boost problem solved (I think)

Bernie Benz b.m.benz at
Sun Jun 23 07:10:21 EDT 2002

> From: Dan Simoes <dans at>
> Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 07:35:10 -0400
> To: Bernie Benz <b.m.benz at>
> Cc: 200q20V mailing list <200q20v at>
> Subject: Re: boost problem solved (I think)
>> After putting the TDC mark on the flywheel at the window pointer, did you
>> verify tha it was TDC compression stroke, and not TDC exhaust stroke, by
>> looking at the rotor?
> No, I actually already had the dist off at that point I think.
With the dist already off, you had no way of determining which TDC you were
at, short of taking off the TB cover.  A 50/50 chance always goes wrong!
> So you think I should remove the distributor, get the 0 back in the
> window, and reinstall the distributor 180 degrees off where I am now?
No, to do it right, I'd remove the dist and rotate the crank another rev
then reinstall.
>> Sounds like the engine was at TDC
>> exhaust when you removed the old one and you then reinstalled as if it were
>> at TDC compression.
> How do you know where in the stroke it is?  I had a straw in the #1
> cylinder to see when it was going up/down.
Remember, you are dealing with a 4 stroke engine, Think about that.
>> If correct, the rotor should be pointing forward and
>> the Hall sensor should be at about 2 oclock.
> When you say forward, what direction is that?  Like 9 oclock?
> Knowing that the Hall sensor is supposed to be at 2oclock is helpful.
The rotor should be horizontal, pointing toward the front of the car.
> It would probably be simplest to just note the current rotor position,
> remove the distributor, and reinstall 180 degrees from where I am now,
> and fine tune by rotating the dist until it starts, I guess?
When the car starts you are close, but not necessarily in the middle of the
window and could result in cross fire at boost.  Set it per Bentley, and I
don't remember what that is.

>> Bernie
>>> From: Dan Simoes <dans at>
>>> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 23:01:03 -0400
>>> To: 200 20v <200q20v at>
>>> Subject: boost problem solved (I think)
>>> 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
>>> advice/comparisions).
>>> 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,
>>> vroom.
>>> 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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