Testimonial: "That is where my diagnostic lead. However the rotor only goes on to the shaft 1 way (keyed) and the shaft engages with the overhead cam only one two ways (keyed for 180 deg change only). So if the cam shaft moved (skipped a few teeth) then it would be impossible to get compression right? I'm checking compression with a compression gauge and 6-8 revolutions on the engine (about 6 seconds holding on the ignition). I have fuel, compression and spark, but the spark is happening at the wrong time. Because of the design of the distributor, there is no way to just rotate the distributor to make up the difference. It died at a stop sign when I was driving it. No sounds. Baffled..."
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You probably know, an engine needs compression, fuel, and spark at the right time to start. So one of those three components are missing.
Will it try to start if you use starting fluid sprayed into the intake? Have you checked compression on all cylinders ? Is the spark blue or white, or is it yellow ?
The engine can't run without compression in the cylinders. The plug will still spark, but without a compressed air/fuel mixture to burn and power the cylinder down, the starter will just keep spinning the engine over, cranking forever and not starting. Check if your timing belts are good and not broke. Cylinder compression is dependent on good piston rings, intake and exhaust valves that open and close at right times and that seal good when closed, and a head gasket that seals up the cylinder from leaks where compression could blow into the water passages, or oil passages, or to outside of engine. If the timing belts are good, a leak-down test of each cylinder will pinpoint where compression is lost. Good luck with the Sube, great cars, great engines, but the head gaskets are a common problem.
having to use the choke indicates a problem in the induction system
possible blocked main jet in the carby, inlet gasket leak, loose carby, fuel line blockage , dirty fuel , blocked air filter
because it runs , the distributor is the last thing to check or it would not be sparking at the plugs
There are two basic reasons for not starting - no spark or no fuel, both of which are controlled by the ECM. You need to check error codes and these items - for the spark, test it at the cylinder 1 sparkplug; for the fuel check the pressure (if too high or low, problem!).
are you certain you got all the timing marks lined up properly?
If not then you've bent the valves again. These things have close tollerances. Get a compression tester and check all cylinders have good compression. If so then line up all your timing marks and check to see if the rotor button is pointing at the right spot to fire cylinder 1. Did you seperate the plug leads from the dizzy? If so check they're in the right order.
Get some engine starter spray. Follow instructions on spraying into intake. This will serve as a fuel source to test spark/ignition. You will want help cranking the car while you spray. If car stumbles and tries to run, you have a fuel problem. If after trying for a few minutes there is no change, then I would bet you don't have spark. Of course you could go further and say there could be a timing issue, no compression, etc. But I would start with the easy stuff first.
When was the last time you did a tune-up? Are the plugs in good shape?
Could be fuel or spark, or even a poor cylinder. With a spark tester, look at spark on all cylinders, do a compression test to verify good compression. (Valve problem, or jump timing at the timing chain)
You should check fuel pressure before changing a pump. If all of this looks good, a noid light at the injector (s) will tell you if the computer is firing the injectors properly.
If you can get it to idle, remove a spark plug wire, one at a time, if it runs worse, that cylinder is working, if it has no change, that cylinder has a spark or fuel issue, for that cylinder.