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Can't install distributor - oil pump shaft not seated

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Old 06-06-2010, 04:26 PM
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Can't install distributor - oil pump shaft not seated

I can't install the distributor in my '78 Ford (351M). It seems like the oil pump shaft is not seated in the oil pump. What's the best way to make sure the shaft is seated in the oil pump? I think that it may have lifted up just enough when I pulled the old distributor. I'm thinking of getting a oil pump primer shaft and trying that. I've had the normal aggravating trouble of getting distributors to fully seat/engage, but nothing like this. I've worked on and off on this for over a week, and I'm no closer to getting it now. Thank you.
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:37 PM
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Bump the starter, it'll fall right in.

Josh
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Old 06-06-2010, 05:22 PM
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i installed mine out of the engine and just rolled the engine over by hand (well with a 1/2" breaker bar).... seemed to be pretty easy that way
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Old 06-06-2010, 06:20 PM
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I tried bumping the starter, and it didn't work. I'll try the breaker bar and turn the engine.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:11 PM
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Another possibility is shaft is in oil pump all the way but not in dizzy all the way. Has to be lined up just right for dizzy to drop down on it all the way. Kinda a pain sometimes when your tryin to get the rotor to land in the right position at the same time.

I've had this problem many times, sometimes they drop right in other times they fight awhile, lol.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:18 PM
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As posted in another thread when this had me whipped:

I'm not proud - it whipped me, but Dad discovered that the oil pump shaft had come out of the pump. He used a socket (can't remember the size) and 1/4"-drive long extension and got it seated. The distributor then slipped in like always. We timed it, then guestimated the timing setting by idle - ~600 rpm, checked it, and it was dead on - 12 degrees advanced. Glad to have it going, and learned from it.
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Old 07-08-2010, 07:40 PM
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for reference it was or should be a 5/16" socket.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:29 PM
whalerron whalerron is offline
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I too did mine with a socket. If you use this method, be VERY CAREFUL that you do not drop the socket off of the end of your extension when you try to remove it. I taped my socket to the extension.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:51 PM
JP808 JP808 is offline
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this happened to me and I used a magnet that was fixed to a telescoping handle ,I don't know what this tool is called but sears had several different sizes of this tool, when you have the shaft in its place just rotate the magnet off , should have no problem! best luck!
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Old 12-28-2014, 10:29 PM
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Bruce

I have had the same problem installing my distributer. I ended up using a spring loaded claw that has 4 thin metal jaws that extend out from a cable when a part on the end is depressed.y issue wasn't the distributer but the shaft seating into the oil pump. I used the claw to grasp the hex Allen shaft and manipulate the shaft up and down and circular rotation. When the shaft seated down into the pump my problem was solved. What a bugger.
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Old 04-17-2017, 11:15 PM
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Got my truck by compiling a total of 4 trucks. That's a story for another day. Anyway, first start up, the dist went all the way down, but I had no oil pressure. Pulled dist, pretty sure the oil pump drive didn't seat in the pump. Got it to sit in the pump like it's suppose to, reinstalled the dist, it wouldn't seat all the way down. I pulled the distributor and oil pump drive. reinstalled the dist and it seated fully. pulled the dist, installed and seated the oil pump drive shaft, reinstalled the dist, wouldn't seat. I pulled the dist and oil pump drive, compared the drive to another known 351M shaft, found the same length. The fun continues......
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Sixty2Uni View Post
Got my truck by compiling a total of 4 trucks. That's a story for another day. Anyway, first start up, the dist went all the way down, but I had no oil pressure. Pulled dist, pretty sure the oil pump drive didn't seat in the pump. Got it to sit in the pump like it's suppose to, reinstalled the dist, it wouldn't seat all the way down. I pulled the distributor and oil pump drive. reinstalled the dist and it seated fully. pulled the dist, installed and seated the oil pump drive shaft, reinstalled the dist, wouldn't seat. I pulled the dist and oil pump drive, compared the drive to another known 351M shaft, found the same length. The fun continues......
D0AZ-6A618-A .. Oil Pump Shaft-Includes retaining ring / Obsolete

1970/74 351C; 1971/82 400; 1975/82 351M
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Old 04-18-2017, 11:17 PM
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I've also encountered difficulty in reinstalling the distributor and getting it to engage the intermediate shaft. What I did was to use a 1-4" drive socket (5/16") and extension to engage the shaft. Rotated the shaft just a bit, and the distributor went right in!

Years back, on my first 460, the shaft didn't line up with the distributor, and I managed to push the shaft aside as I installed the distributor. Then tried to figure out why I had no oil pressure...

Anyway, duct tape the socket to the extension, and be careful not to drop anything (especially the shaft) into the pan.

As Bill said, the shaft should have a retaining ring at the top so you can't pull it out of the pump. My replacement Melling shaft also had the ring
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:01 AM
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Sometimes if things aren't too disturbed, you can just grab the crank pulley with your hands and turn it a little, and the dizzy will drop that final 3/16ths or whatever. I've also put the (manual) transmission in a higher gear, and rocked the car back and forth, and had it drop home.
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29, 302, 351, 400, distributor, ford, install, installing, oil, pump, rod, sbf, seating, shaft, v6

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