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Old 07-10-2006, 08:21 PM
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Problem installing new Ford Distributor

I am swapping out my points distributor to a Performance Distributors "D.U.I." hei unit in my Ford 302 engine. I have run into a problem getting the new distributor to fully seat itself onto the oil pump shaft. It will not drop all the way down. There is about a quarter inch gap between the distributor and the intake manifold. I tried for two hours today and gave up. It fully seated once but the rotor was a tooth off so I pulled out. When I look down into the engine at the oil pump shaft it leans to one side. I can move it all around in the hole but it will not stand straight up. It always leans to the side. Any tricks of the trade to help it seat itself? I know the one trick is to bump the engine but the truck is not fully wired up yet and I am unable to bump it. Any ideas???

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Old 07-10-2006, 08:42 PM
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have someone turn the engine over by hand.if i'm thinking right that should be a 5/16 drive on that oil pump shaft,make sure it is seated in the oil will have some play but put a socket with a good extension and make sure it is turning the pump.then try to install the dist. you may have to play with that oil pump drive a little.
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Old 07-11-2006, 10:26 AM
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Turning the crankshaft a little will work.


Turning the oil pump/ shaft a tad (10*) and inserting the dist helps. You might have to pull the dist several times, turn the shaft a small tad, and try again. Turning the crank is easier.

The flats on the shaft are 60* apart. I think the dist teeth are 30*, so moving one tooth makes the pump shaft not mesh in the hex hole at the bottom of the distributor.

It bears mentioning that any socket inserted down to the oil shaft should be taped onto the extension. Also use a loose worn out socket so it does not stick onto the pump drive shaft and when you pull the socket off it will not pull the shaft up out of the oil pump.... then you have a real problem.

Last edited by xntrik; 07-11-2006 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-11-2006, 06:39 PM
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ford distributor

I dont know if this is your problem or not, but there are 2 different lenght distributers for the small block ford.I had the same problem last winter,after installing a carb on a fuel injected 302. The new distributor came from summit,and they never told us about the difference until I called their tech line. They said we had to drop the pan and go to auto zone and get a longer oil pump shaft. We sent the dist back to summit and bought a mallory unilite from jegs,that dropped right in. We compared the summit dist to the stock ford and there was 1/2" difference.
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Old 02-26-2008, 08:46 AM
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302 foed distributor help

WOW! i could have written the posters problem as i had it until yesterday.installing a new HEI in my ford 302,i had to lube the shaft and the rubber seal very good, i also before this took a drillbit and very carefully tapered the inside of the shaft where the oilpump rod inserts,cleaned it out with a cue tip and lubed it., then i inserted the HEI and turned the engine over by hand, tightening the bolt carefully till the distributor took the shaft, the just tightened it down, this is for future people who run into this problem. hope it helps.
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