Just put an '87' engine into an '86' wagon. Didn't think there was much difference between the '86' and the '87' but am finding out I was wrong. The '86' was running but had over 300K. The '87' was also running when I pulled it and has 154K I was told. I took the carb off the '86' and put it on the '87' engine. I replaced the distributor from the '87' with the one from the '86'( the wiring is different with the '87'). Rotated flywheel to TDC and rotor at #1 with the distrbutor about in the middle but closer to retarded than advanced. Tried to start it but no go. Has good spark and smells gassy. Turned the distributor 180 degrees but still nothing, well, flame through the carb. Is there a way to determine TDC on compression without having to take off the valve cover since the timing marks line up at TDC on both the compression and exhaust stroke? I've worked mostly on overhead cam engines where it's easy to see the valves. Is there a way to do a static test on an electronic ignition? I've done it with point type ignition systems but since the spark between the rotor and cap jump the gap there's no actual contact to transmit current as with points. Since I can't get it started, adjusting the timing is a guess. As it's set up now, the rotor is just back a squeek from the pin in the cap at TDC so that if I rotate the distributor anti clockwise, it should be retarding the spark. When you're a tooth off, there's a major difference in rotor location. And I don't think I have any vacuum leaks and I didn't disconnect the vacuum hose from the distributor.
Love these things when they run, hate 'em when they don't!