Last post on Mar 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM
You are in the Mazda 323
What is this discussion about?
Mazda 323, Hatchback
#391 of 448 Re: 1989 323/Tracer won't start [listerine]
Oct 07, 2009 (9:31 am)
Yes, that is pretty much part of it. If you click on someones name in a post, it will bring up their page as well as posts they have made over time. Another tip would be to use a small screwdriver on the distributor cap towers and scribe the numbers for each cylinder each one is for. On Mazda, that covers 86-89. Info begins to vary though for earlier and later years. Tracer, I am not knowledgeable of, but I know a particular engine when I see it under someones elses hood! I saw a Mazda manual transmission in a church members 2001 Escort this past Sunday for example.
One thing I have learned all of these years, a bit of common sense goes a long way and short cuts can be applied on other models, if thought out carefully.
UPDATE. The distributor plug system in the oil holes so far as done well in our 89 for several years now. I have not cleaned oil out since then. So that idea has panned out very nicely so far.
That signal from the chip in the distributor also sets the timing for the fuel injectors. You can check to see if they are firing by putting a stethoscope probe on each one and listen for a clicking noise. That noise will be loud and firm in the stethoscope. Harbor Freight has a nice one for about $5.00. No clicking brings the chip in the distributor and/or the ECU into suspect.
Congrats on your persistence. That is how I learned this stuff.....hard headed I get told at times!
Oct 09, 2009 (1:17 am)
I need to know how the plug wires match up to the distributor on a '89 323. Please describe it by matching up where the post is on the distributor - Top, Right, Bottom, Left - with the order of plugs going left to right on the engine - 1, 2, 3, 4. (So e.g. Top = 1, etc.)
#393 of 448 Re: 89 323 No Start [thevine]
Oct 09, 2009 (1:50 am)
I thought the ignitor was inside of, or part of, the distributor. If you'd replaced the distributor, wouldn't you have been replacing the ignitor as well?
#394 of 448 Distributor disassembly
Oct 14, 2009 (9:32 am)
Does anyone know how to get this pin out of the distributor (see diagram):
The pin holds that cylindrical jobby on to the shaft, and apparently It's all part of the pick-up set. I thought the pin was the threaded kind that took a hex wrench, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
Hey girlcarbuilder, how far should I be going with taking the distributor apart in order to clean it (per your posts about oil getting in there)?
#395 of 448 Inside the distributor. Lots of fun!
Oct 14, 2009 (11:56 am)
Bear with me. Under the weather. To answer someone else's question, replacing the distributor will not solve the oil flooding problem caused by higher blowby from a high mileage engine. Not to mention, they do a bit less than I do! This one is for free!
Firing order is 1-3-4-2 with cylinder #1 on the timing belt end of the engine. Number one should be marked on the cap. Number one should also be the one highest up. Rotation is counter clock wise. Whenever I tune up, I scratch the tower numbers on all towers along with date and mileage on the cap.
Read everything below first and work the procedure in your mind second, then handle it!
Now for disassembly. Funny, as many times I had this thing apart until I figured out the real problem was blowby, I can not recall. So much for memory, but put the spare one I set up years ago, my hands recall just fine. I assume you have removed the rotor and the top screw in the shaft at this point. Check the shaft for sideplay. None should be felt. Too much, reject the unit for another one to rebuild, but hold for spare parts. Now to remove the magnet, "star" shaped thing, I recall using two medium flat blade screw drivers between the magnet aka reluctor I believe and the pickup coil below which has a plastic case! So be careful and read first! Have a clean bench area. Turn each screwdriver like you would a screw and slowly press the reluctor off. Pay attention where the roll pin takes off to and hides! This will give you access to further disassembly. Also pay attention to which spacers come from under the pickup and under the opposing part. See view. Yup, this is the same distributor We have!
To press that reluctor back on, I started it and the pin on the shaft then turned the distributor upside down on the bench and carefully pressed it back on. Pay attention to which is top and bottom on the reluctor. Wrong way, and it will not work. I recall some kind of mark on the top side.
Take apart to the point where the main shaft is stripped down, but not removed from the housing. After the counterweights is the point I stopped at. I used a regular wheel bearing grease to relube those weights when I reassembled.
Clean plastic parts with Dawn dishwashing water, old toothbrush and hot water. Do not clean the base unit because it still has bearings in it. Use carb cleaner spray on the base and other metal parts as needed. Dry and air out everything as needed. Look carefully at pickup unit for cracks in plastic case. If it is cracked, does not mean it does not still work. It does mean it will fail sometime. I have yet to have to replace one yet. I have a few from junk yard with complete distributors as spares. Last time I checked price on pickup, it was over $300, so treat it very nicely!
As for the new oil plugs I installed in the bottom, I use cutoff brads from a basic curtain rod hanger for a valance. Call wife if needed for this! I tend to have a one up on many mechanics in this department! The nails, brads, aka pins, plugs are shortened to avoid interference with the mechanics in the base of the unit and then carefully pressed in place. I would start with one pin first to see how that does. Reassemble, reinstall. If you have to, you can always press the second one if it proves to allow too much oil flow still. I used carb cleaner spray to clean out both holes before pressing in a pin. But if you block off too much oil flow, then you will destroy the bearings in the unit and will have to replace the distributor. I also used carb cleaner to blow oil out of the base of the unit that was not disassembled any further.
The litmus test after you reinstall is whether or not the cap stays dry, free from oil after you put the car back into service. Mine has a little still, but not enough to cause problems. Some oil is normal lubrication underneath. If it works, I have learned not to mess with it in some cases. This is one of them. Come to think of it, car has 80K more miles on it since doing this.
Other than this, I have had to replace the vaccuum advance and the wire harness on these units. The capactor is a radio interfence part, but even after it died, I never had a problem with interference on the radio. So I never replaced it.
#396 of 448 Re: Inside the distributor. Lots of fun! [girlcarbuilder]
Oct 14, 2009 (5:12 pm)
Wow, thanks for the detailed rundown. Simply awesome, as always.
Two follow-up questions:
1. Firing order: So the top-most plug wire on the distributor goes to cylinder #1, then going counter-clockwise, left to #3, bottom to #4, and right to #2?
2. There's a resin-encased chip of some sort - a little black cube about 3/4" square - on the side of this distributor. I've heard mention of both an ignitor and ignition module (same thing?) and I'm wondering if that's it. Going through different posts on the no-start issue, there appears to be conflicting info about which components in, or on, the distributor are actually going bad that necessitate having to replace the whole thing.
Hope you feel better soon! Getting a little chilly out there for drag racing with the top down. Whoops, this is a 323 forum - I guess it doesn't get that exciting for us
#397 of 448 Re: Inside the distributor. Lots of fun! [listerine]
Oct 20, 2009 (10:19 am)
Well, cleaning out the distributor didn't help. Once I had it apart, I discovered there wasn't much oil in there anyway. I'm guessing you had a lot in yours. I then got to wondering if a quick visual inspection with just the distributor cap off would have told me right away if cleaning was even worth trying.
Anyway, live and learn. I guess now, unless anyone has any other ideas, I'm going to buy a used distributor from the junk yard. I'd like to try replacing the little black chip on the side of the distributor first, but I don't suspect they sell those separately.
Any ideas appreciated as the ol' landlord is starting to get on me to get 'er gone.
#398 of 448 Re: Inside the distributor. Lots of fun! [listerine]
Oct 20, 2009 (6:11 pm)
i figure the posts before could have answered your question rebuild the dist place in the slot, lineup power stroke in 1st pot to markers put a screwdriver in the first pot for reference sake,the dis cap stay`s off, the coil wire( using insulate long nose pliers) and rotor button should be 3to4mm away from each other, with ign on, then twist the dist in the hole until elec fires this will indicate exactly where your dist is suppose to be and number ones post from there the firing order will be1342 elect junction on top,indicator on collar should be nearly in line with no.1post a pencil away,if you didn`t get a spark between the coil and rotor button,check coil near a earthed part of the body,look for cracks in the rotor see if the transfer carbon post is in the dist cap is there, if any problem take to auto elect,and get it bench tested and take coil too hope that help you 91323
#399 of 448 Re: Inside the distributor. Lots of fun! [91323vic]
Oct 20, 2009 (6:26 pm)
and that anti clock wise firing order, from the top position,it should literally sit at the very top of the slot and only needs fine tuning, keep starting to check off,advancement with rev rate at 2000, put the plug back in before spark test i forgot to mention that, helps the elect continuity,you`ll never get it, if you dont, it will read dead,no spark .
#400 of 448 Re: Inside the distributor. Lots of fun! [listerine]
Oct 23, 2009 (11:47 am)
Okay....lets recheck a few things. First, take your timing light and check each plug wire for a spark. Also check the coil wire. Take your stethoscope and check each fuel injector for a clicking noise. Do these tests while someone is cranking the engine. No spark and no clicking means we have something going wrong from distributor pickup, the black module with wires attached, to and possibly including the ECU. If you get both a spark and clicking noise then those systems are working and we are dealing with timing the ignition system correctly. If you get spark and no clicking or clicking and no spark, let me know asap.
If you do not have these tools, they are a must to fix this. Harbor Freight again.
Bear with me, doing the Vulcan mind meld with a 20 year old 323 is a bit rough long distance.....but it will not be the first I fixed that way. Hopefully it will not be the first not fixed.
How far away are you from Baton Rouge, LA?