What are the symptoms if the distributor timing is wrong?


This problem has occurred after a full overhaul engine repair. Feels like the engine is running with a heavy load. I can hear a very loud clicking noise (like injector noise) Only when driving. There’s no unusual sound when the engine is rev up on neutral. Had to set the distributor to the full advanced position to get the performance. Distributor position was in the middle before the repair. Now if I set it in the middle, the acceleration is very poor & that clicking noise is very high.
Toyota 7K-E 1.8 petrol engine
Automatic transmission
Driven around 15000km after the engine repair


15000km? thats a years driving for me. we had a OHC 4 cyl motor car that was in good shape but my brother had vague maintenance habits. i drove it after about 1yr lapse and it was down on power and poor mileage. i tried to adjust timing and dist had to be fully turned to even make it sorta run. i moved all 4 wires to new positions at 90deg difference and i could than turn dist back to its original position. i drove it for a few days and the mileage was better but i never took off timing cover to check timing per crank/cam. i think he sold it not long after


How did you do that?


Timing that is too retarded can cause sluggish running, poor fuel mileage, and the engine to overheat.

Timing that is too advanced can cause hard starting, pinging, poor performance, and also cause an engine to overheat.

If the clicking noise you hear is pinging then this needs to be sorted out PDQ as chronic pinging can wipe out an engine by burning the pistons up. This can be especially true during an extended highway drive.


He moved the wires in the 4 cylinder engine over one hole in the distributor cap so he could get the distributor in the middle of it’s travel where the car ran best. Probably to compensate partly for valve timing that was off a tooth or to.
I think you have a similar problem.


Yes. Was trying to think of how to say that clearly. Did not succeed. Since people don’t move the wires to new positions, most folks kinda scratch their heads when you describe it.
A poster here several weeks ago had a v8 that had dist 180deg off and he asked if he could swap all plug wires 180deg to compensate.


You might have the cam timing off a tad. You may have to remove the timing cover and check the timing marks. Make sure they actually line up. Then there is the whole deal with the distributor. Some are keyed differently. My 2000 Chevy S10 has a standard geared shaft that could be put in many incorrect ways. I did this once and moved it back a tooth and all was well. I see some that have a hex drive so you could put it back 5 wrong ways as well as the correct way. The Geo Metro has the key offset so it can only be put in the correct way. I don’t know how your setup works but I think your guess is pretty much on target. Something is off.