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Old 02-21-2005, 01:25 PM
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How to shim distributor

To shim the clearance between the distributor housing and the gear do I remove the gear add shims and then replace gear. Sounds like a dumb questioan. Or do the shims go somewhere else. What is the correct clearance between the gear and housing for a GM HEI vacume control non comuter.
I did a search and came up with between .012 and .020. Is that correct.

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Old 02-21-2005, 01:51 PM
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there should be no clearance at all. If there is the distributor or pumpshaft are not in correctly and lined up. If its sticking up about 1/8 to 1/4 inch, your distributor is sitting on top of the pump shaft, rather than down in the slot.

K
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Old 02-21-2005, 01:55 PM
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Im not talking about the clearance between the distributor and the intake. Im talking about the clearance between the disributor housing and the distributor drive gear. Make sence?
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:04 PM
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There's a little brass shim. As long as it's not binding or wore excessive it should be OK. You may have to drive the pin from the gear and pull it off to put a new shim on if it is wore. I don't know the #s but what you posted sounds pretty tight(but not too tight). I would only concern myself with those #s if I was going to blueprint the dizzy, is that what you are doing?
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:19 PM
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Im going to pull the distributor to put a curve kit in and I was going to check the clearance of the drive gear to the body. Thought it would be a good time to check since it would be out.
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Old 02-21-2005, 02:23 PM
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You don't need to pull it to re-curve it...but if you do it would be good to check it. Plus you'll be able to see how free the shaft spins and what not.
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Old 02-21-2005, 03:25 PM
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PU70,

Everything that I have read states the endplay to be that much. But if you have to shim it drastically to get the end play out, it may not seat properly on the intake.
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Old 02-21-2005, 04:46 PM
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You need two things. One: the clearance should be .020, if not use a shim kit from one of the after-market mfg.s. most of the time at least .030 will be needed in the GM's. put the shims between the shim that is already there and the dist. not the gear. Two: make sure the dist. sits all the way down on the manifold without the gasket, then remove and put the gasket on. That way you make sure there is no bind in the entire connection between the pump and the bottom of the dist.. Also take note, when you drive the pin out of the gear, the bottom outside of the gear has a small (5/16") hole drilled partway through. This indent must line up with the metal end of the rotor.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:17 PM
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Even if the end play checks OK it's a good idea to drive the pin out of the gear. The shaft and bushings tend to get gunked up and freeze up the mechanical advance.
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Old 02-21-2005, 06:41 PM
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Old 02-21-2005, 07:45 PM
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From the info I've seen, .020 is right for clearance between the dist. gear and the dist housing. I just had mine out 2 days ago, the darn stator got stuck in the dist. and left my weights fully advanced. Wondered why I had 38 degrees of initial timing when I checked it.

When I checked mine, I had almost .040. Remember, if the dist shaft moves up and down, your timing can change too. Personally, if you're pulling it out, I'd remove the gear, pull the shaft out, remove the springs and weights and then wiggle the stator and slide it down the dist shaft. Clean the inside of the stator and clean and polish the shaft too. There should be a narrow washer that sits on top of the stator when you put the shaft in, don't loose it. It fits down inside the stator (or up inside the underside of the shaft) where the pickup coil mounts. Don't forget to grease the shaft up where the stator rests.

If you need more washers for the dist end, you may have to scavange some off an old dist, as I did. Luckly, the one in the old spare brought mine down to about .020. Dropped it back in and I was good to go. Its amazing how tough 38 degrees of timing can be on a starter!!

Mark
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