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During an initial reading of the fault codes from the gearbox and engine controllers (using a LED and resistor as an indicator and briefly connecting pins on the diagnostic sockets to "flash" out the codes and counting the flashes -
Referral to the Alldata website produced some pictures of timing marks on the vibration damper and the right hand distributor and a suggestion that a distributor realignment would be a relatively easy fix. One hot Sunday AM found me outside the bonnet glumly staring at the stuff within.
It's easy to remove the engine cover, plug covers and plugs (small long plug socket and 450mm extension) which leaves the right hand distributor cap to be removed. I've never tried to get this off the VW Golf 16 valve twin cam motor that the V8 is supposedly based on so I can't comment on the relevant removal but on the V8 the cap is not only about 2 inches from the bulkhead but also secured by small recessed bolts. After half an hour of failure some sort of access was gained by removing the air filter and housing, lying flat on the inlet manifold.and turning the bolts about 1/8th of a turn at a time with the only collection of small extensions that both cleared the distributor cap and fitted into the small gap in the assortment of pipes and cables that lives behind it. The cap finally removed, the timing mark was visible with a mirror and a torch. As this was supposed to be a quick fix no dismantling of the front bits was to be undertaken so the starter was operated numerous times until the mark on the vibration damper was reasonably close to the timing pointer and, yes, the distributor rotor was visibly out of alignment. The two fixing bolts were slackened and the distributor confidently rotated -
With the knowledge that I was one step closer to a working cruise control if nothing else the plugs, covers, leads, air filter, casing and stuff were replaced. A quick test drive to confirm that everything was plugged back in revealed that no, the cruise control still didn't work.