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  #1  
Old 04-17-2008, 10:04 AM
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Distributor install--out of ideas

I am at my wits end [my wife says I had few to start with] on re-installing the distributor in my 302. I pulled it because when I first installed it I got the vac can turned to far toward the thermostat housing. I was able to time it @ 8 degrees BTDC and it ran fine, [for about 5,000 miles] I just did not like seeing it that way. So I pulled it. Now I can not get it to drop into the hole all the way. Now I have done this a few times on both of my 302 motored vehicles and know it to be sometimes troublesome, but I have never not been able to do it. Yes I have tried putting some pressure on it and bumping the starter, I have tried a 1/4 " socket taped on an extension to slightly turn the shaft, I have used a dab of grease to hold the shaft in the center of the hole. For the past three evenings I have tried this many, many times without success. It appears to me that the bottom of the distribtor shaft is engaging the oil pump shaft, just not setting all the way down. It does engage the distribtor gear enough to turn it as it goes down. Any ideas that i may be overlooking?
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:32 PM
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For starters you want the motor to be TDC on the compression stroke of cylinder #1 to properly index the distributor, if the motor isn't there you will very likely have the same problem you started with when you plug the distributor back in. Next make sure the oil pump driveshaft is properly seated in the pump, if it pulled out part way when you removed the distributor and is no longer fully seated in the pump the distributor won't go in all the way.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:25 PM
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I am with you on the TDC #1 on compression, if the oil pump shaft was partly out of pump I would think when I use the 1/4 socket it would push it back into the pump. The top of the shaft is maybe an 1/8 of an inch below the lower casting. Make sense?
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:46 PM
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I used one of those telescoping magnet tools, like a magnet on the end of an old radio antenna, to reach down in there and pick up and move the shaft around until it got seated in the oil pump right then I pulled it off to the side over the lower casting you were talking about so it wouldn't pick the shaft back up when I pulled the tool out. It worked for me and it's just a thought. Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:04 PM
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check the drive to make sure it is aligned with the distributor shaft. I think you have the centered part okay, but whether it's a square or a hex, you may need to turn the oil pump shaft slightly to get it to engage the distributor.
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Old 04-17-2008, 08:58 PM
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put a 15/16 socket on the crank bolt and turn it over as you push down on it, it's in the cam gear just not the oil pump shaft so it wont lose the timing.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:37 PM
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I had this problem and it just about made me want to take the engine apart with a sledge hammer. I finally took the distributor and placed it in the drill press and beveled out the end so it would have some chance to engage. It dropped right in that time and every time since. Good Luck.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:42 PM
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if the socket is too much just crank it over with the starter.. it will drop right in........
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Gaddy View Post
It does engage the distribtor gear enough to turn it as it goes down. Any ideas that i may be overlooking?
That is the cam gear that is turning the distributor, and has nothing to do with the oil pump shaft, which I suspect is not engaged at all at that point. If you do what Hemi advised and it doesn't work, I'll be totally stupefied! CRANK that b w/ the starter, if it doesn't seat then, you have something in upside down!
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:31 PM
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I am also trying to install the oil pump shaft. My shaft has a clip on it. I assume the clip is at the bottom. I cannot figure out a way to navigate the shaft and the clip into the hole with the oil pump shaft clip.

Any suggestions?

Craig
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craigibc View Post
I am also trying to install the oil pump shaft. My shaft has a clip on it. I assume the clip is at the bottom. I cannot figure out a way to navigate the shaft and the clip into the hole with the oil pump shaft clip.

Any suggestions?

Craig
The clip is supposed to keep the shaft from coming UP out of the hole and does indeed go to the bottom, and as far as I know, the only way to install that properly is with the pan off. I don't think you need the clip, but get some verification on that before you eliminate it. Otherwise, you'll have to pull the pan. That would explain the alignment probs.
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:32 PM
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Accidentally posted twice, so I deleted everything.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:18 PM
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I think you all for your responses. If you re-read my original posts you will se that I had tried all your suggestions except for beveling the distributor [since it is already beveled and the oil pump shaft is tapered, I did not do anything more], and re-seating the oil pump shaft. After more attempts and some thought I decided the oil pump shaft must be out of the pump and attempted re-seating it with a magnetic tool like jsutton spoke of. You have probably guessed the result, yes the shaft is now in the oil pan. I sure thought the clip would not allow the shaft to be pulled all the way out of the pump. Wrong. The clip did keep it from coming out with the distributor though. Since this motor is in my 53 F100 with Volare front suspension, the motor at least has to be lifted to remove oil pan. Oh boy!
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:18 PM
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