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Distributor positioning issues - 2.1L [SOLVED]
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bobhill8 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:13 am    Post subject: Distributor positioning issues - 2.1L [SOLVED] Reply with quote

Mornin', Trying to get my waterboxer running after replacing the heads. There have been a variety of issues, but currently trying to get the distributor positioned properly. It is a new unit as I was having wiring issues to the Hall Sender.
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Currently the engine is set to TDC of cylinder #3. The rotor is sort of pointing toward three but when I put the cap on, the rotor does not line up - about half way between 2 and 3 under the cap. If I loosen the adjustment screw and turn the dizzy, the Hall plug swings around toward the belts and I know that is not its normal position. I know that the shaft is seated and engaged properly (a problem I had before).
When I have tried to turn the engine over, it has spun but I still cannot get it started. Don't want to turn it over anymore until I get this all lined up, but I am at a loss on how to set everything close to where it should be. Thanks.


Last edited by bobhill8 on Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:24 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

I would start by getting the engine to the compression stroke TDC for cylinder one. The hall connector usually falls in the area you show. It’s remotely possible the drive foot was installed 180 degrees off. It only fits in the drive one way though.

Also make sure the distributor is full seated and the shaft spins when the engine is cranked.
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bobhill8 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:18 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

Thanks Mark - I was hoping you would weigh in. I was extra careful to make sure the shaft is seated properly - I do see how it is off-center and can go only one way. I have the plugs out and when I turn the engine by hand, the rotor is moving with it. I know that the engine leads the show, telling the rotor where to go and that everything follows from that. The Hall connector has always faced more or less 9 o'clock, so now that it is facing maybe 8, it feels wrong. Is it as simple as turning the cap to make it line up? I will rotate the engine around to #1 TDC and see where that leaves me.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:29 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

My experience is also that the connector is closer to 10 o’clock. The crank pulley TDC mark comes up twice on a 4 stroke engine. Be sure you are on the compression stroke for 1 and not the exhaust stroke.

It might be easier to pop the valve cover so you can see the valves. TDC compression cylinder 1, both valves are closed.

There is no reason you can’t move the wires around the cap, but you shouldn’t have to.
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bobhill8 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

It started !!!!!!!! This is the first time I've gotten the engine to turn over and run since the new heads. I had a bunch of trouble with crank no spark but it seems that it all pointed to a bad Hall Sender, which I had determined with the Digifant Diagnostic Test Manual. New distributor and rewiring seems to have done the trick. On top of that, the tachometer works once again, which means I can set the timing properly. This weekend is three years from when I bought this van in Tennessee and drove it up to MA so a fantastic anniversary for me. Thank you Mark - happy day for Bob.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:21 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

A result. 3 years, that’s quite a journey. Glad you stuck to it. For me, there’s nothing like starting an engine for the first time.

While your tempted to run it, be sure the cooling system is filled and bled. Make sure the rad fan cycles a few times to ensure coolant is flowing properly. Then take it for a drive with safety glasses. You’d be surprised the stuff that has settled and starts blowing around when you head down the road.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:53 am    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

Sorry, I didn't mean to say that it hasn't run in 3 years. Not sure if I would have made it that long! I pulled the engine in mid-July and have been battling with it ever since. Feels like 3 years sometimes, especially during camping season. Still, I'm going to take it slow - get the timing right, monitor the coolant which was the problem in the first place. Tidy up some wiring, get the lifters to pump up, etc.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:25 pm    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L Reply with quote

bobhill8 wrote:
Thanks Mark - I was hoping you would weigh in. I was extra careful to make sure the shaft is seated properly - I do see how it is off-center and can go only one way. I have the plugs out and when I turn the engine by hand, the rotor is moving with it. I know that the engine leads the show, telling the rotor where to go and that everything follows from that. The Hall connector has always faced more or less 9 o'clock, so now that it is facing maybe 8, it feels wrong. Is it as simple as turning the cap to make it line up? I will rotate the engine around to #1 TDC and see where that leaves me.


If there is stress on the wires for the hall unit or it seems likely that the plug might be damaged by the belt, then lifting and turning the drive one or two teeth clockwise is the solution. I typically just use a pair of duckbill snap-ring pliers but have used the correct size wooden dowel rod as well, either works fine. You just don't want to lift the drive any further than necessary to get it to turn. Never measured the needed lift, but I would say it is about 3/4". The shop manual will show you how the drive should be aligned.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L SOLVED Reply with quote

Hooray. Got the engine timed and it sounds and looks as smooth as ever. When the timing was done, the Hall Sender was back at 9 o'clock and all was well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZqEFeCALms

Thanks for chiming in WT - I had a feeling I would be hearing from you as well. Now I just need a short and cryptic message from Abscate to make my thread complete. You guys have answered so many of my questions over the last 3 years. Thanks to Tencent as well for his advice and the new heads I installed. Now a bunch of little details and a lot of things to put away, but I might be able to hit the road with my van next weekend, and that's damn exciting.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: distributor positioning issues - 2.1 L SOLVED Reply with quote

Applause Applause
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