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flintknapper

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You can as @BILT4ME aptly points out above. IF it was running well (correctly timed) before you pulled it and IF you get it back exactly as it was before (both rotor and distributor body position) it 'should' return to normal when you stab it. But often folks get it off a tooth and rotate the distributor body some...further advancing or retarding the timing and the engine won't start or runs poorly until adjusted.

That is why I advocate just starting at TDC (compression stroke) and line up the witness marks on the dizzy. You have visual reference points that way. Takes about two minutes longer to do it using that method and greatly increases the chances it will fire up first time.

Pros and experienced DIYers can pluck it, re-stab it and be good to go. Those not doing this very often, not so much.

Okay, this is definitely the issue. I had to pull and align twice before I got it in and centered on the adjusting bolt. Could barely keep it running, but it started. I checked the timing and it was about -15 degrees. I clocked the distributor all the way clockwise and got it to about -2 degrees. That is put into diagnostic mode with a jumper. So I need to pull it again and make sure the rotor aligns where to correct? I attached photos of how it looked inserted.
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One tooth off wouldn't have you that far off (by itself) most likely.

So we need to start at 0 degrees on the crank pulley (which you show) and it needs to be on the compression stroke (you can pull the #1 spark plug, drop a wooden dowel down in that cylinder and rotate the crank until you see it coming up). Then you know you are on the compression stroke.

Align the match/witness marks on the distributor like we discussed before (see pic in previous post). That will have the rotor in the position (indicated by the white line in picture previously posted). As you insert the dizzy the gear on the distributor will mesh with the gear on the cam and the rotor will rotate clockwise a small amount. It will end up at approximately the position indicated by the yellow line in previous pic. BUT....it is important that you not twist the body of the dizzy while inserting it. It needs to go straight in AND the slot in the body of the dizzy and the bolt hole in the head need to be just about centered. At that point...I install and lightly tighten the distributor lock bolt. Then use your timing light (once engine has started) to set your timing to 3° BTDC (or a little advanced if you are high mileage and you have chain stretch).

Diagnostic port will be jumpered for this initial setting. That simply prevents the ECU from advancing the timing while you are trying to set it (it won't be jumping all over the place). After setting the timing, I will blip the throttle a few times to see if I get good throttle response. If so...then remove the jumper and again take your timing light and check to see that the timing is now varying a bit (between 2 and 10° usually). Tighten dizzy lock bolt and drive.
 
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Okay, this is definitely the issue. I had to pull and align twice before I got it in and centered on the adjusting bolt. Could barely keep it running, but it started. I checked the timing and it was about -15 degrees. I clocked the distributor all the way clockwise and got it to about -2 degrees. That is put into diagnostic mode with a jumper. So I need to pull it again and make sure the rotor aligns where to correct? I attached photos of how it looked inserted.

Not seeing any photos...but we really don't need them.
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They are showing up to me at the end of page 1
 

flintknapper

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Not seeing any photos...but we really don't need them.

They are showing up to me at the end of page 1
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See them now. You're about a tooth off on the distributor alignment and might also have hit a tooth on the cam gear straight on instead of meshing with it. Rotate the crank pulley just a smidgen (the least amount you can) to move the cam gear just a tiny amount. That should let the gears mesh together and not push one of them one way or the other. Common problem.
 
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(you can pull the #1 spark plug, drop a wooden dowel down in that cylinder and rotate the crank until you see it coming up). Then you know you are on the compression stroke.

This is an incorrect statement.

Dropping a dowel into the cylinder will NOT tell you if a cylinder is on the compression stroke. It will ONLY tell you if you are at TDC on that cylinder, which is exactly what the mark on the HB is doing.

You MUST FEEL the compression coming from the cylinder or you pull the valve cover and confirm that both valves are CLOSED and the piston is on the UP stroke.

I use a paper towel stuffed into the spark plug hole with the spark plug OUT so it will puff the towel out.
 
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I am on my fourth attempt. This is driving me crazy. When I'm reinserting, I'm keeping the distributor straight, centered over the adjusting bolt opening. The rotor looks like it should exactly line up with the #1 on the cap. Then I fire it up and have to rotate all the way clockwise just to get to about - 3 degrees. Ugh
 
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They are showing up to me at the end of page 1

See them now. You're about a tooth off on the distributor alignment and might also have hit a tooth on the cam gear straight on instead of meshing with it. Rotate the crank pulley just a smidgen (the least amount you can) to move the cam gear just a tiny amount. That should let the gears mesh together and not push one of them one way or the other. Common problem.
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If you are on the "0" mark, do NOT rotate the ENGINE. Rotate the ROTOR on the distributor to get the alignment. If it doesn't end where you want it, pull it right back out and reset it. The rotor SHOULD be pointing at #1 on the distributor cap when you're done. Mark the SIDE of the distributor BODY with a marker to indicate the CENTER of plug wire #1.

And for God's sake, clean off the crap on the distributor gear and head. Looks like you may need to run some diesel oil for a few round to clean it up in there.
 

flintknapper

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This is an incorrect statement.

Dropping a dowel into the cylinder will NOT tell you if a cylinder is on the compression stroke. It will ONLY tell you if you are at TDC on that cylinder, which is exactly what the mark on the HB is doing.

You MUST FEEL the compression coming from the cylinder or you pull the valve cover and confirm that both valves are CLOSED and the piston is on the UP stroke.

I use a paper towel stuffed into the spark plug hole with the spark plug OUT so it will puff the towel out.

👍
Clarification noted. He would be either on the compression stroke or the exhaust stroke (depending on valve position). He actually wouldn't need to do any of these things, just start at 0 on the HB if it starts....you're good, if it doesn't (sputters, coughs and tries to start) then he's 180° out just needs to pluck the dizzy rotate it again and be right.
 
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flintknapper

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Might it not be easier to pull the valve cover, set to TDC and install the dizzy that way?

It's quite a bit of work to pull the valve cover (pull throttle body, loosen main harness at firewall, remove plug wires, etc). IF his cams aren't off or timing chain skipped, OP should be able to get TDC on #1 cylinder (compression stroke) and stab the dizzy close enough to get it running by just using the mark on the HB.

But...the method you propose IS the most foolproof.

exh cam install4.jpg
 

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