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Timing Question

itzalgud's Avatar
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08-16-02, 11:58 AM   #1  
Timing Question

I have an 84 VW Jetta, with a 1715cc gas engine. Won't start, only backfires. Thanks to this forum, I was able to get the info to verify that the firing order is correct and spark plug wires are positioned properly. However, it still just backfires. I'm wondering if the distributor has been turned so that the timing is so far off it won't start. Is there a way to position the distributor (set timing) close enough to get engine started? In other words, how do I set timing without engine running? Any help appreciated.

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Joe_F's Avatar
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08-16-02, 12:00 PM   #2  
Check the autolibrary link in my signature file below for some ideas.

boman's Avatar

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Posts: 487

08-17-02, 04:42 AM   #3  
Might try getting #1 piston all the way up ( on compression stroke ), and make sure rotor is pointing to #1 on the distributor. Barring any other problems, this should be close enough to get it started.

nac1's Avatar

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08-17-02, 07:57 AM   #4  
turn the crankshaft pulley (bottom one) back and forth until you feel it has some tension each way this gives you an idea how much slack is in the timing chain on most vehicles without tensioners on them .sounds like it has jumped timing.

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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 299

08-17-02, 10:50 AM   #5  
I'd suggest scribing a line on the distributor cap base and onto the mounting plate underneath. THen you can try to either advance or retard the spark until you get it started.Don't touch the wires though or you may get a charge out of it... At least you can always go back to your original position at worse. If you do get it running, you can leave the locking bolt on the distributor slightly loose and adjust the timing by the way the engine vibrates. You would be surprised how close you can come just by doing that.... I'm not sure on V.W.'s but on some cars the distributor can be put in 180 degrees off, due to the way that the drive end is designed.This would be alright, I think, but you would need to set the plug wires accordingly. I am not recommending pulling the distributor out though. They can be a pain to put back in........Good Luck.

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