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Old 07-03-2013, 02:48 PM
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390 Distributor Problem

Well I finally found time to install the rebuilt 390 into my Merc and now I have a problem with moving the 360 Distributor to adjust the timing,with the distributor installed it will not move in the block to fine tume the timing, will the 390 block accept a 360 distributor or do I need to buy a 390 distributor? I have tried two different distributors and neither of them will move with out raising up the whole distributor, when they are out of the block you can move the cap while holding onto the gear but not when it is installed. Any help is appreciated. Thanks

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Old 07-03-2013, 04:18 PM
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Those tend to "heal" themselves into the block. If you look at the middle of the dizzy housing, it has a huge hex shape to it, just right for a big ol crescent wrench to turn it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:21 AM
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Get a decent aftermarket distributor, the 360 Ford "retarded smogger" curve is one of the worst for mileage and performance.Back in the 70's before electronics took off even swapping to a Mallory YL dual point was even good for 2-3 MPG and better acceleration.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:50 PM
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Jeff B

I'm willing to buy an aftewr market distributor but if this one does not fit, how am I to know that a new one will. The distributor, when removed, turns freely when the drive gear is held by hand. With the distributor installed it seems to sit a little higher in the block than it did with the 360 block and when tightened down locks up any ability to turn the dist to time it if with the lock down screw out. when you try to turn it it raises up the dist.

I had some problem setting the intake manifold on it as the heads had been shaved a little, could this be my problem? again with the dist out and holding the drive gear I'm able to turn the cap freely, never have I had a problem like this.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:20 PM
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Milling the heads is probably the root cause. The dizzy sets lower in the block now,unless it does not pass through the intake man of course.
Try using 2 gaskets to give some clearance under the dizzy to see if the helps. That should be a good indication.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:29 PM
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LA Tech

I will try that but I don't know if that will solve the problem because the dist raises about an 1/8th of an inch when trying to turn the cap without it being locked down. that is interesting about the bottom of the dist as I was thinking that taking about an 1/8th inch off the drive shaft might help but if the bottom of ths dist sets down firmly on the block my idea wouldn't help, so your input has already helped me not make a bad decision. thanks
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:34 PM
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This discussion may be of help:332-428 Ford FE Engine Forum: how to re &re fe distributor
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:44 PM
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Jeff B

Thanks Jeff, placing two gaskets allowed me to adjust the timing but the problem was that the driver going to the oil pump was not in the pump but was off to the side. This is not a good engineering factor with the Ford engines as the driver for the oil pump should be locked in to the pump or more guide should have been placed on the top of the pump. I had an early Ford that I burned up the engine because the oil pump shaft had moved up and was just getting me enough pressure to keep the oil idiot light off. Again I thank you for your input and I would caution any one rebuilding these engines to glue the driver into the pump when rebuilding them.
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