distributor replacement best practices?

Dan Cordon cord4530 at uidaho.edu
Sat Apr 10 11:10:30 EDT 2004

Bernie Benz wrote:

>>From: Dan Cordon <cord4530 at uidaho.edu>
>>When putting my distributor back in, I found it very sensitive to
>>position. Even if you line things up just how they were, there's a
>>chance you'll have to make very slight adjustments to the distributor
>>rotation to get it to run again. I rotated mine probably 1° at a time,
>>until it started, then I locked it down there. However, mine has very
>>temporarily stumbled maybe 6 times since then, so I should rotate it
>>another degree or so. Actually, I should probably do the timing belt and
> This is not the right way to do it Dan, you didn't really follow
> instructions.  If not set right on, you may have limited boost or
> inconsistent boost, even if it starts and runs.
> Bernie
Actually, I followed directions a few times. In each case I couldn't get 
any spark. I very carefully found TDC on the compression stroke, but w/o 
having the special tool from audi, phasing the distributor was still 
just getting in the very near ball park. I think I was about 2° out.

Boost and performance have been fine. What I've noticed happening a few 
times (~6) in the last several thousand miles is while driving, it feels 
like the ignition turns off for one engine revolution. Happened twice 
with cruise control on going down the freeway and it barely feels like a 
hicup. I'm hypothesising that my initial setups were closer to 3° off 
from the real correct location, so when I get a chance I'll try to move 
it ever so lightly and see if that fixes it.

I also believe that slop in my system may be partially at fault, though 
it seems odd when it happens at steady state...and I've never gotten a 
code to come up.

Dan Cordon
Mechanical Engineer - Engine Research Facility
University of Idaho

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