Distributor replacement with pictures and tips for a V-6
Topic started by: jetman, Date: 01-01-2007 02:06 PM
Original thread: http://www.fiero.nl/forum/Forum9/HTML/000017.html


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #1, 01-01-2007 02:06 PM
      Distributor replacement with pictures and tips for a V-6

It’s fairly simple to replace a Fiero distributor in a V-6 engine but for the benefit of all of us, here is the procedure.

Tools needed.



Philips screwdriver, either 13MM wrench or an 8MM or 5/16-inch battery wrench, regular screwdriver, T-15 torx, dielectric grease, timing light, paper clip, 7MM nut driver, break-in lube, a drop of white paint or chalk for timing mark, 15MM distributor wrench and a 3/8 ratchet.

This is the procedure.

Pull ECM fuse.



Remove distributor cap with philips screwdriver.

Now turn the engine over until you have the rotor at a known position in relation to the distributor body to the engine. Many folks use the #1 cylinder / plug terminal position, that’s your choice. We want to install the new distributor in the exact position as the old one came out. It helps to take a picture so that there is no mistake later.



Disconnect the negative battery cable with the 13MM wrench or your 8MM battery post wrench depending on which battery connections you have.
Remove distributor wires to the ignition module.

This is a "Performance Tool" distributor clamp wrench, part number W1186, inexpensive and indespensible.


Remove the 15MM distributor hold down bolt.



Remove the ignition module. You can remove the distributor with the module attached but removal makes it easier.
Twist the distributor counter clockwise while pulling up.

Apply dielectric grease to the pick-up coil connector on new distributor. The re-manufacture doesn’t do this, they evidently don’t know much about corrosion on Fiero distributors! Go ahead and slather it on!



- - - continued in next post - - -




jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #2, 01-01-2007 02:07 PM
      Lubricate the new distributor with break-in lube including the O-ring, I used Lucas treatment. I didn't have any official break-in lube, hopefully this will work as well.



Install new distributor with a clockwise motion. You need to get the distributor in the exact position that the old one came out so it might take a couple of tries to get it correct.



Now stop and take a look. Note the position of the old distributor, rotor and its relation to the engine and notice how the new distributor was installed almost exactly in the same orientation. The new rotor, distributor is in the same position as the old one prior to removal. This is the whole key and why I did this picture story. You do this correctly and you're home free.

Reinstall the ignition module wires, hold down bolt (snug not tight), distributor cap, negative battery cable and ECM fuse.

Start car and let it fully warm up. Turn off ignition, use a T-15 torx to remove two torx bolts holding ciggy-butt lighter cover, use a paper clip and ground out your ADL connection. In this picture I did use a 7MM and removed the entire arm rest.



Hook up your timing light to #1 plug wire, timing light power connectors to your battery and start engine.



Rotate your distributor until you have the timing set to 10 * then hook up to #4 plug wire, you want to set the timing at the average of these two readings. I'm a little chicken, I wear a glove while rotating the distributor.
Tighten the hold down bolt and button everything up.

Here is a picture of the timing mark scale mounted next to the harmonic balancer, I used a little paint so I could see it.



Go for a drive over 35 MPH so the ECM can re-learn the idle.

I took a picture of the two distributors side by side, a picture tells a thousand words, the old is on left, new is on right. Much nicer quality and I believe that you don’t have to pull the distributor to replace the pick up coil. The remanufacture is 700-3703 Cardone Ignition Distributor part number 30-1633.



This little picture story actually took much longer than original replacement job did but its worth it if helps out just one of my PFF friends. Oh yeah, I was within three degrees of timing so I really did get the new distributor very close upon installation.

As usual, any comments, critiques or encouragement is appreciated.




DRA (fierorulz@yahoo.com) MSG #3, 01-01-2007 02:35 PM
      Nice write up!



Formula88 MSG #4, 01-01-2007 03:03 PM
      Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.

Raydar (raydarfiero@comcast.net) MSG #5, 01-01-2007 03:16 PM
      Yes. That *is* a nice write up.


kwagner MSG #6, 01-01-2007 03:21 PM
      I like that new distributor a lot, I might have to pick one up

buddycraigg (buddycraigg@yahoo.com) MSG #7, 01-01-2007 04:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.


and most of us still have the factory side post batterys so we need a 8mm or 5/16" wrench


Notorio MSG #8, 01-01-2007 04:58 PM
      Great write up. I didn't know you could get the special ratchet extension for the distributor bolt. Excellent - thanks.

jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #9, 01-01-2007 06:56 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.


Oh my gosh, I didn't know that it was that easy to get to, all these years, all those bolts, it was just two screws. I went back out and took a picture of that procedure too.

Curly Howard says,,,,"Thats sabatoogy!"



Ok thanks, I'll go back and make the edit and include the 8MM or 5/16-inch battery wrench too.

Oh my gosh, that's a dirty looking console, this picture looks better.

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 11-07-2010).]

Mister MSG #10, 01-01-2007 07:16 PM
      Good Job, Thanks.

fierogt28 MSG #11, 01-02-2007 12:57 AM
      Jetman, you have a PM.

BTW, good work for this procedure...useful infomation !!

fierogt28


Paul Prince (pprince@kc.rr.com) MSG #12, 01-02-2007 06:27 AM
      Great write up. One thing I have learned is that in your picture of the two distributors, you will notice that the wires from the PU coil to the module in the remanufactured distributor are longer than stock. Be carefull when you put the cap back on so as not to pinch those wires.........Paul

3800superfast MSG #13, 01-02-2007 09:05 AM
      Thanks jetman, As always very nice post and write-up, will be very usefull when this question comes up on the forum....

BobadooFunk (bobadoofunk@gmail.com) MSG #14, 01-02-2007 07:40 PM
      man this thread only shows me how bad the distributor is in Betty.... how much was that? (great write up too!)

Xanth MSG #15, 01-02-2007 08:33 PM
      Very nice writeup! Thanks for taking the time



JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #16, 01-02-2007 08:52 PM
      Nice!

James


Fiero-in-Paradise (masashi1955@hawaiiantel.net) MSG #17, 01-03-2007 02:09 AM
      Jetman...Great write-up and pictures!!! I bought a dist just like that from a local Checker, but with the holidays, haven't had time to install it yet. I have a stupid question, however. (This will be first time for me to do this.) That paperclip in the connector...do you just put it in momentarily to ground out, or do you just leave it in until you finish with the timing light procedure, then remove it?

Shucks...I bought a distributor wrench set, but not metric! Its a set of 9/16 and 1/2 I think...Hope I can return at Sears. Good-to-know info before I started this project!

The only thing different that I'll be doing in replacing the black O-ring with a Rodney's high temp dist O-ring.

Thanks again, timely info!
Tom



jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #18, 01-04-2007 11:42 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero-in-Paradise:
That paperclip in the connector...do you just put it in momentarily to ground out, or do you just leave it in until you finish with the timing light procedure, then remove it?


Put the paperclip in before you turn the ignition on (same way for checking codes) and leave it in while you are adjusting the timing, turn off ignition before removing the paper clip.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Just wanted to do a little update on the distributor thread and post a couple of pictures of the timing tab with the timing marks. If I had questions and difficulties seeing the numbers on mine, I’m sure that others may have also.

This first picture I lifted from Dodgerunner, he posted such a good picture with the numbers, I just had to post it again. Thank Dodgerunner the next time you see him.



Second picture I found in a post by rubyredfiero in the archives, give rubyredfiero credit for this nice shot.



Thanks again everyone!

edit [img] tags

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 01-04-2007).]

Fiero-in-Paradise (masashi1955@hawaiiantel.net) MSG #19, 01-05-2007 04:38 AM
      Thanks for the reply and info!! Now...just got to exchange that dang distributor wrench for a metric one.

PM sent on a slightly related question
Thanks...Tom


TG oreiF 8891 (tdirham@yahoo.com) MSG #20, 01-05-2007 09:15 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

Second picture I found in a post by rubyredfiero in the archives, give rubyredfiero credit for this nice shot.





Thanks so much for the write-up. I've been scared to replace mine and now I feel I can do it, you made it look easy. In this picture, what is the round tube thingy for? I've never done timing, so that part still seems a little daunting to me.


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #21, 01-05-2007 10:51 AM
      The round thingy, from what I have read on the forum, is an obsolete adapter for some kind of timing sensor used by GM service dept. to time the car, no longer used.


Dennis LaGrua (dlagrua@comcast.net) MSG #22, 01-05-2007 05:22 PM
      The Cardone rebuilt distributor uses a superior pickup method than the GM distributor. However, I would have concerns that the ignition module that they use would hold up to the high heat that the Fiero distributor sees.

Tom Piantanida (tom@greenleafmed.com) MSG #23, 01-06-2007 07:06 PM
      One word of caution from someone who learned the hard way: The loop of wire from the pickup coil can be captured by the distributor cap. Tightening the cap crushes the wires and can - as I found out - thin the insulation to the point where you have hard starting and intermittent misfire. Just be careful.

Tom Piantanida (tom@greenleafmed.com) MSG #24, 01-06-2007 07:08 PM
      One word of caution from someone who learned the hard way: On the "better" distributor, the loop of wire from the pickup coil can be captured by the distributor cap. Tightening the cap crushes the wires and can - as I found out - thin the insulation to the point where you have hard starting and intermittent misfire. Just be careful.

xtn668 MSG #25, 02-21-2007 03:32 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

This is a "Performance Tool" distributor clamp wrench, part number W1186, inexpensive and indespensible.




Jetman,

Where did you buy that wrench?


xtn668 MSG #26, 02-22-2007 10:16 AM
      If anyone can give me a hint to where to buy the wrench I would appreciate it. I just wanted to know if any local stores carry it, or any Performance Tools.
I found one online but I do not want to pay $10 handling fee for a $5 part if I can get it locally.


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #27, 02-22-2007 12:29 PM
      I purchased that distributor wrench at the local Murrays Auto Parts Store. I honestly didn't think that it was all that exotic, rather an "el-cheapo" wrench, you would think that it would be widely available.

I performed a rebuild on my older distributor, lots of pictures here at my photopage, "distributor rebuild". I specifically thought ahead for everyone, I use smugmug for my photos, tons of bandwidth so download reference pictures to your hearts content.

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 06-23-2009).]

xtn668 MSG #28, 02-22-2007 01:09 PM
      Thanks

turboguy327 (turboguy327@aol.com) MSG #29, 02-27-2007 09:38 AM
      i purchaseed that same wrench at advance auto for 7.99 i think it was if that helps anybody. pep boys had one too but they wanted 18.99 for it

ka4nkf (dgage9@tampabay.rr.com) MSG #30, 03-18-2007 08:03 PM
      Very nice writeup thanks
Don


alex de jorge (draco24433@gmail.com) MSG #31, 03-19-2007 06:53 AM
      Thanks for taking the time to do the write up.

AquaHusky (david.t.cisneros@gmail.com) MSG #32, 03-19-2007 12:33 PM
      I have a wrench not unlike that one. What I have is a black oxide box end that has 2 90* bends in it. But, what my older friends from back when I was first really getting into this(They were about 50-60 years old when I was 14-15), did is they'd go buy a wrench in the size they needed from the swap meets or wherever, and heat it then put the bends in themselves.

The one I have is a 9/16ths for the old Malibu I used to have. The timing never felt right and I was always trying to fix it. I used a timing light, but at speed, it never sounded right. I found out later the vacuum and mechanical advance was rusted still. haha


87SEV6Reborn05 (crashdocs@gmail.com) MSG #33, 04-24-2007 09:39 PM
      Ok so if I didn't get the distributor back in perfect how can I adjust it, or get the engine back in the right place to slide the distributor back in?

Formula88 MSG #34, 04-24-2007 10:07 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by 87SEV6Reborn05:

Ok so if I didn't get the distributor back in perfect how can I adjust it, or get the engine back in the right place to slide the distributor back in?


1. Don't turn the engine over while the distributor is out. If you do, you'll have to find #1 TDC on the compression stroke to find your reference.

Otherwise, you can just pull the distributor out and put it back in one tooth in either direction. If you're close, chances are you're not more than 1 or 2 teeth off. From there you time it by turning the distributor before fully tightening the hold down clamp.


Formula Owner MSG #35, 04-25-2007 10:33 AM
      Nice writeup. I only have one comment to add. If you're removing & replacing the same distributor, the rubber o-ring must be replaced with a new one. Unless you just enjoy oil leaks.

87SEV6Reborn05 (crashdocs@gmail.com) MSG #36, 04-25-2007 01:06 PM
      I'm at TDC for #1 where does the distributor need to to be pointing.
here is a diagram I have and where the distibutor is pointing. where is #1 on here or should I just plug up the #1 plug wire to this spot and go around from there with the other spark plug wires?


87SEV6Reborn05 (crashdocs@gmail.com) MSG #37, 04-25-2007 01:08 PM
      I'm at TDC for #1 where does the distributor need to to be pointing.
here is a diagram I have and where the distibutor is pointing. where is #1 on here or should I just plug up the #1 plug wire to this spot and go around from there with the other spark plug wires?


87SEV6Reborn05 (crashdocs@gmail.com) MSG #38, 04-25-2007 03:05 PM
      ok this is where I'm at, I shaded the area for the cap and I'm at TDC #1 , think I need to pull up the distributor and move it a little to the left making the arrow point to what I have labeled as #1, is this correct?
This is location 1



This is location 2


Ok what diagram is correct if any?


avengador1 (avengador1@aol.com) MSG #39, 04-25-2007 03:16 PM
      It should be number 5 in your first picture. You can actually make it any one you want but it will confuse you and the next owner of the car as it is shown differently in the manuals. Here is a picture from one of the manuals.


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #40, 06-21-2007 05:55 PM
      If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.

I wish that I could remember the forum member that had suggested this idea, I really wanted to give credit where credit is due for this teriffic idea.


Max The Chainsaw MSG #41, 06-22-2007 01:14 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.

I wish that I could remember the forum member that had suggested this idea, I really wanted to give credit where credit is due for this teriffic idea.


I was about to suggest that as well. I was shown the coil wire trick when I first started in mechanical work in the mid 70's. Sure does make it easier to average out when you can see both at once!!

Great write up BTW.

Max

Edit: WoHooooo Page 2 is MINE!!!

[This message has been edited by Max The Chainsaw (edited 06-22-2007).]

Fierobsessed (nstarfiero@aol.com) MSG #42, 08-21-2007 06:22 AM
      Excellent write up!

One thing I never liked about the Fiero's distributor, is the style of the pickup coil. The rusted/bent steel fingers on the pickup coil and on the magnet do not promote any kind of consistancy on the firing across all 6 cylenders. I was always a big fan of the star shaped pointed pickup and magnet. I just got finished rebuilding a 2.8 distributor using parts from a used 4.3 (blazer/S10) distributor. Far superior parts, much like the ones you installed. I'm hoping that this will eliminate some of the roughness that the Fiero has always had at an idle. You can REALLY feel the pointers when they line up now.


fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #43, 08-21-2007 10:28 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:

Excellent write up!

One thing I never liked about the Fiero's distributor, is the style of the pickup coil. The rusted/bent steel fingers on the pickup coil and on the magnet do not promote any kind of consistancy on the firing across all 6 cylenders. I was always a big fan of the star shaped pointed pickup and magnet. I just got finished rebuilding a 2.8 distributor using parts from a used 4.3 (blazer/S10) distributor. Far superior parts, much like the ones you installed. I'm hoping that this will eliminate some of the roughness that the Fiero has always had at an idle. You can REALLY feel the pointers when they line up now.


Any chance you'll do a write up on this?


Fierobsessed (nstarfiero@aol.com) MSG #44, 08-21-2007 08:36 PM
      Guess I am kicking myself for not taking pictures as I rebuilt this distributor

Before I do any sort of writeup, I am going to send the distributor to my father so he can use it in his car, mostly to verify that this mod does what I think it will do, or for that matter work at all. One thing I can say, is the plastic housed pickup coil itself, from the S10/Blazer, is of far better quality then the one from the Fiero. The Fiero one was wrapped up in paper and fell apart when I was removing it.


fierohoho (fierohoho@gmail.com) MSG #45, 08-21-2007 10:51 PM
      Interesting, please let us know if it works out and what your dad thinks of the upgrade.

Also, what year S-10 4.3 did the parts come from and to clarify, did you use the Fiero base, shaft and gear?

Steve

[This message has been edited by fierohoho (edited 08-21-2007).]

Fierobsessed (nstarfiero@aol.com) MSG #46, 08-22-2007 03:55 AM
      I'm guessing that it was a 90+/- Blazer/S10 Something of that vintage. Possibly all chevy 4.3's.

And you are exactly right. I used the Fiero's shaft, gear, and base (with the plate).

It was a REALLY easy build, Just had to be very careful not to break the magnetic star from the 4.3 while pressing it off then onto the Fiero's shaft. All the parts from the 4.3 pickup assembly fit flawlessly into the 2.8's distributor. Who knows, there may even be a distributor available that has the good parts, (camaro 3.1 maybe? I don't know) I might go back to the U-pull it for more research, maybe pick up another fiero dizzy and do the conversion, and take pics this time


leppy_89 (casey.ryan89@gmail.com) MSG #47, 03-12-2008 07:43 PM
     
 
quote
Rotate your distributor until you have the timing set to 10 * then hook up to #4 plug wire, you want to set the timing at the average of these two readings. I'm a little chicken, I wear a glove while rotating the distributor.
Tighten the hold down bolt and button everything up.


Okay, I understand the "set to 10*" part, and I get the "hook up to #4 plug wire", but when you say "you want to set the timing at the average" how exactly do you do that?

How do you adjust the timing? Maybe I'd have to actually try doing this to get a better idea, but I'm still at a loss. Sorry for the dumb question, just trying to learn.


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #48, 03-12-2008 08:02 PM
      Due to the normal wear in the system, there is a little slop in the cam shaft, timing gears and crank shaft. Set the timing so that the average timing of both #1 and #4 is 10*. You may have the timing of #1 at 11* and the timing of #4 at 9* which is perfectly fine.

I did mention that if you have a good induction light, just hook up to the coil wire, you'll just set the timing once and be done with it as you're getting both #1 and #4 at the same time.


JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #49, 03-13-2008 09:58 AM
      Yep, there are actually three timing grooves on the harmonic dampener. The wide one is for cylinders #1 and #4, the other two are for the other two pairs of cylinders. If you use the coil wire to trigger the timing light you'll get a flash for every cylinder and each should like up with one of the timing marks.

To clarify what averaging means, say you check the timing for #1 and it's at 11°, then without making any adjustments you check the timing for #4 and it shows 13°. By adjusting the timing to 9° on #1 and therefor 11° on #4 the average timing of the two is 10°.

The reason for this is to compensate for production tolerances in the machining of the crank. Though it's possible for the three crank planes to be out of tolerance by a degree or two, in practice I haven't seen a crank that was more than half a degree out. Also, timing isn't all that critical, you could be off a degree or two and not even notice a significant difference in driveability.

JazzMan


AutoTech (boosted2m6@yahoo.com) MSG #50, 03-13-2008 10:44 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:



I have been searching Hi and Low for these damn replacement pieces, but I cant find them anywhere

Anybody got a clue?


uhlanstan (lcplnewton@netzero.com) MSG #51, 03-13-2008 12:37 PM
      Bravo excellent post a green rate I was just informed about this distributor by Black Tree,, this is a performance distributor . a needed improvement over the stock stonehenge druid unit .. this is the kind of post we all can benefit from a big + for a post that will increase fiero owners satisfation level(and make the car run better ) If you use the coil wire ,,use a thin timing mark and thier will be no need to double check the 1 and 4.. this forum is a constant source of fiero improvement, thanks to members like Jetman



AutoTech (boosted2m6@yahoo.com) MSG #52, 03-16-2008 07:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by AutoTech:


I have been searching Hi and Low for these damn replacement pieces, but I cant find them anywhere

Anybody got a clue?


Bump


uhlanstan (lcplnewton@netzero.com) MSG #53, 03-16-2008 08:02 PM
      Any time you are going to replace a distributor , you should be on the #1 firing point..piston fire position.. When the timing is known to be exact The distributor should be marked with a small slim white paint mark ,scribe mark or a pin punch mark at the join surfaces,that will center the distributor any time you move it..When the new distributor is installed ,once timing is verified,,use the lower old mark and place the new mark on the distributor to match the old mark,,If you carefully eyeball the position of the distributor before you remove it ,and the finish position as it clears the lower drive gear,, this makes install and future removal easier..

A paper match or tooth pick can be used to apply the paint,a dry wall screw will scribe most excellently
when the distributor clears mark the exact place where the rotor (or moving part) is in relation to the distributor
For the generous souls who assist others on thier fieros a distributor cap with the top partialy cut out can be of assistance in distributor trouble shooting..
some body rate jetman green for me


mmeyer86gt/gtp (deepbluez98@yahoo.com) MSG #54, 03-16-2008 10:44 PM
      I posted a build up with the s10 / blazer write up some time ago if you look in the search it shows how to do it. and what the differences are between the fiero one and the blazer one!

uhlanstan (lcplnewton@netzero.com) MSG #55, 03-28-2008 12:04 PM
      This is a most excellent post ,I am bumping for the doubters, green rates for jet man PLEASE

Spoilt_87fiero MSG #56, 04-01-2008 11:55 PM
      great write up + for jetman

sjmaye MSG #57, 04-02-2008 03:23 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Spoilt_87fiero:

great write up + for jetman


Ditto!


sjmaye MSG #58, 04-02-2008 03:32 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by uhlanstan:

Any time you are going to replace a distributor , you should be on the #1 firing point..piston fire position.. When the timing is known to be exact The distributor should be marked with a small slim white paint mark ,scribe mark or a pin punch mark at the join surfaces,that will center the distributor any time you move it..When the new distributor is installed ,once timing is verified,,use the lower old mark and place the new mark on the distributor to match the old mark,,If you carefully eyeball the position of the distributor before you remove it ,and the finish position as it clears the lower drive gear,, this makes install and future removal easier..

A paper match or tooth pick can be used to apply the paint,a dry wall screw will scribe most excellently
when the distributor clears mark the exact place where the rotor (or moving part) is in relation to the distributor
For the generous souls who assist others on thier fieros a distributor cap with the top partialy cut out can be of assistance in distributor trouble shooting..
some body rate jetman green for me



Can you guys confirm I did this right? I have my engine out. Before pulling the distributor I put got the engine to TDC of cylinder #1 . I saw a punch mark in the block at the base of the distributor. I made a mating punch in the distibutor base for lineup later. I also took a sharpie and marked the relationship of the rotor to the distributor housing just to be sure I was not off a tooth. I then pulled the distributor.

Should this at least get the thing started when I get the engine back in the car?

Also- I HATE oil leaks. Any comments on Rodneys high temp distributor O-ring? I have a new one with my gasket set, but should I consider using his instead?


uhlanstan (lcplnewton@netzero.com) MSG #59, 04-02-2008 02:38 PM
      If engine was running O K when you pulled the engine you should be fine ,,the purpose of the marks is to KEEP time when working on the engine distributor and save time ,, The mark is made when you know timing is correct,so you do not have to retime from "not known" If the distributor was not moved from the last time the engine was run you are fine
I always bring engine to top dead center or #1 fire position when I reinstall a distributor
A properly done punch mark will FEEL into place,, The paint mark with a center scribe is more precise
when parts are changed the timing change is small but timing should be check for best running engine
try for as close to 10 and 10 as possible,but 9 and 11 are O K
One mark is permanent,block to distributor, the 2nd mark should be lighter more easily erased ,,but it is the more important mark..it is the position of the distributor gear driven shaft and what it turns that is most important..always use #1 for time purpose to simplify
The piston must be at the same position as it was at removal when you remount distributor... top dead center firing stroke
do not alter distributor firing points to attain perfect time
The stock o ring should be fine, this has been a problem on older o rings,use a small amount of lube to assist in smooth slide entry.if edges are sharp ,smooth with sand paper just place oily rag or oily soft paper in hole to prevent grit from falling in new engine
I ve found that lube aids quick entry into a tight hole

[This message has been edited by uhlanstan (edited 04-06-2008).]

Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #60, 04-02-2008 05:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.



 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

I did mention that if you have a good induction light, just hook up to the coil wire, you'll just set the timing once and be done with it as you're getting both #1 and #4 at the same time.



Perhaps I'm not following exactly what you're saying, but why would an induction timing light be necessary? Couldn't a regular timing light be attached to the coil (or the center terminal of the distributor) in much the same fashion as a regular timing light is normally attached to the #1 spark plug?

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-02-2008).]

JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #61, 04-02-2008 05:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:


Perhaps I'm not following exactly what you're saying, but why would an induction timing light be necessary? Couldn't a regular timing light be attached to the coil (or the center terminal of the distributor) in much the same fashion as a regular timing light is normally attached to the #1 spark plug?



An induction timing light is a regular timing light. In the bad old days timing lights had to be connected in line with the spark plug wire or even (heaven forbid) used a wire that pierced the insulation. Modern induction timing lights use a clamp with an induction coil to clamp to the wire.

JazzMan


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #62, 04-02-2008 06:15 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:

An induction timing light is a regular timing light. In the bad old days timing lights had to be connected in line with the spark plug wire or even (heaven forbid) used a wire that pierced the insulation. Modern induction timing lights use a clamp with an induction coil to clamp to the wire.



JazzMan, thanks, but I'm aware how an induction timing light works.

My question was in regards to using a timing light from "the bad old days" (the type I have) connected in line from the coil to the distributor to monitor timing for both the #1 and #4 cylinders.

In other words, I don't understand why an induction timing light was originally mentioned specifically. Just looking for some clarification, is all.


JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #63, 04-02-2008 06:21 PM
      Well, it doesn't matter what triggers the flash in the light, the result is the same. There is a timing mark on the harmonic dampener for every cylinder pair besides #1 & 4, so you'll get results with the coil wire as well.

JazzMan


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #64, 04-02-2008 06:33 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:

Well, it doesn't matter what triggers the flash in the light, the result is the same.



That was more or less my point.

Anyone disagree with being able to use a non-inductive timing light for this procedure?

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-02-2008).]

sjmaye MSG #65, 04-03-2008 03:34 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:


Perhaps I'm not following exactly what you're saying, but why would an induction timing light be necessary? Couldn't a regular timing light be attached to the coil (or the center terminal of the distributor) in much the same fashion as a regular timing light is normally attached to the #1 spark plug?



Induction or regular makes no difference. You can connect to the center (coil) terminal, but it fires for all cylinders, so using it for timing purposes is useless. For a regular, inline, timing light it should be connected to cylinder #1 distributor terminal or spark plug.


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #66, 04-03-2008 04:59 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:

You can connect to the center (coil) terminal, but it fires for all cylinders, so using it for timing purposes is useless.



So you don't agree with Jetman?

 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-03-2008).]

Hudini (hudini@tds.net) MSG #67, 04-03-2008 08:10 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:
You can connect to the center (coil) terminal, but it fires for all cylinders, so using it for timing purposes is useless. For a regular, inline, timing light it should be connected to cylinder #1 distributor terminal or spark plug.


Not useless at all. In fact it is a neat trick for setting the average for #1 and #4. How? Because you mark the harmonic balancer with white chalk or paint on the fat mark and that is the mark you see even though the timing light flashes for all cylinders. The net effect your eyes see is the white chalk mark. You move the dist so the chalk mark bounces around as close to the 10* mark as you can get.


JazzMan (jazzman@fierocentral.com) MSG #68, 04-03-2008 09:00 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:


Induction or regular makes no difference. You can connect to the center (coil) terminal, but it fires for all cylinders, so using it for timing purposes is useless.


Not quite. The harmonic dampener has marks corresponding to TDC of every cylinder, so you can use the coil wire and see a timing mark that's relatively accurately located for every cylinder firing event.

JazzMan



sjmaye MSG #69, 04-03-2008 05:59 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick:
So you don't agree with Jetman?



Yes, I do. I was also agreeing with Jazzman on his description on induction timing lights and needing to be on cylinder #1.



sjmaye MSG #70, 04-03-2008 06:01 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by JazzMan:


Not quite. The harmonic dampener has marks corresponding to TDC of every cylinder, so you can use the coil wire and see a timing mark that's relatively accurately located for every cylinder firing event.

JazzMan


If you are connected to the coil wire won't it be firing and blinking for all 6 plugs firing? How would you know which one it is firing for? I thought I was pretty sure about this, but I am beginning to wonder


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #71, 04-03-2008 07:17 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:

Yes, I do.



You say you agree with Jetman, yet you've also stated his timing procedure is "useless".

You've certainly got me confused.



Hudini (hudini@tds.net) MSG #72, 04-03-2008 10:58 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:


If you are connected to the coil wire won't it be firing and blinking for all 6 plugs firing? How would you know which one it is firing for? I thought I was pretty sure about this, but I am beginning to wonder


Because all 6 cylinders will fire at 10* BTDC. So even if you can see the 2 skinny timing marks for cylinders 2,5 and 3,6 as well as the fat mark for 1,4 the timing mark(s) will appear mostly stationary. You then adjust the dist until the marks are as close to 10* as possible. This would be even more accurate than 1/4 as you get the average for all 6 cylinders.


sjmaye MSG #73, 04-04-2008 03:12 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Hudini:


Because all 6 cylinders will fire at 10* BTDC. So even if you can see the 2 skinny timing marks for cylinders 2,5 and 3,6 as well as the fat mark for 1,4 the timing mark(s) will appear mostly stationary. You then adjust the dist until the marks are as close to 10* as possible. This would be even more accurate than 1/4 as you get the average for all 6 cylinders.


Wow! I stand corrected. All my work with distributors prior to this was with my old 1969 350. I was always told to reference #1 cylinder only.

Thanks for the info. No longer dizzy.


twofatguys (brad@wheatoncomputer.com) MSG #74, 04-04-2008 08:40 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by avengador1:

It should be number 5 in your first picture. You can actually make it any one you want but it will confuse you and the next owner of the car as it is shown differently in the manuals. Here is a picture from one of the manuals.


Man, you do not know how hard I looked for this picture when I put a new distributer in the car, sent it to a shop to get timing done, and the mechanic changed the plug wires and distributer all around to the wrong firing order.

Brad


sjmaye MSG #75, 04-04-2008 02:57 PM
      Nice diagram. So, if you don't have any idea how the distributor came out the terminal highlighted as terminal #1 goes in the orientation shown?

Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #76, 04-04-2008 04:15 PM
      Just a tip, I wired a toggle switch with a safety cover to the dia mode plug. I can now easily put it in dia mode to set timming, IAC, check a code or whatever without taking apart the console.

Francis T (rspiderii@aol.com) MSG #77, 04-04-2008 04:18 PM
      If you wire a switch to the diag connectors you wont have to to take apart the console to check codes or whatever.

Richjk21 MSG #78, 04-04-2008 04:27 PM
      You can also install a mini headphone jack to the cover for the ALDL connector area that stays plugged into the connector. My ALDL cable plugs right into the jack for data logging, and I have a seperate dummy plug that plugs in and shorts the A&B terminals for setting timing.

Rich


cropduster MSG #79, 04-04-2008 09:07 PM
      OK, kick me for reading the directions, but I just read the sticker on my car for setting the timing and it said to put the car in "drive".
WTF???
I DON"T think I'll do it that way and I bet it will be just fine..........
What were those engineers thinking??



sjmaye MSG #80, 04-05-2008 02:43 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by cropduster:

I just read the sticker on my car for setting the timing and it said to put the car in "drive".


?



2farnorth MSG #81, 04-15-2008 07:49 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by cropduster:

OK, kick me for reading the directions, but I just read the sticker on my car for setting the timing and it said to put the car in "drive".
WTF???
I DON"T think I'll do it that way and I bet it will be just fine..........
What were those engineers thinking??



Yes they do say put it in drive... It slows the engine idle speed down lower...but I don't do it that way. It's too dangerous. Do it in park or neutral



Max The Chainsaw MSG #82, 04-15-2008 09:19 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by sjmaye:


If you are connected to the coil wire won't it be firing and blinking for all 6 plugs firing? How would you know which one it is firing for? I thought I was pretty sure about this, but I am beginning to wonder


Yes, it will flash for all 6 cyl's. Thing is, for the cyls that fire away from the painted timing mark, all you will see is the side of the balancer. The cyls where the line is will flash on the line, making the line visible. Hope this makes sense.

Max




NashvilleFiero MSG #83, 05-16-2008 11:37 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:

Guess I am kicking myself for not taking pictures as I rebuilt this distributor

Before I do any sort of writeup, I am going to send the distributor to my father so he can use it in his car, mostly to verify that this mod does what I think it will do, or for that matter work at all. One thing I can say, is the plastic housed pickup coil itself, from the S10/Blazer, is of far better quality then the one from the Fiero. The Fiero one was wrapped up in paper and fell apart when I was removing it.


Did this ever work out?



NashvilleFiero MSG #84, 05-22-2008 08:32 PM
      Hey Guys,
I have some ignition questions.

I recently replaced the lifters and push rods in my stock 2.8. In the process, I removed the distributor and put it back in. In order to find TDC, I turned the crank until cylinder #1 was neither going up or down with the screw driver test. I found the plug wire #1 and used a diagram i found on this site to figure out where it goes.

The engine runs, but badly, it sounds like a four cylinder.

Could I be 180 or 360 degrees off with my TDC?

Will the engine run if I am off a tooth on the distributor or not?

What would a broken cam do?

Thanks! I am SO SO close to finally having a drivable Fiero for the first time.



jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #85, 05-25-2008 02:51 PM
      If the engine is running you're very close, 180* off and it would only backfire. You can be off several teeth, that's why you can rotate the distributor housing. If you're running but badly, double check your wiring sequence as you may have a couple of plug wires crossed or cracked a spark plug upon installation.

I thought that I would repost a couple of nice diagrams of plug wire routing.

Pictures worth a thousand words,,,,






NashvilleFiero MSG #86, 06-07-2008 04:34 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Paul Prince:

Great write up. One thing I have learned is that in your picture of the two distributors, you will notice that the wires from the PU coil to the module in the remanufactured distributor are longer than stock. Be carefull when you put the cap back on so as not to pinch those wires.........Paul


Um yeah, I just crimped mine Happens really easily.


NashvilleFiero MSG #87, 06-10-2008 12:45 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.

I wish that I could remember the forum member that had suggested this idea, I really wanted to give credit where credit is due for this teriffic idea.


I am not sure I understand this


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #88, 06-10-2008 03:09 PM
      Under normal circumstances, after setting the timing for #1 cylinder, you would double check against your #4 cylinder. If you had a difference of more than one degree or so then you would split the difference so that the average of those two would be 10* BTDC.

Now that I've been thinking, hooking up to the coil wire would give you the average of all cylinders, you would see the timing for every cylinder firing. Due to wear and other factors, the strobe light won't sit perfectly still on the harmonic ballancer, it'll dance around a bit, you adjust your timing so the average is at 10* BTDC.

Sometimes I'm not too good at explaining stuff, anyone is more than welcome to chime in here for you.


NashvilleFiero MSG #89, 06-10-2008 10:38 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

Under normal circumstances, after setting the timing for #1 cylinder, you would double check against your #4 cylinder. If you had a difference of more than one degree or so then you would split the difference so that the average of those two would be 10* BTDC.

Now that I've been thinking, hooking up to the coil wire would give you the average of all cylinders, you would see the timing for every cylinder firing. Due to wear and other factors, the strobe light won't sit perfectly still on the harmonic ballancer, it'll dance around a bit, you adjust your timing so the average is at 10* BTDC.

Sometimes I'm not too good at explaining stuff, anyone is more than welcome to chime in here for you.

Ok, this makes more sense to me. Thanks!


mmeyer86gt/gtp (deepbluez98@yahoo.com) MSG #90, 06-11-2008 01:41 AM
      Talking about the blaer build up options. I have installed it into 2 owners and they both have said that reponsiveness of the engine has improved a little along with getting the car to idle at a more regular tone. I have 2 more rebuild and ready to install if anyone is interested.

NashvilleFiero MSG #91, 06-13-2008 04:08 PM
      I was amazed at how many problems I ran into / caused into with my distributor along the way.

Here goes:
1. Broken/hidden 2 wire connection to module (this was really hard to diagnose)
2. White wire from coil got crimped in and shorted between cap and base of dist (can't see back there)
3. Somehow the old rotor went back on the new dist. (wobbled on shaft, made engine miss)
4. Cleaned first rusted distributor with PB Blaster DOH! (it's magnetic !)
5. Blue screws at new cap base were too long, hit intake stud, making it seem like the dist endpoint (I think this may trip up a lot of us)

This thread helped my straighten a lot of mistakes that I made : )

Not quite out of the woods yet...: )


jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #92, 04-24-2009 07:05 PM
      Here is a quick bump for the spring tune up season.

mgiusto MSG #93, 04-24-2009 07:41 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

If the engine is running you're very close, 180* off and it would only backfire. You can be off several teeth, that's why you can rotate the distributor housing. If you're running but badly, double check your wiring sequence as you may have a couple of plug wires crossed or cracked a spark plug upon installation.

I thought that I would repost a couple of nice diagrams of plug wire routing.

Pictures worth a thousand words,,,,



OK My 88 Fiero GT is different than this in regards to the distributor cap diagram you have there. When my cap is on the distributor, the flat edge is located at about 7:30 o'clock if you are looking at it from back of the trunk and my #3 plug is where you have #2. This is how my car has always been. Has it been wrong all this time or is the location of where the cap is determine where #1 would start??? With my distributor cap in the location it is now, (flat edge at 7:30 o'clock) the #2 plug is located at 6 o'clock when looking at the cap from behind the trunk.

[This message has been edited by mgiusto (edited 04-24-2009).]

jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #94, 04-24-2009 09:02 PM
      Generally speaking, you like to install the distributor so the rotor is pointing at your #1 post on the distributor cap and work from there. Sometimes mechanics don't get that right when they're re-installing the distributor so they "correct" by moving the plug wires one post forward or back to compensate for where the rotor is pointing at top dead center. This usually causes confusion later when someone like you or me tries to install a new distributor.

Get to top dead center on #1 cylinder, fat groove on harmonic ballancer, install distributor so rotor will be facing the #1 post on the cap, go from there.


buddycraigg (buddycraigg@yahoo.com) MSG #95, 04-24-2009 09:31 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:
Get to top dead center on #1 cylinder, fat groove on harmonic ballancer, install distributor so rotor will be facing the #1 post on the cap, go from there.

just a reminder that the fat groove lines up with the pointer when #1 AND #4 are at TDC.
that is all


mgiusto MSG #96, 04-25-2009 11:05 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by buddycraigg:

just a reminder that the fat groove lines up with the pointer when #1 AND #4 are at TDC.
that is all


Line fat groove up with 10 * on the pointer? Can I do it this way blind without having to take the #1 plug out and check for compression? I am just one person doing this job and I am rotating the crankshaft from below the car.

Buddy great video! I was at aloss on how to paint the big groove and the 10 * marker from up abvove though. I found it so much easier doing this from below the car. with the right-rear tire off.


mgiusto MSG #97, 04-25-2009 03:37 PM
      While waiting for a reply to my previous message, I went ahead and lined up the fat groove on the crankshaft pulley with the 10 degree mark on the pointer, then I removed my distributor cap and took a pic to show where the rotor is.



Notice that the rotor is located at the #4 location if the distributor cap were on. Do I now lift the distributor out and turn and put back in so it lines up with where position #1 would be as shown in my pic? When I took out the old distributor, the rotor was facing between #4 and #5 location.

Below is another pic with the distributor cap on.



Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #98, 04-25-2009 03:48 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by mgiusto:

Notice that the rotor is located at the #4 location if the distributor cap were on. Do I now lift the distributor out and turn and put back in so it lines up with where position #1 would be as shown in my pic?



Only if piston #1 is actually at TDC. You won't know until you follow the instructions for finding TDC of #1.Yes, you've got the timing marks lined up, but at that position it could be for either cylinder #1 or #4.

I found the easiest way to rotate the crankshaft was to remove the passenger side rear wheel, unhook and drop the flexible side-skirt a bit, and then put a socket on the end of the crankshaft with a long extension. In doing so, I was able to stand beside the car and observe the timing mark on the balancer while I reached around and turned the crankshaft with a ratchet.

[This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 04-25-2009).]

GlassParking_Lot (scott6725@comcast.net) MSG #99, 04-25-2009 04:41 PM
      Hey, I know this is a bad thing, but what if you did'ent marking the place of the old distributor and just put the new one in ? lol sorry. Can anyone help me ? All my friends are calling me an idiot. lol

jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #100, 04-25-2009 10:49 PM
      Totally blind installation with distributor already out of engine.

Rotate the crankshaft so the fat timing mark on harmonic balancer is on the timing tab like shown.



Note where the #1 plug wire post is on the cap and mark with white-out on the body of the distributor exactly where that is. Remove the cap.



Install distributor with the rotor pointing at your white-out mark indicating #1 post and put the distributor cap back on. (note that the rotor is point exactly where the #1 plug wire post will be when we put the cap back on.)



Insure that your plug wires are in the correct order per the pictures.



Here is another diagram of the plug location.



Try starting the car. If it doesn’t catch fire then you may be 180* off on the base timing so get the fat timing mark on the timing tab like before. Remove the distributor and crank the harmonic balancer around exactly one full turn (360*), and then re-install the distributor with the rotor pointing at the #1 mark on the distributor. Put the cap back on and start the car.


Warm up the car then shut off, ground your ADL and restart.


Set timing with an induction timing light.

Remember that your crankshaft makes two revolutions for every revolution of the distributor, that’s why you may be at Top Dead Center (TDC) for either #1 or #4 cylinder with the fat mark lined up on the timing tab. Some folks will pull the #1 plug out, put their finger over the hole and when it blows off, you’re at TDC for #1 cylinder.

Some folks will rock the car in 2nd gear to rotate the engine on manual shift trans to get the harmonic balancer fat mark to line up on the timing tab. I’ve done that myself, beware of getting your skull slammed by the deck lid, ask me how many stars you’ll see. I have also used a long wrench and or a socket on the main bolt on the balancer. Whatever works for you.

I think that’s it for a blind installation of a distributor.




mgiusto MSG #101, 04-26-2009 10:57 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

Totally blind installation with distributor already out of engine.

Rotate the crankshaft so the fat timing mark on harmonic balancer is on the timing tab.

Note where the #1 plug wire post is on the cap and mark with white-out on the body of the distributor exactly where that is. Remove the cap.

Install distributor with the rotor pointing at your white-out mark indicating #1 post and put the distributor cap back on. (note that the rotor is point exactly where the #1 plug wire post will be when we put the cap back on.)

The engine runs without stalling or anything but it sounds really different. It's a lower pitch rumble now.

Try starting the car. If it doesn’t catch fire then you may be 180* off on the base timing so get the fat timing mark on the timing tab like before. Remove the distributor and crank the harmonic balancer around exactly one full turn (360*), and then re-install the distributor with the rotor pointing at the #1 mark on the distributor. Put the cap back on and start the car.

Warm up the car then shut off, ground your ADL and restart.

Set timing with an induction timing light.

Remember that your crankshaft makes two revolutions for every revolution of the distributor, that’s why you may be at Top Dead Center (TDC) for either #1 or #4 cylinder with the fat mark lined up on the timing tab. Some folks will pull the #1 plug out, put their finger over the hole and when it blows off, you’re at TDC for #1 cylinder.

Some folks will rock the car in 2nd gear to rotate the engine on manual shift trans to get the harmonic balancer fat mark to line up on the timing tab. I’ve done that myself, beware of getting your skull slammed by the deck lid, ask me how many stars you’ll see. I have also used a long wrench and or a socket on the main bolt on the balancer. Whatever works for you.

I think that’s it for a blind installation of a distributor.



EDIT: All is fine. I had a few complaints about the engine sound but it wound up being because I had the ADL jumper in on the first start. I removed it and the car sounded fine. I'm hopeful that after getting a timing light all will be perfect with this new distributor. Thanks to everyone for the help!!! Especially Jettman, whose post above help me tremendously with a step by step guide on starting from nothing...

[This message has been edited by mgiusto (edited 04-26-2009).]

GlassParking_Lot (scott6725@comcast.net) MSG #102, 04-27-2009 05:15 PM
      I love you guys. ya'll are so awesome. You guys are defanently the shapest mechanics I have ever come acrossed on the internet. That post that you replied to me with is going to solve so many of my problems. i finally know why the car has never ran right. the firing order has never been correct. You guys are seriously awesome.

GlassParking_Lot (scott6725@comcast.net) MSG #103, 04-29-2009 02:58 AM
      Well, Its done. My 86 fiero gt is now perfectly in time and purrs like a kitten. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Edaw 0 MSG #104, 08-17-2009 12:49 PM
      Thank you, thank you thank you!

Now I know what it's like to leave a light without flooring it.


DLCLK87GT MSG #105, 08-17-2009 02:01 PM
      I never knew the trick about using the coil wire. can't wait to get home and try it.

Brucepts (bruce@tractorsport.com) MSG #106, 08-17-2009 04:21 PM
      Thanks for this post used the info in my own install which I undertook past weekend and ended up with this;



(O-ring moved to show groove) Leaked like you would not believe till I found out why, took the o-ring off to change it thinking it might be cut and found this dimple in the o-ring groove. Oil was pushing behind o-ring and up this dimple and out.

My original distributor had end play so while I had it out I compared to this "new" remanufactured one and found my trigger wheel had moved up the spline after 97000 miles so I tapped it back down to tighten up the end play.

I had also noticed when I installed my rotor on the "new" distributor that it felt loose so I measures the shaft and it was undersized from the old one, you can see the grind marks in the pics;







Installed my old one after checking everything out and installing new o-ring and took the "new" one back to NAPA today for a refund! NAPA guy didn't even question it, must not be the first time?

Needless to say I'm now an expert on distributor removal/install after doing it 5-6 times. (had the timing off a tooth one way or the other so had to pull it a time or two extra and the other times were to find the leak)

Anyone want to guess how many times I had to pickup the clamp and bolt off the floor??


pontiackid86 (phllyracer@aol.com) MSG #107, 11-13-2009 12:18 AM
      This thread is vey helpful in the rebuilding of my motor but i have one question. I have bumped the cylinders a few times since i removed my distributer. What should i do about replacing it and retiming it?

jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #108, 11-13-2009 08:54 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by pontiackid86:

This thread is vey helpful in the rebuilding of my motor but i have one question. I have bumped the cylinders a few times since i removed my distributer. What should i do about replacing it and retiming it?


You need to find Top Dead Center (TDC) for # 1 piston. Rotate the harmonic ballancer so the fat timing mark is aligned up on the timing tab, then set your distributor. You will be at either # 1 or #4 TDC, go from there. If you have your intake off and can see the lifters, TDC #1 is where the both valves are closed when the fat mark is on the timing tab. A little more detail here....

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...ML/079386-3.html#p99


countach711 (johngates@hotmail.com) MSG #109, 03-08-2010 10:40 AM
      I think it might help clarify that the coil trick works because you don't see cylinders 2,3,5,6 firing because they are doing so at 1/3 increments around the balancer. So if you are standing above it holding the timing light, the lower 1/3 marks would pretty much be out of your vision and you will only see 1 & 4 firing around the 10 degree mark (hopefully). Someone correct me if I'm worng, but I beleive that's right.

jetman (dangerkitty@wideopenwest.com) MSG #110, 09-09-2012 12:24 PM
      Here is an excellent question that I was asked by one of our forum members.

 
quote
Your post on distributor replacement is awesome! After reading through it a couple of times, I had some questions. What is the purpose of grounding out the ADL with a paper clip? What is ADL? Is this required every time the timing is checked? Thanks again!


Thanks for the compliment.

Yes, you must ground out the ADL to set the engine distributor base timing.

The ADL is the computer diagnostic connector that lives behind the ciggy butt cover. Grounding out the ADL puts the computer into "service" mode so that the computer does not adjust the timing on it's own. With the engine off, the paperclip is inserted into the ADL, then start the car and adjust the distributor base timing which is 10* before top dead center. It's as simple as that.

If you didn't ground out the ADL which puts the computer into service mode, you'll never be able to set the distributor base timing as the computer will be constantly making adjustments on it's own.

You also ground out the ADL whenever you check the engine codes but in that case, you don't start the engine, rather just turn the key to the engine on position and watch the "service engine soon" light (check wallet light) flash the codes at you.

Back in the old days, we didn't have engine management computers, setting the distributor timing was all we had to do. Now a days, the computer makes adjustments constantly so grounding the ADL temporarily stops the computer from making adjustments allowing you to set the distributor base timing properly.

Thanks for the excellent question, this is what makes the forum so great. As you can tell by my ratings bar, I "positively" help out in any way I can for the benefit of all my fellow Fiero forum members as they have for me in the past.

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 09-09-2012).]

css9450 (css9450@liquid2k.com) MSG #111, 10-18-2012 10:08 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

... then start the car and adjust the distributor base timing which is 10* before top dead center. It's as simple as that.



And be sure to tighten down that bolt that holds the distributor holddown clamp - don't do like I did and restart the engine a couple of times with it loose! The motion of cranking the engine and the turning of the cam against the distributor gear was enough to bump it back out of time, by quite a bit. Funny to look back and laugh, but I was really puzzled there for awhile why the car ran so awful when I'd just timed it! LOL



Moar (pat.moar@gmx.at) MSG #112, 11-13-2015 06:24 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by Fierobsessed:

Excellent write up!

One thing I never liked about the Fiero's distributor, is the style of the pickup coil. The rusted/bent steel fingers on the pickup coil and on the magnet do not promote any kind of consistancy on the firing across all 6 cylenders. I was always a big fan of the star shaped pointed pickup and magnet. I just got finished rebuilding a 2.8 distributor using parts from a used 4.3 (blazer/S10) distributor. Far superior parts, much like the ones you installed. I'm hoping that this will eliminate some of the roughness that the Fiero has always had at an idle. You can REALLY feel the pointers when they line up now.


Any news about this mod?
How the engine performs with the new pick-up coil?

Can you please give use some details about your dizzy pick-up coil upgrade:
- Which parts you have used from the Blazer S10 distributor (only pickup coil, rotor, stator or also the ICM)?
- Is the Fiero ICM also compatible with the newer style pickup coil?
- Can you recall part numbers?

Thanks,
Moar

[This message has been edited by Moar (edited 11-14-2015).]

sardonyx247 (sardonyx247@yahoo.com) MSG #113, 02-07-2016 03:08 AM
      I do like the 'star' type better, whether it works better or not IDK, but it looks like it should.

[This message has been edited by sardonyx247 (edited 02-07-2016).]

mrstan (mrstan@hotmail.com) MSG #114, 05-06-2016 02:02 AM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

Totally blind installation with distributor already out of engine.

Rotate the crankshaft so the fat timing mark on harmonic balancer is on the timing tab like shown.



Note where the #1 plug wire post is on the cap and mark with white-out on the body of the distributor exactly where that is. Remove the cap.



Install distributor with the rotor pointing at your white-out mark indicating #1 post and put the distributor cap back on. (note that the rotor is point exactly where the #1 plug wire post will be when we put the cap back on.)



Insure that your plug wires are in the correct order per the pictures.



Here is another diagram of the plug location.



Try starting the car. If it doesn’t catch fire then you may be 180* off on the base timing so get the fat timing mark on the timing tab like before. Remove the distributor and crank the harmonic balancer around exactly one full turn (360*), and then re-install the distributor with the rotor pointing at the #1 mark on the distributor. Put the cap back on and start the car.


Warm up the car then shut off, ground your ADL and restart.


Set timing with an induction timing light.

Remember that your crankshaft makes two revolutions for every revolution of the distributor, that’s why you may be at Top Dead Center (TDC) for either #1 or #4 cylinder with the fat mark lined up on the timing tab. Some folks will pull the #1 plug out, put their finger over the hole and when it blows off, you’re at TDC for #1 cylinder.

Some folks will rock the car in 2nd gear to rotate the engine on manual shift trans to get the harmonic balancer fat mark to line up on the timing tab. I’ve done that myself, beware of getting your skull slammed by the deck lid, ask me how many stars you’ll see. I have also used a long wrench and or a socket on the main bolt on the balancer. Whatever works for you.

I think that’s it for a blind installation of a distributor.



Instead of turning the engine around 360 degrees, why not just turn the distributer shaft around 180 degrees? Seems easier to turn the distributor than the whole motor... Right?


Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #115, 05-10-2016 09:51 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by mrstan:

Instead of turning the engine around 360 degrees, why not just turn the distributer shaft around 180 degrees? Seems easier to turn the distributor than the whole motor... Right?


Some people find ignition timing/ distributor placement confusing enough without now suggesting that the rotor be pointed at cylinder #4 on the cap.



LorenBateman (co1bateman@yahoo.com) MSG #116, 07-03-2016 02:27 PM
      This tread is so helpful,, How my 88GT is even running right now is FM{freak-in magic) wish i knew how to post video, ya'll would not believe my firing order and i get a good idle ,, but no POWER,, will start over on my day off

LorenBateman (co1bateman@yahoo.com) MSG #117, 08-21-2016 01:43 AM
      Started over and followed Patricks lead here,,, Found TDC on the compression stroke, Pointed the rotor at No,1, installed the cap, Plug wires 1,2,3,4,5,6 and BAM!!! Runs Great,, Thank You again for the thread

Patrick (mnofony@yahoo.com) MSG #118, 08-27-2016 05:56 PM
     
 
quote
Originally posted by LorenBateman:

...and BAM!!! Runs Great


Loren, glad things worked out.

Just in case it might help clarify an issue for anyone still having a problem, I'll add something that I originally posted in a different thread...

 
quote
Originally posted by Patrick Here:

Over the years here, I've seen so much confusion relating to setting the static timing.

First of all, the cap position can be anywhere you wish to orient it... as long as the rotor is pointing to the terminal used for #1... and the piston is at the top of the compression stroke for cylinder #1.

The only thing restricting where the distributor can actually be positioned is the wiring harness. Obviously the connection for the ICM can't be pointed away from the coil if you expect to connect the harness etc.

Below is the 2.8 in my Formula. To do the initial static timing, I have the timing mark for cylinders #1 and #4 (the wider mark on a known good harmonic balancer) set to 0° with #1 piston on the compression stroke. If I'm installing the distributor, I drop it down so that when fully seated, the rotor is pointing at the indicated bolt on the upper intake. I then rotate the outer distributor so that the terminal I'm using as #1 (as it could be any which one you want) is lined up with the rotor. The terminal I've selected seems to work best in regards to orienting the distributor towards the coil. The engine is now timed well enough to start, and dynamic timing can now be set with a timing light (or for the old guys like me, by ear). Nothing to it.