fj60 distributor installation question

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87 fj60 / 95 fjz80
Feb 10, 2011
CA for little while
87 fj60 -- pulled the distributor out to replace with a new jim c. rebuilt one -- if i insstall the new one wrong will the truck still start - all i have done is pulled the old one out -- :meh:
If you install the new one wrong, the truck might to install it right.
87 fj60 -- pulled the distributor out to replace with a new jim c. rebuilt one -- if i insstall the new one wrong will the truck still start - all i have done is pulled the old one out -- :meh:

Did you note where the rotor was pointed when the old one was taken out? The new one needs to pointed exactly where the old one was. HTH
If you did not pay attention to where the rotor pointed when you pulled your old dizzy, you can rotate the engine to TDC #1 and still install your new dizzy correctly.
Just to warn you to be careful. The screwdiver looking tip of the distributor drives the oil pump, so if you install it wrong, it might start, without turning the oil pump. Obviously, that's really bad and will quickly ruin your motor. You line up the motor to #1tdc, set the oil pump slot pointing at #5 and install the distributor so that as the shaft engages the cam gear, it rotates and drops into the slot.

Make certain it is completely seated before you try and start.

One observation: it is harder to do it wrong with the FJ60 style bolt down than it was with the goofy clamp arrangement of the older 2F distributors.
TDC in this case means top dead center on the compression stroke. The timing marks will be aligned when #1 is at top dead center on the compression stroke, but the marks will also be aligned when #1 is at top dead center on the exhaust stroke. Make sure you are on the compression stroke to follow the distributor installation instructions.

If you can't get the distributor to seat into the oil pump drive, you can have someone crank the engine (leave the coil wire off so it won't start) and lightly push down on the distributor until it seats into the oil pump drive.
Pull spark plugs, stick finger in #1 plug hole. On compression stroke, air will push by finger as piston tops out.
At least on my engine, the dissy won't go all the way down, flush with the block if you're off by a tooth. If it *is* flush, it's either correct or off by 180 degrees, which you can check by looking in through the spark plug hole at the valves, at TDC.

If you've got it at TDC, you want the rotor angled slightly towards the front of the engine (around 20 degrees forward), so that when you push it down into the gears, it spins counter-clockwise and the rotor is then pointing around 20 degrees backwards (roughly toward the #4 plug).

And, again, the dissy housing shouldn't be able to go flush with the block (where the adjustment bolt threads in) if you're off by a tooth, but maybe there's also the possibility that the notch in the oil pump isn't set properly.

If that's the case, fixing it is pretty simple; you want the notch pointing about 20 degrees towards the back of the engine at TDC, like the rotor should be when it's all lined up properly. I just used a really long bladed screwdriver and a strong flashlight.
I just got done with a distributor installation fiasco. Trial and error is the way it seems to go, be patient. I thought I had it all squared away while taking a close look at things, having a second set of eyes ( almost a life-long mechanic ) and it idled really well in the driveway. When I went to drive it, the thing would lose a drag race to a kid on a tricycle. Turns out I was one tooth off on the gear. The thing I also ended up doing is using a long, skinny flat head screwdriver to align the oil pump drive down in the block so that I could get the distributor drive to seat properly.

The other thing I was running into was having a helluva time seeing the darn timing mark. I ended up taping off a section of the flywheel to include the timing mark and the BB hole next to it. I carefully painted that area black and used a thin piece of reflective tape on top of the timing mark ( that was the 4th attempt of using something to see the mark ). After that, all is well.

Good luck!
going to try again - now - reading another thread says line it up with the bb mark - so confusing reading different things --
I think for setting the distributor static timing, it doesn't matter whether the pointer is at the BB (7deg before TDC) or the scribed line (TDC). You need the static timing "close enough" so the engine will run and then you will set the dynamic timing with the truck running using a timing light. In this case you would set the timing to be 7deg BTDC (pointer aligned with BB) if you are going for stock timing.
the distributor keeps lining up with number 6 spark plug when seated down - is this ok instead of number 5
No. You need to find a copy of the FSM, Factory Service Manual. That will tell you how to install the distributor properly. You probably need to align the oil pump drive down in the engine block for the distributor to seat in the proper location. Not sure where the link is here on mud but if you send me your email, I can email you the FSM.
i just cant get it to line up i guess because -- no bb no tdc marks in the window with the timing light - runs only with the distributor pushed up other then that it cuts off - so i cant even attempt to adjust the timing -- crazy you have to take oil filter off ect. runs everywhere -- need help what i am doing wrong or is something wrong with the desmog distributor

where it has to stay to run i cant adjust or it will cut off

compression stroke "i think" on first spark plug hole

where the tdc mark and distributor are lined up

could this cap be placed wrong
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Youre going through the same crap I did... Major PITA.

Before you do the next steps, do yourself a favor. For my friend and I it was murder trying to see the damn timing mark with the engine running. This is what worked for me. From below, I cleaned the flywheel really well with brake cleaner. Then I masked off an area a little outside the BB mark, toward the timing mark, and just past the timing mark. Maybe past both points by an inch or so. I then painted this area with black paint. Then I used reflective tape to put over the timing mark. Only THEN, could I have success in seeing the timing mark.

You need to get the timing mark or BB up top so you can see it in the window on the P-side of the bellhousing. With the #1 spark plug out, have someone crank the engine. Hold your finger over the spark plug hole and when it gets pushed off the engine from the compression, you'll know its on compression stroke. At that point the timing mark should be relatively close to the window. By hand you'll need to crank the engine back or forward by hand.

Once you get that lined up, you need to address the distributor. It sounds to me like you are one tooth off. When installing the distributor, rotate the rotor back toward the front of the rig ONE TOOTH only. The rotor will be pointing just inside the spark plug the FSM calls for. Once you get it in, hook it all up and the pig should run!

Good luck, HTH!!!!

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