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Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (The correct method)

Posted By: DaphneD

Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (The correct method) - 08/06/04 01:41 AM

Well, I woke up in a cold sweat from a nightmare one night - in the process of tearing down my old engine, I hadn't made any mating marks before removing the distributor. As it turns out, I would only have to fear this if the only thing I was replacing was the distributor assembly. In this case, I'm replacing my whole engine so I slept a little better the following night. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />


Looking at the front of the driver's side head, it's obvious how the distributor fits in. Heck, if your to this point it was obvious how it came out too! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
(please disregard my half-assed [color:"red"]red scribble[/color] in this photo)
[Linked Image]
Before starting, make sure that the driver's side sprocket is aligned with it's mating mark for Top Dead Center (TDC). It's pretty easy to do on this side as the cams will just "click" into position.


Luckily, Mitsu engineers coordinated two mating marks ([color:"red"]circled in red[/color]) on the distributor shaft and gear to make it easy for dummys like me.
[Linked Image]

In order to get this right, first align the marks
on a straight line. You'll notice that the mating
mark on the distributor shaft falls nearly directly
between two gear teeth:
[Linked Image]

Carefully drop the rotor assembly into position on the front of the head making sure that the adjustment stud fits through the groove on the distributor flange (that would be my [color:"red"]keenly drawn red line[/color]).
[Linked Image]
You'll note that rotor is slightly off-center towards the outside of the engine. That will change shortly.


[Linked Image]
As you continue to drop the distributor into position, the rotor will begin rotating counterclockwise slightly. This motion is normal and is due to the gear teeth lining up.

Side note: The angle you see ([color:"red"]drawn in red[/color]) is how you will later fine-adjust the ignition timing. Basic ignition timing for this engine is 5 Before Top Dead Center (BTDC), which the computer will advance to 15 at normal idle... but that's another post. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />


If you've done it correctly, the rotor should be aligned as such:
[Linked Image]
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
[Linked Image]
Note how the rotor will align with the little "towers" on the distributor plate edges.

Now on to the distributor cap. Any casual observation will note that the actual contacts on the inside of the distributor do not exactly correspond with the nodes on the outside of the cap:
[Linked Image]
To menatlly facilitate your understanding of the inner-workings of the distributor cap, I've highlighted the nodes on the top of the cap ([color:"blue"]in blue[/color]) as they correspond with the actual contact positions ([color:"red"]in red[/color]). Note where #1 actually is. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Now when you drop the cap onto the rotor assembly, it should all become clear. The terminal for #1/TDC lines up with the position of the rotor.

[Linked Image]
Finished. It was easy, wasn't it?

-DougB <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: DougH

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 01:57 AM

Excellent Doug, thanks for the write-up. Archive
Posted By: LRJ4x4

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 02:02 AM

I understand it completely now, to bad I have a 2.6 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Nice work, Archive this baby!

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 03:31 AM

Hang on! Before we get all archive crazy, lemme try and crank this thing up to make sure I've got it correct. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

EDIT: Okay, should be edited so it's correct now. Although I still have yet to crank it up to make sure. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

EDIT II: yep, Raider started on the first crank! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 03:38 AM

USA cap, I see! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 03:57 AM

Quote
USA cap, I see! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/patriot.gif" alt="" />

MOPAR. Although, I prefer the Mitsu cap (slightly better quality).
Posted By: sparkem

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 06:22 AM

Are you sure it is supposed to go one tooth back? Is this from a manual?
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 06:55 AM

Hehe, no - I'm not actually sure. I originally had it set with the timing marks lined up, but it didn't seem correct. Let me know if you have better info!
Posted By: sparkem

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 06:11 PM

I read in an old post, just line up the marks and put it in. I dont think that was from a manual though. Does anyone know if it will fire up if one tooth is off??
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. *DELETED* - 08/06/04 07:03 PM

Post deleted by DougB
Posted By: FrankR

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/06/04 07:18 PM

The info I gave you on the #1 and #4 towers being perpindicular to the crank longitudinal axis is to set up the correct ignition timing advance for starting purposes. Don't forget that the rotor will be pointing ~ 10 degrees in front ("before" in rotational terms) of the inner #1 contact at TDC - but only when the timing is close to correct.

Hard to explain....

Frank
Posted By: bOURGE

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/07/04 10:28 PM

any new info on this? im anxious to see which is correct? anyone with the known correct timing want to take off there distributor and check?
Posted By: FrankR

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/08/04 01:17 AM

On TDC (compression), set the distributor so that the rotor points straight at the firewall. Rotate the distributor until a line across #1 and #4 cap towers is perpindicular to the crank axis. That should put you within a degree or so of the correct timing.

Another way to do it is to follow Doug's suggestion of lining up the marks on the distributor and insert the distributor, but I think (Not sure yet) that you then have to line up the distributor marks with the vertical mark on the distributor adapter.

I'll try setting my distributor that way tomorrow and let you know.

Frank
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/08/04 07:28 PM

TTBOMK, I have no markings on my distributor adapter.
Posted By: FrankR

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/09/04 02:40 AM

Apologies in advance to Doug - I think the first picture posted was correct, but my memory was playing tricks on me. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I just finished installing the timing belt and inserted the distributor to see if I could determine a quick and dirty sure-fire method to install it correctly:

Your line-up of the distributor housing and shaft marks is correct. If you hold that alignment and turn the distributor over (cap off), you'll see that the rotor points directly at the rear screw tang (ear) that the cap screw goes into. It's easier to now use that alignment (rotor/tang) as a visual reference for the next step. There is a little foot on the hold down slot where the clamp bolt goes through. While holding the rotor/tang alignment, now align that foot on the clamp with the vertical raised line on the distributor adapter (the part with the hole that's bolted to the head that the distributor goes into) and insert the distributor into the hole. The distributor gear should immediately engage and if you release the rotor, it will rotate into position as the distributor drops into position. The rotor should now point to an imaginary point that is at the very back of the center of the engine. Now insert the clamp bolt and rotate the distributor housing so that #1 and #4 towers form an imaginary line straight across the engine centerline and lock it down. That should be very close for starting purposes.

I remembered that it was straight back - but in reality it was straight back to the center of the engine - or a point in the center of the firewall if the engine is installed.

Make certain you're on TDC compression stroke. An easy way to find that - if you're sure your engine hasn't jumped timing - is to remove the driver side cam sprocket cover and rotate the engine until the marks on the cam sprocket and the sprocket housing are aligned - that's TDC compression stroke. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

Sorry for the confusion and hope that clears it up once and for all. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cheers.gif" alt="" />

Frank
Posted By: sparkem

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/09/04 04:57 AM

I lined up the mark and it turned a little while going down.

Quote
Make certain you're on TDC compression stroke


If all the marks line up, isnt it the TDC on the compression stroke since the crank rotates 2 times to the one on the head sproket?
Posted By: FrankR

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/09/04 05:13 AM

Quote
If all the marks line up, isnt it the TDC on the compression stroke since the crank rotates 2 times to the one on the head sproket?


If by "all the marks" you mean crank and cams, then the answer is yes - but if you know your engine hasn't jumped time, then just remove the cam sprocket cover and rotate the crank until the cam sprocket marks are aligned.... voila... TDC... either way... same... same - safer to check all, though.

The other (normal?) way to find TDC is to remove the coil wire, remove the #1 spark plug and put you finger over the hole while the engine is rotated. As the compression stroke begins, you'll feel air being pushed out of the spark plug hole as you continue to rotate to TDC (marks on the crank pulley and timimg indicator aligned) - at which point with continued rotation, compression stops and the exhaust stroke begins.

Does that answer it, or have I misread your question?

Frank
Posted By: sparkem

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/09/04 06:16 PM

Yes, I got it.
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. - 08/09/04 06:54 PM

Thanks for the discussion/troubleshooting guys. I'll revamp the pics and instructions within the next week.
Posted By: DaphneD

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (REVISED!) - 08/27/04 08:44 PM

Bump. Revised, edited, updated, and DEFINATELY CORRECT! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

My apologies if this thread toyed with your mind for a bit, but the proceedure outlined at the top is definately the correct method.

<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: FrankR

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (REVISED!) - 08/27/04 09:13 PM

Good job! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/kewl.gif" alt="" />

Definitely archive. Should save a lot of hair-pulling. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/angry.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Frank
Posted By: goldenprospector

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (REVISED!) - 07/13/13 06:29 PM

Damn, I could really use those old pics right about now.
Posted By: goldenprospector

Re: Replacing the distributor on the 3.0L V6 engine. (REVISED!) - 07/13/13 07:28 PM

ahh, i got figured it out, thanks!
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