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i JUST finished my car and it lacks major power dude! it idles rough as **** and doesnt seem to have much power and it seems like the timing is wayyyy retarded. could this be the result of using the p90? before i tore it apart this time it ran with lots of power. i dont know what i did wrong. i put the cam sprocket on #2. wtf is going on here?

i did notice one thing though. my distributor fell on the ground and it broke the stator inside. i am now using an old distributor i had in the garage for a while. the stator and the reluctor were corroded just a little bit so i got some very fine sandpaper and cleaned them up. it also looks like the stator and the reluctor have worn each other down a bit by looking at them. i can see wear marks where they have contacted before. could this result in a lack of power?

i am dumbfounded here! i know the p90 head is a low compression head and it shouldnt be used on dished pistons, but it didnt run like this before i tore it apart. any ideas?



david karey

so cal z club prez!
 

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Not clear on a couple of things.

You "tore it down"? How far did you take the disassembly? Head gasket? Timing chain? Front cover? Pistons?

Could it be as simple as some marginal connectors that got jostled during the head job, and aren't making good contact anymore? Clean and grease. Failing that...

Your distributor stator should not contact the reluctor, period. After the cleaning you did to the surfaces, you should regap it per the specs in the manual. Worth looking at, since it affects performance would be the centrifical weights in the distributor body. These are supposed to be lightly greased so that they can spin out freely at higher rpms, advancing your timing. Check for proper operation of the springs and weights. While you are at it, check that the number stamped on the weight set is the same as the one you were using. Theoretically, the higher the number, the more weight, the faster all your mechanical advance kicks in. This can make a slight difference in your performance. Lastly, check for play in the dist shaft. This can cause problems like poor idle, and allow contact between the reluctor and stator (as you've noted). If the other dist is tight, you might consider pulling the good parts from one, and using it on the other.

Did you have the head cleaned? Valve job? Milled or surfaced? The head needs to be flat to get the best seal. I hear talk of gasket sealing problems, but generally, a flat clean block mated to a flat clean head yeilds few problems (unless turbo'd or NO2). A clean block (if just a head job is done) should include having the head bolt thread holes cleaned with a tap, and all flat surfaces completely cleaned, then wiped with thinner or alchohol to remove all oil. New head bolts should be used, following the recommended torque procedure. Some say retorque after X miles, others don't. YMMV.

Too many things it could be. Assuming everything above has been done, and everything else is in order, my last guess would be crank/dist/cam timing. This must be right. If one tooth is off, you get the symptoms you describe. Or worse. The FSM describes how to set all this better than I can. I can tell you how to fix it when things aren't right, if interested. If you can't set the timing advanced enough to run right, then you probably have the dist off by one tooth of the oil pump shaft.

One last thing. You stated you set the cam gear to position #2. Why? Is this a used chain? You should start in position #1, and progress to 2 and 3 as the chain stretches.

I hope this gets the noggin working.
 
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