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Old 09-20-2005, 11:44 AM
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Condensation in HEI Distributor

I have a 67 C-10 Chevy pickup with HEI Distributor that keeps getting condensation under the cap, causing it not to start when left alone for more than 2 weeks, and having to replace the cap, coil, and related parts about every six months. This last time the truck started long enough to move it somewhere I could work on it and died. I am ordering a Mallory 8548201C to replace the distributor and see what happens. My concern is that I cannot explain the condensation in the cap. If anyone can give me some ideas as to what I can do to prevent this when installing the new distributor, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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Old 09-20-2005, 11:50 AM
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Where are youn storing the truck?.....Condensation doesn't occur unless there is a moisture problem. Chances are another distributer is going to have the same problem.

If the truck is going to sit a while, throw a blanket over the engine....will help keep condensation away.
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Old 09-20-2005, 12:03 PM
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The truck sits in an exposed carport facing the exposed railing, the truck was fine for like four years, this has been an issue the last two. It seems odd as my Mustang which is points sits next to it facing the same way and I can leave the car for weeks and it fires right up. Probably an unrelated observation I guess.
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:33 PM
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Did you try changing the cap? Maybe there's a crack in it...
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Old 09-20-2005, 01:44 PM
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Replaced all related hardware. and the truck would be fine until the condensation came back, and then start over again.
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Old 09-20-2005, 02:00 PM
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Look were the Mustang distributor sits compared to the Chevy. The Mustang is probably close to the center of the hood. Most GM's are not far from the cowlu/firewall and when it rained it rolled off the cowl right onto the distributor.

Maybe the mustang has better seals around the hood. Does that 67 Pickup have any?

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Old 09-20-2005, 02:07 PM
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I am also looking into replacing whatever weather stripping might be needed, but as far as I could tell, no other parts appear wet or have the look of prolonged exposure to condensation. Just ordered the new distributor, hope I can resolve the cause prior to installing it. Also the truck does not have anything on the underside of the hood, Is there something I can add to help with the problem?

Side note: Read in another forum that a possible cause was a worn distributor shaft allowing water to come up from the engine. Their solution was a vented distributor cap. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 09-20-2005, 05:32 PM
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condensation

Doc here,

First off, you probably replaced the rubber gasket below the Coil already , Right? If not that is the number one place to start...

Next the seals on those dry up over the years and become pathways for water travel into the engine compartment..

Corvettes ARE notorious for this! You don't necessarily Have to replace the seal yet..

What I do as a first line of defense is, coat the whole seal with Armorall (I mean soak that bad dawg and let it sit overnight with the hood open, (about the only thing Armorall is good for...)

The seals if dry will soften and expand...should provide a good seal again..If it works for you , include it in your regular tune up procedure.

You may use also ATF, WD~40 , Silicone spray lube, Tire shine..The trick is to let it expand with no contact pressure on it..

Another Consideration is the Cowl flap area (in front of the windshield, for venting) Could have rusted out through the firewall and is collecting water and dripping on the dizzy .. look for rust spots..This in concert with a Leakey windshield wiper hose, can cause all kinds of havoc.

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Old 09-20-2005, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the tip on the rubber gasket. Yes I did replace it along with the rest of the hardware. I will check the cowl area next and see what can be done there. Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-23-2005, 08:51 AM
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condensation

Is the pvc system working correctly? If the PVC valve is stuck shut combustion gasses which are full of moisture can be forced up the distributor shaft and up into the cap. I have seen this happen one other time.
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Old 09-23-2005, 09:30 AM
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I believe the PVC appears to be functioning properly.

Got the new distributor in yesterday, will checkout the distributor shaft and give everything another look, and then install the new distributor. Keeping my fingers crossed.
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