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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I bought a Professional Producs Distributor for my 1968 XR7 with a 302. Before doing the change out, I traced all the existing ignition wires to see where everything went. It appears, at least by reference to the repair manual that the wires are installed 180 out of where they should be. The #1 cylinder on distrib is shown to be on the carb side of the cap, mine is on the radiator side of the cap. The sequence of the wires is correct but wires seem to be out of place. I turned the engine and lined up the TDC on to the pointer and it is pointing to the carberator side of the cap yet #1 is on the radiator side. Anyone know what is going on here??? I'm not sure if the distributor makes a full turn on each cycle ( sparks cylinder on compression and exhaust stroke) ? I thinking that is not the case but honestly don't know...
Anyone have any ideas about what is going on with this set up? I have put off removing the old and replacing with the new until I can figure out what is going on. Maybe the engine just sparks on the compression stroke and the distributor was installed 180 out and rather than fixing it they just put the wire on 180 out to make it work? Wish the manuals were written for the less experienced. Appreciate any help. I am pretty much stuck at this point and would really like to move on with this project. Hope someone can help set me straight.
Thanks
Charlie
 

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The distributor is driven by the cam. The cam rotates one turn to evry two turns of the crankshaft. So top dead center (TDC) on the balancer may be TDC, or it may be one revolution away. There is an easy way to get to TDC on the balancer. You will need to pull the #1 plug. Then rotate the crank (clockwise) by ratchet and socket at the balancer bolt. While doing this, insert your index finger in the plug bore to plug the air from escaping. When you are on the compression stroke for #1, you will feel your finger being pushed out of the bore. Then you just continue to rotate the crank until the pointer shows TDC. You may want to go through it a second time to be sure. This method only works, if the balancer has not slipped on the rubber...most have not...you should be fine. Next is the distributor drop in. With the cap off and the rotor on, slip the distributor into it's hole with the rotor pointing just behind the desired final location. This means that if you want it pointing at the accelerator pump on the carb, then start the distributor in pointing near the front passenger carb hold down nut. If memory serves, the rotor will want to turn clockwise as it's inserted into the engine. Once you have the dist. going in with the rotor seaming like it will fall into place, you will come to the next small issue. There is a hex shaft that drives the oil pump off the dist. It may or may not line up. If it lines up and the dist. fals into place, great. If not, rotate the crank in the same fashion as finding TDC until the dist. finds it's way onto the hex shaft. Then back the crank up...back to TDC and check for proper rotor alignment. If your off, try again, but you will soon find it's rather easy. Finally you're ready to put on the cap, wires, and get it timed...don't forget to reinstall the #1 plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for input on the install. That is going to be very helpful!! Any thoughts on why mine is wire theway it is? #1 is shown in repair manual toward the carb. Mine is on the radiator side. weird...
Charlie
 

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Thanks for input on the install. That is going to be very helpful!! Any thoughts on why mine is wire theway it is? #1 is shown in repair manual toward the carb. Mine is on the radiator side. weird...
Charlie
Person who set it up previously was kinda lazy.
 

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Go around a couple time to verify it - also be careful pulling it out just in case they were sloppy on the install - it is possible the dizzy drive shaft can fall out and into the pan if the little stop has slid down on the shaft.....pull it straight up and don't get wild on it - go easy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That kind of scares me a little. Replaced the oil pan and few months back ( heli-coil failure on drain plug) the previous owner went cheap there too. I'm hoping that the oil pump gear is secured, I would hate to have to take the pan out again, lots of stuff in the way. Having it wired the way it is just raises the level of concern of other issues. I replaced heads and intake/carb last year, engine had bad valves, maybe the used exhaust valved they installed wern't the best idea.
Looking for a little performance kick. Heads, roller rockers, Edlebrock performer intake, Holley 600 4 Barrell, 2 1/2 inch Flowmaster exhaust, Patriot tri-y headers,mild cam. I was told this distibutor would help give it a little more power. It is easily adjustable for mechanical advance and timing can be changed by a knob on the side of the distributor without having to loosen hold down bolt. (Once it is timed to 10 degrees at install) Springs for mechanicla are under the cap. Hoping it will be worth all the work and goes in without any problems. Had to buy a new set of wires to go with it, has male fittings unlike the stock unit. does not need to have a seperate box like some of the others, Won awards at SEMA for its new tech.
Will it be obvious if there is an issue with the oil pump shaft if not secured? I really hope they didn't get lazy with it.... Let me know if there are any tell tail signs to watch for when removing the old one that would indicate it being "free". I don't think it is visible by looking down into the hole. Beginning to feel like maybe I should get someone who has done this before to assist.
Thanks for tips!! The oil pump shafts security has been something that has been a concern in this job, along with the funky wiring. Is it a common issue or unlikely?
Charlie
 

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The oil pump drive shaft will NOT come all the way out, (at least it designed not to.) with the distributor. HOWEVER, it will lift about a 1/4 inch or so, up out of the pump.
The new distributor will not offer a noticeable gain in "performance" other than better overall engine efficiency. Better starting, idling, and smoother acceleration.
FYI.. A good, cheap upgrade is to get an ARP oil pump drive shaft. The stock one is exactly the size and almost as strong as a #2 pencil...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The deed is done... The oil pump shaft came right out with the distributor as I kind of expected. Was really stuck in there, took a good tug to get it out, no clip at all. I had a buddy come by to help and he was able to replace the oil pump shaft with the radiator overflow hose. It fits snugly on shaft and allowed the shaft to be reinstalled without any diassembly, NEAT TRICK!! The new distributo turns out to be quite a bit taller than the stocker, air cleaner no longer fits. Thinking maybe time to get a nice air cleaner, maybe one to match the valve covers, along with a vented oil fill cap. Haven't taken it out on the road yet, was a little late when finished and lack of air cleaner put an end to the day. Got #1 back where it is supposed to be, know now why they didn't fix it.
Thanks again all for all your help and tips. The hose trick used to replace shaft saved the day. Once you get shaft back in place with the aid of hose, put a screwdriver down the center of the hose to hold the shaft in place while you pull up on the hose. Worked like a charm and so simple!
Guess shopping day tomorrow, hopefully I will have it back on the road by the end of the day.
Charlie
 

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DUDE! That is an awesome trick!! LOL, glad you didn't have the problem I was worried about too! +1 for the lucky - LOL (Wouldn't a been me!)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess in a strange kind of way, I was lucky that there was no cliip on it. One less thing to chase out of the engine. Hose trick was really slick, was amazed how easily it put the oil pump shaft back in place. Got to be sure and write that one down. Getting the timing squared away today along with new air cleaner. It seems to like more advance. at 14 now and feels like it can take more. (timing with vac advance diconnected) Looks really good too with the valve cover and air cleaner matching. Got the Ford Racing in Black with Red letters, Red Wires. I'll post pictures.
Charlie
 

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Don't forget that when you put the vacuum hose back on the distributor, it will advance itself. I would back it back down to 10, hook up the vacuum and test drive it.
 

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We like PICS! Glad shes running
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Tried it at stock timing, couldn't get it to even idle. Went up to ten, better but still felt like I was pulling a trailer or had E-Brake on. Move it up to 12-14 and it comes to life, think old distrib was at 16. I wonder if the wheel with the timing numbers has slipped or moved on its rubber mount. Think they are rubber mounted. That might be why I need to push it to extreme advance to get it to run well. Is running well and having the mechanical advance kick in earlier is something that the car seems happy with. Loves to be up above 3000rpm, springs kick in in the 2500rpm range. There is one more set to drop it lower but haven't tried them yet, think they may kick in too early, just over 1500 rpm.
Charlie
 

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Uhh Oh Charlie - don't want to be the bearer of bad news - but I gotta ask, have you ever changed the timing chain set on this thing? Starting to sound like it's jumped a tooth or 2 .....but first I would say to check that you have good vacuum and everything else checks out. ALSO, I would check that your damper is not slipping. Draw a line across the face of it and see if the ring "walks " around the hub....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nothing surprises me anymore... The old-timer that I bought the car from told me that he had the engine rebuilt and that he had put less than 500 miles on it since the rebuild. He also told me it was a 4 barrell which I figured it wiuld be, being a "J" car. No 4 barrell a 2 barrell and no "J" heads. There are limited papers showing what happened during the rebuild, see it was disassembled, washed, new cam and bearings, some vales replaced, some new some used. Their version of a valve job was crap, leaked enough that 2 cylinders were not generating enough pressure to do any work. I replaced heads with aluminum heads, aluminum performer intake and holley 4 barrell carb to fix those issues and while at it replace exhaust withh 2 1/2 flowmaster and a set of tri-Y headers. I also replaced all the AC components under the hood, they were missing for some reason... It is my assumption that who ever he had do the rebuild for him, took advantage of the old guy and just put in a rebuilt 302 they had laying around the shop. Hell he never noticed...
I did not replace the cam during the top end rebuild, figured it they went through all the trouble of replacing the bearings for it and put in an "upgraded cam" that all was good there. It has a light lumpyness to it like there is a mild but more aggressive than stock cam in there so I figured I would leave it alone. Sooo long story short, I did not get into the cases on the front of the engine to check the timing gears or chain, at the time I was still confident that the engine had a proper rebuild, at least the bottom end so left it alone. Maybe not the best idea in hind site. My suspision is that the compensator is slipping, have not checked it, guess it is time to verify it. My buddy that helped with the distributor install has built a few engines and was impressed with the compression this one made and did not seem thrown by the advance timing. I think he is thinking thecompensator might be slipping or that the cam (mystery cam) that is installed might be the curprit.
I will check and see if it is slipping and get those photos up asap. I have them on the camera, now just need to upload to photobucket.
Charlie
 
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