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Old 06-16-2021, 01:29 PM   #1
Thearne3
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Default Distributor won't drop in fully...

I'm already feeling stupid: I rebuild my distributor and went to drop it back in the engine. The lower shaft fits into the slots above and I can see it drop into the slot below when I turn the cam. Even so, the distributor sits 1/4" above the head!

Is there an adjustment I'm not aware of? What am I doing wrong?

Must be something stupid!

Tom
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:31 PM   #2
jak
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

remove the distributor, and stick a long straight blade screwdriver down through
the head. Rotate the lower shaft with the screwdriver and see if you have the lower shaft 180 degrees off of the oil pump drive gear.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:39 PM   #3
Patrick L.
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

How about the distributor locating pin and the hole in the cylinder head ?
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Another possibility is that you're not engaging the small locator pin on the bottom of the distributor with the corresponding hole in the head. That can be a bit of a chore. Failing to engage that pin can result in the signs you are seeing.

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Old 06-16-2021, 01:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

If you replaced the shaft the new one may need to be fitted. A shaved head, or decked block comes into play. And a standard length shaft(s) may now be too long.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

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Had to gently tap mine in after the index pin hit the hole in the head. Did the same thing the last time I had it out and it was no problem removing it this time when I replaced head gasket. GENTLY
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brentwood Bob View Post
If you replaced the shaft the new one may need to be fitted. A shaved head, or decked block comes into play. And a standard length shaft(s) may now be too long.
If his shaft length is off 1/4" then he's really got issues!

I took a trashed one-piece shaft out of a distributor and replaced it with a new two-piece shaft and found that the length was fine. However, I did have to reduce the diameter of the upper portion of the lower shaft by a few thou so that it would fit inside of the coupling - the offset of the slot was just that much out.

But if OP is using the original shafts that should not be in issue, unless somehow the two ends of the lower shaft are different.

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Old 06-16-2021, 02:15 PM   #8
Brentwood Bob
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Slot deep enough? Detritus in the driver from the sides of the hole thru the head, lightning
Bolt. We can't see so we just make a guess.
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

I have also pulled and rebuilt the driver.
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Thanks for all the replies!

1. Locator pin in distributor body is also above the head, so not an issue.
2. Lower shaft sticks in upper shaft, so when I lift the distributor, the whole thing comes out. So I'm confident that the upper slot is fully seated.
3. I've tried rotating the shafts 180 degs. and in each case they engage with the pin in the block. Both ways give the same 1/4" gap between distributor and head.
4. Shining a light down into the hole: there seems to be some crud next to the pin. Can't tell what it is...HOW THE HECK CAN I CLEAN THAT OUT?? It may be keeping the shaft from seating properly.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

The locator pin fits down into the head, not above it, and seats the dissy proper spot.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:19 PM   #12
Thearne3
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Default SOLVED: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Thanks to all!

I realized that I have access to the distributor drive gear behind the valve cover. (told you I was feeling stupid!). 5 min to remove the oil return and valve cover and presto: i could see some debris in the top of the distributor gear. Then found that the replacement shaft slot was not wide enough to fit over the pin and filed that. It's a lot easier when you can see what's going on!

Now that I have the two oil access points, the two shafts should stay rust free...

Again, thanks to everyone for your help!
Tom
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Thanks for the followup. Good job.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Sometimes taking a break from a problem is what's needed! And/or asking for help.
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:46 AM   #15
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Yep, its nice to hear the solution. We don't always get that.
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Old 06-17-2021, 05:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Distributor won't drop in fully...

Tom, you did everything according to the book. The instructions say that you may have to file the slot to make things fit or may have to grind off a bit of the shaft. Good job.
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