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Dougie 10-12-2012 05:24 PM

Distributor Fit Question
I am installing an HEI in my 327 Chevy. I bought the engine unassembled. It came with an Edelbrock aluminum intake. I bought a new HEI and when I fit it in, I notice that there maybe 1/8" side to side play when it's fully seated. No gasket or hold down installed yet. Is this normal? Thanks.

poncho62 10-12-2012 06:00 PM

Do you mean play in the shaft or the housing?....The housing should be tight......I think 1/8" play in the shaft is a bit much

327NUT 10-13-2012 12:17 AM

Just to confirm, is the distributor all the way down on the oil pump driveshaft and seated against the int. manifold? If it is then yes as Poncho62 says but more than a little bit......there shouldn't really be any noticeable side movement.

Dougie 10-13-2012 11:48 AM

Theres no excessive play in the distributor itself. It's new. The distributor is in the slot for the oil pump and seated on the manifold (Edelbrock Performer). It's where it belongs. I can move it side to side about 1/8" total at the top. I read on a webpage I found on big block Chevys that on that engine it is caused by the hole in the manifold being made intentionally oversized to accomodate slight misalignment of the intake manifold. They said just center it and bolt it down. Does that sound right? Thanks

327NUT 10-13-2012 02:57 PM

I just went out and measured my old cut off Chevy dist. that I use as an engine primer, It's exactly 1.24" or basically 1 1/4". I don't have a Chevy intake here right now as I have switched over to 500 Cadillac stuff. The Cad dist. fits very snug in the int. hole. Maybe someone reading this could measure their Chevy int. dist. hole and tell the OP. this a brand new Edelbrock intake or a used one? if used maybe the prior owner for whatever reason bored the hole out a little. I don't think just centering it and cranking down the bolt is a good idea at all, it should fit properly. 10-13-2012 03:17 PM

It is common for aftermkt intakes to have a large distrib hole. This is done because of tolerance stack. Due to use of other aftermkt pieces that are not to factory spec. Intake gaskets, head gaskets, cylinder heads etc.

The lower part of the distrib centers the unit in the block.

bigdog7373 10-14-2012 02:09 PM

Mine has no play at all. It's supposed to fit tightly to control oil flow. That's why when you buy a oil primer tool it has those rings around it instead of just being a bar with a slot cut in it.
Those rings fit snug in the block to stop oil from flowing through the hole.

Dougie 10-14-2012 05:17 PM

Looking at the tool and the distributor, I can see what's happening. The ring that centers it in the block is down at the bottom and quite a distance from the top of the manifoild. The small amount of clearance at the bottom is magnified at the top. It's no big deal since the shaft spins in the housing, not the housing in the manifold.

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