I messed up the distributor timing

General information about the first-generation Nissan Maxima in the US. What was the Datsun 810 became the luxury leader Maxima in the US in 1981.

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kassim503
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I messed up the distributor timing

#1

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

I decided on changing the oil pump due to poor idle pressure, and I found that I also messed up big time by messing up the rotor's position to tdc. The rod that is driven by the crank fell out and i just rammed it in any old position and then later realized that the rotor is not lined up correctly.

Later I put it at tdc and had it all lined up with the rod in there but it seems to be off by a tooth or so. I think I messed up in one of two ways. I didnt have it on the compression stroke or the rotor was not exactly at the #1 wire.

What does the notch look like on the crank pulley? I cant really find it. wiped it down and still cant find it and its mildly frustrating. Also, where should the distributor be at tdc? like some kind of landmark, or something lining up. Is it when the magnets for the hall effect sensor match up?

Also, does anybody have any tricks for this process? Its a PITA and its the dog days of summer.
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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asavage
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#2

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

The FSM is really useless for this, isn't it? I just spent a frustrating fifteen minutes looking for the info, and failed.
kassim503 wrote:The rod that is driven by the crank fell out and i just rammed it in any old position . . .
Won't work. The oil pump drive has to be aligned correctly, or you will have to fudge all the plug wires off spec -- which can be done, but it sure is confusing to anyone trying to perform a tuneup later.
What does the notch look like on the crank pulley? I cant really find it.


I can't help there, I don't have one. Perhaps HowlerMonkey will oblige, but IMO you should clean it even more carefully. It's there.

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Also, where should the distributor be at tdc?
In the hole in the timing cover. Really, what are you asking?

I think you want to know which direction the rotor should be pointing with cylinder No. 1 at TDC . . . but above you admitted you can't find TDC on the compression stroke, so the rotor position information is useless until you can do that. But since you put the oil pump drive adapter in in any old way, the rotor position info is again completely useless: unless you time the oil pump drive adapter correctly (and I do not have the info here to do that), you are going to have a custom spark wire firing order alignment, and will have ignore where it was "supposed" to be. From the picture in the exploded view of the drive, it does not look as if you can change the adapter's timing from above, only from below -- someone who has "been there" will have to confirm that.

Generically, you can probably get TDC @ No. 1 compression by observing the cam lobes for No. 1 through the oil fill hole. If you can't, the sure way is to pull the valve cover. You want TDC (and you'll have to find that mark on the front sheave for that) and you want the lobes pointing at approximately 10 o'clock and two o'clock. (above nine and three for both, essentially). If both lobes are above horizontal and No. 1 is at TDC, it's on the compression stroke.

Then -- ignoring the OEM rotor alignment -- you have to set the distributor in place (rotor facing anywhere). Figure out the direction of normal rotation of the rotor. Put one or both distributor hold-down bolts into the slots. Rotate the dist body to center it in the slots. Then rotate the dist body slightly in the same direction as the rotor turns.

[explanation: At TDC, firing has already occurred. The dist. should be centered in the area of timing adjustment. The center of the area of timing adjustment was just passed by the crank, so you have to move the dist. a bit retarded to match.]

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Now set the cap on, matching it to the dist body. Then lift it off, maintaining relative alignment. Where the rotor just slightly passed (remember the direction of rotation) is where the No. 1 plug wire plugs now. The rest follow in their usual order.

[This method is one helluvalot easier with points, than with a hall effect sensor.]

Mitchell contributes this:
"Align hole in oil pump with punch mark on drive spindle. Fill pump housing with oil before installing to front cover."
. . . like some kind of landmark, or something lining up. Is it when the magnets for the hall effect sensor match up?
No.

The original No. 1 plug wire orientation was like this (I think):
Image
Also, does anybody have any tricks for this process? Its a PITA and its the dog days of summer.
So, you're looking to the stars now? ;) (tip: Google "dog days of summer" for a definition; chances are, it isn't what you think it is.)
Regards,
Al S.

1982 Maxima diesel wagon, 2nd & 4th owner, 165k miles, rusty & burgundy/grey. Purchased 1996, SOLD 16Feb10
1983 Maxima diesel wagon, 199k miles, rusty, light yellow/light brown. SOLD 14Jul07
1981 720 SD22 (scrapped 04Sep07)
1983 Sentra CD17, 255k, bought 06Jul08, gave it away 22Jun10.

dlh
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#3

Post by dlh » 13 years ago

cover your eyes because this is a diesel crank that went for a 3.1 stroker.


scroll down for the position of the oil pump shaft with the engine at TDC.

3.1 stroker
crank pirate, cannibalistic zcar owner
1982 280zx turbo 4 spd auto
1973 240z, lsd, cv axles

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asavage
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#4

Post by asavage » 13 years ago

AAAAAHHHH! My eyes, my EYES!

=====================================

Image
Assemble the oil pump and drive spindle, aligning shaft mark...(small dot)...with the oil pump hole, and then rotate the shaft to the right one notch. At this point, fill the pump with clean oil. With the motor at TDC, install the pump and shaft as a unit. If done correctly the shaft tang should be at the 11:25 position and directed tangent to the backside of the top distributor-adapter mounting bolt.
This description is with the oil pump off. Kassim, are you going to remove the OP again?

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kassim503
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#5

Post by kassim503 » 13 years ago

Whoa! thanks for all the responses, I wound up getting it right without any more reading. Like Al stated, the FSM didnt put out much info for this operation, they just say line it up and stick it in.

In the end I wound up finding the notch in the crank pulley (which was actually covered so good in road dirt and oil that it was not visible, wiped down the timing plate, setting the engine to TDC, then taking a break and calling a buddy over to help me with the operation.

I marked out the position of the #1 high tension lead on the distributor with some sharpie, sharpie'd a line down the rotor, so all you have to do is line the two up and itll fire on the #1 cyl.
All I did was take the rod and insert it and take it out of the shaft as my friend rotated the rotor a little bit every time and seeing where the distributor would catch, you know, a little clockwise, a little counter clockwise, until it became right. Then I had my friend twist the rotor a little bit so that the pressure of the distributor trying to turn against the gears would hold the shaft up into the engine. Then I took the oil pump, stuck it in, held it up as my friend bumped the starter so the key on the rod and the socket in the pump would come together and it would all fit, bolted it up and started the car.
(Well, it wasnt that simple, it took about 3 tries all together to get it right, because of the distributor being 180 degrees backward, and being one tooth off so it started, it just didnt run good.)

Sounds really tough to do, but from my point of view, it may be eaiser to do than to take the distributor off.

Now I get good oil pressure, and I got to do burnouts on my driveway from all the oil that spilled around during the process. I think I spilled so much during the pump swap, the EPA might turn my house into a superfund project.



[off topic-] does anybody know how to get the oil off the latex blacktop driveways? Kitty litter works, but it still leaves stains, should I just do more burnouts on the driveway, get rid of all traces of oil, then re-seal the whole thing? My driveway is a mess of oil spots, jack and jackstand craters and marks, and burnout lines.

Thanks Al, and dlh, the cannibalistic zcar owner for responding.

Also, I found that in the pic with the distributor, 11:25 is almost impossible to find, but this is a bit easier if you had good straightedge around, the red line that I MS Paintshopped in seems to show if you go to the very outside of the bolt holes it makes a straight line across, if you measure out from the very outside, even after the slight taper thats around the threads

Image
Shot at 2007-08-04
'83 maxima sedan, l24e, a/t, black

227K SOLD 6/7/2012

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