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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got the 88 as far torn down as it is going to get right now.

Re-torqued the head bolts.

Adjusted the valves.

Now I am wanting to make sure that the distributor is pointed exactly where it should be.

For a fat angry old fart, there is VERY LITTLE room to work in, or even to see anything. Unless I take off the common chamber. Not gunna do that, just to check out the dist. Very frustrating.

From what I can see, the rotor could be pointing at #4, or it could be aimed a tooth above #4.

I cannot get good enough access to figure this out to any satisfying exactness.

So... Since the valve cover is off anyway, and I CAN see the end of the distributor shaft, where the gear is... My question is, is there any sort of mark on the dist shaft, dist gear, and/or camshaft gear, that I can line up, instead ???
 

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There is a hash mark on the shaft and a dot on the gear shaft. It's pretty much impossible to see them once the distributor is installed. My general method is to install the dizzy, hand tighten the bolt and try to start it. If it doesn't start pull the dizzy out slowly just until the gear teeth clear the cam and give it a slight turn, then reinstall. I've done this about a hundred times and that's the best I've been able to come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
********** said:
There is a hash mark on the shaft and a dot on the gear shaft. It's pretty much impossible to see them once the distributor is installed. My general method is to install the dizzy, hand tighten the bolt and try to start it. If it doesn't start pull the dizzy out slowly just until the gear teeth clear the cam and give it a slight turn, then reinstall. I've done this about a hundred times and that's the best I've been able to come up with.
Hash mark and dot ?

Are these both on the distributor shaft ? Or are you talking about a hash on the dist, and a dot on the cam, that need to be lined up ?

I usually do the same method you describe, and I am tired of that. It's just an exercise in frustration.

Once the valve cover is on, then the damn dist is so buried behind it and the common chamber that I get to where I am ready to shoot the frikken thing !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
********** said:
Both are on the distributor. The hash mark is on the distributor casing and the dot is on the shaft by the gear.
Well then, even if I could see both of them, that wouldn't do me any good, right ?

Unless there is something in the head casting, or the camshaft that they have to align with...

BTW: If the former is the case, thanks for trying, anyway.

:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
********** said:
The distributor will only go in and bolt in one place. You have to spin the shaft to align the dot with the hash mark, but like I said, it's almost impossible to see.
Yes, I reread your post, and thought about it again, and realized that both marks are not on the shaft. One is on the housing.

Now THAT sounds promising !!!!

Thank you !
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Couldn't see anything that looked like a dot on the gear.

Decided on a plan, though.

I'll pull the dist.

Put the cap on it, and use that to mark the #4 position on the dist body.

Pull the cap back off.

Now, turn the rotor until it is pointing at exactly the #4 spot.

Now, make my OWN marks on the very end of the shaft, the gear, and the housing. Using a magic marker.

Two marks each.

Such that, when the dist is installed, I can look down on it from the top and see at least the two marks on the housing, and the two marks on the end of the shaft.

Hopefully I'll be able to see the marks on the top end of the gear, and compare to the housing marks. But if I have to, then the marks at the very end should provide a good enough reference point.

Yes, these marks may go away, after it is installed and in use. I don't really care. I just want to get them correct and get the install correct.

If I have to do this again later, it will be just as easy then, to make replacement marks.

For now... I have contributed enough blood and curses to this project. here's hoping my plan works.

:D
 

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That sounds like a plan, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't fire up right away. Fr some reason I always have to pull it out and re-adjust it to get it started, don't ask me why. The logic that you just expressed seems rational enough but in practice it never seems to work (at least for me) Good luck, you'll get it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm trying to eliminate that work of repositioning it after installation. Like I said, once the valve cover is on, and the common chamber is in place, it is almost impossible for me to get in there, to do that re-positioning. And I have already donated enough blood to the trooper gods, on this one !!! I don't want to donate more, just to get that damn thing lined up.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Ok, I'm happy. I believe it worked !

Here are some pics.

In this first one...

The red arrow at the top is pointing to the mark I made on the body of the dist, at the #4 position.

I turned the rotor to center it on that mark. Then I made the marks along the shaft and body, at the bottom.

They aren't lined up, because I made my marks in a place where they will show up, directly on top, when the dist is installed. If I had lined everything up with the #4 mark, instead, then it would all be halfway hidden, once the dist was installed.


Second pic...

Now you can see how my marks on the lower body of the dist, and on the very end of the shaft can be easily seen, and lined up.


Last pic...

I took this pic by stuffing the camera as far back againstr the firewall, as I could.

You can't tell precisely, by the angle given here, but the rotor is exactly centered on the mark that I made for the #4, on the body of the dist.



I am at least 98 percent certain that I have it exactly where it should be, now.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

( Now I'll go copy all this into my 'build' thread. LOL :roll: )
 

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Selador said:
I'm trying to eliminate that work of repositioning it after installation. Like I said, once the valve cover is on, and the common chamber is in place, it is almost impossible for me to get in there, to do that re-positioning. And I have already donated enough blood to the trooper gods, on this one !!! I don't want to donate more, just to get that damn thing lined up.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Ok, I'm happy. I believe it worked !

Here are some pics.

In this first one...

The red arrow at the top is pointing to the mark I made on the body of the dist, at the #4 position.

I turned the rotor to center it on that mark. Then I made the marks along the shaft and body, at the bottom.

They aren't lined up, because I made my marks in a place where they will show up, directly on top, when the dist is installed. If I had lined everything up with the #4 mark, instead, then it would all be halfway hidden, once the dist was installed.


Second pic...

Now you can see how my marks on the lower body of the dist, and on the very end of the shaft can be easily seen, and lined up.


Last pic...

I took this pic by stuffing the camera as far back againstr the firewall, as I could.

You can't tell precisely, by the angle given here, but the rotor is exactly centered on the mark that I made for the #4, on the body of the dist.



I am at least 98 percent certain that I have it exactly where it should be, now.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

( Now I'll go copy all this into my 'build' thread. LOL :roll: )
YOU PRETTY MUCH FIGURED OUT THE WAY THE FACTORY ASSEMBLY LINE DOES IT , LINE THE TDC MARK ON THE CARNK SHAFT UP WITH THE O ON THE CVR LINE UP THE CAM MARK AT ABOTU 12 0 CLOCK ON THE NOTCH AND THE MARK ON THE PULLEY THIS WILL AUTOMATICALLY SET YOU ON NO 4 TDC, NOW LINE UP THE ROTOR POINTING STRAIGHT AT THE STUD THAT LOCKS THE DIST AND ROTAT THE DIST UNTILL THE MARKS ON THE DIST LINE UP WITH THE MARK ON THE DIST HOLD DOWN PLATE , NOW IF EVERYTHING IS LINED UP CORRECTLY, AND YOU HAVE FUEL, IT WILL FIRE UP AS THOUGH YOU JUST SHUT IT OFF AN D GUESS WHERE THE TIMING WILL BE BE, THESE ENGS NEVER SEE A TIMING LITE ON THE ASSM, LINE ,THEY DONT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME , THEY STICK EM FIRE AND OUT THEY GO, AND THE TIMING IS DEAD ON.
JERRY
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
JLEMOND said:
YOU PRETTY MUCH FIGURED OUT THE WAY THE FACTORY ASSEMBLY LINE DOES IT , LINE THE TDC MARK ON THE CARNK SHAFT UP WITH THE O ON THE CVR LINE UP THE CAM MARK AT ABOTU 12 0 CLOCK ON THE NOTCH AND THE MARK ON THE PULLEY THIS WILL AUTOMATICALLY SET YOU ON NO 4 TDC, NOW LINE UP THE ROTOR POINTING STRAIGHT AT THE STUD THAT LOCKS THE DIST AND ROTAT THE DIST UNTILL THE MARKS ON THE DIST LINE UP WITH THE MARK ON THE DIST HOLD DOWN PLATE , NOW IF EVERYTHING IS LINED UP CORRECTLY, AND YOU HAVE FUEL, IT WILL FIRE UP AS THOUGH YOU JUST SHUT IT OFF AN D GUESS WHERE THE TIMING WILL BE BE, THESE ENGS NEVER SEE A TIMING LITE ON THE ASSM, LINE ,THEY DONT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME , THEY STICK EM FIRE AND OUT THEY GO, AND THE TIMING IS DEAD ON.
JERRY
So, boiled down to the smallest nutshell possible...

When installed, with the engine in the top dead center for #4 position... The rotor should be pointing at the hold down bolt for the dist.
 

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Selador said:
JLEMOND said:
YOU PRETTY MUCH FIGURED OUT THE WAY THE FACTORY ASSEMBLY LINE DOES IT , LINE THE TDC MARK ON THE CARNK SHAFT UP WITH THE O ON THE CVR LINE UP THE CAM MARK AT ABOTU 12 0 CLOCK ON THE NOTCH AND THE MARK ON THE PULLEY THIS WILL AUTOMATICALLY SET YOU ON NO 4 TDC, NOW LINE UP THE ROTOR POINTING STRAIGHT AT THE STUD THAT LOCKS THE DIST AND ROTAT THE DIST UNTILL THE MARKS ON THE DIST LINE UP WITH THE MARK ON THE DIST HOLD DOWN PLATE , NOW IF EVERYTHING IS LINED UP CORRECTLY, AND YOU HAVE FUEL, IT WILL FIRE UP AS THOUGH YOU JUST SHUT IT OFF AN D GUESS WHERE THE TIMING WILL BE BE, THESE ENGS NEVER SEE A TIMING LITE ON THE ASSM, LINE ,THEY DONT HAVE THAT MUCH TIME , THEY STICK EM FIRE AND OUT THEY GO, AND THE TIMING IS DEAD ON.
JERRY
So, boiled down to the smallest nutshell possible...

When installed, with the engine in the top dead center for #4 position... The rotor should be pointing at the hold down bolt for the dist.
YEP THEN WHEN THE DIST IS IN THAT POSITION, YOU CAN ROTATE THE DIST HOUSING TO LINE UP THE ACTULL TIMING MARKS AND IT WILL BE DEAD ON OR EXTREMLY CLOSE
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JLEMOND said:
YEP THEN WHEN THE DIST IS IN THAT POSITION, YOU CAN ROTATE THE DIST HOUSING TO LINE UP THE ACTULL TIMING MARKS AND IT WILL BE DEAD ON OR EXTREMLY CLOSE
Thank you Jerry.

:D :D
 

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OK, so the rookie tossed the Haynes guide and got the badass workshop repair guide and feeling pretty good about replacing some gaskets which might be contributing to my oil leaks - going to do the intake manifold, rocker arm covers (which I was calling valve covers in other posts as a throwback from my 79 Saab days - oops!) and the distributor o-ring. The only thing that I'm still a little fuzzy on is all this business about marking the distributor while removing so the timing doesn't get jacked up. I've got the 2.8L V6, is this similar or the same as the 4ZE1? i.e: can I use the photos above as a reference, or is the V6 a completely different animal? I'm a visual sorta guy if you haven't guessed. ;) Thanks as always!

Jonathan
 

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No. First off, the 2.8 hold down bolt (15mm) is a bear to get at. You can't go straight down, and there is very litle room for access. I believe I used a 3" extension on the socket, and a 6" extension above that. The slop in the extensions allowed it to fit in. After removing the bolt, it will probably be very difficult to replace, I suggest taping it to the socket. With the bolt removed, make a note of where the rotor is pointed, probably make a mark. Slowly pull the dizzy up (only about 1") noting which way the rotor twists. Make a mark there too. What? the %$%^ Dizzy won't budge? They are sometimes frozen, if yours is, soak it with your favorite penetrating oil, get a pair of large channel locks and try to wiggle it back and forth. After freeing, move it back to the original mark, and follow the pulling 1" process. Dennis
(I think we just hijacked Jeff's post :twisted: )
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
shaggydoink said:
Thanks Dennis - still clear as mud, but guess I'll start into it and maybe the light bulb will go on once I do. And yeah... uh, sorry Jeff... sorta crashed on your thread! LOL!
Hey crash and hijack all you want !

If someone learns something, it's all good !

:D :D :D

The 2.8 distributor setup is nothing at all like the 2.6
 

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Good work Jeff!

Should condense it into a single page how to and put that into the Hall-o-Famer category.

Maybe steal one of the pics from Squatch that shows top down view of the dizzy with the rotor dialed in for the pinch bolt.

Thanks!
 

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I second that! Or PM me with the content and I can add to the wiki, I know for a lot of you guys who have done things 100 times it all makes perfect sense, but for people who haven't :):ahem, cough, cough:: shaggydoink ;) ) having something with photos is extremely helpful.
 
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