This article covers the procedure for fitting and adjusting the distributor on Mitsubishi’s 3.0 V6 after the distributor has been removed. We have had a couple of emails regarding this issue lately and in hindsight I should have included this info in the Timing Belt/Waterpump Replacement Article, better late than never though!
The first thing we need to do is ensure that the engine is at top dead centre and set to fire on No.1 cylinder. If you are doing this without the timing belt covers fitted (i.e. after replacing the belt/waterpump) setting the engine at tdc and firing on No.1 cylinder is easy, just set your timing marks up as indicated in the following diagram –
If the timing belt covers are still in place we can use the harmonic balancer marks to set the engine to top dead centre, however to be sure that the engine is set to fire on No.1 cylinder we need to remove one of the upper timing belt covers to check the position of the camshafts (from memory the left hand side or passengers side one is the easiest to remove – but don’t quote me on that!). Start by setting the crankshaft/harmonic balancer to top dead centre as shown below and then check the mark on the exposed camshaft gear. If it is pointing down the crankshaft needs to be turned another 360 degrees before the camshaft will be properly aligned and the distributor can be installed.
The next step is to install the distributor, but rather than positioning the rotor pointing to the No.1 cylinder lead as in most engines, there is a mark on the distributor drive gear and the housing that have to be lined up. See pic below.
The idea is to line up the two marks and with the stud located in the centre of the adjusting slot you can then install the distributor. Fit the retaining nut to the stud and all going well you should have an engine that now has the correct base ignition timing setting.
We will cover further setting of the ignition timing with a timing light once I gather all of the necessary info. The ecu spark advance needs to be disabled to do this and where this is done varies considerably between models.
Also, if you are replacing the timing belt and/or the waterpump on a Pajero I highly recommend you check out the Pajero V6 Crankshaft Pulley Issues article.