When a distributor fails . . . / Which brand to buy?

Engine and tranny related questions or discussions...

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Topic Author
trent
G1 n00b
Posts: 48
Joined: January 8th, 2015, 4:34 am

When a distributor fails . . . / Which brand to buy?

Postby trent » June 21st, 2015, 8:19 pm

For me the distributor has lasted shorter or longer than the engine depending on the care or abuse the engine receives.

I have had electronic advance "blacktop" distributors. Both times my distributors failed, the same thing happened. The engine suddenly started running extremely rough with hardly any power at all. Turning the distributor shaft by hand was squeaky and rough, and that is enough evidence for me to justify getting a new distributor.

Using a sharpie to mark the adjustment on a borrowed distributor before removing it is a good idea. The correct timing adjustment always seems to be at the limit of the adjustment with the front surfaces on the top of the distributor and the cylinder head flush. I don't know about the adjustment of aftermarket distributors.

Is there any distributor to avoid? Is there a best aftermarket distributor to consider?


Topic Author
trent
G1 n00b
Posts: 48
Joined: January 8th, 2015, 4:34 am

Re: When a distributor fails . . . / Which brand to buy?

Postby trent » June 21st, 2015, 9:24 pm

I have an embarassing update. The rotor holding screw had come off and the squeaking was just the rotor turning on the shaft. I went back and looked at the old distributor from last time, and it was more than just a little rough, but actually difficult to turn.

I put the rotor back on the distributor the screw fell off in, but I have not been able to start the engine with that distributor. I hope I can get it to work again.


Topic Author
trent
G1 n00b
Posts: 48
Joined: January 8th, 2015, 4:34 am

Re: When a distributor fails . . . / Which brand to buy?

Postby trent » June 22nd, 2015, 1:48 am

One distributor I have has a threaded hole all the way through the rotating shaft, giving two possible orientations for mounting the rotor. The other working distributor i have has a threaded hole only on one side of the shaft. After putting the rotor in the correct orientation, the car started normally. I do not need a new distributor after all.

The page in the factory service manual for reassembling the distributor shows the orientation of the rotor in relation to index marks on the other end of the distributor assembly. It should point to the number one spark plug wire terminal marked with a "C" on the distributor cap when the index marks are lined up.

I think there is some white colored thread lock on Honda rotor mounting screws which have a rough black finish to them. The aftermarket screw that fell off was a nice shiny chrome, and may not have any kind of thread lock on it. It's not a surprising coincidence that it fell off at the red line.

Should I just delete this thread?


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