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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just completed headgasket job on my 92 RR--and I think the timing is off. It wouldn't start until I turned the distributor as far as it would go clockwise from front--until the vaccuum advance hit the thermostat housing. Then it starts after much cranking, but runs a little rough unless I rev it up. Unfortunately, the headgaskets did not solve the problem of the coolant system pressurizing and tons of vapor out the tailpipe, so I assume the engine is junk. But I want to correct the timing so I can still start it up and move around yard during the winter--questions is, how? Do I remove distributor and try to advance one "tooth?"


Things not going well with the Rovers right now--head gasket job failed, also needs new brake pump-trying to rebuild-Classic

4.0 (P38a) Runs OK but suddenly needs center muffler, complete tailpipe, and maybe rear muffler--and prices are $$$ Plus it needs all 4 rotors.


Also VW Eurovan just needed 2 fuel injectors replaced--$116 apiece and 25 hours labor.

E320 needs front suspension work.

Explorer off the road.
Volvo 240 is a project since 1988.
 

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Adjusting the distributor

The distributor is held in place by one bolt to the right side of the distributor and it holds a plate that actually presses down on the distributor to keep it in place. Once that is removed the distributor will move freely side to side as well as up and down. This is where you want to be careful. As you raise the distributor out it will turn in one direction, but I don't remember which way. Once it is out you want to turn it approximatly the distance of one tooth in the direction where it was close to starting. As you reinsert it, it will turn in the opposite direction from the way it came out. From this point a timing light will come in handy for the fine tuning.
 

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I had distributor problems from hell.... I finally just bought a barely used "new" one. My buddy, who is a local LR certified tech had a hard time doing the timing and it took FOREVER - he got it finally, it just wasn't an easy job to do. Might be because I've had an engine rebuild or who knows pprobably the Lucas gremlin playing jokes on him, but.... I'd say take it somewhere and get someone to do it for you.

Good luck either way!
 

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The short answer is Yes, simply pop it up till it dissengages the timing gear, rotate the rotor, and reinsert it. The long version has a warning about being sure that you also engage the oil pump drive, otherwise, A)the distributor will not fully seat, and B, you won't have oil pressure as the pump is driven by the distributor, not independantly.
It may be neccessary to pull the distributor all the way out, and with a long handled screwdriver, and flashlight, turn the oil pump drive so that it will align with the slotted fitting on the bottom of the distributor shaft.

I have to run up to Springfield VT, then over to Newport NH friday. If you are close to my route, I might be able to stop by and give you a hand, also run a block check. PM me if you'd like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry all the reply is late--When we did the heads we simply marked where the rotor was pointing, I have no idea if the engine was at TDC--the way I figured it the slot that the part on the bottom of the dist. fits into in the engine wasn't going to turn as the engine wasn't turned over during the process, and if the rotor was matched at its alignment point the timing couldn't be off. Anyway, the engine DOES start (Needs lots of cranking when cold) and the oil pressure light extinguishes. If the engine is revved to say 1500 RPM and held there, it is smooth as ever and sounds very good. At idle it doesn't stay running all the time. As a question, what will a stuck closed thermostat do to coolant pressure? I'm 99.9% sure the block is junk but with the engine fully warm the top radiator hse is cold, lots of pressure in the overflow tank. It's too bad, the truck is gorgeous with very nice interior, rare features for a '92 like factory keyless / alarm, CD changer, day-running lights, amber fogs, gray leather, the factory heavy-duty 'sport' roof rack, etc.
 

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I recently did my head gaskets as well and as you have pressure within the res. and rough idle holding the throttle down a little she runs smooth, so I just reset the idle and played with the timing light and dialed her in

theres still seems to have more then desired pressure in the res. but no more white smoke

So just reset the idle and break out the timing light, it may have been off before
 

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Did you have the heads skimmed and did you use composite head gaskets on the rebuild? I have just completed the same job for the same reasons and all is ok now.
My heads needed 0.6mm taking off the ends and 0.254mm in the middle to get them flat. Check out these guys for detailed explanations www.rpiv8.com. A new stock head gasket on a warped head won't do much for long....
 

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philippe said:
Did you have the heads skimmed and did you use composite head gaskets on the rebuild? I have just completed the same job for the same reasons and all is ok now.
My heads needed 0.6mm taking off the ends and 0.254mm in the middle to get them flat. Check out these guys for detailed explanations www.rpiv8.com. A new stock head gasket on a warped head won't do much for long....
I did the same skimmed & composite gasket
My heads were pretty good but I machined .01" (just under 0.3mm) just to make sure everything was on the level
 

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Timing

Before doing any work such as head removal I always rotate the crankshaft to 6% before TDC with the distributor cap off the rotor arm should point to the number one Left hand bank position - thats just to the right of the clip (nerest to you) that holds the distributor cap in place. But if you havent done that you should have made a mental note of where the rotor arm was pointing when you took the distributor out because it will only go in one or two places, either correct or 180 degrees out. This is the slot in the base of the distributor drive. The slot fits into a peg inside the engine so as long as you know which side it was pointing you can't get it wrong!! but sometimes the drive peg in the engine can move with oil pressure left in the oil pump after the distributor is removed. How to tell? when putting the distributor back it will not go home correctly, you will get a metalic clunk - no problem just use very long nosed pliers to position the drive peg before refitting the distributor. Sounds like you are a slot out. With the water problem take out the thermostat and see if your pressure problem goes as the thermostat may have failed, they normally fail open but sometimes closed.
 
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