Distributor 180° off ?

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Acmetshirts
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Distributor 180° off ?

Post by Acmetshirts » Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:49 pm

Okay I know there is much written about this already and I have read till I can't read anymore. Due to a couple of brain injuries I have some issues with comprehension. I have determined that when cylinder #1 is at TDC the rotor is pointing at #3 cylinder, i did this by surfing tissue where the spark plug would go on #1 rotated until it popped out to determine TDC. I happen to be the person that installed the distributor drive, I did so at +- 12° with the smaller of the "C" segments towards the coil.
All that said, if I where to simply lift the drive gear out turn it 180° so that the large "C" segment is pointing to the coil i should have the rotor pointing at # 1. Is this correct.
Again, I understand much has been written and I apologize, I just would like to be sure of my interpretation as I am often wrong.
Thank you.

kreemoweet
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by kreemoweet » Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:13 pm

Acmetshirts wrote:Is this correct.
Well no. If you turn the distributor drive 180 deg., then you will also be turning where the rotor points 180 deg.
Therefore, instead of pointing to cyl. 3, it would then be pointing at cyl. 2.

Are you working on a Type 1 (beetle, etc.) engine? If so, the "standard" position of the distributor drive would be
(with cyl. 1 at TDC on the compression stroke) with the smaller segment towards the pulley (i.e. the rear of the car),
not towards the coil.

And, FYI, if you have what is commonly called an "009" distributor installed, then be aware it is a non-VW, non-standard
item which does not obey the "rules" you might encounter that apply only to the parts VW used in their engines.

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SlowLane
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by SlowLane » Sat Jul 24, 2021 11:14 am

kreemoweet wrote:
Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:13 pm
Acmetshirts wrote:Is this correct.
Well no. If you turn the distributor drive 180 deg., then you will also be turning where the rotor points 180 deg.
Therefore, instead of pointing to cyl. 3, it would then be pointing at cyl. 2.
Wait. what? Think about this again, please. Cylinders 1 & 3 are indeed 180 degrees apart on the distributor. Cylinder 2 is 90 degrees from both.

To the original poster: keep in mind that simply checking for TDC on cylinder 1 is not sufficient. Both cylinders 1and 3 are at TDC simultaneuously, but one will be at the cusp between the compression and power strokes, while the other will be transitioning between exhaust and intake strokes. It is the former that you want to have cylinder 1 at when figuring out your distributor wiring.

You need to find out which of the two you have cylinder 1 at. Most common way to check is to look at the positions of the valves and rocker arms. Have you adjusted your valves lately?
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

kreemoweet
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by kreemoweet » Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:02 pm

SlowLane wrote:Wait. what? Think about this again, please. Cylinders 1 & 3 are indeed 180 degrees apart on the distributor. Cylinder 2 is 90 degrees from both.
Eh wot? Distributors don't have cylinders. I assume if someone says "cylinder #3", that is what they mean. Not something
like "the position of the dist. cap tower that has the other end of the wire currently connected to the plug at
cylinder #3". If the rotor is pointing at cylinder #3 (y'know, the front left one), then turning the
dist. shaft 180 deg will have the rotor pointing at cylinder #2 (at least on all my VW distributors and engines).

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SlowLane
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by SlowLane » Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:46 am

kreemoweet wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 7:02 pm
SlowLane wrote:Wait. what? Think about this again, please. Cylinders 1 & 3 are indeed 180 degrees apart on the distributor. Cylinder 2 is 90 degrees from both.
Eh wot? Distributors don't have cylinders. I assume if someone says "cylinder #3", that is what they mean. Not something
like "the position of the dist. cap tower that has the other end of the wire currently connected to the plug at
cylinder #3". If the rotor is pointing at cylinder #3 (y'know, the front left one), then turning the
dist. shaft 180 deg will have the rotor pointing at cylinder #2 (at least on all my VW distributors and engines).
Ah, I see. Linguistic and spatial rigour in action. :salute:
I will hazard a guess, however, that the OP meant it as I had misinterpreted it. It's just far easier to refer to the cylinder that a particular distributor tower services than repeatedly saying " the high voltage connection tower on the distributor cap which has the ignition wire plugged into it the other end of which is routed to the #3 cylinder sparking plug".

:geek:
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

Acmetshirts
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by Acmetshirts » Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:38 pm

Thank you, I determined that #1 was at TDC on its compression stroke via stuffing a tissue in place of the spark plug, when the tissue flew both valves were closed, the compression stroke. It was so fun I stuffed tissue in place of all the spark plugs and watched as they popped, and they did in the correct order with the rotor pointing to the corresponding location on the rotor cap. It turns out I was incorrect and not 180° off. Thank you for your responses.
Its still not running but I have eliminated that as the culprit. Also its a 1983 vanagon 2.0. With a 78 case.

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SlowLane
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by SlowLane » Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:16 am

Acmetshirts wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:38 pm
Thank you, I determined that #1 was at TDC on its compression stroke via stuffing a tissue in place of the spark plug, when the tissue flew both valves were closed, the compression stroke.
Its still not running but I have eliminated that as the culprit.
Also its a 1983 vanagon 2.0. With a 78 case.
Wow. Never heard of that method before. Highly creative. =D>
Thanks for the increased detail on the engine model. It does help.
'81 Canadian Westfalia (2.0L, manual), now Californiated

"They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance."
- Terry Pratchett

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Amskeptic
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Re: Distributor 180° off ?

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Sep 06, 2021 1:03 pm

SlowLane wrote:
Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:16 am
Acmetshirts wrote:
Tue Jul 27, 2021 4:38 pm
Thank you, I determined that #1 was at TDC on its compression stroke via stuffing a tissue in place of the spark plug, when the tissue flew both valves were closed, the compression stroke.
Its still not running but I have eliminated that as the culprit.
Also its a 1983 vanagon 2.0. With a 78 case.
Wow. Never heard of that method before. Highly creative. =D>
Thanks for the increased detail on the engine model. It does help.

Coming in late .... at no point do we make any reference to any actual cylinder location on the engine as a reference to the distributor rotor, that is just torturing people.

If there is a notch in the distributor body for #1, and if the slot is at 12* offset left, we call that rotor position sort of facing the right rear corner of the bumper #1 with 4 @ 90* cw, 3 180* etc.

People will be confused enough if they have a 90* offset 009 or a drive dog installed 180* out.
12* angle small offset left ... rotor must face right rear ... vacuum distributor can should be lined with the breather bail.
Colin
BobD - 78 Bus . . . 112,730 miles
Chloe - 70 bus . . . 206,865 miles
Naranja - 77 Westy . . . 132,040 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 91 Lexus LS400 . . . 94,225 miles

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