Does anyone know in what direction does the rotor rotate on a 302 engine? The - Vintage Mustang Forums
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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reason I am asking is because I would like to advance/adjust my distributor. I replaced my old distributor cap with one of those msd adapter kind caps and since the cap is bigger the car has a major lag. I advanced the distributor all the way but it is not enough. The thermostat housing is on the way. Is there a way to adjust the distributor so that I can have more room to advance my distributor? I hope someone understands what I am trying to say. Any info will be helpful.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like your distributor is one tooth off. Lift, rotate, reset distributor.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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What way do I rotate? When I lift should I leave the rotor in the same spot?
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I just re-read your original post, and am confused. If you just changed the distributor cap, why are you messing with the timing? That shouldn't change with a cap replacement. Are you sure you have the proper cap for the distributor?

If the distributor hasn't been out of the car, then it's not a tooth off, obviously.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Move all your plug wires on the cap over one hole to the left. If that's not good, then go one hole to the right.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Cruzer's got it. :: You might also check to see if the new cap has a 1 on it. That goes to cylinder #1.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Rotate the rotor / dizzy shaft counter-clockwise so that it drops back in one tooth over. That will move where the rotor points (let's say at #1 TDC) away from the thermostat housing. That should work for you.

One of the guidelines that are usually good for small block Fords is that the vacuum advance points straight forward at the correct timing and position.
However, like I befor E, there are exceptions. For instance, my car's got A/C. One of the brackets that mount the compressor to the water pump / timing cover prevents the dizzy from sitting in the suggested location (it can physically point it that way, but then I have no room to get a dizzy wrench in the area to tighten the hold down bolt).

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Hope this helps...
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well the new cap that I am using is wider and the metal connectors inside are more spaced out. The old one was smaller with the connectors closer together.
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My cap does have a #1 on it. Can I still move the plugs over one hole to the left or right and disregard the #1 on the cap and use the one next to it as #1?

Thank you all for your wonderful help.
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Old 02-11-2004, 12:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just because the cap is wider doesn't throw off the firing or timing if the proper rotor is used. The new larger cap should require a new/different rotor for proper operation. The difference in size is taken up by the larger rotor.
On the race car we've changed from the crab style cap to the HEI style MSD distributor and the difference is the rotor size.

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Old 02-11-2004, 12:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well I've changed the rotor also and from what I remeber my car did not have that lag before I changed the cap and rotor. I will try out the advice I was given here and hopefully that will help. I do need to have more room to advance my timing, my distributor's advance is hitting on the thermostant housing.
Thank you all for your help.
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Old 02-11-2004, 03:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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...Then you can eliminate if the problem is, or is not the cap/rotor. It sounds to me like you have the wrong combination cap and/or cap&rotor. As stated in a previous reply, swapping cap/rotor should really not affect your timing.

If for some reason you do need to re-stab your distributor: You'll notice that as you pull the housing up, the shaft/rotor will rotate a few degrees since the gears are angled. Just keep an eye on the position of the rotor, and use that as a reference when you move it a tooth or two... Good luck! Mark

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Old 02-11-2004, 03:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Have you checked the timing with a timing light? Since the rotor turns counter-clockwise (looking down into the top of the distributor), the distributor base is turned clockwise to advance the timing or counter-clockwise to retard it. If the base cannot be turned enough (obstructions) to set the correct timing, then either the base has to be raised up enough to change the rotor position (the distributor gear's engagement with the cam gear); or the ignition wires moved one position (left or right) to put things in better allignment. This assumes that the cap, rotor, and distributor base are compatible.
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Old 02-12-2004, 12:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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As a rule of thumb. If the vacum advance is mounted on the right side of the distributor the rotor turns counter clockwise,If on left hand clockwise.
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