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Bent distributor shaft anyone?

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Old 01-15-2018, 10:15 AM
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Bent distributor shaft anyone?

So i'm driving my stock 1950 v8 flatty on the freeway, at 50 miles an hour, to go to a swap meet.
The engine kinda "misses", runs for about 30 more seconds then shuts off.
As I await AAA towing, I start my investigation. When I remove the distributor cap, I find the rotor broken in half!
Next day call NAPA, replace rotor, start truck. She runs great for about 30 seconds and shuts off. Another broken rotor.
I now look closer at the inside of the cap and find 3 of the leads are chewed up where the rotor had hit them.
There is no side to side play to indicate a worn bushing, so I have to assume a bent/warped shaft is causing the rotor to not turn "true" inside the cap.

My truck has the aluminum distributor if that matters.

Anyone else ever hear of this?

DjS
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:39 AM
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Maybe you pull it off the engine and turn it by hand? If it is out of round that much, it should be easily seen. Or have somebody else hit the starter while you watch the thing without the cap. The points require not much force to open & close and certainly do not exactly exert high stress on the shaft. Does your cap seat correctly?
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:49 AM
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I did take it out and when I turn it with a cap and rotor installed, I can feel it catch on a lead inside the cap.
It "scrubs" a lead than catches on the next, "scubs" the next then turns free for the rest of the rotation.
As an addendum; I have put about 1200 miles on the engine since it was rebuilt for the restoration. It ran smooth as silk, right up to the time it didn't.

DjS
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:25 AM
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You said there is no side to side slack. What about up and down?
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:40 AM
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How about the drive gear that is pinned to the lower end of the shaft? Any signs of it not meshing correctly with the camshaft gear?
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:41 AM
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Just what I believe to be the normal 1/16 or so.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by raytasch View Post
How about the drive gear that is pinned to the lower end of the shaft? Any signs of it not meshing correctly with the camshaft gear?
There appears to be a bit more wear on 4 of the gears than the others.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by D Sokol View Post
There appears to be a bit more wear on 4 of the gears than the others.
There are two different gear drive configurations. One has a bearing trunion at the end of the distributor shaft that goes below the gear into the front cover.
One shaft ends at the gear. Are you certain you have the matching parts?
If you have more wear on four teeth of the driven gear, I would certainly investigate this area.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:18 PM
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I just now learned how the 2 distributors were different when I called Dennis Carpenter.
I do in fact have the aluminum distributor with the aluminum cover. At least I think it is the aluminum cover because a magnet will not stick to it.
I also have a spare cast cover and distributor, but no gear on the bottom of the shaft of that one.

Dennis C is awaiting some more rebuilt distributors, but they have no expected arrival dates for either one.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:52 PM
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Now.........
I just learned from a guy at Chucks Trucks that there are 2 different aluminum covers. One that supports the extended shaft of the aluminum distributor, and one that doesn't.
I have an extra cast and aluminum cover and neither one shows a way to support the extended shaft.



On the right is an aluminum cover, the left is cast.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:30 PM
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Now here is an Ebay listing for a cover with the shaft end support. (for lack of a better name...)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1949-53-For...ZaU5uw&vxp=mtr
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 02:39 PM
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Here is a picture of 2 different distributors. The one on the left, the aluminum one, is out of my truck.




I have the cover with the shaft support as shown in the Ebay listing.
 
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Old 01-15-2018, 05:13 PM
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Here are all the types of timing covers used on 8BA motors. The type you need is "A", an 0BA-6059 (zero BA)

But you say you already have that type?

With either type of distributor, hard to see how a bent shaft below the distributor body could be the problem. Bad bushings in the body, maybe.


 
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Old 01-15-2018, 07:18 PM
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Looks like you need the cover with cast in shaft sorport, the other dist. has a ext. housing with a bushing/bearing for sorport. You may want to inspect the drive gear for dist., it may have flexed the dist. shaft, disengaging the gears which coulda broke your rotors??? sorry
good luck
Greg
 
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Old 01-16-2018, 02:23 AM
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For my 1949 8RT, a cast timing gear cover and distributor body would be period correct, but are altered to aluminium parts as well (with support, luckily). I think the same would be true to your 1950 model.

Thus, you could try to set up your cast iron parts and fit a new pinion to that dist, as your current one is now untrue and worn unevenly due to not beeing supported anyway. But be careful with the shaft endplay in this event, as already suggested.
 
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