Distributor Gear Ware - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 03, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
 
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7/19/03 Problem with HEI Distributor Gear Ware

Last year I purchased a 69 Camaro with a 454 out of an 89 truck and the guy did not change the lifters when he changed the cam. He said that the cam had not been broken in yet or anything. So I decided to take it apart and see what I had.

Original Description

1989 454 – date code J159=Oct 15 1989 … cast #10068286 = 90 & 91 4-bolt Gen IV .. short deck

Head – date code is J139 … Cast #14092360 = 86-88 oval port

Comp Cam – 280H – part #11-208-3

Int Ext

Gross Lift 0.52 0.52

Dur at 0.050: 230 230

Lobe Lift: 0.3063 0.3063

Lobe Separation 110

Lifters – 812-16

Springs – 911-16

Edlebrock: Performer 2.0 Intake

GM standard HEI



Rebuild #1: grind crank, replace bearings, replace cam bearings, new lifters, SAME Comp Cam 280H flat tappet hydraulic cam, different heads, new oil pump, metal oil pump shaft, water jacket plugs and cam plug, double roller timing chain and sprockets.

Parts Description

Heads --- 336781 -- 73-85 oval port w/ larger valves --- I do not know if the heads have been surfaced many times before or not!!!

Start-up after rebuild #1:

The distributor gear was wearing away. I did not look at the gear during the first rebuild, but it was warn after only 2 hrs. I went ahead and changed the 1st gear not knowing if it was already worn before the rebuild, and it did the same thing. I replaced the HEI with one from the junkyard and it did the same thing (see picture #1). I figured I had too much endplay or a bad cam, so I went for rebuild #2.

See Web Site For Image: http://users3.ev1.net/~ohodges/Camar...ns_Rebuild.htm

Picture #1: Gear #2 is pictured below after about 70 street miles. The second gear is on left hand side, and the right hand side is the new one from the junkyard. Double Click on picture below to enlarge.


Picture #2: Gear on 2nd HEI is pictured after 10 miles. Notice that the ware is pretty even. Both pictures are of the same gear at the same time.

See web site for image: http://users3.ev1.net/~ohodges/Camar...ns_Rebuild.htm

Rebuild #2: With help from Brent of Jim’s Machine Shop, I replaced cam, lifters, installed thrust button (set at about 0.005 inch end play), replaced cam channel plug to insure proper depth, bronze distributor gear.

Start-up #2

I started the car and ran it for 25 minutes at around 2000-2500 rpms. When I removed distributor and I have significant ware on the distributor gear (see pic #3 below). From the ware pattern, it appears that the distributor needs to set down about 1/8" lower. I replaced the 0.060" gasket with a 0.030" gasket and I still have the problem. I shimed the gear to take out all of the slack and when I set it in the hole it seems like it does not bottom out. I can not get a 0.006" feeler gage between the gear and the intake.

Picture #3: after 25 minutes of cam break in at 2000 rpms not under load.

see web site for image: http://users3.ev1.net/~ohodges/Camar...ns_Rebuild.htm

Request – I need suggestions on what to look at next. Some have recommended that I get a MSD Pro Billet distributor with an adjustable height. I can also try to install shims above the gear to lower it a little (done). Do you have any other ideas on things to check? Give me a call at 713-826-3213 or email at [email protected] to discuss further. Thanks in advance for any thought you give this tiring problem.

Camaro #3: 69 Camaro Primer Blk w/ 454, 411 posi and M21.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 21st, 03, 06:35 PM
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What kind of oil pressure are you running?

-dnult

Dave
========================
68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 03, 08:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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60 psi during initial start-up. The oil pump part nubmer is PAW-M77HV and the pump shaft with steel colar part nubmer is MEL IS77. Both have been verified to be for a big block 89 454.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 03, 11:32 AM
 
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That wear pattern looks like it is due to a large amount of friction on the gear mating surface. Can you turn the oil pump shaft with a screwdriver. It could possibly be that your oil pump is putting excessive load on the gear making it wear quickly.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 03, 12:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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The gear turns easily with a screw driver or priming shaft.

Camaro #3: 69 Camaro Primer Blk w/ 454, 411 posi and M21.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 03, 01:23 PM
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The wear pattern on the gear is well centered so I don't believe an adjustable distributor would be the 'Silver Bullet' you are looking for.

I believe Kwissman is on the right path with the wear being caused by the added drag of the HV pump and the tight clearances of a new motor.
You may want to try increasing the oil flow to the gear by adding a small slot in the first machined land area right above the gear. This will tap into the oil supply and allow slightly more lube to get to the gear. I use a very fine cutter in a Dremel Tool to do this. You don't need a very big slot to provide good oiling to the gear. Info on this modification can be found in several sources.
I don't run Bronze gears on cast cores - they just don't wear well at all. I would recommend sticking with the iron gear.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 03, 04:12 PM
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Make sure the distributor is not pressing down on the oil pump shaft.
Remember, the oil pressure guage reads pressure after the filter, if the filter is plugged with assy lube or something, the pump could actually be experiencing more pressure than the guage shows. I doubt this is the problem area.
David

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 03, 04:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vintage 68:
I believe Kwissman is on the right path with the wear being caused by the added drag of the HV pump and the tight clearances of a new motor.
You may want to try increasing the oil flow to the gear by adding a small slot in the first machined land area right above the gear. This will tap into the oil supply and allow slightly more lube to get to the gear. I use a very fine cutter in a Dremel Tool to do this. You don't need a very big slot to provide good oiling to the gear. Info on this modification can be found in several sources.
Bingo. The directions from MSD (avialable from their download section on distributor installation) sums this modification up perfectly with the addtion of a small gallery cut into the the distributor hole, from the oil feed gallery to 'direct' oil the distributor gear itself.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 03, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
 
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I have verified that I have about 1/4" of clearance between the distributor and the oil pump and I have cut groove in the HEI body for improved oiling. I will run the car this weekend and let you how it turned out.

Camaro #3: 69 Camaro Primer Blk w/ 454, 411 posi and M21.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 03, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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I ran the car this weekend about 20 miles, and the gear teeth are about 1/2 of their original thickness. The ware is very uniform so it looks like I have the height adjusted properly. I guess my next thing to change is the intake and then maybe the oil pump. I appreciate any other suggestions. See new pics at
http://users3.ev1.net/~ohodges/Camar...-31_202946.JPG

[ 08-04-2003, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Camaro_Hodges ]

Camaro #3: 69 Camaro Primer Blk w/ 454, 411 posi and M21.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 03, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Can I remove the pan on a BBC with manual transmission with the engine in the car. I have read that it can be done on a SB, but can I do it on a big block. If so, would there be any problem just lifting the engine with a lift, or is best done with a jack?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 03, 01:59 PM
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Getting old is a bitch - I don't remember if I could get my pan off or not ????
I do remember I ended up pulling the engine in the end anyway - but, I don't remember if it was because I couldn't get the pan off or if I just found so much damage I pulled the motor for the rebuild ????
I do remember I removed the dist., fan/shroud and exhaust before jacking the engine up to remove (or try to the pan) and there was not much room to raise the engine even then. I really do seem to remember getting the pan off in the car and then pulling the engine - but I've been wrong before.
Hopefully someone with a better memory will chime in here!

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 03, 02:17 PM
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I know how you feel. Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 03, 08:13 PM
 
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How does the gear on the cam look, is it damaged?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 03, 09:20 PM
 
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I wish I had run across this post earlier, I just went through this with my 496. The gear had the exact same wear pattern. I have an Edelbrock Victor intake on mine and the distributor was sitting 1/8" too high. I have an MSD 8361 non adjustable distributor.
The way I checked the distributor position was to remove the right rear oil galley plug and check the position of the groove on the distributor in the oil galley. It should be centered.
I machined 1/8" off of the shoulder of the distributor where it sits on the manifold. Problem fixed. You could also buy the adjustable MSD. Good luck, Brent
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