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Old 02-22-2010, 08:59 PM
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'99 Vortec 350 Question

I had a buddy call me up with a misfire issue, wanted to get some more opinions..

The truck was having a misfire. He pulled out the distributor, found that the gear was missing some teeth. He put a new gear in, replaced cap and rotor, new plugs, new wires, etc.

The motor is currently still experiencing a misfire. I am fully aware that you have to hook up a scan tool to set the time correctly, and it was confirmed that all the wires are in the correct firing order.

My MAIN question are as follows:

-What would cause the distributor gears to break off in the first place?
-What type of material are the distributor gears made out of, and what would the result of these getting inside the internals of the motor?
-If the main cam bearings were worn out, and the came was moving around side to side in the block, would that cause the teeth to break?
-If the distributor had seized, is it possible that the timing chain possibly jumped a gear? (Motor has 240,xxx miles, I'm sure the chain is loose)

Any opinions are appreciated!

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Old 02-22-2010, 09:48 PM
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the oem dist gears are known to fail and theres a lot of torque being applied to the dist gear from the oil pump when the engine is cold and thats where the wear is from especially if you use anything thicker than the 5-30 recommended , I lost mine at 100K , I replaced the whole thing cam , gear and timing set , I was told its the chain getting loose combined with the roller cam that causes the cam to snap back and forth on the gear face from the roller pressures and when the oil is cold , if you got 240, 000 miles out of it I consider that extremely lucky ( alot of hiway miles I presume ) , the gear is made from sintered metal then mellonized ( hardening process) and when it breaks it will get ground up in the oil pump and might stick the bypass open , when Mine went I pulled the pan and replaced the pump too ( it had wear onthe lower plate andthe inner faces from the grindings , most of the crud was caught in the filter so I replaced the pump as a precaution as its in front of the filter I still had 40 Psi at hot idle ) if your experiancing loss of oil pressure ( at hotidle ) I would then look at the bearings. I pulled a main bearing and found no wear or damage . this is why a good filter is worth the money ! one thing if you replace the gear/cam . is to flush the distributor galley with alot of oil to help flush out any peices ( I poured about a gallon thru there and abunch of powder like stuf came out , and I now run a magnet on the botom of the pan and on the filter to help catch any remains .
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