Distributor gear wear - Team Camaro Tech
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems done here.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 01, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Dixon, IL, USA
Posts: 149

OK, by now you folks are probably getting tired of hearing from me. I pulled my distributor last night and noticed that about 180 degrees of the gear had teeth worn down to 20% of the original thickness. The other 180 degrees is also worn, but no where as bad as the other side. The distributor and gear are the original OEM. The shaft seems to turn true and has no side slop, although it has about 1/8" up and down play. I recently changed cams but did not look or notice if it was worn at that time. I don't think the cam is walking. It is gear driven and I believe it has the correct button because you could feel it push against the timing cover when installed. The distributor did not bind going in or coming out. By looking in the hole I can only see a couple of cam teeth and even then not very well, but they look OK. Should I install a bronze gear and forget about it? What I am looking for from you guys is suggestions as to what may have happened and what to do about it. Should I replace the entire distributor? What are the odds that my new cam is damaged?
Chris Davis is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 01, 03:28 PM
Team Member
JohnZ's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Washington, Michigan USA
Posts: 7,728

Is the new cam a roller? If so, it will eat your distributor drive gear exactly as you have described - you need a bronze drive gear with a roller cam, and you'll have to change it periodically. Vertical shaft play should be about .030"-.050", not 1/8" - re-shim when you change the drive gear.

'69 Z28 Fathom Green
JohnZ is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 26th, 01, 04:05 PM
Join Date: Aug 1998
Location: Waldorf Md. USA
Posts: 3,280

Cam walk will not normally cause distributor gear wear. One thing that will is too much oil pressure, like some of the high volume pumps have. Most people do not realize that 99% of the "drag" on the distibutor gear is from driving the oil pump. The distributor itself turns very easily and really does not put any drag on the gear.
As far as the bronze gear goes, it strictly depends on the camshaft you are using. Steel billet cams require a Bronze gear, like John said, However, there are roller cams that do not use a bronze gear, so you really need to check your cam card, or call the manufacturer to determine the correct gear for YOUR camshaft. 1/8" play is quite a bit for the distributor shaft. You might want to take the cap off and inspect it for signs of damage. It almost sounds like the distributor is going down too far and forcing the shaft up. Try putting the distributor in without the paper "washer" under it. It should go all the way down against the intake manifold. If it does not, it is bottoming out on the oil pump drive for some reason. These are some of the things you need to look at.
Hope this helps,

Bill Koustenis
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md
BillK is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 01, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
Senior Tech
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Dixon, IL, USA
Posts: 149

I should have stated that this is a regular Isky Hydraulic cam. I looked at the former cam that was in this motor and saw the same extreme wear on it's gear. Now I am fairly convinced that it did not happen since I put the new cam in. I am ordering a new distributor today and will put a bronze gear on it just so if any wear does take place that it is not on my cam. Are bronze gears OK with standard cam shafts? I just hope that the 200 miles that this distributor was in the car has not damage the new cam. Could it have? The oil pressure is about 70 Lbs. cold and generally runs about 10 Lbs. Per 1000 RPM.

I ordered an Excel rebuilt distributor from Jeg's and they suggested that I NOT use the bronze gear. What do you guys think?

[This message has been edited by Chris Davis (edited 01-29-2001).]
Chris Davis is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 01, 06:52 PM
Senior Tech
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Willow Park, Texas
Posts: 1,030

Only use the bronze gear with a billet steel cam shaft (i.e. Mechanical Roller)! Your cam will be fine with the gear that is on the Accel distributor that you are buying. A bronze gear will wear out prematurely with your cam and put metal into your oil pan needlessly.

67 CAMARO R/S CLONE, 355/turbo 350, 200hp NOS,12 bolt,etc...
idoxlr8 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Team Camaro Tech forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address.
NOTE we receive a lot of registrations with bad email addresses. IF you do not receive your confirmation email you will not be able to post. contact support and we will try and help.
Be sure you enter a valid email address and check your spam folder as well.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome