ignition timing problem

Asked by Dec 24, 2015 at 12:01 PM about the 1989 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Sedan RWD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Y put the engine in t.d.c and the rotor to but still
don't start only have explosion on the exhaust

4 Answers


What did you do? May be 180* out.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Yup, there are 2 top dead centers and one has the number 1 cylinder valves open. One must remember the crankshaft turns twice for every one rotation of the cam shaft. Also make sure you are using cylinder number 1 for determining TDC. Not all auto manufacturers label the cylinders the same.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

#1 on TDC on the compression stroke...

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Remove the spark plug from the #1 cylinder and put your thumb over the spark plug hole. Have a helper bump the starter until you start to feel compression building (pressure under your thumb). Once that happens look at the timing marks on the front of the engine. Once the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley is lined up with the large cutout on the sawtooth timing scale stop bumping the starter. Mark the location of the #1 spark plug tower of the distributor cap on the distributor housing. Remove the distributor cap and position the distributor rotor at the position of the #1 spark plug tower. Slowly install the distributor and note how much the rotor moves as the gears mesh inside of the engine. Now remove the distributor and set the rotor position again making the allowance for the rotor movement when the distributor is installed. Install the distributor again and lightly tighten it down. Install the distributor cap and spark plug wires making sure you have the correct wires on the correct towers. Now have your helper crank the engine as you slowly turn the distributor assembly one direction then the other until the engine starts. Make the final ignition timing adjustment using a timing light. HTH. - Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Your Answer


Looking for a Used Caprice in your area?

CarGurus has 127 nationwide Caprice listings starting at $1,350.


Chevrolet Caprice Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Chevrolet Camaro
241 Great Deals out of 29,818 listings starting at $4,980
Used Chevrolet Monte Carlo
966 listings starting at $3,786
Used Ford Mustang
278 Great Deals out of 38,285 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford Crown Victoria
5 Great Deals out of 922 listings starting at $1,700
Used Chevrolet Corvette
93 Great Deals out of 15,625 listings starting at $4,500
Used Cadillac DeVille
1,260 listings starting at $2,699

Content submitted by Users is not endorsed by CarGurus, does not express the opinions of CarGurus, and should not be considered reviewed, screened, or approved by CarGurus. Please refer to CarGurus Terms of Use.