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Old 04-22-2020, 03:26 PM   #1
Kentmac
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Default Problem installing distributor

I am having a problem installing a distributor. Hope someone can assist. Newly overhauled engine to include rebuilding oil pump. When I insert the distributor, it will not seat against the head. It will go down about 1/8 to 1/16 and no further. I have reversed the ends of the long shaft, insured that the number one cylinder is at TDC and tried the old distributor and have the same problem. I have even tried the old long shaft, with both old and new distributor, same problem. I cannot turn the oil pump with a screwdriver into the long shaft (not sure if I should be able to) When the distributor is inserted as far as it will go, I cannot turn the cam screw. I am assuming that it is engaging slightly but probably not enough.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:09 PM   #2
TMarsh
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Not an expert, but my new distributor went down within 1/4 to 1/8 inch of head. Index pin on bottom of distributor was not sliding into hole on head, used SMALL tac hammer to TAP it in place.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:09 PM   #3
Gary WA
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

The shaft ends are offset, place in hole and turn cam nut on dist. till it drops in place doesn't matter about top dead center piston, just turn till drops in place. remove shaft and see if it sets in place? Maybe the pin diameter is larger.or something in the pin hole
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Last edited by Gary WA; 04-22-2020 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:11 PM   #4
Jim/GA
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Look carefully at the end of the distributor shaft. You will see that the center tang forms 2 half-moon segments on the end of the shaft, and they are not equal in size. One is bigger than the other.

Now look at where they are going in the engine. See how the half moons down there are different sizes? Match the sizes on the ends of the shaft to the sizes down in the engine. If you are 180 degrees off, they won't mate properly.

HTH.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Did you replace the oil pump/distributor drive gear with a new unit?
These come both as parts - and as a completed unit. Either might have a defect of the gear shaft too long.

Have you noted that the "cut" in the extension shaft is a little "off center?" Likewise the bottom tang of the distributor shaft. I have both of these parts in my hand from a reputable vendor and they are made this way for a reason. Also I expect the distributor/oil pump gear is similar. This is done purposely, and matches how your "tang" should fit into the "socket." Although the parts MAY go together 180 degrees out depending on slop or wear. (I have even seen little slips of leather on used parts.)

This should not but MAY have an impact on your assembly.

One wants to assemble the top end of the motor first - since this is the part that "counts" - and let the oil pump find its place after everything above it is in place and tested. That is - lest the oil pump be pushing up on everything above it. You may have to drop the oil pan to get to this point as moving the engine/cam/distributor gear to be sure of proper engagement of the pump may be laborious at best.

Some suggestions.

Heh. I see above that many minds think alike...

Well, you have consensus on your side...

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Old 04-22-2020, 04:21 PM   #6
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

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x2 the above tips . and don't worry about tdc at this stage .. Check the lower shaft fits snug fully into the distributor ( some new ones are very/too tight) . Does the lower shaft slot neatly into the drive ? Ad as a dry run does the distributor fit snug into the head without the lower shaft in place ???? a long shot I admit ... but it has happened to me ...... If the head has been skimmed you may need to trim the lower shaft a smidgin... but DO NOT grind anything until you're sure of the cause of the problem!!

Last edited by johnbuckley; 04-22-2020 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-22-2020, 04:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

With out a shaft try installing a dizzy and see if it fits, the bores on the pin or the larger bore could be buggered. If you are using a long shaft I suggest using the original TWO piece shaft !
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Old 04-22-2020, 05:26 PM   #8
Sunnybrook Farm
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

If you remove the long shaft, will the distributor still not drop into place? That will let you know if it is a shaft problem or something else.
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Old 04-23-2020, 08:49 AM   #9
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Clean out the little hole on the head that the dist fits into, may be full of paint...........


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Old 04-23-2020, 09:54 AM   #10
Gary WA
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentmac View Post
I am having a problem installing a distributor. Hope someone can assist. Newly overhauled engine to include rebuilding oil pump. When I insert the distributor, it will not seat against the head. It will go down about 1/8 to 1/16 and no further. I have reversed the ends of the long shaft, insured that the number one cylinder is at TDC and tried the old distributor and have the same problem. I have even tried the old long shaft, with both old and new distributor, same problem. I cannot turn the oil pump with a screwdriver into the long shaft (not sure if I should be able to) When the distributor is inserted as far as it will go, I cannot turn the cam screw. I am assuming that it is engaging slightly but probably not enough.
Figure it out yet?
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:24 AM   #11
rocket1
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

I have had the same problem,two different blocks,different dist,I replaced the shaft and tapped it down ,still the dist.rests about 1/8 off the head.I finally ground off both ends of shaft to make it seat,this is what I had done before.I don't know what the answer could be.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:24 AM   #12
katy
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

Quote:
When I insert the distributor, it will not seat against the head. It will go down about 1/8 to 1/16 and no further.
Do you have the distributor retaining bolt (on the side of the cylinder head) backed out?
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Old 04-23-2020, 11:24 AM   #13
Kentmac
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Default Re: Problem installing distributor

I did get it figured out, thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I tried the advice of 1931 Flamingo and discovered that the pin on the distributor was not 100% aligned with the hole in the head (not mine, the engine). I used a drill bit and cleaned the paint out and the distributor dropped right in. Thanks so much for all the advice. I would be lost without the Fordbarn information. I have a 1930 CCPU that I removed from one frame and am installing on a different better frame and doing a lot of things that I have never done before.
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