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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 89 Range Rover Classic, that I had to change exhaust manifold gaskets on, and a bolt broke, so I had to take it off to get it it fixed. Since the truck was running fine when I took it apart, I had marked the distributor and used those marks when I put it back together. I got 6 degrees TDC number 1 cylinder, made bright white marks on the timing so I could hit it with a light, started the motor, the timing is dead on, but must feather the gas. It does not backfire. The timing is right on.

Checked to make sure everything was hooked up, the only thing missing is a vacuum line on the throttle body, I cannot find where that goes, as it was never hooked up before I had to the head.

My FIL and I have been trying everything we know to get the truck going again. We are heavy equipment operators/mechanics, so we should be able to get this going. There must be something we are missing.

The Firing Order I have is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. The manual does not give a good starting point for number 1 on the cap, so they way I have taken it as is that number 1 should be before the clip on the cap, and number 8 should be after the clip headed toward the vacuum advance. I heard of a guy, using 1-2-7-3-4-5-6-8, but again, no starting point for number 1. Are there different firing orders for this 3.9l Rover?

Any ideas or suggestion, please do, there are NO Rover people around here, and the closest dealer is well over 2 hours away from us.

Thank You

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
so is number one on the cap before the clip that holds the cap down and do you know of any other firing orders for this 3.9
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
in my manual it shows the rotor over the Philips screw as number one and the cap lines up with it but im at a loss knowing if that is correct
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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That should be number one firing position and on the cap. It is not so clear but it sounds to me like you have the timing correct but the motor won't fire. Most likely something else is wrong and it is to do with dismantling the motor, e.g. there is a stray wire somewhere such as the ignition module or coil or the injector harness is not hooked up or something like that. I would start from spark and fuel. Are you getting a spark at the plug and is the static timing generally correct? If so the problem is fuel. Easiest way to check is to use ether (aerostart, ezistart etc) dump it in the aircleaner and kick the motor over. If it fires then work your way through the fuel system (pump running, pressure on the rail, are the injectors getting a signal). If not work your way through the ignition system - there is a test sequence in the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i will recheck but i was just out there and took spark plug out of number one cylinder and on a compression stroke air was herd leaking around my finger got 6 dtdc put the distributor in with the rotor over the screw number one on the cap marks on the damper lined up with pointer vacuum advance vacuum line on and it is new and i am 180 out all the time sometimes it will run and sometimes it wont it was 90 out a few times but always goes back to being 180 out im lost will go check other things again like you mentioned thanks
 

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So let me get this right - motor is at 6 BTDC on compression stroke, distributor is installed all the way home and the rotor is over the phillips head screw in the plastic cover near the number one lead - everything should work so long as you have the leads in the right place. When you say it is 180 degrees out, do you mean it is firing on the exhaust stroke? How do you know that or are you guessing because it won't run? I would put the timing light on number one (earthed on the motor) and turn it by hand to see when the plug fires - it should be close to 6 BTDC. If you can get someone else to hold their finger over the plug hole you should be able to tell if it's on compression. If it all checks out and you have spark then most likely there is a fuel problem.

In my experience these things are usually because I have done something dumb, it's just a matter of retracing my steps or reading the manual until I find the dumb thing - don't know if that is any help.

Do the timing with the vacuum advance disconnected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I am able to turn the motor and have a finger in the plug hole. All the leads are correct if number one is behind the clip that holds the cap on and number eight is next going clock wise on the cap and number one is driver side of front of motor ending on pasenger side last plug 8. So I start the motor it runs but really rough and if you give it a bit of throttle, it stalls. After it stalls I pull the cap and the rotor is 180 out from number one and the marks on the damper are not seen from the top of the motor. 180 out from where they should be and I think the rotor should stop on number one every time too. Whether the vacuum line is on or off the vacuum advance it runs the same. I know when you time the motor it should be disconnected. Have looked for dumb mistakes I could have made and had my father in law check me. I cant figure out why nothing I do can get the rotor and damper marks to stop were they should. I have to be over looking something. I did get it be 90 out once, stopping on number 3 as well - it just wont stop on number 1.

Thanks for you help let me know please if you think of something else

James
 

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It is not always going to stop at TDC or on number 1. It should be random where the motor stops and where the rotor ends up when it stalls. The motor goes around twice for each time the rotor goes around once, so you should get the timing mark lined up with the rotor in the right place and with it 180 degrees away. So I think the timing is fine, but there is a problem somewhere else. If you can get it running, use the timing light to confirm the timing.

How much fuel do you have in the tank? That could cause this sort of problem or any sort of a low fuel pressure problem such as a blocked filter could do the same. If it is running rough, put the timing light sensor on each of the leads in turn and see if the rough running is because one of the cylinders is not firing. If they all seem to be firing, then chances are you have a fuel problem. Some options might be to disconnect the battery (to reset the ECU) for ten seconds, or maybe the idle air valve is sticky. If not, start by cleaning the plugs, check inside the distributor cap for tracking, some times the leads get old and breakdown and you need to replace them. There are lots of things that can go wrong, and its best to work methodically through the test sequence in the book.
 

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PS Don't feel bad - it happens to all of us. I once parked up a Norton Commando motor cycle for six months because I set the timing on the exhaust stroke. I towed it for a mile trying to get it to fire. I had pulled it apart plenty of times and knew I had to check the valves when putting the points cam back in but this time I forgot. When I finally took it to a mechanic, the first thing he checked was whether the timing was right... it wasn't.

Another one was kinda amusing. We were sailing back from Tasmania across Storm Bay and it was a pitch black night. I woke up in the middle of the night and heard my wife (it was her turn to go on watch) saying calmly and repeatedly "just give me the wheel Bob". "No No the wind keeps changing and I can't hold a course" was the increasingly panicked response. This conversation went on for a while until I crawled out of my bunk and convinced him to let go of the wheel and go to bed, after which the missus shared a few thoughts with me vis a vis sexism. Turns out he had never steered to a compass and was trying to steer to the GPS, only trouble was it had a 3 second lag in it. I figure he had been doing zig zags for hours. At least we never run into Australia on one of the zigs.

And just last week I got a repairman in to fix up the computer router on my wife's computer after I had sorted out all the wiring mess around it. We had a chat and he said the router was most likely defective. "See it should have a red light on it when its powered up". I got a double d***head award for that one.

Sorry about going way off topic - someone must have hit my amusing/rambling anecdote button.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks John!!

My husband is back at work this morning and won't be back until Friday night...will see if maybe my dad and I can do some of this.

I know there isn't much fuel in the tank...so that I can fix!!! We had put injector cleaner and conditioner stuff in it, it had been stored for about 2 years with barely any fuel in it...so it is time to add more fuel.

Thanks a bunch!!!

Christine
 
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