Yes, there is oil in the timing cover. I believe that the timing set is splash lubricated, and even if it isnt, the oil pan sticks out to the end of the timing cover. It's not an easy task, and I wouldn't personally do it unless I had to. Besides, the timing set on these cars is a chain and it does have a tensioner. Jumping time on the chain would probabaly take alot.
I can't recall which post on the distributor is #1, but the #1 cyl is the front pass side one. Follow the plug wire. Usually #1 is marked, but it's been a long time since I messed with my plug wires so I can't remember.
I'd drain the oil and look for coolant. It'll have a milky-greyish coloring where there's coolant. Coolant is really bad on your bearings also, so I'd drain it just to be sure. There is also a test kit most parts store will have that can test your coolant for exhaust gases and etc. Never used one, but I've seen em before.
I'll have to drag out dad's shop manual (its for a 94, but I'm pretty sure the 3.8s didn't change much between 89 and 93). I have a 1990 one but it got shipped to my mom's in TN (where I'm about to move back to).
Ok According to the shop manual:
Mark the position of the #1 post on the distributor (so you can see where the rotor needs to be). If you're not sure which, follow the wire out to it.
Turn the crank so that #1 is at TDC on the compression stroke (you can verify that it's the compression stroke if you pull the valve covers. Both valves will be closed.) Theres a pointer on the timing cover and marks on the harmonic balancer to see where you are.
Then you need to install the distributor so that the rotor blade points to the mark you made.
That's all it shows. If you need it, the firing order is 1-4-2-5-3-6 (where 1 2 and 3 are the passanger side cylinders front to back and 4 5 6 are the driver side front to back), should be clockwise around the distributor.
Last edited by mn12sc35th; 09-09-2005 at 05:30 AM.