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Old 01-23-2020, 09:31 PM   #1
35fordtn
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Default Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

For craps and giggles I decided to do a quick post on how I perform a distributor rebuild as this has been a topic on here a lot, and I had a few to do tonight and thought I’d document one of them. I’m not used to photographing my work and certainly have never videotaped such so excuse the extreme amateurism of it all. Fair warning this will be loooooong.


Attach is the distributor as received it was disassembled as far as it will go, checked etc. this one needed both bushings replaced. It’s been reported on here how big of a task it is to remove the upper bushing. With a 7/16-14 tap you can remove it in less that twenty seconds (see photo). After disassembly they are put in my automatic hot aqueous parts washer that is usually used for engine and transmission work to remove the built up tar, grease and oil. Then everything except the breaker plate, weights, and rotor are placed in a automatic tumble blaster. A normal person would not need this equipment as purchasing both would be over $12k new. I use them as they are automatic and I can move on to other aspects of the project thus saving time for me and less billable hours for the customer. After this process with little hands in everything is clean and dirt free.

FYI check the point posts on the breaker plate for wear, and check the weight springs. The weight springs can be bent to manipulate the advance curve (something I commonly do)











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Old 01-23-2020, 09:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Now while the parts are washing and blasting I media blast the shaft and rotor and breaker plate in a extremely fine media like soda. And assemble the breaker plate using modern stainless hardware. I also check the shaft for run out and straight with a plastic hammer. The weights are cleaned and the cam polished to a chrome like finish to extend point life. The rotor contact is polished as well. The vacuum brake plunger lip is machined off. The plunger cleaned and a new piece of leather installed.


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Old 01-23-2020, 09:45 PM   #3
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Default Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

I then throw the cap bails, timing indicator and screw, and vacuum brake adjuster in the plating pile to be cadmium plated; they are replaced with fresh cadmium plated as original pieces (no spray paint, like I used to do). The cleaned prepped and ready pieces are latex out for reassembly. Thaw shaft where the weights ride is polished to a shine. I use super lube all over the weights when installing the weight to the shaft, you can use too much!! I use modern external snap rings in place of the single use split rings for used. New bushings and pressed in using a bushing driver and reamed to fit if need be. The shaft is insulated; I use electrical tape, but I a recent post I see bubbas uses shrink wrap with is a better idea. Refer to the ford service bulletins if you wonder why we insulated them! I use engine assembly lube when I reassemble them anywhere where the bushing rides.




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Last edited by 35fordtn; 01-24-2020 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Will there be follow up including setting points?
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Beautiful! Among many other parts, I have one of Michael's distributors (converted to 11a) on my car that went to Auburn IN and back this past summer. Buy with confidence!
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

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Will there be follow up including setting points?
I took a very crappy video with my phone setting it up one handed.. soon as it uploads I'll post the link.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Wow- very nice work! Well done, Mike.
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

One question : why machine the lip off of the vacuum brake plunger? Aren't you worried about the leather disk getting displaced?
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:19 AM   #9
35fordtn
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

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One question : why machine the lip off of the vacuum brake plunger? Aren't you worried about the leather disk getting displaced?
Good question. The leather discs I use wont fit inside the lip on most of them. I use a epoxy to hold them on that does such a good job that Id have to grind the leather off if I ever wanted to remove it. I only use 1/4 turn tension so they would rarely see any wear regardless
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

The body comes out real nice in that tumbler. Looking forward to the video. Thanks for posting.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:59 AM   #11
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Thank you Mike!
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Old 01-24-2020, 09:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Bravo!
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Mike , I would like your thoughts on cam and point contact lube ??????
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Old 01-24-2020, 04:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUBBAS IGNITION View Post
Mike , I would like your thoughts on cam and point contact lube ??????
Jim,
I've used everything from wheel bearing grease, silicone, etc etc..
Recently I have been using a clear distributor cam lube made by Wells. I dont swipe any on the distributor cam until AFTER I have run it on the sun Machine. After I polish the cam they are usually slick as can be. My therory is that it helps the points break in on the machine without it.. Maybe that's a wrong theory??

Whats your thoughts? I've learned a lot reading what you post on here, and am open to any "why the heck is he doing this" thoughts from you.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Does anyone not remove the oiler and wick? Residual oil/grease will hold glass beads and media in the wick with a potential for ruining a new bushing. Another 20 second job and only adds a dollar cost to the rebuild. That way, everything is clean and a blasted oiler will eventually rust. I've had many that the spring was broken. I would highly recommend doing it. I also learned about insulating the shaft from Bubba's video and Michael's procedure. A good idea.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Jay it’s not shown in the photos but after blasting I remove the Oiler and wick. I do not reinstall the wick. Maybe I should? I use engine assembly line in the bushings and it seems to hold in for many miles. I am doubtful that anyone actually puts oil in the little Oiler throughout use
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Good thread , just a little clarification Mike (3rd gen ) and I talk quite a bit and exchange ideas so this is just another opinon on a ageless products. Everyone knows "my oil is better than your oil" , once upon a time when i taught ignition for Lincoln Tech the staff played cards every night at lunch. On one of these lunch hours one of the guys was going on and on ( we heard it all the time) about his registrated dogs etc . blah blah blah . One of my friends finally said Bob ( not real name) does your million dollar dog ever lick his balls ???? To which Bob says i guess he does from time to time....Why ?? My friend says when he left for work his old mutt cross breed dog was laying on the back porch licking his balls!! And i just wondered if he enjoys it just the same as your dog would ????? THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS SURE HE WOULD !!!

First i am a Marvel Oil nut , love the stuff and always have could write a book on it !!!!!!




We use a special plastic Lawson polishing wheel to polish the cams ..

I use nothing but CS-47 NAPA contact points for these old flatheads , just being the best quality i have ever used period......

We use Mobile One grease , sysn wheel bearing grease.

We Lube ALL internal parts with a spraylube (pic shown ) that has proven to work and stay on the parts for a long time......

I hate to see one of my units 6 months later with rust so we have experminated with different stuff and this has worked ....

I had some returns with short life years ago and found the distributor rubbing blocks to be worn , needing adjustments etc.

I think the fiber is too dry and soak the points in marvel for some time before installing . (wipe contact with brake clean before using )

So we add mobil one to the rubbing block rear area so that as wear happens it will keep picking up fresh grease .........

Hope this helps , its just a time proven program , ( we did the flatheads in Newport for 32 plus years)))) May change next week to something better , once proven......
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:13 PM   #18
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

That plastic wheel is called a Nylabrade from Layson.....
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

Lots of interesting details. There is always more than one way to skin a cat. Knowledge without the accompanying experience is pretty much useless, but we all have to start somewhere.
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Old 01-26-2020, 04:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Distributor rebuild with pictures and video

I’m guessing that’s Mobil 460 greaser
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