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Old 11-15-2012, 05:09 AM
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Distributor Not Seating SBC

I just changed the cam on my 350 TPI. I dropped the dizzy in and there's about 1/32'' gap between the base and the intake.

Anyone have this issue before?
Block and heads have not been machined BTW.

Could the tang on the dizzy be sitting on top of the oil pump drive rod?

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Old 11-15-2012, 05:55 AM
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Have you tried tapping it down a bit?...I have seen where its a tight fit and needs a little persuasion. Check to see if there might be something down there (gasket material etc)
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:18 AM
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usally if its not seating the pump shaft is not lined up. got to move the pump shaft a little so it will lineup. just got to play with it a few times. never goes in the first time. make sure the gear and oil pump drive have a little oil on them also a little oil on the top area where it sticks thru the block.

Most of the time this can be fixed by rocking the engine back and fourth a little. But dont turn it all the way over just give it a little bump to get it finally lined up. Just wiggle the crank a little dont turn it at all if the dizy gear is not lined up.

Make sure the oil pump is lines up before you bolt it down. do not try to force it or hit the starter motor to get it seated.

Does your car have an oil pressure guage? Also make sure the wire is connected for the oil pressure sender. You want to make sure at least the warning light will come on if the car has no oil pressure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:37 AM
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Did you make sure the gasket is still on the distributor? Once you do get it down, verify that the you still have some slight endplay with the shaft to make sure you are not forcing the oil pump shaft into the oil pump body.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:06 AM
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After you verify the distributor is correctly aligned w/the oil pump drive shaft, check that the distributor isn't bottoming out. If it is, it can be adjusted using nylon shims.

BTW, if the distributor wasn't lining up w/the drive shaft it should be a lot more than 1/32" above the intake flange.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:37 AM
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Thanks guys.

Nice link for the dizzy wiki Cobalt.

Looks like I may need some of those nylon spacers. Since I didn't do anything with the block, heads or intake, I was most likely driving it around with the oil pump drive shaft tight against the distributor tang all this time.


This engine was not originally a TPI motor. I wonder if a different pump/drive shaft was used than what I'm running now. Maybe the L98 heads kept the intake higher?

Do you think I grind a bit off the bottom of the dizzy tang?
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
Thanks guys.

Nice link for the dizzy wiki Cobalt.

Looks like I may need some of those nylon spacers. Since I didn't do anything with the block, heads or intake, I was most likely driving it around with the oil pump drive shaft tight against the distributor tang all this time.


This engine was not originally a TPI motor. I wonder if a different pump/drive shaft was used than what I'm running now. Maybe the L98 heads kept the intake higher?

Do you think I grind a bit off the bottom of the dizzy tang?
That will work as long as the drive shaft isn't what's grounding out up inside the distributor gear, if you follow. It could be the male dist. shaft bottom hitting the bottom of the groove of the female pump drive, OR the sides of the female drive could be hitting up inside the distributor gear. I don't have a pump drive handy (do have a dist. right here) or I'd check to see which it would be for sure.

Hopefully driving like that hasn't damaged the oil pump. You can inspect the thrust washers/spacers on the distributor (between the gear and housing) for wear or damage/signs of overheating.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:18 AM
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Ah yes. If its the two tabs then the vinyl shims would be req'd for sure.

I'll take a peak at it later tonite.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:35 AM
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With a long screwdriver I align the pump tang like this.



Then set the rotor so it turns to number one as the dist. is lowered into the block.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malc View Post
With a long screwdriver I align the pump tang like this.



Then set the rotor so it turns to number one as the dist. is lowered into the block.
Thanks Malc but this is not the issue.

I was having a problem lining up the screwdriver to the slot so I took the gear off an old distributor to use as a tool to align the pump drive to exactly where I want it. I then pulled that and dropped my good dizzy in. Its going down all the way except about .030". I have at least .060" interference as I would assume about .030" required end play between the pump drive and distributor tang.

Its definately dropping in with a thud, metal to metal contact.

Thanks,
Pugsy
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:06 PM
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[QUOTE=123pugsy;1611432]I just changed the cam on my 350 TPI. I dropped the dizzy in and there's about 1/32'' gap between the base and the intake.QUOTE]

Er.....you do have a gasket in there donīt you ?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:13 PM
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[quote=malc;1611543]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
I just changed the cam on my 350 TPI. I dropped the dizzy in and there's about 1/32'' gap between the base and the intake.QUOTE]

Er.....you do have a gasket in there donīt you ?
Sorry, forgot to mention that I had a gasket there.
Smaller gap with 2 gaskets of coarse.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:23 PM
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I always measure mine without the gasket, and make sure the distrbuter sits flush and not in a bind. Then add the gasket, you know you wont be too tight. If necessary you can get the proper shims to shim that up 1/16th or so. then add your gasket. This way you know the oil pump wont be in a bind. Do it the right way first, dont be grinding on stuff to make it fit.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:28 PM
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And the verdict is in.

After fiddling around with it, the stars and planets all lined up and she dropped down all the way without a gasket.

I know its not binding as I can lift the distributor end play by pulling up the rotor. Its not being forced up.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 123pugsy View Post
And the verdict is in.

After fiddling around with it, the stars and planets all lined up and she dropped down all the way without a gasket.

I know its not binding as I can lift the distributor end play by pulling up the rotor. Its not being forced up.
Perfect! you are good to go!
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