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Timing Off Runs Bad


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I agree with Steve, you need plugs and wires. I buy stuff online and get it the local store cheaper using coupon codes. My best one was retailmenot.com but that was 4 years ago since I tried it.

I had a Nissan d21 that ran like crap until i replaced wires plugs, cap and button 10 years ago at least. Just drove it for grass cutting fuel jugs refill. Runs great. The distributor cap had some kind of cracking going on and it was jumping spark. It wouldn't fall out of a tree but now it'll drive up one.


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Thank you for the suggestions.  Parts on order for Monday, August 8 delivery.

My wires were Bosch 7MM that looked new when I purchased the car in 2019 (3500 miles ago). Have upgraded/fixed everything else, so I should have replaced the wires earlier.  By surprise, the Bosch wire ends separated from the boot as I removed them from the Mallory cap and transferred them to the OEM cap, which did not go well. 

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The saga continues, the engine will not start.

Installed new NGK plug wires, OEM cap and NGK plugs, but I’m still noticing “kickback”.  More kickback at at Advance/Retard mid-point and less at full Retard.

I read about sticky/frozen distributor advance mechanisms causing engine starting issues.  So if it is frozen too far advanced, the engine will not start.

I tried moving the distributor base plate, where the Pertronix unit is attached, but it does not move.  According to a 2010 post, frozen advance mechanisms is common.  The solution was to replace the distributor.

Before I order a new rebuilt distributor, is there anything I can do to the recently purchased, used distributor now installed on the car or is it just a core?

Thank you!

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You can move the 2 plates in the dizzy to tell if they're frozen or not. Sounds like your firing order may be off. 153624 is what it should be. The cap has a raised line on the outside where #1 should be, then counter clockwise from 1 around to 4. The front spark plug is #1 through 6 which is closest to the windshield.

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Siteunseen, Thank you for the suggestions.  I checked my firing order again and it is correct.  

The distributor advance is frozen; no movement at all.  It looks to be at full advance, so the timing is too far off to start.

I am having the distributor remanufactured/rebuilt by Cardone (31-607), via a national auto parts store since no dizzys are available off the shelf.  No money up front, but $170 once completed.  The store handles all the shipping.  Expect to have the dizzy returned in about 10-14 days.  One year warranty.  (Normally the work takes 3-5 days, but I’m told it could be 7-10 days.)

There are used, working dizzys available for $295-$350, but no guarantee how long they will work once installed.  Add the cost of a future rebuild and it gets expensive.

Regarding the new NGK wires I purchased; they are 8MM vs the old Bosch wires at 7MM.  Total weight for the NGK wires is double that of the Bosch.  The only issue I found was installing the NGK coil wire.  The snout on Flamethrower coils appears to be larger than stock coils, so the boot took lots of effort to slide in place.

I will report again in a couple weeks. 
Thank you, Nate

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  • 3 weeks later...

I’m back in business.  Installed my rebuilt Cardone distributor and the engine fired right up.  Very easy to set timing and adjust my new ZTherapy carbs.

Had to install my old Bosch coil wire because the new NGK wire would not fit tight on the Flamethrower coil.  It looks like the wire does not push deep enough into the coil, plus the boot has a rib inside which limits the wire insertion.  Will work with it and see if I can make it work.

So happy to have my car back on the road.  Appreciate everyone’s advice along the way.


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