I’m no newbie when it comes to wrenching. Back in the day I did everything myself, including engine rebuilds. Recently, however, I’ve done less and less. Today I spent the entire day rearranging my shop for auto repair and installing the tune up parts in the Alfa. Any day wrenching is better than sitting in a conference room, but my back hurts! My hands are covered in the kind of grime that has to wear off, it won’t wash off. I’m cross-eyed from trying to see what the heck I’m doing under the hood. And, I can’t wait to get back to it!
Everything went back in as expected, no major hitches. I even took a shot at cleaning the cam cover, but it still needs more work. Still, it looks nice with the new wires and coil. The distributor cap is a replacement, not Marelli unfortunately. I like the old school Marelli red caps.
So, it’s time to set the timing and fire it up! All the manuals say set the static timing to 8 degrees ATDC. I had already positioned the crank so the number one cylinder was at TDC, so I figured it would be simple to see the timing marks on the crank pully. Can you see any marks there?
Neither could I. I threaded my arm down there and tried to clean off as much grime as I could. I found the pointer and could see a couple of colored lines in the pulley that I assumed were the TDC and Static timing marks. I did my best to lock down the distributor at the static mark and took a deep breath. It was time to try firing it up.
I gently turned the key and fed in a little throttle. Cough, sputter, cough. Hey! It fired once or twice! That’s more than it had done since I parked after driving home. Unfortunately, that’s all I was able to do, get it to fire once or twice. I’m assuming it’s a simple matter of the timing being off and I can address that tomorrow. Stay tuned.