Q: Ignition timing out of sequence.

asked by on January 07, 2017

I broke the engine down to get to head gasket. Replaced a bunch of old parts... thermostat water pump belts head gasket valve gasket spark plugs.... well I pulled distributor out without marking it. Put it back with rotor as close to original as possible. Got it completely back together and it won't crank. Have spark but won't fire. My computer is showing code 21 Ignition signal primary circuit not entered during engine cranking.. how can I get my distributor in time and is that the reason for the code

My car has 273000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. First you would need to know the firing order for the electronics on the distributor. The distributor number one on the firing order is the terminal on the right side at the front of the vehicle. Since you have tried to crank the engine over, you will have to remove the left (passenger side) valve cover and crank the engine over by hand until both rocker arms are loose and the piston is all the way up. To ensure that the piston is on the correct stroke, turn the engine back a little and forward a little and if the rocker arm do not move, then you are on the compression stroke. Remove the spark plug to the first cylinder on the left (number 1) and put a long straw in the hole to see if the piston is at the top of its stroke. Then mark the intake or a bracket where the number one location is on the distributor. Then pull out the distributor and turn the rotor to the number on position that you marked. Then put the distributor back in and align up the rotor to the mark. It will be in the ball park area, not exact if the distributor can move around. Lock the distributor down, put in the spark plug, and put the valve cover back on. Start up the engine and it should start up normally. If the distributor can move, you may have to adjust it for a good solid operation. If you need further assistance with timing your ignition system, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

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