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Distributor timing question


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hi, 

 

I removed my distributor for painting the engine, now I want to assemble the distributor again and found the following info:
 

Pull the distributor cap and verify the rotor is pointing at the cylinder #1 plug tower on the distributor cap. Usually the rotor is pointing around 7:00 o’clock. If not, it means cylinder #6 is in firing position and you need to turn the engine one full revolution.

 

am I right that the distributor can be assembled 2 ways because off shape of the shaft?

 

where is the 12:00 point on the distributor, how should I look at the distributor ?

 

Dan
 



 

 

Edited by Cudan
Mistake
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  • Cudan changed the title to Distributor timing question

It really does not matter about 12 o clock high.  The point is that when you slide the shaft back into the hole it will meet up with the slot inthe oil pump slot.  So you either will be dead on or 180 out od sequence.  

 

The next time you take the dizzy out of the car mark onthe block a reference point with chaulk some point of the dizzy body. then pull the cap off and note the location of the roto and mak another mark.  This way when youput the dizzy back into the engine block you can set the shaft to the location of where the rotor originally was prior to taking it out and also have a ref point at the the body of the dizzy.  Again you will have to make slight adjustment to time the engine but at least the car should start and then fine tune the dizzy.

Mother MoPar made it easy to re install after taking it out.

Rich Hartung

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yes I thought that you can only mount it right or wrong, and yes I forgot to mark it, only made a pic to see the adjustment.

 

 But from which vantage point is it 12 hours at the distributor.

 

Dan

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7 minutes ago, Cudan said:

yes I thought that you can only mount it right or wrong, and yes I forgot to mark it, only made a pic to see the adjustment.

 

 But from which vantage point is it 12 hours at the distributor.

 

Dan

 

Lean over the left fender facing the left side of the engine.....12:00 will be at your....uh.......12:00 o'clock......  😉

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If the last person who installed the oil pump followed the directions, it would be at 7:00 .

Mine is at 6:00. You really need to find tdc on compression stroke and then install distributor.

 

You need to put the engine in time on tdc when installing the oil pump, in order for distributor rotor to be pointing at 7:00

It will work fine as is, you simply need to find tdc and install wires accordingly.

I fought mine for a couple days expecting 7:00 to mean something .... it does not.

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therein lies the importance of marking and at least ensuring on removal the position of the rotor when on TDC..and also NOT to rotate said crank till you have reinstalled the distributor.   Wish I had a nickel for every one that was "absolutely not 180 out"  Factory timing which is the relative 7 position is obtained by proper installation of the oil pump to the cam.   While the engine can be timed at any point on wrong insertion of the oil pump, one must make this mental note and clock the towers as needed to compensate.  However I have never thought it practical to deviate from proper assembly as such time down the road it often will rear its ugly head in such cases as this....you now have the opportunity to place things back proper and thus be able to with some degree of certainty, follow the book.  TDC is established and verified by the access hole in #6 cylinder postion on the head and by valve to determine if TDC 1 or 6 at that time.   You can short cut by doing TDC and if it does not start immediately, rotate the shaft 180 and not bother to check the valves with access plate removed or doing the compression with finger as you position the crank TDC.  This #6 access is ball park only as only a pison stop and degree wheel will establish true TDC

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Getting to this same thing on an M37 this week. Previously someone had swapped the oil pump and Distributor to the civilian type and now my TDC  (ballpark) is about 30 degrees from the mark give or take, and the rotor is no where near the 7 oclock mark. Previous answers are exactly right. 

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My notes from a recent removal.  The rotor turns like a clock hand. See it pointing to where the 7 would be on a dial clock. 
 

Are they teaching kids how to read a clock any more? What will they do in another 30 years? Lol. 
 

 

94A6E277-EC92-457D-BCFE-A27F4C9FF373.jpeg

Edited by keithb7
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Was the engine at TDC when the dizzy was removed?   If not, "7:00" doesn't apply.  Before removing the dizzy, keep track of where the rotor points, and put the dizzy back the same.  Too late?  Don't know?  Then the fun begins. 

 

Find TDC of the compression stroke (Thumb over the spark plug hole works well).  The rotor should point to the corresponding plug wire for No. 1 cylinder.  If no one screwed up, that will be at the 7:00 position.   People have lived with unorthodox arrangements, just so the rotor points to the No. 1 plug wire when that cylinder is at the top of its compression stroke.

 

That's all I have to say about that.      

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I forgot to mark the dizzy when i removed it. The former owner possible worked on the oilpump and as result the dizzy is not on 7:00 tdc cyl 1.

if I understand it right it is no problem for the function of the oilpump and I have to determin the TDC of cyl 1 or try it and when it is not working I have to turn it 180 degrees.

 

Dan

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Pull #1 plug then remove the small pipe plug on #6 cyl. Rotate the engine by hand holding a finger over #1 Or a small piece of tissue paper works.

When that cyl is on compression stroke, it will blow off the tissue paper or you will feel the air on your finger. Stop!

Take a long wire, 10" or longer and put it into the pipe plug hole. now rotate the engine back or forth to get the #6 piston at top of stroke.

Both #1 & #6 are on top of stroke at same time, #1 will be compression stroke ... you felt the compression escape the plug hole, #6 will be on exhaust stroke.

 

Now you can drop in your distributor with rotor. Try to at least have the rotor pointing somewhere near 7:00 0'clock ... may be 5 or 8 does not matter It is where it is.

Just saying if the rotor is pointing at 12 0'clock, rotate it 180 and have it point at 6 0'clock.

Thats what I did, now my wiring is just like factory, except the wires are moved one position counter clockwise ... easy to remember for future reference.

Now put on distributor cap, where the rotor is pointing, that is where #1 plug wire goes. 153624 clockwise around the distributor cap.

 

Couple things to think about. The pipe plug could easily be blocked with carbon. I used a nail and gave it a tap with a hammer and cleared it .... not a great idea.

It worked though. When I felt compression escaping the pipe plug hole, I knew 6 was near TDC and installed my distributor with rotor pointing to #6 plug wire and installed the rest from there. I never removed the #1 plug to install the distributor. Not as exact finding top of piston stroke, but close enough to know where the rotor is pointing and where the #6 wire should be installed.

 

The reason why I offer this, when I knocked the carbon loose it was sitting on top of piston ... after I corrected my firing order problem, the engine fired right up ... that carbon got caught under the exhaust valve and ran badly for about 45 seconds until it got sucked out. This could have damaged the valve or valve seat.

If I had the chance to do it over, I would have left the carbon alone not removed it. Which means you would not get to use wire to determine the piston travel.

But thats ok, you can still figure it out.

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I'm putting my distributor back in after a complete engine rebuild. The harmonic balancer markings show I'm pretty close to dead center, and the bolt holes only allowed the balancer to be installed one way. That makes the distributor tuck into the slot at about 4 o'clock. The drawing is how my other car's distributor cap is set up. Is this all in the right place? I seem to be a long way away from 7 o'clock on the distributor but pretty close on the harmonic balancer.

PXL_20201221_050958519.jpg

PXL_20201221_051353632.jpg

PXL_20201221_051426102.jpg

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1 hour ago, Redmond49 said:

I'm putting my distributor back in after a complete engine rebuild. The harmonic balancer markings show I'm pretty close to dead center, and the bolt holes only allowed the balancer to be installed one way. That makes the distributor tuck into the slot at about 4 o'clock. The drawing is how my other car's distributor cap is set up. Is this all in the right place? I seem to be a long way away from 7 o'clock on the distributor but pretty close on the harmonic balancer.

PXL_20201221_050958519.jpg

PXL_20201221_051353632.jpg

PXL_20201221_051426102.jpg

 

How did you install the oil pump gear? The distributor is driven by the oil pump.

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Looks like your oil pump was installed 2 gear teeth off from where it should be to have the rotor end up at the standard position (7 o'clock position with number 1 piston at top dead center (TDC)).  You have a choice. 1. Remove the oil pump and install it correctly according to the service manual. OR 2. Leave it as is. Verify you are at TDC of the compression stroke of No.1 cylinder, install the distributor cap and install the plug wire from No.1 spark plug to the distributor cap tower at the 4 o'clock position.  Then the rest of the plug wires installed per the firing order in a  clockwise direction  from the No.1 wire.  Number 2 choice will put the ignition system in proper "time" but will not be per the "service manual standard" of having the number 1 plug wire at the 7 o'clock position on the distributor.  Regards.

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If you opt to remove and reinstall the oil pump: If my memory serves me right, when the oil pump is installed correctly, the slot in the oil pump shaft is horizontal when viewed through the distributor hole.  Regards.

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@squirebill That's what I ended up doing, the slot on the pump is indeed horizontal and it set the distributor just before post #1 at 7 o'clock. Thanks for the help!

Edited by Redmond49
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