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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #1
3.5L 1988 Classic, Was having starting issues so trouble shooted igntion and found no spark. All checked OK except Module showed dead short to ground, being original equipment I opted to replace module and pick up coil because it showed and open circuit. Marked dizzy rotor to case #1 and marked timing mark at 6degrees. It started but runs poorly at idle and even stalls and then hard to start. Revs up pretty good, Whats weird is that timing light shows timing off about 3 to 4 inches on balancer. Double checked dead timing is OK. If timing was off that much it would not start or rev up. Is it possible module doing this? 8-0=
 

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Timing looks 3-4 inches of at the balancer with a timing light? Your timing is way out. You must work on adjusting your timing correctly. Timing light is the only way, static timing was nice when you had points but with electronic system you need use a timing light. Not sure on an 88, but you should see 6-12 deg BTDC (before top dead centre) at idle (700rpm) with vacuum advance disconnected (using your timing light).
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #3
I'm using a timing light. Shows 3 to 4 inches off. If off that much it should not start
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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1,413 Posts
you are supposed to set initial base timing to zero tdc (top dead center), after engine is started then you set to specs
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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48 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If I could set it to specs but its 3 to 4 inches off on balancer, still starts but idles rough and stalls, revs up OK, kinda of a miss. Again if that far out in timing it would not start, I can't set timing. Pulled dizzy and adjusted a tooth both ways, runs worse.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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remove distributor, set engine to tdc, reinstall distributor, reset timing.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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said case you may have a defective timing chain, worn out and stretched. while at it I would replace cam and lifters.
 

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Have you checked that the HT leads are not moved one position clock or anti clockwise on the distributor cap to give you an odd setup that needs other alignment compromises to run?

Can't see how it run at 3 to 4 inches out though.

Also check front pully position at TDC roughly by getting cylinder one to top and verifying the O degrees line.
 

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What does "3 to 4 inches off" mean exactly? I presume this is the timing on the pulley? Based on a 6" pulley it is about 20 deg per inch on the pulley so are are talking 60-80 deg off. AFTER you have set it at around 0 deg, before starting?

I know you have done it several times, but you must be doing something wrong.

Walk us through what you are doing?
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #11
TDC on pully. rotor pointing to #1 cyl. on cap AND teeth on reluctor are lined up. Hard starting but starts and goes to high idle then drops down and feels like its missing. but revs up ok. timing light shows off by 3 to 4 inches on pulley. I will pull #1 plug and get a TDC on cyl. and check pully for TDC.
 

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Ok understood. Did you rotate the distributor with the engine running (idle) and your timing light aimed to get the timing on ~10 deg BTDC? Is the timing wondering badly?
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #13
kinda wonders but might be due to idle goes low then it revs up to stop from stalling and centrifugal advance kicks in. And of course can get to 10 BTDC, marks way off
 

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Looking at it again, I think it may be worth separating some aspects to help out.

As you've proved by moving the distributor back and forth one tooth, it looks like you're close enough to run reasonably. So I'd hold there for a while.

Sounds like the idle (IACV) valve is working as it's trying to regulate it's speed, but they are fairly crude and the motor may be under some different influence that the IACV valve is trying to track to its best efforts.
If it's started with not all cylinders firing, the the IACV tries to pull idle speed up to within range. If lazy cylinder comes alive, then this point is too high so you get increase followed by correction.
Some things to check ; if you start it from cold, run for 10secs only and switch off. The take a standard British calibrated thumb ;) and check exchange of the the exhaust manifold ices as they come out of the cylinders. This will show any cold one's, and if you've got to look at those plugs etc.
The IACV valve, if you, again with cold engine, turn the ignition on but don't start the engine a couple of times, then earplug the valve from electric harness. Now start the engine with it unplugged, it should run at quite a high rpm ( about 2000rpm) as it's opened the valve initially but can't now modify setting. If ok, switch off, reconnect and then restart.
The rough running, and if you get any dead cylinders at cold, could be the distributor cap "cross firing" from one cylinder to another if it's impaired. This could also give you the incorrect strobe reading as mechanically the system is ok but the signal on number one HT lead is from another cylinder, giving the "apparent" offset when you check the timing marks.
Poor starting could be caused by the above, but also check the HT lead from the coil as it can start to break down slowly before failure. Start it in dark conditions and you'll see that one "leaking" out to anything near it as it passes earthed components. They look like a hairy caterpillar if they are failing.
Finally, and obviously, the plugs should all be good. Don't gap them any wider than spec but keep them tight to the minimum they should be. It doesn't help cold starting if the gaps are enlarged.
 

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My spell check got some weird stuff into that last post and I can't seem to edit.

It should say check EACH of the exhaust PIPES as they come out of the cylinders.

Also earplugged should be UNPLUG.

I love predicted text. :oops:
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #16
Hi, I unplugged IAC and got it to settle into a low idle and finally timed it. Runs rough (dropping more than 1cyl.) though, and rich smell. Double checked plug order. I want to have a backup module anyway so Im going to order another one and R&R it. Thanks
 

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Something not mentioned here is that, when the distributor is INSTALLED and bottomed in the block, the rotor should be very close to #1 position. You may have noticed that the distributor rotor moves as it drops into the block. The timing marks should be very close to correct when the engine fires. Also, make sure that the #1 plug wire is in the correct terminal position. Also, make sure that the conditions are correctly set for timing. This will include locking out certain advance connectors, etc. Also, if the distributor has a centrifugal advance, that it is not sticking, and is in the no advance position when you install the distributor. If it is entirely electronically advanced, make sure that the necessary connectors are disconnected, so you are not chasing the advance system. These conditions are easily overlooked and have not been mentioned here. Ray
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Discussion Starter #18
Problem solved. It was a bad STC1184 module on side of distributor. Put new one on, started right up and timed perfect, no bouncing around.
 
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