My father and I replaced a coolant hose today, because the old one was broken, but to do so we had to remove the distributor cap. Now, the engine just won’t start. Every time we turn the key, the engine turns over and makes a lot of a noise, almost as if it’s about to start, but never does. There don’t seem to be any problems other than the distributor cap throwing off the timing. Can you tell me how to properly adjust the cap so that the timing will be correct? I have a 1994 Ford Probe, with a 4-cylinder Mazda 16-valve DOHC fuel-injection engine. Any information you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
None of the wires were removed/unplugged, so the firing order couldn’t have been changed, by my understanding. Also, I can’t imagine how moisture could have gotten into the cap, so I don’t think that’s the problem either. The only thing we did was remove one bolt, and pulled the entire cap off the engine, and with it came a gear thing that went into the engine. We think that might have somehow been rotated, causing the timing to perhaps be off by a bit. Also, where the bolt holds the cap on the engine, there is a wide, curved hole allowing us to rotate the entire cap by almost an inch when putting it on the engine. It appears the angle of that chages the timing, and we have tried rotating the entire distributor a little bit in an attempt to get the timing just right. This was making some sort of difference, as the engine would make slightly different noises when turning over, depending on how far up or down we had the distributor.