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Re: Anyone In NYC Area? Non emergency help needed.

To: "Michael Graziano" <>
Subject: Re: Anyone In NYC Area? Non emergency help needed.
From: "Neil Cotty" <>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 14:09:59 +1000

>   but when the chopper tells the ignition system to fire with the engine
> 10BTDC,  the rotor is nowhere's near the pickup in the cap for the #1
> cylinder.  Something must be realigned and I'm just not sure what.  I just

With my limited knowledge (all disclaimers apply!) it sounds like the
distributor drive dog is installed incorrectly or the dist. installed
180degrees out. But that couldn't just happen, you would have had to have
removed the dist. and messed up the drive dog or the installed position of
the distributor. Have you removed the dist. recently?  If so it could simply
be 180degrees out and firing on the wrong cylinder. Is the rotor firing
opposite to #1 in the cap? If so take out the dist., turn the end of the
shaft to position the rotor to around 1-2pm and reinstall. Only reinstall
when the car is firing on #1 of course - make sure of that! (see my next
paragraph on drive dog removal). You don't need to remove the drive dog if
it's 180 degrees out, only turn the dist. If it's 'in between', say 45
degrees, you need to adjust the drive dog. I doubt thats the problem if
you've never removed it before and it was working when you removed it before
the initial hicup. My guess is you removed the dizzy after the hicup and
then accidentally turned the shaft and reinstalled 180 degrees out. As for
the #2 problem. Could be spark plug lead, cap etc forget that for now - try
to get it to start first.

To remove drive dog/or reinstall dist. in correct position: Take the Rocker
cover off and the dist. cap. Remove all the spark plugs. Turn the motor over
until the #7 and #8 valves (#4 cyl) are 'rocking' - one valve just closing,
the other opening. Watch carefully. The the mark on the pulley should then
be close to the TDC pointer on the timing cover - #1 cyl on compression
stroke - you can prob. also see the piston through the spark plug hole.
Highlight the pulley mark with say some Liquid paper if you haven't already.
The pulley mark should be aligned with the TDC pointer on the timing chain
cover - or close to it. Turn the motor back until you say have around 7-10
degrees showing on the pointers, probably between first and second pointers.
Take a look at the distributor. Is it pointing somewhere to where the #1
plug would be in the cap or not? It should be pointing around 1-2pm. If it
isn't - is it 180 degrees out OR somewhere like 90-45 degrees out? If it's
180 then just remove the dist. and turn the dist shaft (leaving drive dog
installed) 180 degrees until the rotor is in the 1-2pm position (you will
then have to set the static timing, make sure the points are just opening at
that time (another Email!)). If it's nearer 45 degrees out -  you need to
remove the distibutor, remove the drive dog, turn the drive dog the
direction to correct - clockwise if it's too far anti-clockwise and
vice-versa. When you reinstall the drive dog, you will feel it seat
properly, it can only go in a few positions, but memorise where it was when
you pulled it out so you don't put it back in the same position. Obviously
when you reinstall it, it should be a few degrees the other way to correct
the problem. Sorry I'm no expert about how many positions this thing can be
installed in, but the adjustment I had to make on my A was around the
45degree mark.

Read your workshop manual on how to remove and replace the distibutor and
drive dog or better yet take a look at Paul Hunts website for a better
description than mine on how to do this. It's not hard to do, I had the same
problem with my MGA and it always needed to be timed up to over 20degrees
btdc to get anything to work. You can remove the drive dog by using a long
bolt from the air cleaner assembly on an MGB - not sure if the Midget
aircleaners are the same. Unless you have removed the drive dog after the #2
problem you had, I very much doubt this is the problem, as you had it
running well before. Now it won't start, I'm guessing it's because you
removed the dist and it's 180 degrees out. Hope this helps. I'd come up and
give you a hand for what it's worth, but I think for the price of the
airline ticket from Sydney, you could buy another Midget. <G> :)

Paul's Website is:


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