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Signs that the distributor is in wrong?!?

1600 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  dlindem
What are the signs of the distributor being off a tooth, or more? Ever since ive got my car, it has been a pain in the butt to time. I will have it running, get it sounding great, then I shut it off, and restart, and the engine will not turn over..... it acts as if there is a dead battery..... going crank...crank.....crunk. Then I turn the distributor, and it fires right up. Also, I believe my right bank is burning some oil..... I know nothing about this engine, and I do not know if it has the stock cam in it or not. I do not have a timing light. Also, when I get it in time, sometimes it seems to "re-adjust" itself, and go's out of time a lot. What is the deal? Distributor off a tooth? Bad timing chain? I need help here guys..... Don't make me pull my motor!
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Didn't you just post saying your engine was knocking????

As for timing, spend the 25 bucks and buy a timing's the only way to check if timing is moving
Yeah, I had a friend come over, and he says it sounds like a colapsed lifter..... so It isn't as severe as I figured. I was at the point to where I have had enough of the car, and needed a few minutes to calm down..... I was in a "radical" mood.
There's technically no way a distributor can be "off a tooth". The distributor can be installed in any orientation you want. You simply make the rotor point to the no. 1 wire when the no. 1 cylinder is just before TDC of compression stroke.

Timing chain has zero to do with ignition timing. The timing chain and gears are for cam timing in relation to the crank.

I have to agree with Sharmouth. You need a timing light to see if the timing is indeed moving. If it is, it would be because of a worn out distributor, cam gear or both.
Your timing chain and sprockets are shot. Had this happen on my first project car many many many years ago. A bad chain will in fact affect ignition timing. As the chain streatches or worse yet the chain slips one position on a very worn sprocket, as was the case in my project, the relation of the cam to the crank is misaligned. IE: Both being set at the correct positions for TDC is no longer happening as the crank is now ahead of the cam due to the slack or slippage. The Distributor is driven by the cam and therefore will no longer be in synch with the crank and relative piston stroke position which is your ignition timing. Easy job to replace the whole setup thankfully. Go top notch brand on your new chain and sprocket assembly, or you can go to a direct gear system and eliminate the chain all together.
Pony67 is correct. I have had the same thing happen to me.
An easy way to check your timing chain is to take the dist. cap off, then put a socket on the large bolt in the center of the pulley on the crankshaft. Turn the crankshaft (easier with spark plugs out) until you see the rotor in your dist. move. Then go back the other way. You should not have to go but just a little bit before the rotor moves again the other way. If you have to go more than a 1/4-1/2"
your chain/gears are shot.
Sorry for the me too post, but I have to agree with Pony67. Before I changed my timing set my ignition timing jumped around like crazy. With the cover off it was easy to see why, I could move the slack side of the chain a good 1.25 inch side to side. The new set fixed the problem.

I ended up going with an edelbrock double roller set (recommended for the cam I used). Don't forget to loctite the bolts that hold the thrust plate one.
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