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Author Topic: Distributor removal and timing tips  (Read 7682 times)
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lanciamad
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Marcus Robinson


« on: January 14, 2013, 08:33:14 PM »

With the weather as it is, I need to pick a dry day after work to remove the distributor; run by the aux shaft of a 1600 HPE. I've never had to remove it before, is it just un-doing the 13mm nut holding the assembly down into the block and lifting the distributor out with the shaft, or is there something else involved?
With this in mind, is there any useful tips for trying to keep the timing correct while removing and refitting? Is it a case of just relying on marking things in relation to each other.
Hopefully the replies will be useful to more than just me in the future.
Thanks, Marcus. Smiley
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1982 - Lancia Beta HPE 2000ie - Track - http://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=472.0
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capriblu
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »

With the weather as it is, I need to pick a dry day after work to remove the distributor; run by the aux shaft of a 1600 HPE. I've never had to remove it before, is it just un-doing the 13mm nut holding the assembly down into the block and lifting the distributor out with the shaft, or is there something else involved?
With this in mind, is there any useful tips for trying to keep the timing correct while removing and refitting? Is it a case of just relying on marking things in relation to each other.
Hopefully the replies will be useful to more than just me in the future.
Thanks, Marcus. Smiley

Dead simple.  Exactly as you say, undo 13mm nut and carefully withdraw.   

When I have done it (a couple of times) then before undoing/removal I have marked top of distributor cap to retain correct plug lead sequence/firing order, removed cap and made a reference to direction that rotor arm is pointing and similarly recorded angular position that body of distributor is sitting (use position of cap clips + pick-up wire exit).  Then just put back as closely as possible obviously making sure that leads are attached in correct order AND position relative to rotor arm.   Statement of the obvious but crank position needs to be unchanged between removal and refit, i.e. a big shove while left in gear might be enough to cause a problem. (Mark position of one of the timing belt wheels for peace of mind).

Final timing can be done by ear and test drive - best way IMHO!
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2013, 08:25:41 AM »

Static timing is set on no.4 cylinder on Betas. It is easy to get it 180 degrees out! I would recommend:

1. Take oil filler cap off so you can see No.1 cylinder (waterpump end) exhaust cam lobe
2. turn engine over until crank pulley marker lines up with static 10 deg before TDC mark (on cam cover usually)
3. Check exhaust lobe position on No.1. It should be pointing downwards at final stage of closing valve. This means No 1. is on the "overlap", exhaust closing inlet opening, and No.4 is nearly at top of compression stroke about to fire.
4. If No.1 exhaust cam lobe is pointing straight up, No.1 is on firing stroke, so keep turning engine over until you come back to 10 deg BTDC again on No.4
5. The rotor arm should now be directly pointing to No.4 lead on the cap. On most Bosch distributors there is also a line where the cap seats on the base in the same place that you can line up the rotor arm with.
6. Note position of dizzy in block, undo M8 nut and withdraw!
7. Note plug lead order before removing all leads! Firing rotation is clockwise and lead order is 1-3-4-2
8. When refitting line up rotor arm with line on dizzy first then insert, making sure rotor arm is held in place so it does not move.
9. When inserting make sure shaft splines engage in aux shaft driven gear. Don't forget gasket on base to block or you will have an oil leak....
10. Check static timing is 10 deg BTDC, rotor arm pointing to No.4 lead, refit clamp & just nip up bolt.
11. Re fit cap & leads, vacuum advance etc. Start & check timing with a strobe.

Easy.....
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lukasdeopalenica
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2013, 09:15:47 AM »

Static timing is set on no.4 cylinder on Betas. It is easy to get it 180 degrees out!
Fortunatelly the problem has been solved in the late Betas, at least equipped with a Marelli 808 distributor having not symmetrical incision on the shaft. This allows for only one correct position.
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2013, 11:35:26 AM »

Yes for the cam end driven types on IE and VX it is not a problem.....Only the carburettor types with block mounted distributor have this problem.
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lanciamad
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Marcus Robinson


« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 05:59:03 PM »

Thanks for that write up Ian, very detailed and will make sure I don't forget anything. I'm sure it will be very useful for others in the future. I turned the engine over until all the marks lined up for tdc with rotor arm facing at number 4, so it should be relatively easy when I get it back from being refurbed.
Cheers, Marcus.
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1982 - Lancia Beta HPE 2000ie - Track - http://www.betaboyz.myzen.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=472.0
1988 - Lancia Delta HF Turbo - Sorn - http://www.lanciasport.com/forum/index.php?topic=2585.0
1989 - Lancia Delta 1300 LX - Sorn
1988 - BMW E30 325i - Track
2005 - Subaru Forester XT STI - Road
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2016, 12:15:52 AM »

Static timing is set on no.4 cylinder on Betas. It is easy to get it 180 degrees out! I would recommend:

1. Take oil filler cap off so you can see No.1 cylinder (waterpump end) exhaust cam lobe
2. turn engine over until crank pulley marker lines up with static 10 deg before TDC mark (on cam cover usually)
3. Check exhaust lobe position on No.1. It should be pointing downwards at final stage of closing valve. This means No 1. is on the "overlap", exhaust closing inlet opening, and No.4 is nearly at top of compression stroke about to fire.
4. If No.1 exhaust cam lobe is pointing straight up, No.1 is on firing stroke, so keep turning engine over until you come back to 10 deg BTDC again on No.4
5. The rotor arm should now be directly pointing to No.4 lead on the cap. On most Bosch distributors there is also a line where the cap seats on the base in the same place that you can line up the rotor arm with.
6. Note position of dizzy in block, undo M8 nut and withdraw!
7. Note plug lead order before removing all leads! Firing rotation is clockwise and lead order is 1-3-4-2
8. When refitting line up rotor arm with line on dizzy first then insert, making sure rotor arm is held in place so it does not move.
9. When inserting make sure shaft splines engage in aux shaft driven gear. Don't forget gasket on base to block or you will have an oil leak....
10. Check static timing is 10 deg BTDC, rotor arm pointing to No.4 lead, refit clamp & just nip up bolt.
11. Re fit cap & leads, vacuum advance etc. Start & check timing with a strobe.

Easy.....
Presumably the same applies when retrofitting a carb-type block-mounted distributor to an i.e. block? I want to do this fairly soon, before that part of the engine gets cluttered up with alternators and fan-belts, but want to make sure it's all timed up correctly. There are obviously no previous marks I can line it up with, so it's a start from square one job. Unfortunately the Haynes manual completely omits distributor removal/replacement on electronic ignition engines. Plenty of info on points engines, of course...
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Neil-yaj396
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2016, 08:10:45 AM »

It's a full static timing job as above. Can't think why it wouldn't work on your ie block. The fine tuning thereafter would be best done with a strobe light I guess.
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mangocrazy
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 09:19:27 PM »

Thanks Neil. I'm sure it will be fine; just a bit apprehensive as it's the first time I've done the timing on a Beta. Any recommendations for strobe lights? Is it necessary to pay extra for a good one, or are cheap and cheerful OK?
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1980 Lancia Beta Spider 2000 (S2FL)
2002 VW Transporter T4
2008 Aprilia SL1000 Falco
1992 Ducati 888 SP3
1988 Honda VFR750F
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