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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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Distributor Replacement

Hi, I needed to replace my distributor due to wear / tear and it threw a code after it started to slightly misfire after driving for a while and the engine reached full temp. Code 211 or 221, can't remember.

What I forgot to due was mark where #1 pointed when I replaced the dist with a new one. I followed the steps to find the TDC using the compression in cylinder no 1 in relevance to the TDC marker on the crank shaft. I have a few questions:

Once TDC compression is found in #1 cylinder, does the #1 cylinder pointer on the rotor face directly towards the back of the engine or is it off by a few degrees to the right? (when looking at the dist from front of engine). Service manual says it points to the rear of the engine and not off by 30 deg to the right or so (see pic).

When marking where TDC is, do you use the marker on the crank of ATC or the 0 between 10 deg before and after TDC (see pic)?

Thanks!
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File Type: jpg ATC.jpg (229.9 KB, 2 views)
File Type: jpg 1 straight to back.jpg (1.95 MB, 1 views)

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 04:35 PM
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The 0 between the 10s is TDC. Have that lined up with the marker on the timing cover, just after the compression stroke, and then have the rotor pointing to the #1 post on the distributor cap, and it should be close enough to run. You will have to set it with a timing light to get it exact no matter what.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mikey,
So what is the ATC for then?

Also, on a side note, if I get a used PCM from the junk yard, I need to get one that is for the same year (OBD1), right? Cause in 95 Ford went to OBD11.

Mine was smashed in an accident before I bought the car I did not know until I pulled it last week. Granted it has worked all these years, but who knows. The junk yard says anything from 92-97 should work. But my thinking is it should be for OBD1, 3.8l and a 94 and non-Cailf.

Any suggestions?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 04:51 PM
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ATC is just so if the timing is way out you can still get a reading with the timing light.

For the ECM, look at the catch code on your ECM and try to match that. I know 89/90 3.8 cars were speed density instead of MAF, so those definitely wonít work. Also all 96/97 cars, in addition to being OBD2 also had DIS, as did the 94/95 ones with CA emissions, so those wonít work. What I donít know is if anything about the computer changed with the body style change for 94.

-91 Cougar LS, coming soon, complete overhaul with a 427" Windsor.
-90 XR7 5-speed black on black w/sunroof, MP2, coated rotors, double intercooler, 15%OD, ported heads, comp stage 1 cam, 85mm TB, 90MM LMAF, 80# injectors, and ported big valve heads
-98 Mark VIII LSC, Procharger P600b, TR3650 swap and 3.73s.
-90 SC Automatic rustbucket winter beater
-97 Tbird Sport 4.6 Nice weather daily driver
-"Your buddy Mike is INSANE!" -ClintD's dad
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Again, thanks Mikey.

I got it running! Putting it to 0 tdc instead of ATC made all the difference in the world. Runs a little better too, tach is showing 750 now instead of 500-600rpm. Still have some idle issues, but that could be age, parts, vacuum, etc. No worries, runs fine for its age.

I really would like to replace the PCM, but at around $200 new and you don't know what you are getting at the junk yard, I will worry about that some other time.

Thanks again Mikey for all your input, much appreciated.

Enjoy the weekend!

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1994 Mercoury Cougar XR7 - 150k and still going.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 08:55 PM
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The 95 3.8s were OBD1 also.

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