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Messed up- real time help need-Distributor o-ring replaced. Now won't start.

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by roncruiser, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Messed up- Real time help needed -Distributor o-ring replaced. Now won't start.

    Pulled the distributor to replace the o-ring. Making sure to mark off so that the distributor is oriented the same way when put back. I'm guessing somehow I put back with the gear a tooth off (or more). Now the vehicle won't start at all.

    It was running just fine before I did all this. What's my next step. Need to get it running before this evening.
    Man, I messed up.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  2. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    I assume you have a timing gun? Hook it up properly per the sticker underhood, pull the EFI fuse and have someone crank the starter over while you watch the timing mark go back and forth as you turn the distributor back and forth. You'll then know if you're a tooth too far advanced, or retarded. From the firing order and the numbers on the plug wires at the cap you'll figure out which direction the rotor in the cap is moving and then know which direction to rotate the dist gear a smidge before pushing it back in. This will get frustrating fast unless you are clear on all this before trying again.

    Also, when asking for mechanical advice it's a good idea to stop keeping it a secret what year/model.

    DougM
     
  3. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Thanks. Forgot I just recently changed my sig. line which had all pertinent vehicle information.

    I do have a timing gun.

    Please go over what you said again. I'm somewhat already in a frustrated state because I have to leave for a couple hours and would rather be working on the vehicle.

    From what I read:

    Pull EFI fuse.
    Hook up timing gun per under hood sticker.
    While someone is cranking starter, watch timing mark as I turn the distrubutor back and forth.
    Here's where I'm not clear. How can I tell if its advanced or retarded?

    Which gear are you referring to?

    Would I be pulling off the distibutor and rotating the gear at the end of the assembly?

    I'm still not clear on how to reference which way to turn the said gear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  4. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    My guess is you failed to note the postion of the rotor when you pulled the distributor.

    Rotate the crankshaft until the timing mark is on "0" on the timing cover.

    At this point #1 will either be on the top of the compression stroke or on the top of the exhaust stroke.

    Insert the distributor so that the rotor ends up pointing at the #1 plug wire post.

    If the engine fires (you have a 50% chance of that), time it and button things up. If not (YOU ARE 180 DEGREES OFF) , rotate the crank to get the mark lined up again and pull the distributor and reinstall it to line up with the #1 plug wire post.
     
    NC LX likes this.
  5. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Thanks. The stupid thing about this is that I'm this at a friends place who has minimal tools and I'm far from my tools at home. I'll have to run to Sears and buy a socket for the crankshaft.

    What size bolt is on the crankshaft so I can rotate the thing???

    Dang my 4 :banana: confidence and 1/2 :banana: skills. Funny thing is that I had my timing gun in the back seat.

    I shall return in a couple hours. Dang commitments!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2007
  6. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    32mm and it has to be a short one. a hub socket will stick out too far

    relax. this can be done and it helps a lot to have hands like doug/dan to help.

    doug/dan fyi if he is off two teeth he may not find a timing mark anywhere. i couldn't and my truck still started.
     
  7. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    You will need a 30 mm socket if you are going to try to rotate the crank that way. You can try "bumping" the starter to see if you can get it to line up.

    You can also go to the back of the motor (from under the truck) and pull the plastic plug in the front of the bell housing to expose the ring gear teeth. At this point you can gently use a prybar or large screw driver to rotate the gear a couple teeth at a time.
     
  8. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    you did make a mark for the rotor right? did you deviate from the below? it could be misplaced or could be a loose connection in either the low voltage or high voltage portion of the ignition system.



     
  9. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    I remember the phone call.
     
  10. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Yeah, I did not mark the rotor. I'm disappointed in myself. :frown: I'll be back in a few.
     
  11. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Ah. On the 94 the sticker is at the hood's right rear. You use a paper clip to jump the indicated terminals on the diagram on the sticker. The connector it refers to is directly under the sticker - black with a hinged snap open cover.

    Removing the EFI fuse simply means you can crank it over without fuel dumping into the cylinders.

    To tell which way the rotor in the dist. is spinning, look at the timing/firing order on the underhood sticker (this info may be on the sticker above the battery). Now look at the distributor straight toward the thing like its the face of a clock and inside the rotor is swinging round to touch each cylinder's contact in turn. I *think* the rotor moves clockwise but that's what I want you to confirm. Now, if the spark is happening too far in advance, you need to retard the rotor 1 tooth by pulling it out, and rotating the gear on the dist tip one gear's worth counterclockwise.

    The way you'll determine if the current setting is too advanced or too retarded is to look at the mark on the crank with your timing gun while someone's cranking it. As you rotate the dist (bolt should be loose, obviously) with a rag to insulate your fingers while the engine's turning you'll see the mark on the crank also move. If you run out of travel before you get the mark on to the timing scale down there on the block, you'll know it's either too advanced or too retarded - likely by a tooth.

    This all sounds complicated but once you're watching this happen and turning the dist back and forth it will all come together in your mind. Now for the hard part.

    The reason this happened is the gears you're meshing are not straight cut, but helical or curved. So when you last see the gear as it disappears it appears to be perfectly lined up. But when it gets to the other gear it can be rotated a tad.

    Oh wait. I'm assuming here you have gotten the engine to TDC, using the mark on the crank, right? That's the starting point for removing the dist and inserting it and the dist should never be out when the engine's moving. Guess I don't know your skill level but that's a basic thing - just mentioning it.

    So. First crank it to watch the mark and see if you're too advanced or too retarded. Get the engine to #1 cylinder TDC by lining up the mark with the zero using a wrench and seeing (with dist cap off) that the rotor is at the #1 spark plug wire's contact. Then of course you can physically watch which way the rotor moves so you know advance from retard in terms of which way the gear needs to be switched a tooth. Advanced means the rotor is arriving at the #1 cylinder's contact too early. Make the change on the gear and reinsert. Put the cap back on and have the engine cranked while you watch the timing mark move. This time you should be able to move that mark through the range of marks by rotating the dist back and forth, where before you were only able to move it through a range that did not include the marks. If that is the case after your first adjustment consider yourself lucky. Sometimes it takes a few dist remove/replaces to get it right.

    DougM
     
  12. semlin

    semlin discouraged user

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    as do i :beer:

    and Dan is right, i just checked and 30mm not 32mm. i'll be quiet now. :whoops: as you are in good hands ;)
     
  13. RavenTai

    RavenTai

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    no sweat Dan has you covered for the fix.
     
  14. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Ooh. If you simply randomly stopped the engine (did not move it to #1 TDC), pulled the dist and of course rotated it while replacing the O ring then you're not likely just a tooth off. You've lost the engine's base timing and need to start from that properly. Meaning that you put the dist back in with the rotor pointing in some random direction and you have no idea where it was supposed to be. If that's the case, say so cause it will save a bunch of time to know that.

    DougM
     
  15. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    You were thinking 32mm in hopes that you had a blower on your truck. Then you would be correct...:hillbilly:
     
  16. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Just got back. Thanks everyone.

    I'll give this thing a try. I got the 30mm socket and will proceed per Dan's instuct.

    Doug, I kept the rotor in the same position during the exchange of o-rings. I made it a point not to rotate it. I did remove and install the distributor a couple time because it did not line up with my marks on the bolt head. I'm thinking that maybe caused it to be off a little....

    I'll check back. I'm off to do this!

    Will check back in a few.....
     
  17. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Well, you guys did it. I was just the robot.

    I turned the cranshaft to line up the mark with "0". I then removed the distibutor and rotated the rotor until it lined with the number 1 wire on the cap.
    I bolted everthing back up and cranked and nothing. No worries. I realigned the crankshaft with "0" and removed the distrubutor. I rotated the rotor to number 1 wire and buttoned it up again. It started right up. I let it warm up real good. Jumped the connector put it in neutral. Without doing a thing the mark lined up at 3' perfectly.

    Did I miss anything else?

    In advance. Thanks Doug... thanks Dan... thanks everyone.
     
  18. DTAYLOR

    DTAYLOR

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    Ron,

    There's a real simple way to do this with no timing light and without marking anything.

    1. Bring the crank to TDC. The timing mark on the crank will be at zero. Now you will not know if you are at actual TDC or if you're off by 180 degrees without looking at the cam marks, and I assume you do not want to pull the valve cover at this point, so we'll move on.

    2. Your distributer gear has a mark that lines up with an opposiark on the distributer shaft. Lines these two up, with the electrical plug on the distributor housing at 12:00 o'clock. (facing straight up).

    3. Install the distributor straight in with bot the plug, and the 2 marks at 12:00 o'clock. The rotor will be pointing to 10:00 o'clock.

    4. If your crank is on TDC, and your distributor marks are on 12:00 o'clock, the engine should start. If it does not start, remove the distributor, and bump the crank all the way around only one time, because it is 360 degrees off.

    5. Re-install the distributor using step 2. It should start right up.

    I went through this about 3 or 4 times in putting my engine back together three times recently. I made all kinds of silly mistakes like leaving the rotor off, coil wire off, and so on.

    D
     
  19. roncruiser

    roncruiser

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    Hey D, thank for the help. Just got it up and going using previous postings for help. Though, I'll keep this in mind next time around with no timing light.

    I was just looking at the FSM. It mentions "Adjust Ignition Timing" which I just did. There's another step in the FSM which says "Further Check Ignition Timing". It shows a range of 2-13' BTDC @idle transmission in neutral and A/C off. What is typical (normal operation)?

    Ron
     
  20. IdahoDoug

    IdahoDoug

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    Your sticker underhood tells you the proper timing for your engine. What year FSM are you looking at, because the 95-97s have the ability to do more with their engine electronics (updated to OBDII in 95). If you're asking what the correct timing is for your truck, then you're not reading these stickers. I believe it is 3 or 4 degrees but you must have the engine in the proper condition (jumped contacts at the analysis plug).

    DougM