MSD dist rusted and cap failed! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 14th, 05, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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MSD 8551 Pro Billet Distributor
MSD 8433 Distributor Cap
MSD 8467 GM Racing Rotor

Just got the car back from the body shop. Driving home and the motor stops about 20 miles out. Distributor is rusted to hell, cap center is worn down all the way, rotor looks 'ok'. What happened??? This cap has at most 600 miles on it, and the center button that connects to the rotor is worn completely away! Also what is causing all this junk in the distributor? Yes there was some wetness in the distributor but the cap was clamped down properly and this car was inside the body shop the whole time it was there. Only reason for the water was when they had to wash the car a few times but I don't see how the water got into the distributor and why its so thrashed in there!
Any ideas? Should I dump the 85551 and start thinking about a 8360 ready to run instead? I don't race, this is just my weekend enjoyment car.



1969 Camaro - GM 2003 Electron Blue
Beck Racing 383 cu in 465HP Engine - Sean Murphy Inductions Stage 2 Quadrajet
TCI Streetfighter 350 - 3.73:1 Posi 10 Bolt Rear - 12.6 sec qtr mile

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 03:07 AM
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Wow, I think your body shop got your distributor wet when they washed your car. I know body shops can be dusty and maybe they cleaned up under your hood. Thats like 30 years of rust on a fairly new distributor. Anyway I have a ready to run in my 69. I like it. Its bascially the same distributor except you don't need the 6AL box to run it although you can hook it up to a 6AL if you want too. I've had no trouble with mine and my car runs great. I got mine with the Vaccum advance. It also comes with the different springs/advance bushings so you can adjust your mechanical advance and total timing as well.

1969 Camaro 350, Trickflow heads, ST-10 4spd, Hotchkis suspension, Baer SS brake kit, moser 12bolt
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 03:58 AM
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If the car was kept inside and sent outside during day could cause condinsation.

If the car seen the paint booth alot could cause condinsation.

Just guesses.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 05:32 AM
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I don't think it's from condensation, looks more like chemical damage. Maybe the cap got loaded with something like muriatic acid fumes from etch primer. Doesn't really seem likely, but possible. How long was the car at the shop? The suspicious side of me would wonder if someone didn't pull a switch-eroo with their junk distributor while it was there.

John
'67 SS/RS (RR)
'68 RS conv. (J2)
'68 Z/28 (VV)
'68 Drag Car(ZZ) 11.30 @ 118
'73 Corvette Drag Car 12.64 @ 106

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 09:15 AM
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Brian,
I have seen that type of damage about 10 times in the last 30 years. Does not seem to be any rhyme or reason as to the cause. I have only seen it on stock distributors. I wonder whether a bad or missing ground could have anything to do with it. The badly worn center connector could be a clue. I have seen that on HEI's when guys leave off the internal ground strap. I have seen missing grounds cause other strange corrosion problems. I would most certainly send the distributor, or at least a picture, back to MSD for them to look at. They might be able to offer some suggestions as to what the cause was. Let us know what they say.

Bill Koustenis
Owner
Advanced Automotive Machine
Waldorf Md
1971 Chevelle "Heavy Chevy" original owner


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well I went out and bought a new 8467 rotor and 8433 msd cap. Using a toothbrush/pick/sand paper/air tool I cleaned off all the junk on the distributor, installed the new rotor and cap. The new 8433 cap now has a black vent at the top! Looks like this is to help circulate the air inside to help prevent condensation.
I was told by an ignition guy that most likely the center carbon on the cap cracked from moisture damage and thats why its almost gone. This would explain why the motor just stopped when I slowed down.
In any case, car runs great again! Hopefully the new vent cap will prevent further issues down the road. This car is now in my clean dry garage so it won't be seeing water anymore.

1969 Camaro - GM 2003 Electron Blue
Beck Racing 383 cu in 465HP Engine - Sean Murphy Inductions Stage 2 Quadrajet
TCI Streetfighter 350 - 3.73:1 Posi 10 Bolt Rear - 12.6 sec qtr mile

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 07:08 PM
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Hey Brian - I had the same problem on my 70 Chevelle - but not to your severity!!! I did the same and swapped in a new rotor and the new updated cap from MSD. The local speed shop made the same comment on the the need for the updated cap....

Rat Touring 1969 Camaro X44 496 Richmond Super T10 Plus 4-Speed 3.55 4 wheel disc
..and sporting all new suspension, wheels, etc etc... take a look...


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 05, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'm also just been told that I should spray some WD40 in the cap once in awhile to ward off rust/moisture damage. I'm guessing PB Blaster will do the same since I don't use WD40 [img]smile.gif[/img]

1969 Camaro - GM 2003 Electron Blue
Beck Racing 383 cu in 465HP Engine - Sean Murphy Inductions Stage 2 Quadrajet
TCI Streetfighter 350 - 3.73:1 Posi 10 Bolt Rear - 12.6 sec qtr mile

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 16th, 05, 04:58 AM
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WD40= Water Displacement and is ok to use in Distributer cap....PB? I don't know.

68 Camaro~LSx ~all motor
1.54 60'--6.95 @ 98.45 660'--10.96 @ 121.53
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 05, 09:58 AM
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Question Re: MSD dist rusted and cap failed!

Brian my distributor recently did the same thing, when i opened the cap which was almost impossible to remove it looked just like yours. How is your car running now? Did you have the small cap with the points window? I was thinking of opening the window a little to vent? Any input would be appreciated. My car was running but extremely hard to start.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 05, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MSD dist rusted and cap failed!

Mine is doing great, I bought a new cap and rotor, with dist in car I used an old toothbrush and cleaned everything up, removed the pickup and cleaned it really good and put it back in. The new cap has a nice vent at the top to help prevent this where as the old cap didn't have the vent.

1969 Camaro - GM 2003 Electron Blue
Beck Racing 383 cu in 465HP Engine - Sean Murphy Inductions Stage 2 Quadrajet
TCI Streetfighter 350 - 3.73:1 Posi 10 Bolt Rear - 12.6 sec qtr mile

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 05, 12:33 PM
 
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Smile Re: MSD dist rusted and cap failed!

WD-40 YES!!

Spray Starting Ether, YES!! BUT only after letting it vent itself so it can't spark AND blow up!!!

PBB, NO!!

AND are you sure it is YOUR distributor??

pdq67



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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 05, 01:01 PM
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Re: MSD dist rusted and cap failed!

Brian Lewis, I have the same distributor as you and had the exact problem as you. My car did visit the paint shop twice last year. I myself did spray water around the engine to clean of the dust and dirt. I always have been careful not to get the distributor wet. My car has been stored in a insulated garage for a year or so and I do take it out often to drive. I replaced the cap and rotor with the same parts. My motor is not running smooth yet. It has some other issues.

Marc


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Apr 17th, 05, 02:32 PM
 
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Question Re: MSD dist rusted and cap failed!

I tend to wonder if these things haven't been vapor degreased when made using something that might have separated some Acidic OR Alkaline material out and formed a very thin film that dried that has later caused the massive rusting once it contact's some water vapor from possible condensation b/c they weren't degreased properly and nuetralized right after drying??

This is weird!!!!!!

I bet if you do a pH litmus test on some wet rust, it will show up in a heartbeat!!

pdq67



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