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PhilW

Distributor position

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If you have a distributor with electronic ignition (no points) and you have no marks as to where it was positioned can anyone advise where do i start to find where it needs to be more or less. Thanks

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Depends on the electronic ignition type. Lumenition can be used when cranking by hand to find static point and a sanity check is to look at the optical disk. Then it is easy. Just put a wire from coil HT side to a few mm from a convenient metal point on the engine and rotate engine and check for a spark. Find any trigger position, then take off distributor cap, and the rotor indicates one of 4 positions, and you can mark every 90 deg if you need to, and then find which is cylinder 1. But, don't forget that it may not be actual TDC, check dots on cams are lined up.

I changed to an Accuspark, and with mine, I found it has the neat feature of not triggering unless the rotor is rotating more than approx 1 rev/sec, which makes static timing a bugger. I had to put it on the bench, wire it up, and mark on distributor a best guess of trigger position while looking at the output with an oscilloscope when rotating by hand. Then I could put back in and rotate accordingly. I did find position quite critical to actually get the engine to fire, and of course be careful of spitting and backfires from carbs. I found I got quite a bit of flame into the vacuum line from cylinder one too(it was clear tube). Disappeared entirely when timing was right, but was quite disconcerting.

Other electronic systems hopefully work on slow rotation, similar to Lumenition.

 

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With the distributor removed, turn the engine over by hand until you get cylinder 1 to top dead center. The distributor has an offset dog end so can only fit properly one way. If you stick your finger in the hole for the distributor you'll feel the cutouts for the notched end, this will allow you to orientate the distributor shaft into the correct position. The rotor arm will point to the lead attached to the distributor cap for cylinder 1. The distributor body should more or less have the clips for the cap at 3 and 9 o'clock. Pinch the bolt to hold the distributor in place and see if the car will start, if not move the distributor by small amounts clockwise or anticlockwise until the car fires up. You now need a timing light to set it exactly.

Hope that makes sense! :)


It's getting there......

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10 hours ago, PhilW said:

If you have a distributor with electronic ignition (no points) and you have no marks as to where it was positioned can anyone advise where do i start to find where it needs to be more or less. Thanks

Did you not mark the relative positions of the distributor body to engine block before removing?

Edited by ekwan

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In a nutshell, temporarily replace your distributor cap (off vehicle). Make a rough marking to coincide with lead for cylinder no. 1. After you replace your distributor onto the engine at TDC,  turn the distributor body until the rotor arm should roughly  lines up with this mark. Turn the engine another 2 turns until you reach the specific static ignition timing for your engine. Then rotate your distributor until the pick up lines up with the trigger. After that, it's off to using a timing light.

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Thanks all. Will fit this today although not expecting to start the car today. 

Special thanks to Steve V8 for his advice. Without that there would have been a lot of unnecessary head scratching👍

  • Haha 1

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