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distributor adjustment

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  • distributor adjustment

    I am having (yet another) a problem with my sedan.[V] It has a 259 V8. The timing is off and I tried to adjust the distributor accordingly. The problem is that I have turned it clockwise so far that the vacumn advance is against the firewall. It then will run, poorly. Turning it the other way causes it to run so badly as to stall out. I'm scared sick of the answer to this one...

    Lotsa Larks!
    Studeclunker
    A.K.A: out2lunch

  • #2
    This is a simple problem. You have the plug wires one socket off! Move the distributor to the proper position, and unplug each plug wire and plug it into the next socket. Do this for all the plug wires, all the way around. You will then have moved each of the plug wires over one, and gained 45 degrees of swing for adjustment. I did the same thing once.

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    • #3
      I'll try it. It seems important to point out that the plug wires have'nt been touched for several years. The car was fine two weeks ago.Lotsa Larks!
      Studeclunker
      A.K.A: out2lunch
      Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
      K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
      Ron Smith
      Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

      Comment


      • #4
        Another thing to check - if you are absolutely sure the wiring is right, put the engine on top dead center for cylinder one, and pop the cover off the distributor. The rotor should be pointing straight at the front of the car. Not off to the right or left even a little, but right straight ahead. If it is off even a little, you probably have the distributor in 180 degrees backwards. Remove the clamp screw, lift the distributor about 5/8 inch, and rotate the rotor 180 degrees. Reinstall the distributor. You should see the rotor now aimed STRAIGHT to the rear of the car, and cylinder number six is ready to fire. The engine will run (sort of) with the distributor in backwards, but it has no power and cannot be timed. Try this test before you move the wires over one socket.

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        • #5
          Sounds like a distributor off 180 degrees. Let us hear the final cure.

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          • #6
            How do I know that the motor is "top dead center for Cylinder one?"

            And can the distributor just jump like this on it's own?

            Lotsa Larks!
            Studeclunker
            A.K.A: out2lunch
            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
            Ron Smith
            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

            Comment


            • #7
              Is the vacuum advance disconnected, is the car at a slow RPM? What did you do before checking the timing, new points,etc ? I do not see the timing changing on its own, Could the timing chain be the problem? I know not the answer or if it is a possible culpert. Did you pull the distributor out? Just thinking out loud.

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              • #8
                To find top dead center on cylinder one, rotate the crank until the mark on the harmonic balancer is lined up with the indicator pointer. This will occur once in each revolution, both times are top dead center for cylinder one and cylinder six. The one you want is the one where the distributor rotor is pointing towards the front of the car, thats the one where cylinder one is going to get the spark. If the distributor hasn't been out of the car, or if no one has messed with the distributor recently, the chances of this being your problem are pretty slim. The distributor needs to be lifted about 5/8 inch out and replaced 180 degrees before it is reinserted. If no one has messed with your distributor recently, and it was running OK in the recent past, this isn't your problem. Go back to moving the wires over one station to get slack for adjustment.

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                • #9
                  Could it be only a few wires on the distributor reversed and others in proper place?

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                  • #10
                    Do you have the timing light on the # ONE Cylinder??

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                    • #11
                      I use a little piece of shop towel jammed in the #1 plug hole for finding the TDC on the compression stroke. When I bump the starter around using my remote starter switch, the piece of shop towel will puff out. Then its usually very close to the TDC mark, further adjustment by hand.(Disconnect leads to remote starter switch first!).

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                      • #12
                        # ONE is the front Drivers side on the V8.[:I]

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                        • #13
                          okay, it can't be one-eighty out and still run. If the distributor hasn't been lifted out at all, then I would think one of your advance mechanisms is stuck or not working. Sounds like your mechanical advance could be stuck in the advanced position.

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                          • #14
                            Ok, here's the whole story... I ran out of gas with the car two weeks ago. The car remained parked for a week. Put fuel in it last week and started driving it again. Noticed that it was running rough. The roughness got progressively worse. On top of that the thermometer here has been topping 100 plus. Now she is running hot as well. The hotter the engine gets the rougher it runs. The rougher it runs the hotter it gets, etc...

                            The engine ran well up till it ran out of gas. There has been crap in the fuel tank since I got the car. I installed fuel filters right away and change them regularly. It has always burned a little oil with no smoke. The engine has been strong and performed very well till two weeks ago. Now it won't run worth sh--!

                            I thought that adjusting the timing might help with the roughness. The plugs looked good, so I thought why not? Moving the distributor actually helped quite a lot. Unfortuneately I can't move it sufficiently to fix the problem. So that's where I am now.

                            So the questions are, should I move the wires for more movement (increased rotation) of the distributor, Where is #1 plug supposed to be, etc... This by the way is a totally stock setup.

                            Oh yes, one more thing, I have'nt got to the timing light yet. I wanted to see if the adjustment would help the problem. Then the plan was to get out the light and fine tune it.

                            Lotsa Larks!
                            Studeclunker
                            A.K.A: out2lunch
                            Home of the famous Mr. Ed!
                            K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
                            Ron Smith
                            Where the heck is Fawn Lodge, CA?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If it was running good prior to running out of gas, now you have to move the distributor to make it run better, sounds like maybe something crapped out in the distributor during the engines last gasp on the then empty tank(a violent last firing of one or more cylinders) or maybe something corroded over the period it sat. Didnt you say you lived in Oregon or there abouts. Has it been raining??

                              Before moving any wires around, I'd go back and check the points(if your still running points)if they are still good, and for corrosion on connections. You may also have something crapped out in distributor.

                              Again , if it ran fine before you ran outta gas, then turning the distributor is only masking the real problem.

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