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  #1   IP: 174.76.17.146
Old 03-09-2022, 04:25 PM
Jim c Jim c is offline
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Plug wire placement

Hi, I bought a rebuilt early model A4 online well 7 months and one heart attack later I finally have it installed and the engine did not come with any plug wires. I went to install plug wires and online all the all the plug wires are placed on the cap like in drawing A my cap like a in drawing B is rotated to the side and I'm just guessing we're number one is. My question is is there a easy way to find out the correct position of the plug wires on the distributor cap without having to tear apart the engine???Name:  bandicam 2022-03-09 12-12-52-319.jpg
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Old 03-09-2022, 06:12 PM
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Marian Claire Marian Claire is offline
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I believe you need to find top dead center. Lots of posts about how to do this. With the engine at TDC take off the distributor cap and see where the rotor button is facing. It points to the wire that goes to the # 1 cylinder. Then go clockwise to #2 cylinder, #4 cylinder and then #3 cylinder.

Dan
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  #3   IP: 104.174.83.118
Old 03-09-2022, 10:25 PM
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Seems like a good time to reference this thread:
https://www.moyermarineforum.com/for...ad.php?t=10870
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Old 03-10-2022, 02:51 AM
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damn.. i love that balloons thread!

This one is a little less scientific, but will work better
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ysFGcm8oNo&t=531s
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Old 03-10-2022, 12:11 PM
Sam Sam is online now
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Just a word of caution - The early model A4, up to about 1969 or so uses a prestolite/autolite distributor that has an oil cap that sticks out to one side. The distributor is removed by loosening the screw to the hold down clamp. The screw to loosen for timing adjustments is on the side of the distributor body. this is different than Delco distributors on later model A4's which is often referenced in posts, manuals etc. The point is after finding TDC on #1 cylinder you want to position the distributor placement in such a way that the oil cap has clearance and does not touch the block when you attempt time the engine by rotating the distributor clockwise/couterclockwise.
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Old 03-10-2022, 04:54 PM
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Someone should find a hose barb whose threads match the threads on an A4 spark plug. Add Neil's balloon and voila!

Bill
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Old 03-11-2022, 12:13 PM
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If only they were Moyer Forum members

This past week I watched a classic car restoration show on The Velocity Channel named FantomWorks. The episode included restoration of a 1917 Overland with a 4 cylinder flathead engine. Near completion it was time to fire up the rebuilt engine. Early attempts were not successful. Fuel delivery and compression were determined good which left ignition timing as the problem. The tech commented he had no information on the engine, specifically the firing order. He fell back to trial and error guessing that finally won the day.

My mind went immediately to this thread on our forum. Instead of one modified spark plug/balloon indicator, make four and thread one into each spark plug hole. Turn the crank slowly by hand in the direction the fan blade pitch indicated and record the order the balloons inflated, that'll quickly, easily and under control give you the firing order, then set the crank and distributor at #1 TDC, plug wires in their corresponding positions around the distributor* and you're done. No guessing needed.

*distributor rotation direction also observed during hand cranking
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Old 03-12-2022, 03:04 PM
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Thumbs up

Those Fantomworks guys are in Norfolk, VA. I have done some work at the Naval Station there, and while I have never actually tried to find their shop, a lot of the test drives look like familiar roads.
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Old 03-15-2022, 04:13 PM
Jim c Jim c is offline
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Sorry I didn't get back here sooner but ran into another problem had to rebuild the carburetor just beware when you buy an engine that says remanufactured from eBay okay getting back to the distributor I found top dead center of number one and the rotor is pointing straight towards the block and when I put the cap on it's in between two plugs now should I assume the distributor is installed incorrectly ? I have noticed the condenser and the oil filter tube are not touching the block or the alternator belt so it's just the rotor put in the wrong place being the early model distributor can I loosen and rotate the rotor to the correct position like in the video? If so how? Please excuse my ignorance I'm not a mechanic at least not yet I need all the help I can get thank you
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Old 03-15-2022, 05:14 PM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is online now
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When the points break is where the rotor points "towards" the corresponding plug-wire terminal. Note the rotor rotates 17* due to the centrifugal advance so close is what you want, it's not precise until you set the timing.

Dave Neptune
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Old 03-15-2022, 07:54 PM
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Pictures tell a lot and here are a few thoughts. The advance weights and spring[s] under the points plate look fairly rusty - at a minimum I would lubricate w/little lithium grease spray or Wd40 etc, perferably I would remove distributor, disassemble, clean parts & replace springs [Moyer product]. Try ty to rotate the rotor and see if it has a bit of a "snap" back - absolute minimum that you need. The points seem ok but the rotor is questionable and I would replace. Can't be sure but looks like your missing one distributor cap clamp - very much needed.? Keep in mind I am only suggesting you change one component ie rotor at this time.

From the picture the distributor oil cap is close or hitting the oil inlet housing. I suggest you remove the bottom clamping screw, remove the distributor assembly and reposition it about 45 -60 degrees clockwise. [If you take off the coil wire note the sequence of condenser & coil wires and spacer washer for re connection. At this time you can check the point cap to .018 to ,022 if memory serves. [Some real pros on this site may suggest because of cam wear you may want to go to the higher end]. I find it best/easiest to rotate the cam till points just open set distributor back in place with the rotor. pointing directly aft. You now have plenty of room for timing, clamping the cap etc. All this assumes you initialy found TRUE TDC with the crankshaft roll pin pointing vertical straight up and down.

Once the engine is running I would now go back and change the other ignition components just to have a new reference base. Hope this helps - wasn 't sure how much detail was needed or requested. Good luck.
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