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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a RRC 1990 which is idling terribly. When I bought it the owner complained of a sub par mechanic messing things up. It went in for a yellow liquid leak, but that turned out to the be brake master cylinder or manifold had burst. See my pics below, the footwells were soaked and ruined the car mats.. but all cleaned now.... So I'm ruling out head gaskets - for now. It looks like the timing is way off and he distributor had movement, I could turn it clockwise and anti clockwise with my hands.

I'll try uploading a video. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated

Here's the video link:


281498
281497
 

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I would say to adjust timeing till it smooths out... the distributor could be a tooth off...it’s a 90...the timeing chain can be a little stretched
It actually sounded good
 

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+1 on the timing. Easy to smooth out but also check for vac leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would say to adjust timeing till it smooths out... the distributor could be a tooth off...it’s a 90...the timeing chain can be a little stretched
It actually sounded good
Yeh, thanks... i kinda suspect tat the timing is off. I can move the distibutor by hand anticlockwise, until the Vacuum hose / nipple hits the fan clutch housing... Pic attached. I cant move it any further anticlockwise, but it did make it run and stay running, turned clockwise, the engine cuts out.
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Discussion Starter #5
+1 on the timing. Easy to smooth out but also check for vac leaks.
I had look at all the hoses and they all seemed fine. I couldnt find anything, even a slightly cracked one. The previous owner had looked after it well.
Im thinking the timing is off - but the vacuum hose is now touching the fan clutch housing.. so i cant turn it any further anti clockwise.. which was making it run better

See pic

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Yeh, thanks... i kinda suspect tat the timing is off. I can move the distibutor by hand anticlockwise, until the Vacuum hose / nipple hits the fan clutch housing... Pic attached. I cant move it any further anticlockwise, but it did make it run and stay running, turned clockwise, the engine cuts out.
View attachment 281508
if the vacuum advance is hitting the water pump and you just can’t get that little extra turn....
You are a Tooth off
You are going to have to take the distributor loose
But don’t pull it out
Leave the distributor turned into the
Water pump and mark where the rotor is on the distributor...
Pull the distributor out only enough to pull the spline gear out then put it back in but turn it one tooth
When it drops in the rotor should be moved one spot over from your mark
I would say to the right ....Also the the distributor drives the oil pump
So it had to line up
Easy as pie....
But disregarded this .....
If you already know how to move it
Or
If you don’t feel comfortable
This method is shade tree mechanic
101....
I’m sure you will get more sugestions
But it works for me...
Good luck
So what’s happening to the dizzy
Is the rotor is just hitting the #1
Cylinder by a smidge
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi, thanks, I'll give this a try. I suspect someone has done this and gotten it very wrong.... I don't pull it right out, just up enough to turn clockwise a tooth... I'll give it a shot at the weekend.
It's firing on all cylinders .. all sparking and firing nice. Just a rough inconsistent idle. Cuts out when in gear if I don't keep the revs high. When it turned the distributor as far as I could it actually idled but rough... prior to that, it was a smokey gassy mess and would keep fired... thats when I leaned towards very bad timing.
Thanks again
 

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I like confidence...
Just make sure you mark the dizzy in a position that you can always put it back to your starting position
I usually use a sharpie for my mark
Good luck
 

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Agree with above to get it in range.

As a "no tools" safety net in the event of loosing timing with distributor out, mark the #1 lead position from the distributor cap onto the distributor body so you can see where it is with the cap off. Then turn the crank by hand until 8degree lines up with crank timing tab, open oil fill cap and check that #1 cylinder rocker is not open (gives you TDC on compression /fire stroke) then put distributor in position until the rotor arm points to your #1 marking.

That'll give you near enough spot on timing to factory spec without any particular kit used.

The vac advance usually will be about halfway between top hose outlet and back of water pump when set correctly. You've usually got about 10 degree static space in either direction when set right.

It does sound like your idle control circuit is working OK though, as it's trying it's best to mitigate running conditions.
 
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