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Matco88 02-06-2012 11:00 AM

Oil leak from the distributor
Hello DIY,

My 2000 Altima has a slow leak coming from the where the distributor meets the engine. The distributor works fine, car runs well, so I do not need to replace the distributor.

I ordered the inner seal from and I am picking up the external o ring at the dealer today. (The dealer won't sell the inner seal, have to buy the distributor itself).

I've done tune ups, brake work, tie rods etc. on my cars before and reading my Haynes manual it doesn't seem that difficult of a job.

My question has to do with Top Dead Center (TDC). On my car, using a socket and breaker, turn the crankshaft until the markings line up on the distibutor, (I believe this is TDC according to Haynes) mark the dist. body to the engine, remove distr, replace the seal/o rings, install in reverse.

I've never had to find TDC and I do not want to mess up engine timing. Is it as easy as it sounds? (From past experience, it usually never is)

Any thoughts and or tips would be appreciated.

47_47 02-06-2012 12:08 PM

It is that easy. Rotor points to #1 and mark the body to a fixed point on the engine. The body marks will reset your base timing. The gears are helical and the rotor will rotate either cw or ccw when lifting. Make a mental note of which way and how far it turned. When reinstalling, start from this noted position.

Do not allow the engine to be turned with the distributor removed. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but just more work to get it lined up correctly.

Matco88 02-06-2012 02:16 PM

Thank you 47 47.

I didn't know that about the rotor. I just thought I had to line up the marks on the distr and engine.

47_47 02-06-2012 02:21 PM

When the rotor is lined up with #1 tower the engine is at TDC.

titanoman 02-06-2012 09:41 PM

You have a timing mark on your crank pulley. This needs to be right on the mark (maybe a little before or after TDC according to whatever Haynes says. All the marks are there for you).
These marks line up twice, so use the stroke that puts the rotor at #1, then mark where the rotor is in the distributer and where the distributer in relation to the block before pulling the distributor.

Matco88 02-16-2012 08:21 PM

Thanks fellas, I'm still waiting on the seal from

I have the external o ring from the dealer. I'm looking to do the job this weekend.

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