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ADVICE NEEDED re: flywheel/TDC position


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24 replies to this topic

#1 NickNakorn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:08 AM

I hope someone here can help. I've rebuilt quite a few engines over the years but this is my first Subaru rebuild. When it came time to put on the flywheel I did not refer to the manual or to the web because there's a convention:

a)Set No1 to TDC
b)line up the TDC marking on the flywheel or crank pulley to the pointer on the bell housing or crank case
d)bolt on the flywheel

Now, because I've changed cam belts and cam oil-seals on my Subarus before I knew about the 180 degree difference in the left and right sprocket positions and that they use a different set of flywheel markings - so all of that is spot on.

BUT, when trying to start the car yesterday, the whole thing sounded very wrong. So I checked the distributor position a few times, checked there was spark, fuel and so on. All ok but still no joy - it would run - just - on one cylinder only.

So I though I better consult the Haynes Manual and the Web. Quite by chance (I was not looking for this info exactly) I read in the manual that the flywheel can only be put on in one position because the bolt holes are asymmetric and (according to some web info) that the ignition '0' flywheel mark is not set to 'TDC' but to some other position where No1 cylinder is half-way up its bore.

Now, if there is no 'conventional TDC' and the flywheel holes are asymmetric then how the hell did I bolt my flywheel (with ease) to No1 TDC at the '0' degrees pointer?

Either the Haynes manual and the Web is wrong about the asymmetric bolts or the web is wrong about the non-conventional TDC - both cant be true. Meanwhile, my car wont run. I'll take the engine out again to fix this once I know what I'm doing - so please guys... any thoughts?

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 08:56 AM

Not possible to have a "non conventional TDC" mark on the flywheel. A "conventional" timing light would not work. Since that's not the case the web source is obviously confused - probably confusing the ignition timing marks with the 3 belt alignment marks which are not related to the ignition timing or TDC. The bolt pattern is asymmetric - that's the overriding reason we have to redrill flywheels when doing EJ swaps - EJ's are symmetric since their timing marks on on the balancer not the flywheel.

GD

#3 skishop69

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

The flywheel only goes on one way and it is at TDC when pointing at 0 degrees. I just finished HGs on my daughters soon to be XT last night so I know that much for sure. Sounds like you either jumped the right timing belt, you've got weak spark or low fuel pressure. Year, make, model?

#4 NickNakorn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:22 AM

General Disorder, thanks - I agree a non conventional TDC doesn't make sense but I expect that source was referring to the III marks for the cam belt timing: - as I understand it, they differ from the ignition timing marks because the cams wont stay in the correct position (under load from valve springs) at TDC so they use an alternative position.

Skishop69, thanks too. having disconnected everything, I'm going to take the engine out again tomorrow and check that the flywheel is on correctly (I'm pretty sure it is given that I automatically put it on lined up at No.1 TDC) The only other explanation might be that the flywheel has in some way been altered by the previous owner - the car has been massively bodged elsewhere!

Year: 1991
Make: Subaru
Model: L-series 1.8 DL 4x4 Estate

The whole sorry tale of the cars refurbishment is on my website at http://www.nagara.co.uk/carhome.htm

With the engine out tomorrow, I'll double check everything and hope I find what I've missed. I'm annoyed with myself because in 40 years I've never had an engine I've rebuilt not start and run properly.

#5 ivans imports

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:24 AM

check that the diss is not a tooth addvanced or retarded

#6 NickNakorn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:36 AM

Ivans imports,

thanks, that was one of the first things I checked and all was well!

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 01:50 PM

Unless the flywheel has been altered it will only bolt on one way. I would highly doubt that is the case so I would investigate everything else before pulling the engine back out. It's also is pretty easy to check if the timing marks are at the right place - just put the #1 cylinder at TDC using a drinking straw or similar instrument and check if the marks in in the window. You can also do that with valve overlap and you could make the engine start regardless of flywheel position by going off the valve overlap and timing the distributor by eye.

GD

#8 NickNakorn

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

General Disorder,
I too doubt that the flywheel has been altered, but I also would not have believed the very weird 'repairs' done to the rest of the car. So, for the sake of an extra couple of hours I'm going to pull the engine and check. I'm 99% certain I fitted it correctly because I'm normally very careful. But anyone can make a mistake.
Nick

Below is example of previous owner's 'repair' what was he thinking!!?

Posted Image

(Above) previous owner's version of repairing the rear wheel arch - astonishingly dangerous...

#9 TomRhere

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:15 AM

Can't help but think that you have the plug wires wrong on the cap.

#10 naru

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:55 AM

Disty 180 degrees out?

#11 NickNakorn

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

Tom and Naru - Not only have I not disturbed the order of the HT leads during the rebuild, (the engine ran fine before) I've also double checked it's set up correctly. This morning I took the engine out, checked that I'd put the flywheel on correctly (I had) and that the flywheel has not been modified (it hasn't). I've also re-done the cam sprockets and belts (they were fine and they are fine again) so I'm now running out of ideas. I'll check the distributor and rotor-arm position yet again and put the engine back after lunch. If I still have the same problem I'll have a look inside the carburettor and make sure all looks well there. But I'm loath to dismantle it without a carburettor gasket set - getting hold of spares for these cars in the UK isn't always straight forward as there are so few left (less than a dozen on the roads).

#12 -tombba-

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:44 AM

I had a same sort of problem when doing engine swap to my EA82T couple years ago. Every mark (including heads and flywheel) aligned as they should have and it still did not run at all. I played with it a while then and the reason was that the distributor wasn't in the correct place even that it seemed to be in the beginning. If the marks line up correctly and it still won't run it's just going to be a lot of playing with the distributor. I found the right spot for the distributor by turning it for one tooth at time. It just takes time and is very frustrating to do but it's worth it :)

#13 ivans imports

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 10:53 AM

is it posibble the disstributor is assembled wrong have seen the center holdown screw come loose and allow the rotor to move not the screw that holds the rotor the screw that holds the rotor shaft

#14 MilesFox

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

If you are using the o deg mark for the timing belts, that is your problem. The timing belt aligns with the III mark on the flywheel. This represents all the pistons are at the center of their bore.

Do the timing marks first, then bring the flywheel to the 0 deg mark to do your ignition.

1-3-4-2 counter clockwise.

search 'ea82 timing belt' for the proper procedure.

the only other thing i can think of for the timing marks being off on the flywheel is if you have an ea81 flywheel on an ea82 engine or vice versa

#15 NickNakorn

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:38 AM

Ivans, the distributor is exactly as it was before the rebuild - I did not even take the cap off it until it was time to put it back on the engine - I cleaned the outside of it -that was the extent of the work done to it.

Miles, mm, I hadn't considered that it might be an EA81 flywheel - but it only goes on one way and the car ran fine before the rebuild (other than low on power, rackety valve gear and numerous oil and water leaks.).

Anyway, it's all back together again and reinstalled. The only wait now is for a new water pump as the old one, not leaking prior, now won't hold water... I expect the old unit was 'sealed' by copious amounts of 'radseal' and 'Kseal' and, now it's clean its junk once more!

#16 TomRhere

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 05:57 AM

Miles has a good point on timing being off with the EA81-EA82 flywheels. But you've said that you have the 3 T-Belt timing marks, so you have the correct flywheel on yours.

Pull #1 plug, crank engine by hand until you get compression on your finger that you,ve placed over the plug hole. Keep turning engine untill you reach the 0* mark. Check that disty rotor is pointing to #1 on the cap.

Double check all of the electrical connections for proper fit.
Been a few Members find a "no start" issue was due to a connection not fully seated.

#17 MilesFox

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 09:20 AM

Here are some clues:

when the engine is at the center of its bore, the keyway on the crankshaft pulley faces down.

when the #1 cyl is at TDC, the timing belt marks on the cam pulleys will be facing the hard edges of the valve cover.

The rotor on the disty should be facing the brake master cylinder, and the #1 position on the cap is just to the right of the clip/screw that holds on the cap

an ea81 flywheel would only fit if the holes have been enlarged for the ea82's larger bolt, although ththe orientation of the blts is the same.

the o deg mark os some 30 deg after the III mark

#18 Brat78

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

Posted Image

WTF:eek:

#19 NickNakorn

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Posted 12 January 2013 - 01:16 PM

Hi Brat78,
that was just a pic to show how badly the previous owner treated this car. That pic of the top of the rear wheel well (wheel arch in UK) was from underneath the rear trim inside the car. You can see how bad it was at http://www.nagara.co.uk/carhome.htm

#20 NickNakorn

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:34 PM

Well, the engine now runs as sweet as a nut; no oil leaks, no water leaks, no valve clatter and a lovely quiet smooth tick-over. I never did find out what the problem was.

Over the last few days I pulled the newly fitted engine and took off the clutch and flywheel - checked all was well, it was, and pit it all back. I checked and refitted the timing belts and all was well, I checked I had plenty of spark and fuel and all was well but the damn engine just would not run: it would splutter, backfire and run a bit on one or two cylinders but in a really erratic way. I checked the distributor loads of times and all seemed well. What on earth was the problem? I checked for compression (The gauge showed about 150psi+ on all cylinders).

Then I decided I'd take the distributor to pieces. When it was on the bench I realised I knew nothing about it - I'm used to rebuilding dizzies with condensers and points. So I just blasted it with compressed air, blasted it with WD40 and again with compressed air to remove excess WD40. I put it all back and bingo!

So there's some kind of damp or electrical fault inside the dizzy? Time will tell if it misbehaves again but I'm so pleased! It just goes to show that with semi electronic ignition a good healthy spark means nothing if there's some random firing due to an electrical fault. What the fault was I will never know - just damp I guess.

#21 TomRhere

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:01 AM

Good to read that it's running now...

May have just been dust build-up in the disty, affecting the optics.

It's nice when they sort of fix themselves, but it sure would be good to know what the issue really was.
I like mystery, in books and movies.
Not in my vehicles...

#22 NickNakorn

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:37 AM

Thanks Tom, and many thanks to all who have contributed to this thread and helped me get to grips with the wonders of the EA Subaru engine. It's a tribute to those engines that, having run various old and knackered L-series cars for over 20 years this is the first re-build I've had to do on one of them. In a much shorter period I rebuild my Morris Minor engine twice! - mind you, I used to thrash it to death every day.

#23 TomRhere

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

Ahhhh. Would Love to get me hands on an old Morris Minor......

Back in circa 1968, fellow student had one.
Loved that vehicle............

:headbang::headbang::headbang:

#24 NickNakorn

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 05:13 AM

Tom,
I agree, the old Minors are excellent little cars but very crude in many ways:live axle at the back; low capacity, iron straight 4; underpowered, uncomfortable and a tiny boot (trunk). But they were very light (about 750kg I think) had fantastic steering and really superb handling providing the dampers, trunnions and bushes were in good order.
I've only got a few old and blurred photos of mine from the 1980s at:
http://www.nagara.co.uk/Morris.htm

#25 TomRhere

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:31 AM

Thanks for the link, I enjoyed it. Nice work on that Minor.




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