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Removing and Spinning the Distributor Means I'm Screwed. Right?

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by donaldh2o, Nov 25, 2003.

  1. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    143
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Don
    I did this years ago on my '76 308, but now can't remember how I did it.

    I want to remove the distributors, replace the O-rings, and reinstall them. But don't I have to make sure I reinstall the distributors exactly in the position I removed them?

    Is there another way of doing this other than taping the rotor to the distributor body with gobs of masking tape, so it doesn't rotate while I'm working on it?

    Like is there a special setting for the distributor when the engine is at TDC? Are the rotor shafts keyed to the cams so it doesnt matter if I turn the rotors?

    Can't find anything in the user or workshop manual describing how to remove and reinstall the distributors.
     
  2. carguy

    carguy F1 Rookie

    Oct 30, 2002
    3,299
    Alabama (was Mich.)
    Full Name:
    Jeff
    When working on muscle cars in the old days, I would take a punch and make some small reference marks to realign the distibutors, or scribe a line with a pick. A permanent marker may work, but theirs a chance the marks could rub off. Try making some sort of mark or line and then maybe take a digital pic of it too for a little extra insurance later on.
     
  3. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    I just make a few marks with white out. A few for the dist. line and one for the rotor. It isn't as bad as you think.
     
  4. Steve Magnusson

    Steve Magnusson F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Jan 11, 2001
    18,161
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Steve Magnusson
    Check Fig 7 page L14 in the 308GT4 WSM -- it shows the "index" (notch) in the distributor housing rim that corresponds to "... the rotor brush should be in coincidence with the electric connection of cylinder No. 1 (or 5) wire." when #1 (or 5) is at TDC.
     
  5. yelcab

    yelcab F1 Veteran
    Consultant

    Nov 29, 2001
    9,068
    San Carlos, CA
    Full Name:
    Mitchell Le
    Before you remove it, set it to the firing point (7 degrees BTDC for me) of that distributor for the #1 or #5 cylinder (depending on which bank)

    Then remove it, fix it, do what you want, spin it around 1000 times if you like.

    Reinstall it roughly with the rotor pointing to that wire location (on the cap).
    Rotate the dizzy to retard it all the way,
    place that wire almost touching the engine ground, and then slowly turn the disti (with the key in the on position) until that wire discharges against the engine ground.

    Lock it in place. Now you have successfully set it staticly. Check it with a light when the engine runs.
     
  6. peajay

    peajay Formula Junior

    Apr 17, 2002
    454
    near Paris, France
    Full Name:
    Paul
    I have a 328 so a QV engine, and as I recall the distributor rotor will only fit one way on the cam shaft and the distributor body has three holes that fix it, so it is clear which way that goes. So no need to time anything so long as the cam belt is not removed and changed the cam to crank relationship. I don't know if your 308 is the same ?
     
  7. 308GTS

    308GTS Formula 3

    Dec 27, 2001
    2,220
    TN
    A carb 308 is very different. It has adjustable timing and it can be put in 180 degrees off. Ask me how I know.
     
  8. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 21, 2000
    6,340
    B.C., Canada
    #8 Peter, Nov 25, 2003
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    What Steve said looks like this:
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
     
  9. pete04222

    pete04222 Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
    613
    Maine, USA
    Full Name:
    Peter Cyr
    Peter,
    Great post as usual. Thanks again for all your help in getting my ignition sorted out. The car runs sweet.
     
  10. Peter

    Peter F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 21, 2000
    6,340
    B.C., Canada
    Great to hear that.
     
  11. donaldh2o

    donaldh2o Karting

    Nov 10, 2003
    143
    Irvine CA
    Full Name:
    Don
    Excellent posts as usual. Thanx to all for the help - Peter, great pic!

    Will do the 7' BTDC thing and change the O-rings this afternoon.

    But 308GTS, we're waiting to hear the rest of the story. What happened when the distributor was installed 180' off?

    The sound of a power mower hitting a mound of gravel comes to mind, or was it not that bad?
     

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