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z24 engine building question

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1984 nissan 2.4 l engine rebuild question. How to set the distributor properly in relation to the crank shaft?

There is a gear that connects the dist directly to the crank and I dont see how to set the electrical timing in relation to the mechanical timing... surely I am not supposed to just slap it in there :-)

Any guidance much appreciated

Hi can we have some more info on the engine and car maybe a picture of the distributor and the gears

Regads Ross

Sure this is the crank shaft gear, the gear in the timing cover that connects the oil pump (bottom) and distributor (top), the cover. And how it is all positioned

Attached Files

On old Vw motors with distributor, the rotor must point towards the corner of the engine block when the timing points are at zero on the fly wheels and on the cams ...😀


Your distributor is in vacum, does it make timing corrections in both directions, either in negative pressure (vacuum) and in positive pressure (boost) .It would be interesting to check how many degrees linearly it change the timing ...🤓

There is also an electronic advance controlled by the ecu ...😏

Érik, please don't post unless relevant to the subject at hand.

That looks like a rather annoying design, and it may involve a little trial and error, but from what I can find the drive should be lined up 'just' short of straight up when the engine is on TDC, firing. Some distributor caps are marked #1, or lead lengths may be a problem if the rotor is 180 out, so you may need to simply rotate the shaft through 180 degrees to have the rotor correctly aligned.

It looks like the oil pump is bolted to the block after the front cover is in place. Not sure if this will work, but looking at the images you provided, and on-line, I'd slip the shaft into the cover, do a dummy fit of the cover on the block and see if I could slip the shaft out of mesh enough to rotate it - if so, I'd draw it back sufficiently to temporarily fit the distributor in place and see if I can still rotate it without rotating the dissy, or with the dissy slightly lifted. This would mean I could then lather some grease/anti-scuff on the crank drive and oil the shaft guide, then bolt it into place with sealer/gasket and trial the drive shaft position until the distrubutor driven and rotor line up correctly, before bolting the primed oil pump in place so the shaft can't slip out of phase, and removing the distributor and continuing the bottom end assembly.

If that doesn't work, please get back to me.

From memory, there is a couple of pin punch marks or lines on the dist that are about 30 deg before or after the number one dist cap post i just find on google where they are but i have done a couple but years ago and found the marks more by mistake than good management

i do remember marking the rotor to number one post and sliding the front cover off and on a couple of times before working it out

Hi Gord, you are correct. The oil pump has a punch mark, the book says align with the oil output. done. The dist side was the challenge. It also has 2 spark plugs per cyl so I dont just have a "number 1 to point to" and the book didnt describe alignment on this section. Perhaps I missed it somewhere but I read the whole book.

I pre fit it, like 20 times, to get a really good idea of the correct angle. It moved about 20 degrees during install. I pointed the first rotor contact to the #1 intake contact for the rotor inside the distributor. Then of course I said a little prayer.

It is all together now, not much to do further until I start it. Let me know if there are any inputs you have in retrospect. Thank you

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