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Distributor out, lost my marks

14874 Views 21 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  kevinjohnson3216
I know where the #1 post is in the cap and can mark that on to the distributor body, then remove the cap and install the rotor pointing at the mark

I can set the engine up to #1 TDC

now what I need to know is, should the #1 post be directly in the center of the rotor head?

Or should the rotor head be just about to start contacting the #1 post?

I know that I can just adjust the distributor accordingly either way as long as it's in the general region of the #1 post until I achieve the correct ignition timing with my gun,

BUT I want it to be as close as possible because I'll be firing up the motor for the first time after being torn down and the new cams need to go through the break in procedure by running the RPM at 2k (immediately) for 30 minutes. Any time idling during the break in can damage my cams

So I can't be screwing around with the timing light during the cam break in

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Sorry, yes it's a v6

Ok, just about to start contacting #1 post. Thanks

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Same with my '01 Frontier: IIRC the slot on the distrib is all the way towards the windshield, so the bolt itself is located in a position where the distributor could only be moved counterclockwise towards the front of the truck.
I would think if you move it a tooth then you could still be in spec but bring the adjustment closer to center

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Five notches on lower pulley are need the left most one for TDC.

First I would double check to make sure everything is connected (especially plug wire orientation). If the timing were that far off, I would wonder if the valves could hit the pistons even just during starting attempts, so if you arent hearing any bad noises Id start with checking connections first.

And yes, my understanding is that it is possible to end up at TDC on exhaust stroke. I actually "rented" a compression tester so I could know for sure when I was on compression stroke of cylinder 1. Since my distributor wasnt removed, I could also tell by the fact that the rotor was pointing at the #1 plug wire. Since your distrib was removed, the compression tester might be the best way.
Is it really possible? I haven't checked mine, put everything back together to their timing marks but havetnt started it up

The engine rotates free by hand

If I check compression for #1 then what is the adjacent cylinder that should be on exhaust? 6? Can't get the tester back there to the other head.

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Could try actually searching the forums just in case someone already took the time to answer most of this. Just saying.
I know we had a long discussion in your other thread but
How did you check your driver side head to make sure it was right???

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You already know the answer to that question, which is why it's so important that we help others avoid a similar fate. i turned the engine over and my driver side valves collided with the Pistons. At that point I knew I was 180 degrees off. I paid a mobile mechanic to come out and correct the timing (both valve covers were off). He ended up walking away from the job. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, "most manufacturers have a diagram which shows the correct rocker positions for timing, and I can't find one for your truck anywhere."

I figured the damage had already been done, and I knew I was 180 degrees off (exhaust stroke), so I rotated the L cam clockwise 180 degrees to it's 1:00 mark. Knowing now what I didn't know then the entire process is simple. However, should an individual lose track of how many times the L cam has rotated independent of the crankshaft, to the best of my knowledge this far, you have a 50/50 chance of aligning it correctly. Unless you otherwise locate this mystical Valve position diagram that mechanic was talking about.

The major take away here is this: don't remove your timing belt until you've secured your camshafts. I'm still working on a detailed write up for the procedure, with lots of images, however I need to finish up a couple seal replacement tutorials I'm working on over on first.
I just figured out that you and everyone else saying this 180 or 360 off thing are all wrong and I made a new thread to explain it

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Well I got it done, lining its​ up to the #1 post to the starting of the rotor was off a few teeth so I just readjusted

Basically the rotor position needs to be pretty much in line with the distributor's electrical plug, in the center of the plug

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