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74 Mustang II, 2.3L, points type ignition. After aligning the cam timing marks (ohc belt driven cam) and setting the engine to TDC via the timing marks on the crank pulley (didnt verify #1 was at TDC, but with the cam marks aligned, #1 would be at compression and if #1 piston wasnt at TDC i dont think it would run at all) and setting the distributor to point to the #1 tower on the cap, the engine wont run. Rotate it 1/4 turn (all the way against the stop towards the firewall) it runs great...... but its not right. Why would it run good when its set to fire or two cylinders away from the one it should be firing? Do i not have the points set right or something? I'm confused... this is why i want an MSD ignition... points are not for me. I have two other identical cars, except they are 76s and 78s with electronic ignition 2.3s and they run good. The only difference is the points.

Im at a loss. This engine has never run right, when its cold and you rev it up it shakes real bad (you must rev it up and hold the rpms up for a while until it warms up or it will not stay running) and it has less power than the other two cars. This car has 3.55 gears and the other two have 3.00 and 3.08 gears. Theoretically this car should have more power, but it doesnt. Anyone got any ideas?
 

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as long as the points are not set too close or too far away then they will be fine i always use a matchbox paper cover it works on virtually any engine even the old volkswagens we have around here

timing belt setup on the 2.3 is real fun i recall

we have replaced a few 2.3 in the past with new ones and the timing belt setup was real interesting on them i know

have to turn back a sprocket or two when putting it together in order to end up with all the marks lined up because you will need to turn it all clockwise to get the belt onto the last sprocket and still end up in time correctly,

especially on DOHC engines and such

belt slop from one cam sprocklet to the other will cause misalignment of one of the sprockets when the belt slop is taken up when you crank the engine around to check alignment of marks

and then you have one cam thats off a cog/spline/tooth because you didnt turn it back a little before putting the belt on


thats another reason why you spin it around by hand a couple revs and check to see all marks line up everywhere before putting the cover and all back on


hard to explain

also if the tensioner is not set to a certain tension it will screw up the tming marks as well, on most engines like these.

timing belt are a PITA on some engines

like the 2.3 for sure


gotta make sure the crank is at TDC #1

and that the cam sprocket is set on its mark



repair guide instructions:

# Install the new belt over the crankshaft sprocket first, then counterclockwise over the auxiliary shaft sprocket and the camshaft sprocket. Adjust the belt fore and aft so that it is centered on the sprockets.

# Loosen the tensioner adjustment bolt, allowing it to spring back against the belt.

# Rotate the crankshaft two complete turns in the normal rotational direction to remove any belt slack. Turn the crankshaft until the timing check marks are lined up. If the timing has slipped, remove the belt and repeat the procedure.

# Tighten the tensioner adjustment bolt to 14-21 ft. lbs., and the pivot bolt to 28-40 ft. lbs.

# Install the distributor cap.

# Install the belt guide, belt outer cover and crankshaft pulley. Install the water pump pulley and, if applicable, the cooling fan.

# Install the drive belts and accessories and adjust the drive belt tension. Reposition the fuel vapor tube, if necessary.

# Start the engine and check the ignition timing.
 

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