Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

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TURTCEL
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Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by TURTCEL » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:24 am

So I pulled my dizzy today. I will be doing a tear down this weekend in order to replace my bad vacuum advance. This is a general question that will not vary from dizz to dizz. I want to make sure that all the components and dizzy body are cleaned properly but I don't want to cause any damage to the components.

I have been told that the factory grease tends to become hard and can bind the dizzy occasionally. What is the best way to clean the components and also remove the old hardened grease? Ant suggested cleaners or oils?

Once it is all cleaned and ready to reassemble will using high temp wheel bearing grease be ok for packing or is there another recommended grease for the dizzy?

I am optimistic that the inside of the dizzy will be in good shape upon tear down. It spins very smooth and has no binding feel to it. Can any experienced member give me a basic time frame that this job should potentially take. I am very mechanically inclined so I am not worried about the job, I just want to be able to start and finish the job in one sitting so it all stays fresh in my mind since I have never attempted this specific job before? I have my FSM to reference throughout the process and it doesn't seems too bad.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by dlb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:51 pm

turtcel, have you tested the dizzy for spring-loaded counter clockwise play yet? make sure you do that first in case you can save yourself the work. if it has a small amount of said play, the advance mechanism is fine. if it has play but is stiff and needs to be forced, it needs to be disassembled, cleaned, regreased, and reassembled. you can test it out of the engine by holding the gear end in one hand and then attempting to turn the rotor with the other.

i can't remember how i cleaned the old grease out. i think i just used a rag, possibly some PB blaster. nothing fancy for me. for regreasing it, i've used lightweight, high temp grease but think i would use wheel bearing grease in the future. i've found the lightweight stuff too light, making my rebuilt dizzy's advance too much and cause pinging if the timing is set to 10* BTDC. this isn't a big deal, as i just set it at the stock 5* and know that it's advancing about as far as it can without pinging, but i will try heavier grease in the future.

first time you do this job, i say give yourself 2 hours. maybe more if the advance mechanism is really stuck, but that's a good ballpark.

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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by TURTCEL » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:43 pm

Good to hear from you on this one DLB. I almost PMed you about this since it seems like you have a lot of experience with this job. I was just planning on doing the tear down regardless if the dizzy was smooth or not. I just figured that since it was out and had to do the vacuum advance i would regrease it anyways so that it was good to go.

I will test for the spring-loaded counter clockwise play before I start for sure though. If this is just a little stiff will regreasing it usually take care of the issue or will this be a sign of a more serious problem? I spun the dizzy in my hand after I pulled it and it was really smooth and could I could feel no play.

If I have any concerns I will shoot you a PM as well as a forum post to see what good info I can get from the Tercheads out there. I feel really good about this job. Getting ready to start on it soon. Do I need to set anything when I reassemble the dizzy or is it just put the pieces back in and go?

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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dlb
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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by dlb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:54 pm

yes, cleaning and regreasing will take care of a stuck advance mechanism issues, and the dizzy should still have a long and fruitful life afterwards unless there is some other concurrent problem. you mentioned that the shaft spins smoothly though so it sounds like it should be fine. take pics for the forum if you can. i should have done that last time. good luck.

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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by TURTCEL » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:17 pm

Just starting. I'll take pics and post soon.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by TURTCEL » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:14 pm

So it took me an hour and a half from start to finish on my dizzy project. I had no issues with the job especially since I had tons of advice and the FSM in front of me the whole time. I found the job to actually be kind of fun. I enjoy learning new things.

I took pics of the tear down process but ran out of memory on the reassembly. I will do a write up and post the pics of the dizzy job under the repair manual section when I have a chance to put the post togehter.

The grease in the dizzy was mos def old and thick. Since the clean and regrease there is a noticable difference in how easily thie dizzy spins now. I am sure this will make timing the car much easier.

Be careful when removing the reluctor so that you do know damage it...can be a little stuborn to get going. Use a little penetrating oil to help it slide off easier and make sure to use a large enough flat screwdriver so it won't slip off and for good leverge. Be careful not to lose the reluctor spring it is small.

The factory vacuum advance was totally shot and super easy to replace.

My biggest suggestion to anyone considering doing this job would be to read the posts on the job, check the necessary components before you tear down the dizzy that might be bad enough that a reman dizz might be in order, and have the FSM in front of you. The wiring is very specific as to how it needs to be routed in order for everything to fit together properly. Don't just assume that you can just stuff the wiring back in...you will cause damage.

And always work on a clean surface so you are less liely to lose parts.

The only issue that I had on the job was that the coil gasket came off in 5 pieces. I can't imagine any of these gaskets are reusable since they get so hot and dry over time that breakage seems inevitable. I just cut one out of the vacuum advance box that I had..worked perfect. The gasket was a little bit of a pain to cut out since you have to make it fit around the mount screw points. Other than that all went smooth.

This would be the ideal time to do a cap/rotor/and wire change if you havent for a long time. The cap can be a little bit of a pain to install while on the car.

I will be installing the dizzy this weeekend and will keep everyone posted on how the job goes and whether or not I screwed something up. Pretty certain all will go well.

***Hey DLB*** You said that because you used a lighter grease that the dizzy would advance to far so you readjusted the timing to the stock listed 5 degrees. Does your Terc seem to run fine at the 5 degrees or do you plan to regrease your dizzy with differnt lube so you can readjust the timing to 10 degrees BTDC again? I am just trying to factor in what the likelyhood of me having a timing advance issue when I install the dizzy too.

Thanks again to all the advice on this before I started the job. It is nice to know the tips and tricks before diving in head first to the unknown.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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dlb
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Re: Dizzy Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURTCEL

Post by dlb » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:22 pm

TURTCEL wrote:***Hey DLB*** You said that because you used a lighter grease that the dizzy would advance to far so you readjusted the timing to the stock listed 5 degrees. Does your Terc seem to run fine at the 5 degrees or do you plan to regrease your dizzy with differnt lube so you can readjust the timing to 10 degrees BTDC again? I am just trying to factor in what the likelyhood of me having a timing advance issue when I install the dizzy too.
yup, i've had three t4s that i've had to regrease the dizzy on and all have had to be set to 5* BTDC to avoid pinging afterward. they run about the same as one set to 10* BTDC since lighter advance means they advance more or easier, they just have a lower base timing. sort of 6 of one/half dozen of the other situation, so no, i personally won't bother to regrease them.

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by Petros » Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:23 pm

advancing the timing to 10 deg has nothing to do with the grease in the dist. if the advance is not working properly it has to be fixed no matter where you set the timing, it is essential for proper operation of the engine and to prevent damage to the exhaust valves. The flame front in the combustion chamber (how fast the fuel/air mixture burns) does not change with rpm, the spark has to ignite the mixture earlier in the piston cycle to the peak pressures during combustion occurs at the most optimum time. If the spark is too late the exhaust valve begins to open when the fuel mixture is still burning and very hot, which will do heat damage to the exhaust valve. IOW; it is a matter of the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine. the most efficiency comes when you can run the most spark advance without getting ping (that crackling from the engine under hard acceleration), with the 5 deg advance you limit the peak pressures and temps, which reduces NOx emissions, but costs efficiency and results in a very hot exhaust stream (fuel still burning when the exhaust valve opens), you run a much higher risk of having the exhaust valves heat damaged at the lower spark advance setting. The condition of the either the mechanical or vacuum advance is not a reason or not to set the timing at 5 or 10 deg, if the mechanical advance or vacuum advance it not working they must be corrected anyway. Running the 10 deg advance improves efficiency and reduces the risk of exhaust valve damage. Believe me that 10 deg advance is not too much, my old "BS" (before smog) volvo 122s spark advance was set at 16 deg BTDC and my 1962 Porsche was set at 22 deg BTDC. Neither of these cars had ping, both had high compression engines (after I rebuilt the engine).

Also, you have to have the distributor cap off to install the distributor back in the engine because you have to line up the rotor when you mesh the distributor gear with the gear on the end of the cam. You can not get it running without aligning the rotor as you install the distributor, it would be pure luck if it runs at all. Getting the rotor aligned correctly is critical to get it to run at all. Go read the procedure. Once you have it aligned and the dist installed, than you put the cap on. It would be nice if you can put the cap on before you install the dist because access to the small screws is a PIA, but it is just not possible.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by TURTCEL » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:47 pm

Interesting on the thought of installing the cap after I align the dizzy...the FSM says to install the cap and rotor before installing the dizzy. There is a protrusion on the dizzy shaft that aligns with the gear pin on the drill mark side. This is said to be the alignment to your #1 plug wire.

I tried installing the dizzy a few times but was getting zero spark...thought I screwed something up while I was reassembling the dizzy. I tried resetting it 4 times with no luck. So I pulled the dizzy so I could pull the cap off and do some investigating. Easy problem to find...I installed the rotor shaft 180 degrees out. I figured that this wouldn't harm anything so I put the cap back on and tried realigning the marks but this time with the drill side opposite the protrusion. I tried installing it again. It tried firing that time but was still off. I pulled it and noticed it was a tooth off so I reset it, still with no luck. I again pulled the dizzy and am going to tear it back down really quick and set the rotor shaft in correctly this time.

I will set the dizzy in the next time with cap off to be sure that I get it in correctly. The cap is easy enough to instll once the dizzy is in and it won't be in my way off seeing that the rotor is correct. Thanks for the tip Petros.

I don't believe that I could cause any internal damage to the dizzy by having the rotor shaft in 180 out but does anyone else know otherwise?

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by dlb » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:47 pm

here are my directions on installing the dizzy:

http://tercel4wd.com/viewtopic.php?f=2& ... zzy#p61628

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by TURTCEL » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:44 pm

So I just sucessfully reassembled my dizzy...only took 45 mins this time.

What I found out was that when I went back to the FSM I did correctly reassemble it per the manual....BUT...when I looked back at the pics of the process I noticed that the rotor shaft was opposite to what the manual said to do. I zoomed in close on the dizzy pics and no ifs, ands, or buts...the FSM and my pics were opposite on the rotor shaft.

I reassembled it per the pics and the rotor clocking was then correct for the #1 plug wire and the alignment marks on the shaft. There are no signs that would tell me that the dizzy had ever been worked in before me so my curiousity rises.

Has anyone else run into this before while working on their dizzy?

I will reinstall the dizzy tomorrow before work and see how it goes. I am glad that I was not the one screwing up this time. I will keep everyone posted on how the install goes.

I will get my pics and post up on the dizzy rebuild soon. I have a feeling that this info will prove to be most helpful. I will highlight the issues I had and tell about the difference on the rotor shaft from the FSM and what I found with my pics.

Haven't read your post yet DLB but I am looking forward to checking out the tips for the install.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by TURTCEL » Sat Jan 05, 2013 6:54 pm

So I did all the presetting of the #1 cylinder to TDC and the timing mark to 0 degrees on the crank pulley everytime I pulled and reset the dizzy each time. I marked the center point on the dizzy bolt slot and set the dizzy in, aligning the bolt with the center mark like the FSM said.

It is hard to determine clocking when I am not totally sure where to reference from. I think I will try Petros' idea of installing the dizzy with he cap off next time so that I can be more certain that it is set in correctly.

***DLB***You mentioned in your post to pull and plug all the vacuum lines on the dizzy when setting the timing but the FSM only shows that one line gets plugged when setting the timing. Is this another possible mistake in the FSM? What is the correct way to deal with the vacuum lines?

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by dlb » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:42 am

sorry, i didn't catch that you were attempting to put the dizzy in with the cap on. i've never done it that way and it seems pretty difficult. i find the 10:30 thing works well for me, i just get down low and try to look at the rotor straight on. with the teeth designed as they are, it should be pretty clear if it's one tooth ahead or behind the approx 10:30 mark.

you are correct, you only have to disconnect and plug one of the vac advance lines. i usually just say both because it's easier than explaining which one needs to be disconnected and will have the same effect. the upper hose on the vac advance unit is the line to disconnect and plug, as it goes to manifold vacuum which is strong on idle (and also at highway cruising) and will thus advance the timing if left on while setting the base timing. the lower port on the unit goes to ported vacuum, which is strong on highway cruising but not present on idle, so it doesn't matter if it's connected or not.

there are actually lots of mistakes in the FSM. petros has mentioned how people who write and illustrate FSMs don't necessarily have any mechanical skill or knowledge whatsoever, so such mistakes are common. the FSM is a great reference tool but it read it critically--if something doesn't make sense to you, it may be a mistake. you can always confirm info here on the forum if you're unsure.

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by TURTCEL » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:23 pm

Well I got my dizzy in and working correctly now. The trick is definitely to take the cap off and install it that way.

***The one real help on aligning the rotor was that I found that there is an ND logo on the coil cover under the cap that aligns perfectly with the #1 plug wire on the car. Using this mark made setting the dizzy a cake job. It also corresponds with the protrusion and pin on the gear where they line up so definitely confirmed to be on the money.***

***DLB...I as well had to reset the timing to 5 degrees in order to be able to adjust the RPM's correctly. I took it on a nice long drive and could hear no pinging and the car is running better than ever. It is advances to about 13 degrees with the advance plugged in***

I replaced the carb that had a leaky throttle shaft, the leaking EGR valve, and the bad vacuum advance. The car idles so smooth you almost can't tell it is running. My mechanic buddy took it for a drive and he was blown away at how well it runs and that there is absolutely no shake in the motor whatsoever.

Thaks again for all the tips on this project of mine...they are what made the job a success.

Peace
1985 Tercel 4wd SR5 Wagon, WEBER Carb, Brown (TURTCEL)
1988 Corolla DLX All-Trac Wagon, 4 speed AT, Silver (Wife's new car)
1993 Ford Escort Wagon LX, 5 Speed, Smurf Blue (Smurfette)...selling

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Re: Distributor Tear Down, Vacuum Advance Replacement...TURT

Post by marlinh » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:13 am

Does anyone know exactly what kind of grease to use in the distributor? There are many types of high temp grease available.

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