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Old 09-19-2021, 05:30 AM   #1
Tom in TN
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Default Tuning issue - updated

For those that were following:
Fixed the vacuum leak at the back of the carb.
Put the #50 jets back in.
Changed to new spark plugs.
Checked the timing
Oh, does anyone know of a specific distributor wrench that is easy to use on the Y-block? Mine is one huge pain in the rearend, If you have one that you use and know it works good, where'd you get it - I want one too.

Haven't had a chance to road test it yet. Weather has been a bit 'unstable', shall we say.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:39 AM   #2
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

I just use an appropriate sized 1/4" drive socket with a long extension. Still a bit of a PITA but it does work.

This would work better:

https://www.amazon.com/AMPRO-T71255-...2054814&sr=8-6
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Last edited by Dobie Gillis; 09-19-2021 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:06 PM   #3
Tom in TN
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

Dobie, would you believe that is the exact dist wrench that I am using...and HATE?
I almost lost half of it down over the back of the engine/trans.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:23 PM   #4
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

What a coinkydink! Well, I guess the other alternatives are to use my method (1/4" drive ratchet w/long extension), or invest in a set of crow's feet for a 3/8 drive ratchet and a long extension. I'm out of ideas after that.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:52 AM   #5
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Post Re: Tuning issue - updated

https://www.toolsource.com/distribut...8-p-51104.html

Cheaper versions @ HARBOR FREIGHT, SEARS, etc.
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Old 09-20-2021, 02:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

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I've seen the fancy pants, bespoke special purpose wenches (for distributors). Maybe it depends on the application, on a truck any standard 1/2 box wrench works well enough.

Somebody should make a large thumbwheel or wingnut replacement where needed.
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:09 AM   #7
Tom in TN
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

So, this is what we call 'fun'? Now it's like the distributor hold down bolt has froze up. None of my fancy-pants wrenches will make it turn -EIHER way....so tonight, I will cram my big hand and a 7" long combo wrench in the hole and see if direct muscle can move it.
wish me luck...
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:24 AM   #8
Dobie Gillis
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

I suggest copious amounts of your favorite penetrant before trying to loosen the bolt. Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:41 AM   #9
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Post Re: Tuning issue - updated

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Now it's like the distributor hold down bolt has froze up.
Wait 'till you try and rotate the DIST HSNG. The fun has only begun ...
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Old 09-23-2021, 10:47 AM   #10
Tom in TN
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

Au contraire mon ami .....dist housing rotates easily...no sweat.
The Pertronix ignitor works fine, but I do recall a caution that it could change timing as much as 10 degrees, so I'm resetting it...or trying to...
Let's pretend that I have rotated the housing as far as it can go and am still needing more rotation- How mush of a PITB is it to pull the dist up, and 'back rotate' it to gain more adjustment? I put the motor together, but can't recall the mechanism...
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Old 09-23-2021, 11:01 AM   #11
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Au contraire mon ami .....dist housing rotates easily...no sweat.
GOD I love it when they speak French ...

Now let me get this right ... CRS ...

The DIST moves freely but the hold down bolt is over-torqued? Who did you get to tighten it down, MAGILLA GORILLA?

Yes, you can move a DIST housing by one or more teeth to clear but first I would make sure the thing is installed correctly and that requires a piston stop and chain verification. Is this a FORD DIST or CHI-COM?

BTW - A DIST WRENCH was one of the first things I bought off the MAC TRUCK. I don't have the time and/or patience to fiddle with misc make-shift tools.
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Old 09-23-2021, 01:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

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Originally Posted by Tom in TN View Post
Let's pretend that I have rotated the housing as far as it can go and am still needing more rotation- How mush of a PITB is it to pull the dist up, and 'back rotate' it to gain more adjustment? I put the motor together, but can't recall the mechanism...
Well let's further pretend that the ... um .. that person .. who put the motor together ... decided that the little 2c spring clip that secures the oil pump rod doesn't really do anything. Without the spring clip it is possible that the oil pump drive rod will stay along with the distributor on removal in this instance. It is also possible too, for it to fall down into the oil pan on many V8 engines. This is widely viewed as unpleasant, or so I've heard. I think on a Y-Block it wouldn't be quite as bad, but it would still maybe require dropping the oil pump to retrieve it. Maybe a magnetic retrival tool would work?

Anyhoo, before you proceed does this situation ring a bell? Just something to beware of, just wanted to point that out. That little 2c clip on the oil pump drive rod is there for a reason, and many people have discovered this the hard way.

Now, to avoid pulling the distributor, you could just move all the spark plug wires over one socket. The distributor itself doesn't really care which terminal is "#1" so long as the plugs are in proper firing order. But, the "clocking" has to allow for sufficient mechanical clearance of the housing back and forth to and fro, to set the timing. As you've discovered. My ODC does not allow for this kind of debauchery!

So you'll have to pull the distributor out if you want to get everything setup according to Hoyle. Hold your tongue just right, and allow for some Kentucky windage because of the helical gears, have to lead it a bit. Mark the distributor housing with a sharpy if necessary in alignment with where the rotor is pointing when at TDC #1 on the compression stroke. Remember, the distributor cap is removed so it's tough to gauge. You'll see where it needs to drop in at though, I think this is right about where one of the spring clips is at. It can be a bit of a pain in the you know what.
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Old 09-23-2021, 03:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

So, you like French?... wee-wee… haha

Let’s remember, the engine has run just fine for 7-8 years. Timing was perfect.

I was able to loosen the bolt slightly last week, then tightened it a little, now I’m trying to loosen it again and now, no cigar.. I did order one of those Toolsource wrenches, so we’ll see.
Crankster – thank you for the extended write up- and the most excellent idea of moving the plug wires over a hole. I think I prefer that to pulling the dist… and “Hoyle”? Didn’t he write Sherlock Holmes??
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Old 09-23-2021, 04:59 PM   #14
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So, you like French?... wee-wee… haha
No, I am OK THANKS ...
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

I just adjusted the distributor in my 56 Bird (57 distributor). Just used a long extension, short 1/2 socket and appropriate ratchet, all 3/8 drive.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:18 PM   #16
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

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Originally Posted by Tom in TN View Post

Let’s remember, the engine has run just fine for 7-8 years. Timing was perfect.
When was distributor last R&R'd though? That's when the timing trouble started, if it isn't dropped in correctly aka "off a tooth" it can cause the issue described.
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Old 09-24-2021, 08:44 PM   #17
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

The distributor is a '55, with a pertronix module?

Assuming... the distributor housing was in a good position relative to the rest of the parts on top of the engine the last time it was working properly (and wasn't removed & reinstalled)
Why is it now out of position???

IF... the breaker plate is somehow stuck in the fully advanced position that may be the source of the problem. Just a thought.
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Old 09-24-2021, 10:10 PM   #18
Tom in TN
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

Crankster, last time the dist was installed was when I overhauled the engine in late 2008. It has run fine since- no timing trouble,
dmsfrr, It is now out of positin because I installed a Pertronix electronic Igniter that replaces the points & condenser- forever. It moves the timing a little, so I am recalibrating it...
But now, and this is the source of ALL my trouble, the dist holddown bolt is stuck. As in won't rotate with the available muscle I can put on it...
However, where there is a will, there is a way. I am going to remove the accelerator/trans linkage mechanism in order to gain some clearance for a serious combo wrench, possibly even a cheater if necessary.
All I know is, I am smarter than a stupid bolt- I WILL persevere,,, :-)
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Old 09-24-2021, 11:49 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

If there's a bit too much corrosion on that hold-down bolt where it threads into the block it will snap off very easily. But you knew that.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tuning issue - updated

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It is now out of positin because I installed a Pertronix electronic Igniter that replaces the points & condenser- forever. It moves the timing a little, so I am recalibrating it...
!!! AHA !!!

What model PERTRONIX (I or II) did you purchase and PN if possible and exactly what did the instructions say as to ascertain correct IGN timing?

Do you have a WORKSHOP MANUAL (ENGLISH EDITION - NO Fr.) for the car? Like mentioned, the plates maybe frozen are not moving correctly.
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