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Mazda 323



  • i want to say it is static timing, no cranking, only ign is on, the timing marks are on the side of the motor if you take the passengers side wheel and cover off,sorry i forgot your driver side are on the other side, over there, i`m in aust,there is two marks on the harmonic balancer,line that up with o,the dist should have the cap off and you should see the rotor button pointing in pot 1 position, not at the most top position but the position that compresses,that`s why i suggested a screwdriver in the pot ,to tell you your stroke, grab the coil wire put it 3-4mms away from the rotor button and twist the body of the dist, if you have set to power stroke on mark, side of engine this should show spark,before youeven start all this, rotation can be seen by cranking and looking at the rotor buttons direction,thats how i found it, :sick:
  • My question is: can the front hubs be removed without also removing the knuckle and pressing out the rotor,bearings, ect..

    I want to fix a broken lug.
  • Is there a way to change the layout to a more conventional format? I mean, the postings are are not in order and I get lost trying to follow a thread.

    Can my settings be changed somehow?
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  • The only way to service those studs is to disassemble everything. Might as well service the bearing assembly with new bearings and seals as well. I suggest you use a valvoline synthetic grease for the wheel bearings. Lifespan of those bearings is between 120K to 150K. At 150K they are usually starting to burn from lack of grease. Pay attention when you dissasseble, there are two spacers that go between the bearings.

    If you have not done this before and never used a press before, find someone who can do it for you. Use that press the wrong way and you are in serious trouble.
  • Looking for help interpreting the circled tests here: troubleshooting chart. E.g. which terminal is positive? With one wire of the multimeter at the positive terminal, where does the other wire attach? (Some of the tests are outlined on this coil tests page but others aren't.)

    Just to verify the basics again after replacing the distributor: I am getting spark at the plug, and using the ol' screwdriver-as-stethoscope trick, I found the injectors are indeed ticking away *. As far as timing goes, after retracing my steps, I should point out the following:

    Mistakes I probably made with re-installing the timing belt, after I replaced the water pump (earlier this summer): timing belt reinstallation.Mistakes I probably made with installing the new distributor: distributor installation.
    * = If the plugs smell of gas, can't it be assumed that (1) the injectors are working, and (2) the timing is off (meaning gas but no ignition?) Anyway, the plugs smell of gas. I found that out when I sprayed starting fluid in the cylinders to see if it would run a bit for me, which it didn't.

    As always, thanks to girlcarbuilder and 91323vic for your patience and help. Stopping and starting this project has contributed to my oversights - some of them critical I know.
  • attention. You have spark and you have fuel. Time to quite trying to find a problem in the distributor or ignition system. Problem is not in there. That means distributor is working, injectors are working and so is engine computer in that system. Fuel system may have a question mark on it at this point.

    Very good on the alternative fuel source test. Spraying starting fluid and a no start is a dead ringer for a timing problem!

    You have clicking at fuel injectors and gas smell at the plugs...I strongly suspect we are dealing with timing just based on that. Now answer this question for me. Did the car run before you changed the timing belt? If so, I strongly suspect that timing is off at the valves and we still have to question ignition timing as well since its timing is set off of the camshaft. As you are beginning to see. Proper tools are needed to get this right the first time and in a reasonable time. Proper diagnosis leads you to a proper conclusion as to where to look for trouble. Otherwise you wind up chasing your tail looking for ghosts that are not there. Happy Halloween.

    One way we all learn, the hard way. Answer my question so we can get to the next step.
  • Yes, the car ran before I removed the timing belt (which I didn't change - I reinstalled it because it looked excellent.) The car also ran after the timing belt was reinstalled... Which is why I didn't suspect a timing issue at first, after it decided it wasn't going to start anymore.

    It ran but I haven't been driving it, so it wasn't run a lot. I only ran the engine to do other things, like backflush the cooling system.
  • Just to clarify part of what I said above: It ran for a couple of days after I reinstalled the timing belt, then suddenly it wouldn't start anymore.
  • Well I was able to get it to start, by trying something rather fast and simple. When I took the distributor cap off, I noticed the rotor wasn't lined up to any post. Instead of taking the plug out of cylinder #1, testing for arc from the coil to the rotor, etc, I decided to rotate the distributor and try to start it. It took about 1/4-3/8" clockwise turn, which was about how far off it looked when I had the cap off. Now I just did this as a test. It wasn't my intention to vary from the directions I'd been given above, but when I got out there under the hood, I was suddenly curious to see what would happen.

    When I originally took the timing belt off duing the water pump replacement, I made my own marks (based on someone else's advice), was dead careful not to move the pullies, and reinstalled the timing belt based on the marks I'd made. I didn't have a manual at the time so I just did what I was told. Anyway, I guess that method doesn't guarantee you'll have proper timing again, eh.

    Since the new distributor is, for now, in a significantly different position than the old one was (assuming 1/4-3/8" is significant), is that enough by itself to deduce that the camshaft and timing pullies aren't aligned to the timing marks? If I take the timing cover off and everything *is* in alignment, *then* what do I do?
  • Uh, huh. Now you see why I say to buy the repair manual and the timing light!

    As you have learned, reminds me of me at times working on a no budget that not the right tools/info wastes a lot of time. So much for time versus money! Been there, done that.

    Okay, if the timing belt is off, it would be a tooth or so and that is it. That can be a real problem long term. You are either right on it or very close. The timing technique you used on the distributor is called by the old timers "road timing." Not a final solution, but a technique used often to rough in the timing to get a vehicle being put back together started. You still need a timing light to final set the timing.

    So make this simple. Use the book for reference to get the correct marks. Either buy one or check one out of the library. First remove the upper timing cover. Set the top mark in place by doing the following. Make sure the ignition is off. Only turn the crankshaft by hand in the same direction the engine turns to set that top mark. The bottom mark should line up with 0 or TDC whichever is on the bottom cover mark. One the bottom gear on this engine, TDC mark is the same as the marks on the timing cover. That is usually the case. On the top mark, I have used a very small screw driver shaft to line up the tooth or valley that the mark on the gear is on lines up with the mark on the engine. Eyes can easily fool you and you could be off a tooth. Oh, the belt life is 60K miles. Don't push it, because if it breaks on this engine, the pistons will hit the valves. Cheap replacement belts are not worth it. Refer to my other posts about belt changes if you need to change it.

    Any way, after you verify the gear timing marks, then use the timing light to final set the ignition timing. You may need further instruction on how to use that light.
  • Will do. Gettin' the timing light, and will make sure everything is set right.

    I read that this engine is the non-interference type (link: Mazda B series.) Are you sure about the piston-valve crash scenario? I thought that wasn't a concern with these.
  • You are correct. The B6 is listed as non interference.
    That does not mean that belt breaking/slipping will never cause serious damage. Sometimes the heads are milled, and thus the valves and pistons are closer together.

    So... it is always a concern.
  • Wrong!!!! It is most definitely an interference engine. I even know this from personal experience when the crank broke off in front of the engine. The pistons and the valves did dance together and bend the valves before the engine died. This damage usually occurs after the crank rotates more than a quarter turn with the camshaft being stationary. Now, I know this to be for sure on interference for 89 and up engines. I do not know for sure on earlier engines.

    One rule of thumb I exercise because I have gotten incorrect info in the past, if it has a timing belt, treat it as an interference engine! You can never go wrong with this. Not to mention, it gives you practice for when you deal with one!
  • leeyahhleeyahh Posts: 1
    My car is idling bumpy and then when i accelerate it is bumpy. it only happens when the car warms up. I accidently sprayed the engine with water one day when I was filling my water up and it started steaming, could that have been the issue?
  • kujhackujhac Posts: 14
    Take off and dry out the distributor cap.
  • thacherthacher Posts: 11
    1978 Mazda; 323; DX; 1.6L.
    Wanted to get an opinion on the difficulty of replacing the clutch on this vehicle. Have never done it on a front wheel drive vehicle before but a few times on rear wheel driven cars.
    Any suggestions on a quality clutch kit?
    Thank you,
  • sanman07sanman07 Posts: 3
    Not sure about the tranny, but my 1994 323 WILL NOT start. Apparently they're known for it. They may work perfect for a long time, then one day you get in and it urns over fine, but will not start. I've changed the fuel pump, coil & coil wire, distributor cap, rotor and cannot get spark. Fuses are all in tact.The cars not worth spending the money on to take to a garage and figure it out, so if you hear of anything with the same issue and a fix, you would be my
  • sanman07sanman07 Posts: 3
    Hi there,
    Do you mean replace the whole unit - i mean the part that actually goes into the engine? Sounds like i have the same issue - no spark and I've replaced everything except the distributor
  • kujhackujhac Posts: 14
    With the distributor cap off and turning over the engine, have someone watch and see if the rotor turns. If not, you need a new distributor shaft.
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