[DML] Distributor chewing up Rotors
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[DML] Distributor chewing up Rotors



I was ready to throw in the towel this morning and order a complete
distributor, but Warren talked me into taking the weekend to try to find
the root of my problem first, before I just threw money at the problem.

 

History: I have just replaced my head gaskets, had my heads rebuilt and
have reinstalled them, all of that seems ok.

 

In the past I learned my lesson about not putting the cap and rotor back
together perfectly, and I know very well to align the keyway in the
rotor properly and push it all the way down.  I am on very good terms
with the depression in the distributor body that the cap must key into
and respect it.  Tab A squarely into Slot B.  I put my cap on and make
sure it is well seated before I install the clips, and I know that if
they are impossible to clip, something is wrong.

 

I had 3 rotors and 2 caps in my collection, all the right parts.  When I
reassembled my distributor the first time I was cranking the engine over
slowly by hand and heard a terrible squealing.  When I finally opened
the distributor cap I found that the plastic key inside the rotor had
been sheared off and it could then spin, begrudgingly, on the shaft.

 

I thought that perhaps my new cap had a manufacturing defect and was
binding the rotor somehow so I reassembled everything with another cap
and a fresh rotor, it happened again.  

 

At Warren's first suggestion I removed my disintegrating dust cap which
goes under the rotor and protects the impulse coil and tried it again -
it was fine at first, so I ran the engine with the starter while using
my timing light.  It was fine for about 10 seconds, then I lost all
spark.  I opened the cap and found that my third and final rotor was
ripped to pieces.

 

At this point I'm taking Warrens advice and pulling the distributor off
again, and I'll put in a NAPA rotor tonight and slowly turn it by hand
looking for signs of binding.

 

I have learned that I installed the o-ring for the distributor in the
wrong spot - I ran it all the way up to the bottom of the distributor
body instead of placing it in the groove on the shaft, but I can't for
the life of me understand how that would have caused the problem.  

 

Anyone else run into this before?  What else should I try?  

 

Tom



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