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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After a new set of wires, new spark plugs, new cap and rotor, new 140 amp alternator, triple checked firing order..... I am not able to get my car started.

I confimed i am getting voltage to the ignition wire. I also checked if my distributor was set correctly. After getting #1 to TDC, the rotor was way off (see pic).

Also, my timing marks are off on the balancer.

How do I go about getting timing lined up at zero mark. Its cranking over and backfiring on occasion but wont start. Any ideas? Am I off on where I set distributor?? (Rotor pointing to number 1 cylinder at TDC).

Do I possibly have the rotor screwed on backwards? Sorry for all the dumb questions, I'm very green.

Pic attached is prior to me adjusting, I pulled distributor and set it pointing towards #1 now, and still wont fire. I'm out of ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I am a little confused after doing some research? should i have the rotor pointing to Cylinder #1 once it is at TDC?? Or should the rotor actually be pointing to where i set spark plug wire #1 on the cap.
 

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You're probably at least 180 degrees out. The crank makes 2 revolutions, while the cam makes only one rev. So, the #1 piston will come to tdc twice, while the cam turns one rev. But, one time, #1 will be at the top of it's compression stroke, and the next time it reaches tdc, it will be at the top of it's exhaust stroke.

So, you must set the dist to fire, just before tdc, on the compression stroke--NOT the exhaust stroke. There are at least 2 ways to tell which stroke #1 piston is on. The easiest way is to remove the #1 spark plug. Then stick your finger into the hole, while somebody rotates the crank, either with a socket on the crank bolt, or by bumping the starter. When the piston gets close to tdc on it's compression stroke, you can feel the pressure pushing your finger out of the hole. When you feel this pressure, line up the balancer timing mark to zero on the timing tab. This should be real close to tdc of the compression stroke.

Once your lined up on the zero, then you need to have the rotor positioned just PAST the #1 plug wire terminal, on the cap. Remember that the Pontiac dist turns counterclockwise. So, when the timing mark is on zero, the rotor should be just past the #1 terminal, going in a counterclockwise direction. You can either just move the wires around(keeping them in the correct firing order) to get the #1 where you want it. Or, if you want the #1 in the exact factory correct position, on the cap, you'll probably have to pull the dist back out to get it where you want it. But, it will run just as good, no matter where #1 is on the cap, as long as all the wires are in the correct firing order.

Keep in mind that if you pull the dist, you'll probably have to turn the oil pump driveshaft slightly, with a long screwdriver, in order to get the dist to go back down and engage the driveshaft. Sometimes this can take several slight movements of the shaft to get it just right. When the dist goes back in, where you want it, tighten the dist hold down bolt just enuff so that you can still move the dist by hand, but tight enuff so that it won't move while you are adjusting the timing. It's always best to use a timing light to set the initial timing to around 9-12 degrees. That should make it easy to start. :smile22:
 

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I figured he bumped 180% or at the min when he changed out the cap he moved the setting position...

Piston Top of Cyllinder

Dist Pointer at wire for #1 within about 10 degrees or 14 or so to start?

Ponyakr has you better than my backyard ways..lol

If you left the Dist bolted down, then you either turned it way forward or backward, but great thing is you can return it and have it set back up correctly.

Good Luck Sir...
 

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I prefer to take drivers side valve cover off, and look at the valves to make sure it's on compression stroke on #1 at TDC.

Another way is to take #1 plug out, and have a friend hold a screwdriver in plug hole feeling for the piston and slowly turn it to TDC. Use thumb over plug hole first to confirm valves are closed and its on compression stroke.

Now you state your damper is off. You really should replace it, BUT, you can get close with the screwdriver method. Better is a timing wheel and Positive crank stop. Find TDC and remark the damper.

Once TDC is found, drop Dizzy in so that the rotor points to the contact in the cap and 18436572 from there. CCW of course.
 

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I just put my finger over the hole and have someone bump it...then manually turn to TDC and then arrange wires on cap to where the rotor button is facing or if Im being ocd, I use a flat tip screw driver to turn the oil pump shaft so I can line the rotor button up where I want it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool, thanks for all the help fellas. I was OCD as well yesterday like Keykeeper and used #1 contact on disti for the firing order and lined up oil pump shaft with screwdriver .

In my ignorance, I pointed it at #1 cylinder, not contact on disti. I also am not sure I was on compression stroke so I will give it another go this morning and report back.

thanks again for all the info...love this site.
 
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