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Timing set up- Rotor arm 180 degrees out


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Needing some help.

1.3 Gf engine. Car turns over, wants to start but backfires.

Timing is set up correctly, but it turns out the rotor arm is 180 degrees out.

Can anyone advise how to rectify?



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3 ways that I know of.

If your rotor is in the middle of the Hash when your Cam dimple of the valve cover and the finger on the crank/tranny are at (0) time.  Put your Spark (H/V) wires on the correct plugs, as #1 should be over where the rotor is.

If the Hash mark on the side frame of the dizzy body is at the Block side of the engine.

1. Place the car in 2/3rds time, that is the Crank Finger at (0) time, that the dimple on the cam even with the top of the Valve cover.
2. Loosen the Timing Belt rotate the intermediate Shaft only until the rotor shaft is in the middle of the hash mark.

Or If the timing hash on the side of the body is at the front side of the engine bay, then you will need to remove and respot it to the correct position.

1 Carefully disconnect the Cap and all plugs and hoses that are or attached to the Diz.

2. Loosen and remove the clamp bolt on the diz.  Then remove it only to allow the gear to be free of the oil pump slot.

 3.Rotate the rotor shaft about 145 degrees, then lower it into the fitting, so that the rotor arm is in the middle of the hash mark.  and will drop in to the Oil pump slot.

4. Re-attach all parts, verify that the Static time is spot on adjust as necessary.  

If you watched as you lifted it out, the rotor shaft will rotate as the gears are coming out,  it is the reason to place it, and I can't remember which way it goes as it has been years since I had to replace one, and it s that rotational gimme for the reason

Last.  If the timing is statically spot on, but the rotor shaft is 180 out  and your Lazy.  Rotate the wires on the cap to the correct position for the number 1 plug to be over the rotor.   1-3-4-2 goes the wires in that order.

What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds.

Where are my DIY Links?


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The above from braino is for the big block engine, yours is a small blcok with the dizzy on the end of the camshaft.

Did it run OK before? What work has been done to make it not run now?

1983 Mars Red 1.8 Golf GTI
1987 Alpine White 1.8 Clipper Cabriolet

The trouble with doing nothing is that you never know when you are finished.


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Thanks for the replies chaps.

Turns out the dissy was not correct. I bought a refurbished one (from a well known supplier)

Car is now running after buying a second hand one, though it's not the end of my problems.

Crankshaft pulley is wobbly!! Hope it's something simple and not a rebuild!!!
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