How can I get truck started after moving distributor accidently/

Asked by Jul 25, 2014 at 09:59 PM about the 1986 Ford F-150 XL Standard Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1986 Ford F150 with 302 EFI V-8. I was removing bolt from thermostat housing and bumped distributor (which was loose). Motor is out of time and I can't get it started. Tried spinning distributor and starting, but did not work and smelled gas. Help!

4 Answers


The motor should have started. Usually even if it's out of time by a long shot it will run like crap until you get the timing light and turn the distributor to the right degree. You must have flooded it. Just try to start it again in the morning without pumping the gas.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Base timing reset: bring #1 to TDC, reset distributor to #1 firing position, remove spout connector, hookup timing light on #1, start engine and set base timing, tighten distributor hold down and recheck base timing, shut off engine and re-install spout connector. Disconnect battery negative terminal, turn on headlight switch for 30 seconds, turn off headlight switch, reconnect battery negative. Your system now has been reset, it may take a little bit of drive time for the ECM to relearn you vehicle, so don't be concerned if your idle acts a little unstable and power isn't like it was for at least 20 to 30 minutes of drive time. Hope this helps.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I tried timing the motor as per your specs and I got it started and timed. However, it is not running well at all. When you try to accelerate it backfires through the intake and the motor dies. I ran it for awhile to let the motor relearn, but still the same. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


That sounds like it is timed too slow, did you unplug the spout before setting the timing?

Your Answer


Looking for a Used F-150 in your area?

CarGurus has 184,533 nationwide F-150 listings starting at $699.


Ford F-150 Experts

  • #1
  • #2
  • #3
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Ford Mustang
712 Great Deals out of 38,333 listings starting at $895
Used Ford F-250
474 listings starting at $6,694

Used Cars For Sale

2018 Ford F-150 For Sale
34,320 listings starting at $19,355
2017 Ford F-150 For Sale
119 Great Deals out of 79,324 listings starting at $17,989
2016 Ford F-150 For Sale
130 Great Deals out of 7,800 listings starting at $18,989
2015 Ford F-150 For Sale
301 Great Deals out of 10,847 listings starting at $15,995
2014 Ford F-150 For Sale
441 Great Deals out of 13,917 listings starting at $10,995

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.