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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 08, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Distributor questions

Since the mice ate my Pertronix ignitor lead wires, I'm going to have to pull the distributor to fix the damage. While I have the dist. out, I thought I would clean it up good and check things out like the shaft end play, etc.

Does anyone know or can point me to a reference document that has details about what the correct clearances and measurements should be?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 08, 04:39 PM
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Re: Distributor questions

You need "some" end play. GM sets up distributors pretty loose; and there's no reason to change that in 99% of the applications.

Shimming to adjust end play tighter is a waste of effort on any application that does NOT use a dry-sump oiling system--and outright harmful when the block deck, cylinder head deck, and intake manifold have been planed. Re-machining these parts can make the distributor sit lower in the engine. Adding shims to the distributor to tighten up end play effectively makes the housing longer. At some point, you just plain run out of clearance between the distributor and the oil pump drive shaft.

Oil pump scoring isn't far behind...
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 08, 04:48 PM
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Re: Distributor questions

As mentioned end play is not that critical but Bearings are. Point Distributors more so then Magnetic or Photo electric Triggered Distributors depend on true shaft rotation. Bad Bearings will cause the distributor shaft to wobble which in turn causes the Points to malfunction.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 24th, 08, 07:23 PM
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Re: Distributor questions

You don't have to pull the distributor to check endplay, just pick up on the rotor. You do have to have it out if you want to shim it. Most of them I have taken apart have had at least 2 shims behind the gear. I think I saw a spec on MSD once and it surprised me how tight it was...something like .010. I've seen a bunch with about an 1/8"

My MSD unit is pretty tight, never have stuck an indicator on it though to mike endplay. It also has an adjustable seat for handling the scenario already spoken about where your height may be off. You just loosen the seat flange and set it in place, feel that you have no endplay because you are sitting on the pump drive, then raise it until you get your endplay plus a tad and lock it down at that height.

Tim Smith
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 25th, 08, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Distributor questions

Did a Google search yesterday on the subject. I found once reference source that said 0.015 for the end play. (They were using a GM HEI dist. as an example) Does this sound about right?

Looks like it's not that big of a deal unless the dist is extremely worn.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 29th, 08, 06:40 PM
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Re: Distributor questions

I just rebuilt my distributor (67 327) and put in the crane ignition module (CRANE 750-1710 ) I added a shim and got my end play down to .015.
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