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How to find exhaust stroke compression stroke

2.7 engine

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This is one way to do it.
Remove spark plug in number one cylinder.
Remove distributor cap so you can see the rotor.
Hold a clean steel rod in the # 1 cylinder.
Rotate engine, with a wrench on the front engine shaft nut.
When the # 1 piston is at the highest point, while the rotor is pointing at #1 ignition wire, the piston is at the compression stroke.
The next high point , then, is the exhaust stroke.

Hope this is what you needed.

Posted on Mar 31, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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On the compression stroke at TDC, that is when both valves on #1 cylinder are closed -or all of them if more than one intake and one exhaust-so the cam lobes will be far away from the valves. On the exhaust stroke, the lobes will be right on the followers-the exhaust valve will just be closed and the intake valve will just be opening.

If you have a distributor you will see the rotor pointing to #1 spark plug wire, at TDC of compression stroke. If you are on the exhaust stroke at TDC on #1 cylinder, the rotor will be pointing exactly opposite of #1 on the distributor cap's plug wire towers.

Now here is a foolproof way, if you have a distributorless ignition system for example, or the distributor has been disturbed, or the valve cover is not off. Take out the #1 spark plug and turn the engine over in its normal direction. You can have someone bump the starter, but it's easy to bump it too far. Put a socket on the crank pulley and turn it with a bar or ratchet. You must have your finger over the spark plug hole. When the piston in #1 is rising on the compression stroke, you will feel the pressure build up under your finger. (There's no compression on the exhaust stroke.) When on the compression stroke, just turn the crankshaft on around until the zero degrees mark lines up on the pointer scale, or until the piston is at very top of travel. that is TDC of compression stroke. If you do it by bumping the starter in short bursts, you will quickly get the hang of it after 2 or 3 tries. Watch for the mark or notch on the crank pulley. As soon as you feel pressure in the plug hole, the notch will be coming around to the zero degrees point on the scale. If you go past, just start over.

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With the head off, the bottom end doesn't know compression from exhaust from squat. The crank just keeps pushing the pistons up and down. You set the #1 cylinder at the top of travel, the mark on the pointer scale must be at zero, then when you have the head on with the camshaft sprocket on its mark, and the timing belt or chain on, you should be at TDC on the compression stroke. To verify, both valves on #1 should be closed-the camshaft lobes for #1 should be more or less pointing up-away from the valves.
See? The valve train is what determines compression stroke vs. exhaust stroke. On compression, both valves are closed. On the exhaust stroke, the exhaust valve will be open. As long as you get the camshaft sprocket on the right mark and the crank sprocket at zero-or on its mark-the timing should be right.

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