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Old 01-30-2010, 06:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default pressure escape/spark plug area/88 Sammy

1st post on here. THX for all the help you've provided already. There's a lot of very knowledgeable folks here

I have a 1988 Samurai with a 1.3L engine and an Aisin carb. I recently took the distributor out to give it some maintenance since it had a wire that was about to break plus some 20 year old grime I wanted to clean. I reinstalled the distributor and redid the timing. I followed the service manual instructions for the timing.

The engine starts (roughly), but it dies out if I take my foot off the accelerator. I noticed there is pressure escaping from the spark plug area in the #1 piston. You can hear the hissing sound and see a puff of air/liquid. There is also some zoot coming out of the exhaust which wasn't happening before. I used the search feature but I couldnt find any leads for this.

Thanks in advance for any help.

BenQ
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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your spark plug must not be seated. It's possible that it got cross threaded when you screwed it in. Remove the plug, examine the threads for dammage, and screw it back in straight or replace it if it's threads are mangled.

if it still has that puff of gas when you reseat the plug, then the problem is probably a crack in the head at the plug hole. I havn't ever seen that but it's certainly possible, especially if something got overtorqued on the aluminum head.

Last edited by Baratacus; 01-30-2010 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I checked the spark plug to see if it was seated improperly and/or gotten crossthreaded and it looked ok to me. The puff of air wasnt there but there's definitely a loss of pressure somewhere. Since this problem wasnt there before i took the distributor out, could it be something with the timing?
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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yes, you could have your timing off, or you could have your plugs in the wrong sequence. Set the timing mark at 10 degrees before TDC and make sure that the firing order is 1-3-4-2
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did the timing again to 10 degrees BTDC and after playing around with the distributor rotor it starts up if I give it some gas. But, as soon as I take my foot of the gas the engine shuts off. It does backfire a bit as well.
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default timing...

When you set the timing, did you install the distributor so that the rotor was pointing to the piston sparkplug wire of the piston currently at the Top Dead Center (TDC) ignition (all valves closed) stroke?

It does not make any difference which piston it is if the sparkplug wires are connected in their proper order but it makes a big difference that the piston that you want the distributor rotor pointing at to be TDC on the ignition stroke. TDC on the exhaust stroke won't work...

Take a close look at the head around the sparkplug hole. There may be a hairline crack if the sparkplug seems to be seating properly.


I hope that this helps!
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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and make sure your plugs are on the right terminal of the distributor. The samurai 1.3L distributor turns clockwise. Common mistake is to put them on 1-2-4-3... that would work if your engine turned the other way.

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Old 02-07-2010, 01:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I got it working now. For some reason it would lose all compression when I set it up at 10 degrees BTDC on the #1 along with the rotor on the distributor pointing to #1. The firing order was like the image above from Baratacus. I was pretty frustrated and considered going to work on the timing belt but, for some reason I decided to try it out at 20 degrees BTDC on #1 and it worked like a charm.

THX for the help folks, much appreciated
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Old 02-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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sounds like you slipped a tooth on the timing belt. When was the last belt change?
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I had the hardest time getting mine started after I changed the timing belt. To change the belt you need to loosen all the valves. To adjust the valves you need to take off the valve cover. To take off the cover I had to lift up my distributor. When I reseated the distributor I didn't realize the shaft was off by a tooth. Took forever to figure out what was wrong. I completely removed the distributor, followed all the instructions in the manual, and still managed to put it back in wrong. I think on the 3rd full round of following all the instructions in the manual I got it right and it started right up.
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