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John Mc
John Mc, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 6240
Experience:  19 years Ford Lincoln Mercury experience
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96 ford f-150: timing marks do not line..roter..cap it stil wont start

Customer Question

96 ford f-150 4.9 i put in new distuibuter and set it at tdc but it will not start the timing marks do not line up when i put it at tdc this is weird i now how to time a car but this truck is being difficult i found the timeing advanced and unplug it set the cap and roter two face one on the cap it stil wont start. what am i missing?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 8 years ago.
Sounds like you are doing it correctly,all I can suggest is making sure that #1 is on the compression stroke when coming up to tdc and also if the marks are at zero then the rotor should be a little before the #1 tower on the cap as you want it at 10 degrees btdc just to be sure your not a tooth off,obviously this is adjusted after with a timing light but it is a good way to confirm your not a tooth off.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have already tried everything you have suggested, I did have the truck running but could not get the timing to set. The timing marks on the flywheel were rotating with the flywheel would not stay within the timing needle on block. What would cause the timing marks to rotate, they should stay within the needle. i thought I was a tooth out and moved didtributer one tooth back, now it wont start even if I set it at TDC. When at TDC timing mark will not line up with timing needle on block.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 8 years ago.
I am going to opt out maybe another expert has seen this before.I have seen bad ignition modules cause the needle to jump around with the light on it
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
so does anybody know
Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.

if this answer is helpful please accept so i can recieve payment


the reason the timing is jumping is because you have to disable the computer controlled timing when you set base timing. you have to remove the spout (spark output) connector. this is located on the drivers side of the engine compartment close to the hood spring area. it is a small fingertip sized connector you just pull out then set the timing to 10 deg btdc.


hope this helps

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

i have done that too, but now it wont start.

Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.
use your timing light while someone attempts to start to get it in the ballpark. then fine tune once its started
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.
are you lined up at tdc with no 1?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.
i would move the distributor until it starts. getting it running best you can by toying with it. once it is running the best you can get it by feel and sound, remove the spout and set a 10 btdc
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I understand that. I had it runnung and sounding OK, but when I used the timeing light to fine tune it I wasent able to set it to 10 degrees BTDC because the timeing mark was rotating ariung the flywheel. Why was it rotating, they wouldent stay within the timing needle, I tought I was a notch out on the distrubuter and I tried to adjust it, but now it wont start. What causes the timeing marks to rotate?
Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.
the only other thing i can think of is maybe the distributor not tight enough or are the timing gears worn? this may have been your whole problem. im sorry if i havent fully helped with your problem
Expert:  John Mc replied 8 years ago.

another expert sent this to me to help and maybe this is your problem.


If the truck seems to be running fine,and the only problem is the timing mark seems to wander,it is very possible the timing light clamp is picking up stray voltage from other wires and confusing the reading.or the light is malfunctioning