HELP PLEASE! Re-Installing Old Distributor Without Markers!

  • 1997 MAZDA MPV
  • 174,000 MILES
The distributor is what I have left to finish the work on the MPV. I removed the distributor without first reading about how best to. Now, am stuck in putting it back. All the searches I have seen the past few days are all on re-installing it with a marker. Some videos I saw on line were on other automobile style with using the finger at the spark plug hole and cranking the engine and with a timing light tool. This will not work for 97MPV. The shop manual I have also directed on re-installing it pre-marked.

Would someone have any information for me to use in re-installing the distributor? Or, if you know of any link I can go to read about it. You tube has a hand full, but not for my situation.

Bye the way, I have a timing light hand held tool to do the timing. Also, before I started the whole work, I have the battery removed (replaced lifters, timing belt, belts, thermostat, PCV ring, etc). So for now, no power yet.
Please Help
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have the same problem?
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 AT 12:18 AM

1 Reply

The way to make sure the number 1 cylinder is at Top Dead Center and then point the distributor rotor at that cylinders spark plug wire is as follows.

Reove the valve cover(s) and spark plugs. Get a ratchet and socket or other like tool to turn the crank. Turn the crank only in the direction in which it runs. Note the position and idnetify the intake and exhaust valve for the number 1 cylinder. You are looking to put the cylinder at the TDC of the compression stroke. So, turn the engine and watch the valves to see what part of the cycle it is in. For example, intake valve opens, cylinder is travelling down is intake. Then the valve closes and cylinder is travelling upwards, this is compression.
You can also put your finger over the hole to compare the difference between the pressure fealt on an exhaust stroke as opposed to thehigher pressure of the compression stroke. Both valves wil be closed on the compression stroke and the lobe will point 180 degrees away from valve at TDC. You can also see that the timing mark on the engine and crank pulley line up at 0 degrees.
Then get the firing order of the engine and the order of the spark plug wires on the ditributor cap.
First, install the distributor so the rotor is point at the caps' spark plug wire terminal for the number 1 cylinder. If it is not it is pointing 180 degrees from it. If this is not the case you may not have the correct cap terminal for the number 1 plug wire. If you are at TDC and install the distributor so you are quite sertain of the number 1 cylinder and it does not point to that on the cap. The rotor is either pointing at or near the number 1 terminal or 180 degrees away from it. This is the way to make sure the distributor is in correctly and you will know the terminal position on the cap for the number 1 cylinder wire. Then you can use the firing order to install the other plug wires as most engines distributors travel clockwise, but make sure you check this because some do not.
You now have the correct timing orientation of the crank to the distributor. The motor will be close enough in timiing to start. Set the timing per spec by marks once the engine is running.
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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 AT 12:43 AM

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