How many Mopar owners does it take to screw in a distributor?

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  1. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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    No, really. I'm thinkin at least 12................

    Myself, I didn't learn until about 1970 that you don't need to "gamble" on "180 off"

    My first car, a 57 Chev, I didn't even know there was a "correct" distributor orientation. I just threw it in, cranked it until the oil drive dropped in, then brought up the marks and plugged no1 in wherever the rotor pointed. If it backfired, I turned it around. I pulled into a gas station one time and the jock told me "it can't run the timing is all off."

    "How can you tell?"

    "The plug wires are in the wrong place"

    Well I DID drive it in there, and I DID drive it out!!!
     
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    • Cuda Al

      Cuda Al Well-Known Member

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      I've had people tell me the reason my car wasn't starting was because the drive gear was off, weather it is off a tooth or 90^ as long as your plug wires correspond to the rotor orientation then it doesn't matter. I feel the only reason there is even a standard is to make it easy on mechanics when troubleshooting, otherwise it doesn't matter.


      Alan
       
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      • Ahoey

        Ahoey Well-Known Member

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        Yes assuming you have enough room for the vacuum advance pot to turn to time it doesn’t matter except for the rotor orientation
         
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        • Tooljunkie

          Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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          If i cant turn it enough, i move wires over one terminal. Usually the wrong way and then cross up the firing order.
           
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          • halifaxhops

            halifaxhops It's going to get stupid around here! FABO Gold Member

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            Man do I have stories. Best was in the early 80's a guy brings in a ss Chevelle saying it blew the carburetor off after he put new wires on. Man they were on the distributor cap like Alfalfas hair. parted down the middle four to one side four to the other bank. Seriously.
             
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            • Tooljunkie

              Tooljunkie King of cobble/master of the broken bolt FABO Gold Member

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              I like arguing with someone when they insist firing order is right. Ran better before you touched it,what comes to mind.
               
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              • halifaxhops

                halifaxhops It's going to get stupid around here! FABO Gold Member

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                Doing what i do I get some stuff that you just want to laugh at the person. Best was a guy with a big dollar hemi build. I get the call I have a distributor that needs to be rebuilt. OK no prob send it to me. I have two more also I will send. Holy crap he has three of them $$$ distributors. So, I get them two are NOS in the box one needs a rebuild, just checked out the nos and left them alone and rebuilt the one that was needed. Send them back and around 6 months later he calls all pissed off. What did you do to my distributors I just got the motor back in the car and put them all in and cranked and cranked and the do not turn! The shafts are too short. WTF right. I ask him to take a pic of the hole with the distributor out he does and guess what no oil pump drive. He was not happy when I told him the builder never put it in and now you have to take the motor apart since you cranked it so long without oil pressure. Never heard another word.
                 
                Last edited: May 5, 2022
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                • Ahoey

                  Ahoey Well-Known Member

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                  Sounds to me like the man was messing around with stuff he knew absolutely nothing about, or it could be the other possibility ......!
                   
                • halifaxhops

                  halifaxhops It's going to get stupid around here! FABO Gold Member

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                  Yup one of the ones that pays for everything but wanted to do something simple. I get that all the time.
                   
                • Mark Wainwright

                  Mark Wainwright Well-Known Member

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                  An expensive lesson.
                   
                • halifaxhops

                  halifaxhops It's going to get stupid around here! FABO Gold Member

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                  I am sure he did not put the engine in either. Wonder if the engine builder covered it? 25 K motor easily.
                   
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                  • Ahoey

                    Ahoey Well-Known Member

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                    Had a couple of expensive lessons in my life also. Like we all do. And we all learn eventually that “It’s a smart man that knows when he’s in over his head”
                     
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                    • 67Dart273

                      67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                      That is something I learned CLEARLY from my job at the auto hobby shop in the Navy. Guys would drive cars in, DRIVE them in, and now they won't run. "Let's review............"
                       
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                      • 67Dart273

                        67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                        Bear in mind there ARE SOME ENGINES which you do not want to wire up "one wire off' and try to run it. Comes to mind the GM V6's. There is "even fire" and there is "odd fire" and some of them had distributor caps where the spacing between wire towers was NOT symmetrical, that is they were "paired" with two close together and two further apart, and the points or pickup trigger was built the same way.

                        OddFire-B.jpg

                        I believe there were some 4's built that way but I cannot think of an example
                         
                      • barbee6043

                        barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                        Whats bad is IF you know you don't know Chit, and hire someone to do the job and then you find out laer that guy does not kno:poke:w chit and you paid him!!!
                         
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                        • Mark Wainwright

                          Mark Wainwright Well-Known Member

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                          We had a 76 Buick Skylark many years with an odd fire 231 cu in I believe. Never could get it to idle smooth but once off the idle it smoothed right out. Got decent mileage with it also just rough on the idle.
                           
                        • MileHighDart

                          MileHighDart Well-Known Member

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                          You don't screw it in, you drop it in.
                           
                        • MOPAROFFICIAL

                          MOPAROFFICIAL FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                          GM sb vs mopar sb, chevy have odd number of teeth.. that's how they can be a tooth off and not run quite right no matter what wire routing, while a SB mopar is even at 18 teeth and rotor can be anywhere as long as the wires are moved and in the correct firing order.
                           
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                          • mopar head

                            mopar head Well-Known Member

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                            I have an old Ferd 390 that has spiral type dist. gear that would probably act the same way. Tough to get lined up.
                             
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                            • barbee6043

                              barbee6043 barbee 6043 FABO Gold Member

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                              I guess you could say the slant dist. crews in!!???:poke:
                              I can generally do it all by myself.
                               
                            • MOPAROFFICIAL

                              MOPAROFFICIAL FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                              Had one twist in half and lose oil pressure.
                              Had to change it in car 'galaxy 500' with hoist to raise it a hair and remove the pan enough to get my hand in to remove the broke pc. The tension washer that held it up was not there. Was a pita. Had another one that had a burnt exh valve or 3... reman'd the heads and reclocked the distributor 'it was rigged to run ' and the damn intermediate rod...it was jammed into the distributor shaft and even cracked it. Had to pull it and weld and grind the distributor. Got it running great. "Like a top" as they say.
                              Did another in a 'been sitting' deal. LSS...fired it and no oil psi....i show up and went to prime the pump by removing the distributor and turning the rod......but no intermediate rod was there...it and the oil pump was sitting in the bottom of the pan!
                              Put truck on lift, pulled pan to install new pump and found them there. Did the rod bearings 'since they ran it dry' and pump n rod... still driving it this day 8 yrs later.
                              Damn 390's .
                              ..
                               
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                              • mopar head

                                mopar head Well-Known Member

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                                Mine taught me how ignorant I was as a young man. Oil priming? never heard of such thing, but boy I learned the hard way. Fresh rebuild, installed, fired up, backed out for a quick spin, heard clattering, quickly brought back to garage. nervous and stumped, I asked somebody what`s up and was informed it needed primed and was told to pull oil pump and pack with Vaseline. I went through the nightmare of dropping pan enough to barely get to it- couple of inches- and reinstall. It worked, whew! that`s when I became a firm believer in mechanical oil pressure gauges.

                                Said engine , heavy rig truck, soon sunk the exhaust valves. Bought a rebuilt set off a machine shop and also learned of exhaust seats. Boy sometimes we learn the hard way:lol:
                                 
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                                • grampyjay

                                  grampyjay Well-Known Member

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                                  How many Mopar owners does it take to screw in a distributor?
                                  Only 2 - But I don't know how in the world they would get in there!!
                                   
                                • 67Dart273

                                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  LOL, no that is not why. It's the V6 "odd fire" nonsense
                                   
                                • 67Dart273

                                  67Dart273 FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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                                  "Don't try." What I used to do with Chev EG was get it as close as I could, then just bump it until the pump drive engaged, then bump it back around "on the marks." If it wasn't where I wanted it, move it a tooth and try again. Once I finally learned that, it never took me more than once or twiice to "get it in." I don't remember Ford being any different. I have not set up many.

                                  I DID have a 289 shear off a pump drive, someone had put a high pressure pump in after rebuild and "I guess" the factory allen shaft did not like that
                                   
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