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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In my search for the oil leak in my truck, I pulled the crank sensor to replace the o-ring. The screw was loose, and the sensor was a little wobbly in the hole. I pulled it out, cleaned it up, replaced the o-ring and reassembled. Fire it up, and immediate code P1345. I'm guessing that the sensor was never snugged down when I swapped the engine a couple of years ago. Oops... Anyway, a quick search on you tube university showed several guys who are fixing this code without a scanner. Drill big hole in cap near a terminal, fire it up and turn the distributor until you get the shortest spark possible. I'm gonna give it a shot with an old cap that I have in the other garage. Pics later, I'm done for the day.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I swapped out the distributor cap this evening and was able to see the spark through the hole while it was running. It definitely needs to be turned a little bit. You can see that the spark has a big jump and is offset quite a bit. I'll get that adjusted tomorrow after I get my distributor wrench from the other shop. Oh, one of the ears for the cap screws is cracked. Stupid idea to make the distributor body out of plastic. Good move, GM, good move...
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was partially successful in fixing this. I had to pull the distributor up enough to skip it one tooth over on the cam gear before I could get it turned enough to get it in time. The spark is in line, and the CEL is off. The down side is that the ear for one of the cap screws broke off. Wrestling it around pulling wires was too much for it I guess. I guess I'll be looking for another dizzy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was thinking about something about the distributor setup for the Vortec. Since there is a very specific process to properly install the distributor in relation to the cam and crank, and there is precious little adjustment possible once it is in place. I'm thinking that the cam gear on the OEM Vortec cams is held to a tight tolerance as far as the relative position to timing. I'm running a ramjet cam not originally intended for a Vortec, so maybe that's part of the reason my distributor is rotated a bit to get things in time. I have a regular distributor hold down clamp on it, not the factory one, so I have more adjustment than original.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I swapped the new distributor in the other day, but no dice. Somehow the timing was way off. I guess I didn't get it dropped in exactly like the other came out. I pulled the cap and turned the crank by hand until the rotor was pointing at #1 and I pulled the distributor out. I wanted to make sure the oil pump was turned where it needed to be. Continued turning the crank until the timing mark was lined up, and then dropped the dizzy back in. Even with the distributor lined up per factory specs before it dropped in ended up being about a tooth off on the cam gear. According to everything I read, the rotor was supposed to rotate to #1 when it dropped back in place, but it ended up mid way between 1 & 8. I had to pull it back up and skip it one tooth over to get it aligned with #1. It's set now, but I didn't have my keys with me to try to start it. Tomorrow...
 

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I swapped the new distributor in the other day, but no dice. Somehow the timing was way off. I guess I didn't get it dropped in exactly like the other came out. I pulled the cap and turned the crank by hand until the rotor was pointing at #1 and I pulled the distributor out. I wanted to make sure the oil pump was turned where it needed to be. Continued turning the crank until the timing mark was lined up, and then dropped the dizzy back in. Even with the distributor lined up per factory specs before it dropped in ended up being about a tooth off on the cam gear. According to everything I read, the rotor was supposed to rotate to #1 when it dropped back in place, but it ended up mid way between 1 & 8. I had to pull it back up and skip it one tooth over to get it aligned with #1. It's set now, but I didn't have my keys with me to try to start it. Tomorrow...
Hopefully it works out. Sounds like you have a handle on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Success! Not without a little issue though. I ended up with 2 & 4 plug wires swapped, which caused some pretty loud backfires. My wife heard it from in the house. Got that fixed and was able to check out the spark. A slight twist and it was good to go. Runs good, no check engine light, and a new aluminum body dizzy. I'm calling it done.

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P1345 is almost always a worn dizzy gear.
TIP: I also re use the old screws for the cap when changing them on this engine to avoid cracking the plastic distributor
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
P1345 is almost always a worn dizzy gear.
TIP: I also re use the old screws for the cap when changing them on this engine to avoid cracking the plastic distributor
Funny you mention the dizzy gear. It does show more wear than any other dizzy that I've pulled out, but I didn't think it was drastic. The plastic was already cracked at both screw holes a while back, when the engine was swapped out, so I wasn't surprised when they gave way completely. Those things always pick a bad time to cut loose.
 
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