Help please


when i turn my distributer cap clockwise, it idols and runs fine, but when i give it fuel it back fires and seems to be getting to much gas. now when i turn it counter clockwise, it seems good but it wont idol, it stalls, and anywhere in the middle it sounds like a deisel engine.( like crap) can someone give me any ideas please??


It would be helpful to know what make and model of car you’re working on. If it’s a '70 Camaro, as your handle would imply, then you need to check the points before trying to set the timing.


Get a repair manual for your car, whatever it might be, and set the timing correctly. You can’t just guess about this. There may be more issues than just distributor adjustment. Everything has to work together.


Please don’t post your problems on multiple threads (three and counting).


1990 chev van


First, you need to use a timing light to set the timing correctly, and a dwell meter to set the point gap correctly. Then you can properly diagnose your problem. BTW, the problem could be in the centrifugal or the vacuum advance in the distributor.


It may also be a timing chain problem. Make sure the engine is properly timed (don’t forget to disconnect the vacuum advance) and see if the problem remains.


I really doubt that a 1990 car would have points.


You need to start with the basics and go from there…
First, find out the correct degrees from Top Dead Center (TDC) your timing should be. You can search online or buy a manual. Find that number on your timing plate or whatever your van has at the crank pulley. As said, plug the vacuum line and see where your timing is, set a according to spec. It really sounds like your distributor is not advancing when you try to accelerate. It advances by vacuum to a diaphram on the distributor or by a centrifigul mechanism under the plate in your distributor…or both…I think some use both. If you have that vacuum line to the distributor, pull it off at the carb and suck on it. If you can suck air, you have a bad diaphram and it is not advancing correctly.
You might also have a vacuum leak that is creating problems and making it run rough (sounds like a diesel). But just twisting on your distributor is not going to make it run better. When you twisted it clockwise, you were advancing the timing and it helped, but when you gave it gas, it either had no runnable room to advance further…OR…you have a bad vacuum diaphram and it couldn’t burn up the gas you were feeding it. Hope this helps. Let us know what you find out.


Have you removed the distributor cap and taken a look at what has accumulated under there over the last 20 years?? Is this the old GM HEI system with the coil mounted in the cap? Have you removed the rotor and explored the wonders located underneath it?