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 Distributor Reconditioning - A MUST for ALL SQ's - NOT FINISHED YET.

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Cokedoctor
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Join date : 2010-12-24

PostSubject: Distributor Reconditioning - A MUST for ALL SQ's - NOT FINISHED YET.   2011-01-08, 11:42 am

In the past 2-3 weeks I've rebuilt (relubricated) 5 different distributors for various cars & what not around here. The cars were experiencing symptoms anywhere from misfiring, sluggish performance, all the way to throwing cannonball sized flames out the tail pipe. A lot of you really aught to take the time on a weekend or a day off...pull your distributor & tear it down all the way. You'll come to see that what Mitsubishi put in them ~25 years ago, has turned into glue causing parts that need to spin & rotate, to simply stick, seize & cause big driveability malfunctions. Grade 1-2 grease is suggested, as it is not too thick to cause gunking up over time. A thin grease, than will stick to the parts that need lubrication is perfect. This is a write up on how to thoroughly go through the distributor & you will be impressed with the end-results. I promise you...take your time, & you'll find there really is not a whole lot to it. Just a bunch of "once moving" parts that don't so much, anymore.

Let's Begin.

First....find yourself a nice, clean, organized workspace. A cleared off work bench is perfect.

First, locate your Distributor. It is located on the driver side, front corner of the cylinder head. Your spark plug wires run to this, as shown.


Unplug the ignition wires from the distributor cap, & disconnect the pickup coil plug (should be clipped into a holder, near the EGR Valve).

Now...pay attention to the position of the rotor, beneath the cap. Notice where it is exactly pointing. Take a sharpie....& draw a line directly from the center of the rotor edge, down the side of the rotor, continue this straight line onto the distributor housing. Make it legible & deliberate. Next, go to where your distributor positioning slide is. Index the EXACT position of your distributor by drawing a line with your sharpie, from the distributor, onto the cylinder head. This way, when you put the distributor back in the car, you will be able to install it EXACTLY the way it came out, as shown.


Now, remove the 2 screws holding the rotor, to the distributor, & remove the rotor, as shown.


It is now safe, to loosen & remove the nut or bolt (ive seen cars with either) which holds the distributor in place, in the head. Once removed, it is safe to slide the distributor out of the head. Sometimes, they get a little stuck, keep wiggling, it will come out.


Now....remove the 8mm bolt that is holding the top of the distributor together. Don't panic...no little parts are going to go flying.


Pull the top of the distributor right off the shaft as a whole, as shown. Careful, there is a small washer that sometimes sticks to the bottom of the stem as your pulling it out. Don't loose this washer.


It will then look like this. Now, remove these 2 screws holding the pickup coil in, as shown.


Now...notice the vacuum advance (the UFO looking thing, attached to the side of the distributor. It is held in, by 2 screws. First, pay attention to the rod that hooks up to the mechanical advance, inside the distributor. You'll see 2 tabs holding it in place. Bend these 2 tabs UP as best you can. Then remove the 2 screws holding the vacuum advance to the distributor. You'll then be able to twist the vacuum advance, which will in turn turn the rod, & disconnect it from the pivot nub, on the mechanical advance, then slide it out of the housing.






Now, remove these 2 screws, holding the mechanical advance into place & slide the mechanical advance off the shaft.




Now, grab a tap, & tap out the roll-pin on the end of the distributor gear. It's been in there a little while, but it will work itself out with some convincing of a hammer.


Once the roll-pin is removed, the distributor gear can be pulled off the shaft. It may be a little stuck...but there is nothing else holding it on.

Now, remove these 2 screws, holding this bottom plate in, which actually holds the distributor bearing in place.


Once the plate is removed, stand the distributor upright, on the work bench, & do some gentle yet firm tapping. This will slowly drive the bearing out of its seat, & effectly pop the shaft right out of the distributor.


You'll then have this.


This is the seal that keeps oil out of the inside of the distributor. Over time, this seal turns into hard plastic, & looses its sealing properties. I have sourced a seal I can supply to you, if you would like to install one. While you have it torn down this far, why not replace it? Notice all the oil & brown crap inside your distributor? Where do you think a lot of that came from? You betcha. If you want a seal, get ahold of me & I can supply you with one. Still working on getting a price though. The supplier gave me a couple free samples to see if they fit. I told him I would call him if I needed more.


Now...to begin cleaning.

Go out & buy yourself a couple cans of Brake Parts Cleaner.


Relocate yourself to a VERY WELL VENTILATED AREA & spray the daylights out of the distributor housing. It should come out looking like new, like this. Note, new seal in place.


When removing the old seal, use a long flathead screwdriver, go in from the bottom of the distributor, & try poking it out. It's supposed to come out the top. You could also try popping it out, from the top. Whichever way you prefer. Don't worry about mutilating it up, your not reusing it. When installing the new seal, you'll need a socket the same size as the outer diameter of the seal, to press it into place.

Back to cleaning. The key in rebuilding this, is CLEANING. Everything you put back into the distributor, should be CLEAN. Otherwise, what's the point?

Begin, by cleaning the shaft. I find it really convenient for me, to wipe the shaft with a shop towel, until ALL of the old grease is completely removed. A squeaky clean shaft is what your looking for. Also, be sure to spray out the tunnel, of the distributor. Inside the tunnel, is years & years of old engine oil that has become trapped inside with no where to go. Brake Parts Cleaner with the spray tube, will take care of this in a breeze.

Now it is time, to apply new grease, to the bumpy end of the shaft. I use black chassis grease (the stuff you squirt into ball joints). Careful not to use too much. When the distributor is spinning, you don't want excess grease to be flinging off, & getting into places it shouldn't be.

Now, it is time to put the shaft back into the housing. It will be a tight fit, through the new seal..but this is good. A touch of engine oil to lubricate the seal, as the shaft slides through it, is a MUST as it may cause the seal to overheat when the engine is first started & cause damage the seal. It will also aid in the insertion.


Install the shaft bearing retainer plate, & tighten the screws.














Now...notice something. The top part of the shaft, has that flat spot, correct? Now notice at the gear end, you'll see the sheer-pin, & a timing "DOT". The FLAT SPOT on the shaft, MUST BE on the same side as the "DOT" on the gear.


THIS WRITE UP IS NOT FINISHED - WORK IN PROGRESS - DO NOT FOLLOW UNTIL COMPLETED!

Wink Wink Wink
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