Monday, May 25, 2015

Done In Distributor, Done Up

<This post is part of the 'Winter Project 2014/15 - New Engine Rebuild' project>
Back in December last year, I bought a knackered distributor off ebay for the princely sum of £7.50. For that price, you don't get much, but what you do get is a project. Add that to the other semi-knackered distributor that came with one of the engines I bought and you have a recipe for '2 into 1' success'. Well that's the plan at least...

Not looking too tidy.

Thankfully both distributors were exactly the same '59D' model making the join simple, knowing all the parts would match. The first thing to do then is to get them stripped down in order to clean them and assess what's what, and that all starts with tapping this small pring dowel pin out.

As I never throw anything away, ever, I found an old blunt drill bit that was just the right size to fit in the hole and use as a drift to tap the pin out. Once the pin was free, the inner shaft of the distributor could be pushed up and out. Normally the base plate would need to be removed first to get the shaft out, but in my case, it was already loose.

For the cleanup I soaked the housings in some diesel for a day or so and used a toothbrush to remove the 'baked on' cack. I also found that the cases were made of a relatively hard alloy and could withstand a fairly brisk going over with a hand held wire brush which seemed to polish the surface rather than scratch it.

The rest of the parts were simply given a wipe over with a cloth to remove the old oil. Once done, the chosen parts looked better, not perfect, but better. Unfortunately the one vacuum unit I had was broken, so a new one was bought and added to the collection of parts ready for assembly.

Round about now, I thought I'd better get a 'how to' guide to help me through the build and it was while reading this guide that I realised that I had made a bit of a mistake. It read...

"Before going further make a note of the position of the slot in the rotor drive in relation to the offset drive dog at the other end of the distributor. These two parts must be kept in the same relation to each other, or the timing may be thrown out by 180°."

Ah! I had taken both of them to bits and made no such note of the position of the rotor slot to the drive dog. When I examined the drive dog, I realised that it had an offset meaning that there was a right way and a wrong way to put it back on and I now don't know which it which!! - There is a lesson to be learned here!!

When the drive dog is rotated, the offset becomes obvious!

To resolve this slight problem, I asked about on facebook and between Jamie Swanson and Des Pullar a solution was found. I'm going to use my existing engine, Find TDC on piston 1 and photograph the position of the slot where the rotor arm sits and simply copy that position to this distributor.

As soon as I've done that, I'll follow up with a new post and place a link here


First thing to go on is the nylon collar.

Followed by the thrust washer.  

Which sits here.

Now the inner shaft can go back in.

Once fully in place, the thrust washer 
and drive dog can be put on.

Then the pin can be tapped back in.

Next on is the base plate.

Now the vacuum unit can go on.

Hook up the vacuum arm onto the
peg behind the base plate.

And screw it in place.

That's as far as I want to take it at the moment as I will be getting an electronic ignition kit in place of the traditional points, just like the one I used in this post as I've found it to be very reliable.

Just before it's stuck into storage, I gave it a quick test fit, which I'm glad about really as it reminded me that I didn't know where the clamping plate was. So after a quick search around the shed, I found it, cleaned it up and tried it out.

Now that's done, it's onto the dreaded valve timing.

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