boost problem solved (I think)

Dan Simoes dans at
Sun Jun 23 00:01:03 EDT 2002

OK, here's the cliff notes as it's late.
I set out to tackle replacing the distributor, saving myself a 2.5hr
round trip to my local Audi specialist.

I set the engine at TDC, indicated by the 0 in the (tiny) window above
the transmission.  I did this by having the car on a slight downhill, in
5th gear, and a helper on/off the brake as I literally hovered over the
hood trying to see in.

Once at 0, I removed the distributor by first chiseling off the
protective cover and bolt, removed the 13mm nut and "yoke" holding the
dist on.  I then verified that the gear was only slightly worn, but the
dist had considerable play in it, compared to new.

I lined up the rotor, hash mark on the round piece below it, and the
hash on the body of the distributor, and inserted it with the hall
sensor connection at about 2oclock, as you look at the dist from the
drivers side.

The car would not start.  Verified wire connections, etc as you know
(thanks to Brett, Paul Royal and Peter S. for calling in with

Had dinner, came back out with a mag lite to try to loosen the 13mm nut
enough to rotate the dist.  Succeeded after some time (coming in from
the firewall this time, cap and wires still on!) and rotated the dist
counterclockwise as my brother in law cranked the engine.  nothing.  I
was hitting the manifold, so I went back the other way.  At some point,

The hall sensor is now at around 7 or 8 oclock, but the car starts.
I went for a quick test drive and it held boost in 3rd and 4th gears
uphill, which before it did not (digital gauge showing 1.7, analog
around 13psi).

I'm not sure what all this means.  Could it be that the engine was
already 180 degrees off, and my rotation just compensated for this?  Or,
am I the one who is off?  I'm not sure if I should leave it like this or
have it checked out, you tell me.

I didn't even tighten the nut yet, but will do so tomorrow.

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