Question about 1984 Jeep CJ7

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Setting distributor jeep wrangler 1997 4L

Removed the distributor and lost the position can anyone help to set timing again

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  • luke_currin Dec 28, 2008

    thanks budy have a new one the revs keep changing at idle and surges intermediately when driving but comes good if you keep your foot on the gas so it not fuel can you help

  • John Jon May 11, 2010

    well usually you put it back in when #1 cylinder is top dead center then slip distributor shaft in with rotor aimed and locked to #1 post ign wire!!! you should be careful!!! valves are delicate!!!



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I'm going to assume that you have some idea where the rotor was pointing before you took unit out.
Turn the crankshaft by hand 'till you find the small notch on the back edge of the pulley. Mark the notch with white crayon. Turn the crank untill the mark you made lines up with "0" on the scale on the right side (facing engine) at about 2 oclock. (sometimes needs to be cleaned off to read it) You are now either dead on or 180degrees out of phase. (rotor will be pointing directly away from where you think it should be if it is 180 out). If close to original location, make a mark on outside of dist housing, directly below #1 ign wire post. Remove cap and check that rotor is aligned with the mark you made. If it is not, remove distributor part way, till you can feel the drive gear just disengage, then turn rotor towards the reference position. Once positioned, push distributor housing back down into block. If it does not drop down fully, have someone turn the crank by hand two full turns back to reference mark while you push gently down on distributor. when the oil pump shaft engages, dist will drop down.
If you found dist to be 180 out, remove it and turn rotor to proper position, then follow instructions above.
The timing is non adjustable on these engines.(timing is changed by computer) There is a single bolthole in the dist retaining ear (part of dist housing) When checking reference points, always keep this hole lined up with bolt hole in block. Before attempting to start engine, make sure that after everything is bolted down, your reference marks match!
There are several other ways to do this. This is the most simple and safest way. as at no time is the ignition key in the "on" position, while making these adjustments..
Turning the engine with the key "on", even by hand, & even with the timing out of phase can result in "kickback" which can and usually does hurt someone.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

  • Richard Scordino Dec 28, 2008

    First, (should have asked this before) WHY did you remove the distributor in the first place? Were there similar performance problems before you r&r'd it? Even in person, hands on, I'd have to do testing to determine your current problem. First, check all vacuum hoses to make sure they are connected and not cracked anywhere. 'Though your problem could be caused by just about anything in the engine management system (all sensors feed off of each other in a sense that they all feed the main computer, incorrect info at any point causes the computer to try to "compensate" throwing everything else out of whack) Therefore, Id start by doing some testing either with a good digital ohmeter, or a scan tool. Get a decent manual for an outline for individual test procedures. Write down everything you find, and compare to specifications. On 97 and earlier systems, you have some "on-board" tests you can do: Turn the ignition key to "on" three times, leaving it in the "on" position the third time. Don't crank the engine, just turn the key.The check engine light will flash stored codes. eg: one flash followed by a pause, then two flashes = 12.
    Any good manual will have definitions of code #s in 12 means that the battery was disconnected within the last fifty times you started the engine. (Since you were just working on it, I would likely ignore that one!) In my opinion, I'm thinking that your problem MIGHT be the MAP sensor, or mass air flow sensor (if yours has one) but without testing, I would not just run out and buy one. If you have a friend with a similar vehicle, you could swap it out just to test. Another common part that gives wierd problems is the crank sensor. But, without testing, I'm just guessing!
    Good luck



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Slowly rotate the engine, manually, until you feel compression in cylinder #1. You can do this by removing the #1 spark plug, having someone block that spark plug hole with their finger, and slowly turn the engine over with a wrench. When they start feeling air pressure, you then know that you are approaching top dead center on the compression stroke of cylinder #1. Now, look at the crankshaft pulley. There should be a timing marker on the pulley. Place it at the top (or 0) on the timing mark of the timing chain cover. Look at the distributor cap and determine where the #1 wire is attached. Then, remove the distributor and rotate the rotor close to that position. When putting the distributor back into the engine, the rotor will turn as it engages the gears. You may have to try a few times to get it lined up. Also, the distributor drives the oil pump. The distributor may not go down all the way, until you move the engine a little more. Once the distributor falls in, all the way, turn the engine again, and determine where compression begins again. Turn the engine to top dead center again and look to ensure that the rotor is in the proper position. That should get you close on the timing.

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How can I time a distributor without a timing light or wheel on a skid steer?

is this a points distributor
place the timing mark at the desired position before tdc compression stroke ( normally around 10 degrees )
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turn on the ignition and move the distributor body against direction of rotation until the points just open ( noise or spark across points
tighten the distributor at this position
replace cap and it will start
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That again will be the timing mark setting
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Can you if so how do you set timing with only using btdc and distributor on a 94 4runner

Ignition timing manual setting 1994 Toyota 4 Runner.
- Remove the distributor cap.
- Pull up the hand brake, place the vehicle in P or Neutral.
- Rotate the crankshaft pulley with a suitable tool to bring the timing mark at 5 degrees BTDC and the reluctor position in front of No. 1 position in distributor.
- Remove the rotor and adjust the distributor (by loosening two distributor locking bolts) in such a way that the No. 1 reluctor tooth just cross the G1 pickup coil notch in the direction of rotation in the distributor.
- Lock the distributor bolts, install rotor and install distributor cap.


Feb 13, 2015 | 1994 Toyota 4Runner

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How to remove distributor on 1984 monte carlo 305 v8

bring engine to top dead center #1 with the timing marks. remove distributer cap and note position of rotor direction and mark on the distributor housing were the rotor is pointing. also mark the position of the distributor mark to a position on the motor, then unbolt the distributor holding bolt and remove. pull up on the distributor and note which way the rotor moves as you pull the distributor out. again mark where the rotor is pointing when the distributor is out. the reason for the marking of rotor position and distributor position is so when you reassemble you line up the marks to get it into the proper position when the distributor is back in place. then you have to check the timing and set. as far as the pickup coil remove the distributor gear lock pin remove the gear and remove the distributor shaft to replace the coil. reassemble in reverse order.

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How to replace distributor 1993 Honda Accord...

Take note of the position of each plug lead. Mark them with whiteout or tape and a pen if they have no distinguishing marks, or if you are unsure of their relative position.

Using a timing light on cylinder No.1, take note of the present timing marks on the crankshaft pulley with the vehicle up to temperature and running. You also need to take note of the engine revolutions when checking. Using paint, or a scribe, mark where the old distributor is aligned in reference to the engine head. These will serve as an approximate reference when refitting the new one.
Once your notes and marks have been taken, assuming you have no instructions on what the timing and rev range should be normally, then you can procede with the removal of the distributor.

Take off the distributor cap and take note of the position of the rotor arm and which direction it is pointing to. You will have to align the new distributor's rotor arm to the same point before installation.
Many distributors have two locating/locking bolts. You can remove these both, then pull out the distributor. It may require a bit of coaxing as it has a rubber sealing ring on it's shaft which may make it stiff when removing.
As soon as the distributor comes out you will notice that the distributor's drive shaft has two metal lugs which slot into the camshaft. Those metal lugs on many Japanese models are offset, allowing you only one way to fit the new distributor, or in other words, to make it impossible to set the distributor 180 degrees in the wrong direction. This is not always the case however, which is why taking note of the rotor arm earlier was important.
When refitting a new distributor it is often wise to fit it with a new rubber shaft seal. Apply a little rubber grease when refitting, or a smear of engine oil, making it easier to slide in.
Once in, roughly align your distributor at the angle the old one came out at, then secure lightly with one of the retaining bolts. I say lightly, because you will need to turn the distributor later to set the timing.Replace the cap and leads.
Often there is a sticker under the hood/bonnet which tells you what the timing should be at which engine idle rev range.If you are having problems keeping the engine at that specific rev range, then disconnect the idle control valve wiring connector and have someone sit in the vehicle to manage the throttle by the pedal.
Make sure the vehicle is up to temperature once again. The engine may run a little rough at this point, as your timing isn't set yet.

Referring to either your own notes or to the sticker under the hood, use the timing light again and turn the distributor until the crank shaft timing marks align to the correct position, then secure the distributor's locking bolts.

Run the vehicle for a few hours or days, and check the distributor for any signs of an oil leak. An oil leak generally occurs if the shaft seal ('O' ring) is not fitted correctly or if the rubber is damaged/perished.

Good luck!

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1 Answer

I have installed a new distributor and lost the right crank position. I cranked the engine to TDC but after replacing the distributor back in facing the #1 cylinder I attempted to start it but didn

I am not sure about your model but for a six cylinder firing order usually is 153624. Since you said that before removing the old distributor you cranked the engine to TDC and on fitting the new distributor you should put the rotor in position of cylinder 1 and to be fitted on the correct advance position.But you said that you don't have any spark you mean from the distributor to the spark plugs? If so is not your timing marks but something is wrong wit the connector to distributor or the coil or distributor itself. Carry furthe checks about if you can or ask an expert to do so.

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You will need a timing light....Start the engine and allow it to warm to normal operating temperature....disconnect the vacuum adavance--then slowly rotate the distrubtor while using the timing light to set it.
The timing mark for top dead center will be on the harmonic balancer, the pointer will be attached to timing chain cover, Set the timing as follows per engine size.
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5.8L- BTDC 10° ± 2°
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Turn off the engine and tighten the distributor bolt. Recheck the timing to verify that the timing did not move while tightening the distributor. Replace the shorting bar or vacuum line.

I hope this helps,

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1 Answer

The timing on my 1987 dodge dakota is way off. how do i fix it?

You will need to adj. your timing to do this>


  1. Disconnect distributor pickup lead wire at wiring harness connectors.
  2. Unfasten distributor cap retaining clips and lift off distributor cap.
  3. Scribe a mark on the edge of distributor housing to indicate position of rotor as reference when reinstalling distributor.
  4. Remove distributor hold down clamp screw and clamp.
  5. Carefully lift distributor from engine.

  1. Position distributor in engine. Make sure rubber 0-ring seal is in groove of distributor housing. Align rotor with marks previously scribed on distributor housing. Clean top of cylinder block to insure a good seal between distributor base and block.
  2. Engage tongue of distributor shaft with slot in distributor oil pump drive gear.
If engine has been cranked while distributor is removed, it will be necessary to establish the proper relationship between distributor shaft and No.1 piston position as follows:

  1. Rotate crankshaft until number one piston is at top of compression stroke. Mark on crankshaft vibration damper should be in line with "0" TDC mark on timing chain case cover.
  2. Rotate rotor to position of number one distributor cap terminal.
  3. Lower distributor into opening, connect pickup coil leads and install distributor cap. Make sure all high-tension wires "snap" firmly in cap towers. Install distributor hold-down clamp screw. Tighten screw finger tight.
    1. Connect distributor pick-up lead wire(s) at wiring harness connectors.
    2. Adjust engine timing to specification (refer to Ignition Timing).

Basic ignition Timing Adjustment 3.9L Engine

  1. Locate and ground out the carburetor switch idle stop contact with a suitable jumper wire.
  2. Disconnect and plug the vacuum lines at vacuum transducer on the SCC and the air switching valve on the emissions air pump.
  3. Set the gearshift selector in park or neutral and apply the parking brake.
  4. Using a magnetic timing unit, insert the pickup probe into the open receptacle at the left of the engine between the power steering and the water pumps. If a magnetic timing unit is not available, use a conventional power timing light connected to the number one cylinder spark plug wire.
  5. Bring the engine to a normal running temperature. This can be done by allowing the engine to idle for 5 to 10 minutes when the ambient temperature is around 21°C (70°F).
  6. Adjust the engine idle rpm to the specifications on the VECI label in the engine compartment.
  7. Check the basic timing when using a power timing light). If the basic timing is correct, remove the jumper wire, reconnect the vacuum lines and disconnect all test equipment. If the basic timing is NOT correct, proceed to step 8.
  1. Loosen the distributor hold-down bolt allowing the distributor to be turned with some resistance and adjust the basic ignition timing to the specifications on the VECI label. After adjusting the basic ignition timing, recheck the idle rpm and secure the distributor. Recheck the timing once again to verify that the timing is correct.
  2. Remove the jumper wire, reconnect the vacuum lines and check the idle rpm (adjust if necessary), disconnect all test equipment.
  1. Loosen the distributor hold-down bolt allowing the distributor to be turned with some resistance and adjust the basic ignition timing to the specifications on the VECI label. After adjusting the basic ignition timing, recheck the idle rpm and secure the distributor. Recheck the timing once again to verify that the timing is correct.
  2. Remove the jumper wire, reconnect the vacuum lines and check the idle rpm (adjust if necessary), disconnect all test equipment.

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1 Answer

Someone took out the distributor

Remove sparkplugs, turn engine by hand to top dead center (when #1 piston is all the way up, full compression), look at distributor with the cap on it and rotor, align rotor to where #1 spark plug wire position, remove cap, remember or mark where rotor position is, then insert in engine, as in goes into slot, it will turn slightly,notice how far it moved asit went in, remove again and turn rotor back alittle so as to get it aligned to #1 position, once you got it close to were its on #1, see if there are old markings on the part of distributor shaft that may give you an idea where the clamp down piece made contact and set it there. tighten just enough to where you can rotate dirstributor by hand, put everything back together and try to start. play with distributor little at a time 'til it starts usually around halfway point.

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