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Mike S.
Mike S., Chevy Mechanic
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 7433
Experience:  ASE Certified Master Technician
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I have a 1988 chevy r20 suburban with 7.4L. Hei distributor.

Customer Question

I have a 1988 chevy r20 suburban with 7.4L. Hei distributor. replaced the timing chain lined it up dot to dot and brought number 1 cylinder to tdc. distributor is sitting roughly at the back of the tbi drivers side. but truck will not start. I have spark coming from distributor to all plug wires. fuel is pumping. truck will not start.
JA: How many miles on the car? How responsive has your car been lately?
Customer: was ok till about 3 days ago when the timing chain went bad. 165000 miles
JA: Are you fixing your Suburban yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: yes replaced timing chain.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Chevy
Expert:  K. Wiggins replied 9 months ago.

Hello, it sounds like the distributor may be off some. HEre's what you'll need to do.

1. Bring cylinder ! up to top dead center on the compression stroke. Line the timing mark on the balancer up to 0 on the timing tab.

2. Find #1 on the distributor cap and then scribe or paint a line on the distributor body that lines up with it.

3. When installing the distributor the rotor will move a few degrees so you want to put it down with the rotor not on the mark so when the rotor does move it hits the mark. This may take several tries and you may also have to use a long flat head screwdriver to turn the oil pump shaft so it drops in properly.

Just take your time and follow this procedure. Once it does fire up you can go ahead with adjusting the timing by disconnecting the tan and black wire near the distributor and setting it at 4 degrees before top dead center.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 9 months ago.

Are the fuel injectors spraying gasoline when the engine is cranking over?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
they are. I have spark going to the plugs. It will not turn over.
Expert:  Mike S. replied 9 months ago.

Ok, you must be 180 degrees out on the distributor then. But first of all, does the engine backfire back out the throttle body when cranking the engine over?

If so, you may be 180 out but first make sure your spark plugs are not already gas fouled. If so, clean and dry then, then try moving all of the spark plug wires on the distributor cap around 180 degrees.

Expert:  Mike S. replied 9 months ago.

was you 180 out?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry I have been sick. But I had a chance today to try measing with it. I still can't get it to start. Is there a diagram or illustration on where the distributor shold be facing at 0 degrees on balancer and timing tab?
Expert:  Mike S. replied 9 months ago.

When the #1 piston is up on the compression stroke and the timing mark on the balancer set at 0 tdc, the distributor rotor should be facing toward the tower that has the spark plug wire for #1. If not, move the spark plug wires on the cap until it is, then put the rest on clockwise 1 then(###) ###-####