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MG
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In preparation for a new set of Magnecor wires that should arrive soon, I took a look at my '95 Disco I V8i 5-speed setup.

To my surprise upon examination, it would appear that my OEM wires are not hooked up properly; and I don't mean poorly seated - what I do mean is that they don't follow the designed firing order.

According to my workshop manual, the firing order should be 1, 8, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 2. Currently, they're set up to fire 7, 3, 2, 1, 8, 4, 5, 6. I presume that the cyclical nature of the distributor makes up for the fact that the sequence starts in the "wrong" place (read differently, the actual setup would be 1, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 3, 2, 1), thus only 3 cylinders would be firing out of order (cylinders 5, 7 and 3), right? Is there something I'm missing?

This would explain the absolutely horrible gas mileage I've been getting...

I need to understand this properly, as my "discovery" really underscores the fundamental problem with the service I've been giving the Beast, so please help a lonely LR enthusiast out with some pointers.

Assuming that the timing is still set correctly (and you know what they say about that!), other that technical error from my mech, is there any other reason why the leads would be connected this way? Is it safe to switch them to the factory setup?

Other than poor performance and even worse fuel consumption, is there some damage the I should expect and repair from running this way for an extended period? I don't know when the leads could have been mixed up...

Thanks y'all!
 

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Firing order

me.guevara said:
In preparation for a new set of Magnecor wires that should arrive soon, I took a look at my '95 Disco I V8i 5-speed setup.

To my surprise upon examination, it would appear that my OEM wires are not hooked up properly; and I don't mean poorly seated - what I do mean is that they don't follow the designed firing order.

According to my workshop manual, the firing order should be 1, 8, 4, 3, 6, 5, 7, 2. Currently, they're set up to fire 7, 3, 2, 1, 8, 4, 5, 6. I presume that the cyclical nature of the distributor makes up for the fact that the sequence starts in the "wrong" place (read differently, the actual setup would be 1, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 3, 2, 1), thus only 3 cylinders would be firing out of order (cylinders 5, 7 and 3), right? Is there something I'm missing?

This would explain the absolutely horrible gas mileage I've been getting...

I need to understand this properly, as my "discovery" really underscores the fundamental problem with the service I've been giving the Beast, so please help a lonely LR enthusiast out with some pointers.

Assuming that the timing is still set correctly (and you know what they say about that!), other that technical error from my mech, is there any other reason why the leads would be connected this way? Is it safe to switch them to the factory setup?

Other than poor performance and even worse fuel consumption, is there some damage the I should expect and repair from running this way for an extended period? I don't know when the leads could have been mixed up...

Thanks y'all!

There is only one firing order for the L/R 3.9 V8. 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2.

Did you ever take the dist out?
Was the timing chain taken off at any time?

I would take off the cap so you can see the rotor then rotate the engine by hand pull the # 1 plug out first ? rotate the engine so the # 1 cyl. is at top
dead center ( follow the work shop manual) on the comp stroke and see if the rotor lines up with the #1 cyl. on the cap .If it don't there is a problem
with the cam timing, chain slipped, not installed right,etc,

Good luck joe
 

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To begin with, you are correct; The firing order of ALL Rover V8 engines is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. So, essentially, cylinders 3,5 & 7 have been firing off compression. Cylinder No.5 was firing 90 degrees after(plus advance of about 8 degrees), so compression had returned to zero (effective).
No.5 was 90 degrees before, so compression hadn't begun to build, but No.7 was 45 degrees before, and compression was building, and it may have fired, though without alot of power as compression wasn't even 60-70 psi (if engine was optimal. Net result, you likely did not damage at all, apart from alot of cylinder wall washing. Get the wires back to where they should be, and change the oil as there's probably some fuel down there.
Number one isn't always exactly where the book would have you think it should be, but this would only be the case if someone had the distributor out, and put it back in 2 or so teeth off.
Once you've got it right, you're probably going to think you're driving aa rocket compared to the old performance.
Where damage can occur, but apparantly not for you to worry about, is when someone has gotten the firing of any of the cylinders at 45 degrees behind where is is supposed to after, then you have a severly retarding firing, and tremendous heat, exiting the cylinder. That's where you loose an exhaust valve, and likely a Cat too.
Let us know how it goes.
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks DI and Terry!

So I went out to do the re-wiring - it wasn't as simple as I had hoped: because they were incorrectly installed, the lengths weren't right and I couldn't just switch them at the distributor, I had to remove all 8 wires.

During that process, one connector stuck to the spark plug and separated from the wire (good thing I've got a new set in the mail!). Another connector shows blue oxidation on the inside - I guess it wasn't making a very good contact with the plug and the boot wasn't quite as tight as it should have been.

While I wait for the new set of wires, I'll change the oil. Probably change the spark plugs while I'm at it.

On the timing thing: I can't find in the manual how to turn the crankshaft to set TDC on the #1 cylinder (plenty of references to do it clockwise, but not how to do it). I imagine that it's one of those things that are so easy, nobody thinks of explaining it to the uninitiated. Help!

Oh, and I have to go out and buy a spark plug tool - the one I have is a Stanley 5/8" - what size socket should I be looking for?

Thanks again guys!
 

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Spark plu socket is 13/16" deepwell, but they make one with a rubber insert, just for plugs, to prevent you from cracking the porcelain.

I can't recall for sure, but I'm pretty sure the front pulley bolt is 1 1/8" although 15/16" is coming to mind also. Turn the crank with a 1/2" ratchet, with #1 plug out. Put a finger in the plug hole as you are coming up to TDC. If you're coming up to the right one (compression stroke) you'll feel it pushing air oput the hole. Then just set it at TDC and confirm the rotor arm is pointing to the electrode inside the cap which corresponds to the No.1 wire.
No.1 is the Front Left plug
 

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me.guevara said:
Thanks DI and Terry!

So I went out to do the re-wiring - it wasn't as simple as I had hoped: because they were incorrectly installed, the lengths weren't right and I couldn't just switch them at the distributor, I had to remove all 8 wires.

During that process, one connector stuck to the spark plug and separated from the wire (good thing I've got a new set in the mail!). Another connector shows blue oxidation on the inside - I guess it wasn't making a very good contact with the plug and the boot wasn't quite as tight as it should have been.

While I wait for the new set of wires, I'll change the oil. Probably change the spark plugs while I'm at it.

On the timing thing: I can't find in the manual how to turn the crankshaft to set TDC on the #1 cylinder (plenty of references to do it clockwise, but not how to do it). I imagine that it's one of those things that are so easy, nobody thinks of explaining it to the uninitiated. Help!

Oh, and I have to go out and buy a spark plug tool - the one I have is a Stanley 5/8" - what size socket should I be looking for?

Thanks again guys!
me. you said you were going to take out all of the plugs, once you have them all out it should be easy to turn the engine. Find the #1 spark plug lead and mark the side of the distributor body with a texta marker, travelling in a clockwise direction the next spark plug lead is #8 and so on. To make it easier get a white out pen or white marker and number each spark plug lead tower on the Dist. cap. To get TDC, look down at the front crankshaft damper and pulleys, on the timing case adjacent to the crank damper there is a pointer, rotate the cranshaft by hand till the Mark "TDC" on the rearmost part of the damper aligns with the pointer on the timing case, to check if you are on TDC and not 360 degrees out you can do as TerryS said, but to be sure remove the driver side (assuming your truck is RH drive) Rocker cover, same side as #1 spark plug, check that the first 2 (closest to the front of engine) Rocker arms have some gap, in other words you should be able to rock them up and down a little. This means that #1 Piston is at the top of the Compression Stroke. All your timing starts from this point. A tip when removing plug wires from the spark plug, always pull on the cap, NOT the wire, if they are reluctant to come off, give them a twist to break the seal, Regards Frank.
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again, Terry and Frank.

Once I get the right socket, I'll check out the timing.

I the meantime, I'm changing the oil and beating the mechanic to a pulp...

:drink1:
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
me.guevara said:
I presume that the cyclical nature of the distributor makes up for the fact that the sequence starts in the "wrong" place (read differently, the actual setup would be 1, 8, 4, 5, 6, 7, 3, 2, 1), thus only 3 cylinders would be firing out of order (cylinders 5, 7 and 3), right?
Last night I woke up at 3 AM thinking about this, and came to the conclusion that the presumption isn't right: the distributor isn't cyclical at all, but rather sensitive to the position of the cam shaft (terminology?).

I am now sure that I'll find that the timing was reset - I'll keep you posted regarding where on the distributor I find the #1 TDC. It looks like I have to remove the fan to get to the central pulley to turn the shaft, am I right?

Today I pulled all 8 plugs: all 8 show carbon fouling - according to Haynes, that's a sign of overrich mixture, which may be explained by a bad stepper motor during the most part of the plugs' service. #1 and #8 are the least fouled of the set, while the threads on #2 are bathed in fuel.

How do I clean the carbon buildup?

I also discovered thar they are Japanese Denso #W16EX-U. I went looking for Champions or NGKs with no luck - they only have the NGK equivalent of Champion RN11YC (missing one last "C", per specs). I'm definitely coming back from the US with a full set of OEM plugs (I've read the many controversies about plugs and have decided to stick to design specs)...

What do you guys think?
 

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???

me.guevara said:
Last night I woke up at 3 AM thinking about this, and came to the conclusion that the presumption isn't right: the distributor isn't cyclical at all, but rather sensitive to the position of the cam shaft (terminology?).

I am now sure that I'll find that the timing was reset - I'll keep you posted regarding where on the distributor I find the #1 TDC. It looks like I have to remove the fan to get to the central pulley to turn the shaft, am I right?

Today I pulled all 8 plugs: all 8 show carbon fouling - according to Haynes, that's a sign of overrich mixture, which may be explained by a bad stepper motor during the most part of the plugs' service. #1 and #8 are the least fouled of the set, while the threads on #2 are bathed in fuel.

How do I clean the carbon buildup?

I also discovered thar they are Japanese Denso #W16EX-U. I went looking for Champions or NGKs with no luck - they only have the NGK equivalent of Champion RN11YC (missing one last "C", per specs). I'm definitely coming back from the US with a full set of OEM plugs (I've read the many controversies about plugs and have decided to stick to design specs)...

What do you guys think?

Pull the fan off so you don't break it they are not cheap.

The best way to clean carbon buildup is to pull the head but that is a real
pain in the balls , try an intake cleaner like Seafoam,B&G,Etc.

I would do the carbon cleanup after the timing issue is fixed.

I have been using Bosch platinum plugs for years with no problems.

The plug i use is Bosch platinum resistor #4220. this plug runs a hair bit hotter
than OEM which will help with carbon buildup.


I thought my truck was the only one that's possessed ??



Good luck joe
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update

Ok, I changed the oil - a first for me. The sump plug gave me little trouble (it had been overtightened) but otherwise, piece of cake!

Terry you were right: the used oil smelled heavy of petrol.

I replaced the filter with a FRAM PH16 (that's as good as it gets here). Curiously, I removed a longer filter: a "Luber Finer" PH8A. Does this seem ok to you guys?

Curiously, I know more about helicopter oil changes than my Beast's (but that's changing quickly). I'm used to finding some metal filings on a magnetic plug. First, I presume that the plug on the Disco is not magnetic and shouldn't be (aluminum wouldn't stick to it in any case). Second, I presume that the small filings I found in the oil are normal. The engine was just overhauled 4 months ago.

Now on to the more complex issue of the timing. First, I didn't have the right spanner to remove the fan, so I went at it from underneath. Then I discovered that I didn't have the right socket for the crankshaft pulley. I need more tools! SWMBO has already been informed of the purchase order - fortunately, with the history of heavy bills from the mechanic, a few bucks in tools did not elicit a negative response...

While I was working on the oil change (I tried the timing issue first), I reasoned that if I put the car in gear, I could push it to turn the engine. So I put it in 5th, pulled all the plugs, and, like magic, it worked no problem - I "pushed" the distributor arm around checking for TDC.

Of course, I can't push and check TDC at the same time, but I was able to confirm with a feeler that the factory #1 position on the distributor is not TDC on the #1 cylinder, but rather it would appear to be TDC (or nearly so) on #s 8 and 5, and the opposite (what's that position called, when the piston is at full expansion?) on #s 2 and 7. Thus, as I had surmised yesterday, my timing is way off.

From what I read in the manual, I need a strobe and other stuff (mainly experience) - is this something I should just leave to the trained professionals? Is there something I can do to get it close enough to drive it to the mechanic or should I have it towed and not risk it?

Thanks guys for the help!

Cheers,
 

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???

me.guevara said:
Ok, I changed the oil - a first for me. The sump plug gave me little trouble (it had been overtightened) but otherwise, piece of cake!

Terry you were right: the used oil smelled heavy of petrol.

I replaced the filter with a FRAM PH16 (that's as good as it gets here). Curiously, I removed a longer filter: a "Luber Finer" PH8A. Does this seem ok to you guys?

Curiously, I know more about helicopter oil changes than my Beast's (but that's changing quickly). I'm used to finding some metal filings on a magnetic plug. First, I presume that the plug on the Disco is not magnetic and shouldn't be (aluminum wouldn't stick to it in any case). Second, I presume that the small filings I found in the oil are normal. The engine was just overhauled 4 months ago.

Now on to the more complex issue of the timing. First, I didn't have the right spanner to remove the fan, so I went at it from underneath. Then I discovered that I didn't have the right socket for the crankshaft pulley. I need more tools! SWMBO has already been informed of the purchase order - fortunately, with the history of heavy bills from the mechanic, a few bucks in tools did not elicit a negative response...

While I was working on the oil change (I tried the timing issue first), I reasoned that if I put the car in gear, I could push it to turn the engine. So I put it in 5th, pulled all the plugs, and, like magic, it worked no problem - I "pushed" the distributor arm around checking for TDC.

Of course, I can't push and check TDC at the same time, but I was able to confirm with a feeler that the factory #1 position on the distributor is not TDC on the #1 cylinder, but rather it would appear to be TDC (or nearly so) on #s 8 and 5, and the opposite (what's that position called, when the piston is at full expansion?) on #s 2 and 7. Thus, as I had surmised yesterday, my timing is way off.

From what I read in the manual, I need a strobe and other stuff (mainly experience) - is this something I should just leave to the trained professionals? Is there something I can do to get it close enough to drive it to the mechanic or should I have it towed and not risk it?

Thanks guys for the help!

Cheers,

You say the engine was overhauled 4 months ago ? Who ever did the overhaul
obviously didn't reinstall some stuff correctly.

I would bring the truck back to who ever did the work and have them correct
the timing issue.
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DISCO INCUBUS said:
Who ever did the overhaul obviously didn't reinstall some stuff correctly.
You can say that again!

Thing is, I don't want to go back there because they'll just bend something else. No small claims court here = no enforceable legal liability = no customer loyalty/trust.

I've found a good shop but want to have them do only the absolutely minimum necessary - I'll do everything else. In addition to keeping the bills down and me getting closer to my LR, I can make sure things are done properly.

So, is the timing thing way out of my league? If it is, then I'll stick the wires back on (the way they have been for the last 2k miles) and drive it to the "new" shop for adjustment. If not, then I'll acquire the proper tools and get it done right...
 

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If returning to the guy who did the rebuild is not an option ? Unfortunetly your
going to have to attempt to do it yourself or bring it in to the shop that you trust.

Personally i think if they installed the dist wrong they probably didn't align the timing
gear marks aswell and who knows what else?


You say no legal enforceable liability . What about revenge it is the best way to get even ?

Just kidding good luck
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
To be continued...

Under the presumption that 5 of the 8 cylinders were "close enough", I put the HT leads back on like they were (except for the 3 rogue ones, those I put in accordance to factory firing order).

I crossed my fingers as the fuel pump primed up and the starter kicked in. The engine tuned over, belched some nasty smoke and made some god-awful noise until the oil pump finished pressurising the system (took me while to get out of "panic" mode and remember that I had changed the oil).

It ran pretty smoothly after that, nothing noticeably wrong. But with the alternator out and no serpentine belt, I was running off of the battery and with no engine accessories (water pump, power steering, cooling fan, etc.) so I didn't run it very long, just enough to know that it still works.

This weekend I'm headed north to Wisconsin with the whole family for a much-earned vacation, thus, I'll be away from the beast a whole month and the story will be paused until next year.

By then I'll have the new Mean Green alternator and Magnecor wires and may have a MSD coil from Santa (not sure about the whole ignition management system, YET) - so it promises to be an interesting continuation. I'll keep you guys posted.

Cheers!
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Season premier

TerryS said:
Damn, This is gonna be as bad as when TV goes into Re-runs for the summer
At least the re-runs don't run as long on this broadcast station and the alternate programming has been anything but boring.

The opening scene is a doozy:

I went to the customs broker to pick up my MG alt, d-shackles and Magnecor wires (the last two items from John C at 4x4 AG - good show!). You can imagine the "this-is-going-to-be-great" excitement in my step as I hurried home to begin playtime. I was planning on getting the Beast up and running and surprising my wife at her Grandma's: ta da!

Well, you can imagine my desillusion when I discovered that one of the mounting brackets (see picture below) for the alternator didn't make the trip (see, I told you Santa wasn't very accoommodating!) I'm checking with the broker to see if they have "missplaced" it.

I'm pretty sure that it's the manufacturer's oversight, as the one bracket that did make it, was physically attached to the alternator - it couldn't just fall off. Furthermore, it doesn't have any other applications, so it's not subject to "falling off" (it would have "fallen off" with the alternator still attached, if you know what I mean).

AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for letting me vent. Now where's my beer?
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
DISCO INCUBUS said:
That sucks, looks like they forgot to include the other bolt with spacer's as well.
That's what I meant with "bracket" - bolt, washers and spacers.

Do you happen to have a picture of the setup? I want to see if I can do a temporary fix while the original is located and shipped.

Man, it sucks not being able to drive...

At least there's still some beer.
 

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MG
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It Is Alive!

While I wait for the original spacers to arrive from Mean Green, I had a local machine shop make a set from blue steel (much heavier than the aluminum one, but I suppose it may be stronger).

The Beast runs nicely and, needless to say, I'm pretty happy.

I have an appointment with the mechanic on Thursday to get the timing adjusted and replace a leaky oil hose (the one that takes cooled oil from the radiator back to the engine).

I'll post a write up of the install (with pictures) later this week.

:beer:
 
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