Sunday 3 March 2024

Project Pickle - making the engine run again (part 5.1)

Now I ended the last post along the lines of:

I somewhat doubt I messed up the timing

Which, to be honest is exactly what I did. Luckily it was the kind of harmless, not breaking anything  kind of "messed up the timing". At least I was right about the fanblades hitting the shroud. As I had a few lovely days in Palermo to think about all of this the most obvious answer was that I must have gotten the crank 180 out, when I rolled it forward to flush the block and accidentally knocked it in gear. 

Whilst my working hypothesis would turn out true, I was a bit relieved to see that the markings still lined up and nothing had gone terribly wrong on the inside for the timing case.

The master-bodgineer in my concluded that if this was truly the case, the rotor would point in the completely wrong direction, as in the opposite of either of the cylinders 1 or 4 that would be at TDC. Easiest way to establish this was by taking the distributor cap off and having a look and guess what: #4 was at TDC and it was in the ballpark of #1.

Now you can obviously fix this the right way, by adjusting the cam-timing, or you could test it by flipping the cap around 180 degrees, which some clever Nippon-Denso engineers prevented by making the distributor body sport a little nose on one side. Cheeky b*st*rds.

So I removed the timing belt tensioner and turned the crank a full revolution until the marks lined up again and then reinstalled the belt, making sure that it would be tight on the tension-side.

As a sort of extra-curricular activity, I also marked TDC on the crankpulley. Even though there are no marks on the outside of the timing belt cover, it could at some point in the future come in handy for adjusting the valves or the like. 

Talking of stuff that might come in handy in the future: I also painted the timing marks on the flywheel so I will have a slightly easier time dialing in the ignition in the hopefully not too distant future.

With the engine running again like it should, as a matter of fact with 4 tightened spark plugs it ran nicer than ever, the terrible noise of the fanblades hitting the shroud hadn't disappeared and left quite a mark...

... and for future reference: there's a quite prominent UP-mark on the right side of the fanshroud that's obviously not just there for stylistic purposes.

I still have one more post in my quiver to bridge the current work of cutting out all the old rusty panels and until I am able to show some actual progress in that field. (Or in other words: currently tackling the floorpans and oh my, some good surprises there...) Regardless of that I hope someone will find this post useful in troubleshooting his or her timing mistakes.

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