributor, looked very interesting. I'll read it tonight before bed, maybe it will soak in. Again, I can't
thank you two enough, I get a chuckle every time I go back and read the post. Looks like some gray matter got worked. I can wrench
most things, but when you two start talking jig-a-watts, ohms, and the resistance movement, well, I have to keep reminding myself that
someday I should educate myself more. I should of known it was 180 out..........Damn...Thanks again....

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
Don't sweat it...
We have a supposed Gold ASE Master Tech down the street that 'Rebuilt' a small block chevy...
Screwed with it for three days trying to get it running...
Finally broke down and called the old SAE certified team...

Distributor out 180 degrees,
Two plug wires not connected at the cap,
One plug wire not connected at the plug,
Vacuum advance diaphragm ruptured,
#2 and #4 plug wires crossed at the plugs,
#5 spark plug broken,
One idle mixture screw 1/4 turn out, the other 5-1/4 turns out,
3 broken off valve cover screws,
2 header bolts missing,
and a partridge in a pear tree...

It was like a bunch of chimps had put it together...
And the really frightening thing is, he's doing brakes at a local oil change and muffler shop...

After three days of screwing around with that engine on a new cam, I was so surprised that he didn't kill the cam during break in...

Just goes to show you that an amature that pays attention is worth ten of the SAE guys that don't have a clue.

You never said how it runs now that you have the timing correct...?...
Is it doing OK for you?

If you need a little info on how to tune you carb with a vacuum gauge, let me know, and we'll go over it.

Later all, Aaron.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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/wwwthreads_images/icons/crazy.gif That rotor phasing concept is difficult. Aaron had to go over and over that with me before it sunk in. Before TR got on this BBS I had never HEARD of rotor phasing, and we raced for quite a few years, built a lot of hot Chryslers, and thought we were pretty smart/wwwthreads_images/icons/blush.gif

Quadra-Trac modified by the crack moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif transfer case team.
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Well I had a pretty good idea it was 180 off when he didn't mention piston movement on the COMPRESSION stroke. You guys were all over that though before I could say anything. I had no idea that the I-6 would run 180 out. I can't believe he managed to get it to work!

My web page
I'm not as smart as I was three weeks ago...
We tore out the old ignition bench to build a new and improved one....
The only draw back is, the new one is taking three times longer, and is ten times more complicated that I first expected...
Someone should have told me this crap doesn't build it's self...

Every time we get about half done, someone comes up with another really good idea...
And we have to start from scratch again. I spent ten hours on it today, and the last thing I did was rip 9-1/2 hours worth of work out so we can start fresh again tomorrow...

I'm beginning to wonder if the old bench was that bad...?...

My butt is dragging, I'm going to bed.
Later all, Aaron.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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For all, it does run smooth again. But I do think it needs tweaking. The timing and weber need to be dialed in, it's not running with the same "head turning
snap" it did. It ran like sh** with the Carter and air robbing restrictions, the weber took care of that. After putting my touches on it with the TR upgrade, it again ran like sh**, totally my fault. Nothing like having the timing 180 out... :) I am really surprised and impressed that it ran that way, and actually had
some balls in a very small powerband, but maybe that goes to show you that the engineers new what they were doing ? Either way, I have decided to keep the 258, for now another good reason, instead of dropping in another motor. And yes, I have noticed a smoother running engine, starts quicker, and is a little less temper-mental....Maybe I was rubbing off on the Jeep ? So again, thanks all......

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
Unless I missed something here, how can you, or do you alter the rotor phase? I understand the concept of it all. The rotor must be in phase with the trigger that fires the coil. But is this not a fixed relationship? If it's not in phase can it be changed or has something given out on the distributor that will require that you chunk it in the trash and start with a fresh one?

RocknCJ /wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif
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/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif To adjust for phase, you must physically alter the relationship between the distributor shaft notch and the nose of the rotor. Sometimes they file and fill the rotor, sometimes they move the nose contact piece, and sometimes they buy an adjustable rotor from an outfit like Summit. TR has distributor caps with windows cut in so they can obsefve the phasing. Not too hard to make out of an old cap./wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif

Quadra-Trac modified by the crack moonguy/wwwthreads_images/icons/wink.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif transfer case team.
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So the latest update, timing was a little off again, fixed that. Dialed the weber in with the vac guage, manifold vac sitting at a good
steady 22 on the dial. Double checked that after fiddling with the carb so more. RPM's at about 700 ( idle ). Test run was much
better, but still had predetonation above 50 MPH. Not much though, enough to annoy me ! Was able to run steady between 65 and
70 on I-5. So it looks like just a little more tweaking with both the timing, plugs, and carb. Still doesn't seem to have that seat of the
pants acceleration it did ??? If all goes well, on to the TFI coil. So I'm a little slow......
Hope to do that in the next few weeks.

If it ain't broke,don't fit it. Wait till the wife is gone, and upgrade it .
My 18 YO boy calls it "aunal".
I call it being "good" or being a perfectionist.
I have less respect for less.

If I remember the Psychology classes correctly, (and I always do) the correct term is, 'Anal Retentive'... (see, I can't even let that little thing go by...)
And yes, I am!....... (and ****-Phobic Too!!)
Sometimes I think I was potty trained at gunpoint!!

Other times, I could give a sh*t less about anything...
My girl friend says it's a bi-polar thing going on there... She's wrong, (but you will never catch me saying that out loud around her!)

I'm a typical high I.Q. tech geek...
No social skills, no fashion sense, no false modesty, no niceties at all really...
I don't care about anything if I can't do it well.
If I don't do it better than anyone around, I won't do it.

As far as the kid goes, I have no use for anyone that sets down to do a job that is 'Good Enough' or 'Close Enough' or 'That Will Do'....
If anyone just wants to 'Just Get By...', I have no use for them.
If you can't go home tonight, sit back in your chair and say, 'I did my best today, and I hope tomorrow goes as well', there is no point in getting out of that chair ever again.

Have him work on something, and then go way out in the woods...
Have what ever he worked on 'break'...
Let him walk back for parts.
That will make a believer out of him!

We once had a kid that liked to cut corners...
I let him do brakes on my road car.
We went out the highway at about 180 MPH, and I asked him if he was SURE he did the brakes correctly...
He couldn't answer, too busy sobbing and saying he was 'sorry'...
I had redone the brakes before we took the car out, but I didn't tell him that...
If I had made a pass at 180 on his job, we would both be dead...
He doesn't work here any more. He changes oil at the local quick change place.

Rotor phasing is a hard concept to grasp, especially if you have been told the rotor is fixed to the distributor shaft.

The easiest way to see what is going on is to cut a hole in a distributor cap.
(See Attachment)
Point your timing light at the cap, and watch the rotor go forward and backward of the tower as the advance comes in and goes out.
If your rotor is already a little advanced of the tower, and your distributor adds more advance, you could very well fire the next plug in the firing order, 90 to 120 degrees too soon!
That will kill an engine quick!

Same thing for retard. You may be firing the plug while it's on the exhaust stroke...

The whole point of the game is to fire the correct terminal, at the correct time.
If you do, you make power.
If you don't, you loose power and contaminate MY breathing air even more.
Not to mention waste your very expensive gas...

There are so many static and dynamic factors working on the distributor at the same time, that it's hard to comprehend everything without visuals to isolate the different factors and someone to walk you through it.

What you are trying to achieve is...
The idea is to move the cap or the rotor so that the rotor starts a little behind the tower when fully retarded, and when full advance is in, the rotor winds up a little ahead of the terminal.
That keeps the rotor nose close to the correct tower when spark energy is delivered.
I have even had to move the reluctor in the distributor to make things work...

Stuff like this is why people pay me to make horse power, and get everything working correctly.
With all of the self professed ASE Master Techs on this board, someone should have heard of this before.... Shows what ASE Certification is worth...

ASE will give the test Orally, for those that can't read...
Do you want someone that can't read the manual working on your vehicle?

All ASE guys do is change parts. It's a course in how to change parts correctly.

I got all my ASE master testing done in one day.
Read the book on the way to the testing center, and passed all the tests in one afternoon.

SAE, (Society Of Automotive Engineers) certification is still worth something.
To get a SAE Master certification, you will have to have a strong background in chemistry, math, geometry, metallurgy, manufacturing processes, engineering and a whole lot more...

You will not run into may SAE Master Certification holders in local shops.
They mostly work for places like Ford, GM, NASA, NASCAR Teams, ect...

Later folks, Aaron.

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"
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Attachmet didn't take, here it is...

"I Have The Body Of A God... Buddha"


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