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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My cracked head repair and re install dragged out over the course of several months due to work, family, etc.... Somewhere in there I missed the fact that I was 180 off on the cams, so when I finished the last bits of assembly and went to start the car on Saturday I got a whole lot of nothing. Realizing what I may have done I swapped plug leads and the car started right up. Any issues with leaving it as is? I have to adjust the timing chain tension but wouldn't mind avoiding tearing into it further until it gets cold out (which may be soon here in Seattle!).
 

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Oh dear. Your car is nearly worthless now. Just leave the keys under the seat, sign over the title and PM me with your address.

Or drive it as it is - the engine won't mind at all. I suspect half of all Alfas with rebuilt engines have the distributor 180 degrees off...
 

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Oh dear. Your car is nearly worthless now. Just leave the keys under the seat, sign over the title and PM me with your address.

Or drive it as it is - the engine won't mind at all. I suspect half of all Alfas with rebuilt engines have the distributor 180 degrees off...
Funny, indeed! A few months ago I was f'd off with the car I may have done just as you suggested! But it starts and runs now, so it's a better place than before.

Now I just need to sort out the g'box leak. Again. And the leaking axle seal. And the thunk in the drive line. And the windows that won't go down. And take the darn hardtop off. After I install the soft top on the frame. the list goes on...

Thanks, BTW!
 

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is it not easy to put it all back to where it should be?....by taking the distributor drive cog off and turning it around?...or is this to do with the oil pump drive cog? (in which case leave it till the next complete rebuild:))
 

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No, don't turn the distributor drive around - that'll qualify one for permanent DPO status.

If you are really 'anal' and want the spark plug wires installed as Alfa intended, re-install the camshafts so that the lobes for the #1 cylinder are facing away from each other when the #1 piston is at TDC. But truely, the engine doesn't care as long as the firing order is correct.
 

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As stated above - all you have to do is push out the pin that holds the distributor drive dog on the shaft, turn it 180 degrees and put the wires back to where they are supposed to be.
 

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Just trying to understand what is wrong .

Is it the cam timing or the oil pump position that is wrong ?

With the crank on the top dead center mark are the cams both faced out ?
And are the marks on the cams pointed to the marks on the cam bearings ?

If the cam timing is way out on an Alfa motor wouldn't to pistons hit the valves?
 

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Alfhole (really, you couldn't do any better??) says he did head work and didn't align the cams. No need to pull the dizzy to do head work.
 

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Then some future Alfa owner will re-assemble the engine correctly but the distributor will be 180 degrees off. And he/she will be cursing the DPO who did that...
Eric - the distributor is 180 out now, by turning the drive dog on the distributor 180 degrees it will be back to where it's supposed to be. The distributor itself is not going to be turned around, it will be installed the exact same way it is now only the rotor will be pointing in the opposite direction. There is no need to mess with the cams.
 

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No, the distributor & its drive dog are assembled correctly (unless the OP tells us he messed with it). The cams are 180 degrees off. Compensating for the cam shafts being 180 degrees off by moving the distributor drive dog - which is offset and thus is supposed to be installed in one (correct) way - is trying to make two wrongs equal a right.
 

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just make sure that if you do put it right you turn the engine so the pistons are about half way up. Then you can rotate the cams to where the lobes on #1 point out, and the distributor rotor is pointing to what was #1. If you try and rotate the cams with it at TDC a valve will hit a piston and the cam won't go any further and whatever you do don't force it. Chain tension should have already been set when you timed it the first time. Funny you got a whole lot of nothing trying to start a car 180 out. It's usually a lot more exciting than that.
 

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No, the distributor & its drive dog are assembled correctly (unless the OP tells us he messed with it). The cams are 180 degrees off. Compensating for the cam shafts being 180 degrees off by moving the distributor drive dog - which is offset and thus is supposed to be installed in one (correct) way - is trying to make two wrongs equal a right.

Okay, you tell me then, with the engine assembled correctly and #1 cylinder at TDC the distributor rotor is pointing forward to the #1 position on the cap. The drive dog is slightly offset from center.

Is it offset above center or below center?

You don't know do you? Neither do I and it doesn't matter as long as the rotor ends up pointed in the correct direction.

I know he didn't touch the distributor during the head job but he mistakenly installed the cams 180 degrees out and so he now has three options:

1. swap the ignition wires on the cap (which he has already done)

2. turn the distributor drive dog 180 on the shaft to put the rotor in the correct position

3. remove cam cover, get upper chain master link in position between cams with TDC mark on crank pulley aligned with pointer, loosen the chain tensioner, undo the master link, re-position the cams and put it all back together.

It's a no-brainer #2 is the best solution.
 

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Okay, you tell me then, with the engine assembled correctly and #1 cylinder at TDC the distributor rotor is pointing forward to the #1 position on the cap. The drive dog is slightly offset from center.

Is it offset above center or below center?

You don't know do you? Neither do I and it doesn't matter as long as the rotor ends up pointed in the correct direction.
Sorry, I don't know which way the offset should be positioned off the top of my head. But I know how to look it up in the engine rebuilding manual so it'd be done right. And it does matter if one wants it done correctly.
 

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Eric

True, it's on page 26 of the shop manual and the offset should be below center for TDC #1. Although I think turning the drive dog 180 degrees is a simple solution in this case you are right in that it could cause future problems if that distributor were either replaced or installed on another engine so based on further thought I withdraw that suggestion.

Best solution is to just do it right as you said.
 

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correct me if i am wrong guys (and i bet you will :))
You simply cannot put the distributor in wrong unless the oil pump has been put in wrong, BECAUSE the dog tooth is offset to fit into this - that means whoever put the engine back together was doing work on/in the block, and so put the oil pump back - which has to eventually mate with the distributor cog - 180 degrees out.......is that possible?
 

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Best solution is to just do it right as you said.
I'd say the correct solution is to do it right. The easiest (and likely best) solution is to simply put the spark plug wires where they need to be and enjoy driving the car.

Err.. this is not a Spica car by any chance?
Hmm, we didn't think to ask. We were too busy fussing about offsets.
 

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correct me if i am wrong guys (and i bet you will :))
You simply cannot put the distributor in wrong unless the oil pump has been put in wrong, BECAUSE the dog tooth is offset to fit into this - that means whoever put the engine back together was doing work on/in the block, and so put the oil pump back - which has to eventually mate with the distributor cog - 180 degrees out.......is that possible?
1) the drive dog offset is so small it is possible to force it together (with not a lot of force) 180 degrees off.

B) it is much more likely the camshafts were installed 180 degrees off (easily done as they have two marks 180 degrees apart) which then makes the distributor 180 degrees off.
 
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