Ford 351W Camshaft/Distributor Shaft Problem - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:20 AM
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Red face Ford 351W Camshaft/Distributor Shaft Problem

I have a newly rebuilt Ford 351 Windsor (from1971 passenger car.) It is installed in a Cobra Kit Car with Edelbrock intakes, Hollye Street Avenger carb and custom headers, but otherwise is stock.

The engine originally died after about 2 hours. Took some time to diagnose, but was a torn up drive gear on the front of the camshaft… the one that drives the distributor. I originally had a Mallory Unilite distributor which also had some damage on the drive gear. The camshaft gears were badly worn down, and in one area (about 90 degrees of circumference) the gears had been flattened.

I drained the motor, cleaned filings out of pan, replaced the camshaft, replaced distributor with an MSD, replaced the oil pump, replaced oil filter, replaced oil and antifreeze, then reassembled with plenty of assembly lube.

The reconstructed motor lasted about one hour. This time the gear on the distributor has been torn up... worn deep grooves down into every tooth. The gear on the camshaft is not as bad as the first time, but is clearly damaged. I am sure that the camshaft and the distributor gear were built for a 351W.

Any ideas on this? I intend this PM to run the oil pump thru a power drill, and see if that is binding. I also will take the distributor to a shop to get it tested for rotation. It appears ok if rotated by hand. Can the camshaft be moving in some way to cause this?
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:27 AM
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Someone had a similiar problem recently and there was quite a discussion.

Instead of me running down the list, take a look at the link and see if it might help:

http://www.fordmuscle.com/phpBB/view...937&forum=1&25
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Old 03-01-2003, 10:40 AM
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had this happen to me. after replacing gaskets on my 352 and putting a new rubber seal on the distributor the car lasted about 100 miles and left me stranded, gear was torn up on distributor, but when this happened i noticed that i did not have the dist seated all the way down so that the gears meshed correctly, on mine the seal was just so tight that it felt like it wasnt going to go down any further, but it could be that there is a bur on the end where it fits down where the oil pump shaft is. so it sounds to me like the dist. isnt seating all the way. also it tore up the gears on my cam just a little but another 100 miles later it ended up tearing the dist gear up again so i had to get a new cam. its going to be a shame if you have to do that AGAIN.
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:47 PM
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Final Response

I never did a response to this thread, so here goes...

I think my problem was the use of a high volume/high pressure oil pump. This apparently put too much pressure on the distributor gear on the camshaft.

Crane Cams recommends use of a light racing oil during break-in where you are using a hv/hp oil pump. In my case, I replaced the pump with a stock version and the last installation has worked fine.
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