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To be honest it sounds like the distributor is a tooth off.. Here are the directions, can you double check it?
All distributors contain an internal oil seal that prevents oil from entering the distributor housing. The seal is not serviceable.
Factory replacement distributors are equipped with a plastic alignment pin already installed. The pin is located in an access hole on the bottom of the distributor housing It is used to temporarily lock the rotor to the cylinder number 1 position during installation. The pin must be removed after installing the distributor.
The camshaft position sensor is located in the distributor on all engines For removal/installation procedures, refer to Camshaft Position Sensor. Distributor removal is not necessary for sensor removal.
A fork with a slot is supplied on the bottom of the distributor housing where the housing base seats against the engine block The centerline of the slot aligns with the distributor hold-down bolt hole in the engine block. Because of the fork, the distributor cannot be rotated. Distributor rotation is not necessary as all ignition timing requirements are handled by the powertrain control module (PCM)
The position of the distributor determines fuel synchronization only. It does not determine ignition timing.
NOTE: Do not attempt to modify this fork to attain ignition timing.
REMOVAL - 2.5L OR 4.0L ENGINE
- Disconnect the negative battery cable at the battery.
- Disconnect coil secondary cable at coil.
- Remove distributor cap from distributor (2 screws) Do not remove cables from cap. Do not remove rotor.
- Disconnect the distributor wiring harness from the main engine harness.
- Remove the cylinder number 1 spark plug.
- Hold a finger over the open spark plug hole. Rotate the engine at the vibration dampener bolt until compression (pressure) is felt.
- Slowly continue to rotate the engine. Do this until the timing index mark on the vibration damper pulley aligns with the top dead center (TDC) mark (0 degree) on timing degree scale Always rotate the engine in direction of normal rotation. Do not rotate the engine backward to align the timing marks.
- Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp.
- Remove the distributor from engine by slowly lifting straight up.
- Note that the rotor will rotate slightly in a counterclockwise direction while lifting up the distributor. The oil pump gear will also rotate slightly in a counterclockwise direction while lifting up the distributor. This is due to the helical cut gears on the distributor and camshaft.
- Note the removed position of the rotor during distributor removal. During installation, this will be referred to as the Pre-position.
- 2.5L 4-Cylinder Engine: Observe the slot in the oil pump gear through the hole on the side of the engine. It should be slightly before (counterclockwise of) the 10 o'clock position
- 4.0L 6-Cylinder Engine: Observe the slot in the oil pump gear through the hole on the side of the engine. It should be slightly before (counterclockwise of) the 11 o'clock position
- Remove and discard the old distributor-to-engine block gasket.
- If the engine crankshaft has been rotated after distributor removal, cylinder number 1 must be returned to its proper firing stroke. Refer to previous REMOVAL Step 5 and Step 6. These steps must be done before installing distributor.
- Check the position of the slot on the oil pump gear. On the 2.5L engine, it should be just slightly before (counterclockwise of) the 10 o'clock position On the 4.0L engine, it should be just slightly before (counterclockwise of) the 11 o'clock position If not, place a flat blade screwdriver into the oil pump gear and rotate it into the proper position.
- Factory replacement distributors are equipped with a plastic alignment pin already installed This pin is used to temporarily hold the rotor to the cylinder number 1 firing position during distributor installation. If this pin is in place, proceed to Step 8. If not, proceed to next step.
- If the original distributor is to be reinstalled, such as during engine overhaul, the plastic pin will not be available. A 3/16 inch drift pin punch tool may be substituted for the plastic pin.
- Remove the camshaft position sensor from the distributor housing. Lift straight up.
- Four different alignment holes are provided on the plastic ring Note that 2.5L and 4.0L engines have different alignment holes
- Rotate the distributor shaft and install the pin punch tool through the proper alignment hole in the plastic ring and into the mating access hole in the distributor housing. This will prevent the distributor shaft and rotor from rotating.
- Clean the distributor mounting hole area of the engine block.
- Install a new distributor-to-engine block gasket
- Install the rotor to the distributor shaft.
- 2.5L 4-Cylinder Engine: Pre-position the distributor into the engine while holding the centerline of the base slot in the 1 o'clock position Continue to engage the distributor into the engine. The rotor and distributor will rotate clockwise during installation. This is due to the helical cut gears on the distributor and camshaft. When the distributor is fully seated to the engine block, the centerline of the base slot should be aligned to the clamp bolt mounting hole on the engine The rotor should also be pointed slightly past (clockwise of) the 3 o'clock position.
4.0L 6-Cylinder Engine: Pre-position the distributor into the engine while holding the centerline of the base slot in the 1 o'clock position Continue to engage the distributor into the engine. The rotor and distributor will rotate clockwise during installation. This is due to the helical cut gears on the distributor and camshaft. When the distributor is fully seated to the engine block, the centerline of the base slot should be aligned to the clamp bolt mounting hole on the engine The rotor should also be pointed at the 5 o'clock position.
It may be necessary to rotate the rotor and distributor shaft (very slightly) to engage the distributor shaft with the slot in the oil pump gear. The same may have to be done to engage the distributor gear with the camshaft gear.
The distributor is correctly installed when:
- the rotor is pointed at the 3 o'clock position (2.5L engine), or at the 5 o'clock position (4.0L engine)
- the plastic alignment pin (or pin punch tool) is still installed to distributor.
- the number 1 cylinder piston is set at top dead center (TDC) (compression stroke)
- the centerline of the slot at the base of the distributor is aligned to the centerline of the distributor hold-down bolt hole on the engine. In this position, the hold-down bolt should easily pass through the slot and into the engine.
No adjustments are necessary. Proceed to next step.
- Install the distributor hold-down clamp and bolt. Tighten the bolt to 23 N·m (17 ft. lbs.) torque.
- Remove the pin punch tool from the distributor. Or, if the plastic alignment pin was used, remove it straight down from the bottom of the distributor. Discard plastic pin.
- If removed, install the camshaft position sensor to the distributor. Align the wiring harness grommet to the notch in the distributor housing.
- Install the rotor
CAUTION: If the distributor cap is incorrectly positioned on distributor housing, the cap or rotor may be damaged when engine is started.
- Install the distributor cap. Tighten distributor cap hold-down screws to 3 N·m (26 in. lbs.) torque.
- If removed, install the spark plug cables to the distributor cap. For proper firing order, refer to the Specifications section at the end of this group. See Engine Firing Order.
- Connect the distributor wiring harness to the main engine harness.
- Connect battery cable to battery.
Let me know what you find,