I've triple checked my timing marks but I still have symptoms of it being 180% out. It ran before I swapped the oil pump and I didn't break the timing chain... I set the distributer on the spark plug


Asked by Apr 05, 2015 at 07:27 PM about the 1986 Dodge Ram 50 Pickup

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I set the spark plug closest to radiator as
top dead center and alighned the distributor
perfect but my symptoms still say 180% out

19 Answers


Are you 100% sure that the cylinder you're looking at is #1? Did you remove the spark plug and put your thumb over the hole while a helper bumps the starter and you feel compression start to build? Are the timing marks on the harmonic balancer lined up? HTH. -Jim

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Did you take out the distributor? Could you have put it in backwards?

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The distributer will only fit in one way and I used the closest piston to the radiator and it is a inline 4 and my distrutor is wirerd up correctly.. And I'm getting spark at my plugs plus I've tried putting gas in the carb but still nothing but a back fire or the motor just stop while turning over.. The only time it back fires or stopes is when I work the gas peddle

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Run a compression test. If all cylinders test low your valve timing is off. The backfiring suggests that it might be. Does the distributor rotor turn when you crank the engine? If not, it's definitely a valve timing issue. HTH. -Jim


OK I'll check compression and update

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Ok, please do. -Jim


OK so I checked all cylinders and first let me say the plugs were black and a lil wet..assuming it was fuel..the compression are as follows #1--140 psi #2--160 psi #3--160 psi #4--150 psi I hope this gives some indication to get me back running.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

It sure does. You have good compression on all cylinders. Clean and gap the spark plugs then reinstall them. Sounds like the plugs may be gasoline fouled. Check for spark at the plugs. Remove any plug wire at the spark plug and put a large, plastic handle, screwdriver in the end of the wire. Hold the metal part of the screwdriver close to something not painted while a helper cranks the engine. You should see a strong spark as the engine is cranking. It should be like a snap, snap, snap. If you've got that check for fuel delivery. If you have that try slowly moving the distributor in either direction as your helper cranks it. The ignition timing might be off just enough that it won't start. HTH. -Jim


I'm going to the parts store right now to get new plugs I'll update soon

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Ok good. Please do. That just may do the trick. -Jim

Best Answer

OK I got some fire going on... But need to charge the batt. But I'm certain the new plugs and getting the timing right has worked .. Thanks for all the help I've learned a lot about this truck through this job.

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OK new question on this job... The good news is I got the engine running.. The bad news it is running rough at low rpm and vibration is bad...I did have to remove the silent shaft on the oil pump... But I figured since it was keyed it wouldn't matter how it went back in. Is there a timing for the silent shaft oil pump side? Or could I just be missfireing on a cylinder because I can't get idle either? Any suggestions are very much appreciated

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

That's awesome! You're welcome, glad to help. Thanks for letting us know and for the best answer click as well. -Jim


Did you set the ignition timing to spec using a timing light? Sounds like it's misfiring. HTH. -Jim


I don't have a timing light and never used one but all the marks line up. When I get to mid or high rpm its fine but not idles and motor shakes bad at low rpm is there a timing mark for the silent shaft that came out with the oil pump?


I can't say for sure if there are timing marks for the silent shaft. Try this to set the ignition timing "by ear". With the engine running, at idle, slowly move the distributor one direction then the other. When the engine smooths out tighten down the distributor. Your ignition timing may need to be " tweaked " for it to run properly. HTH. -Jim


Well the problem is it won't idle

there is a timing mark for it


Two different tdc make sure you got the right one

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