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Thread: Distributor won't go in - help?

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Posts: 1-9 of 9
2010-10-03 16:17:36
Distributor won't go in - help?
I'm finishing up installing S3 cams on a 1991 and I cannot get the distributor to go back in. It's not that the rotor shaft needs to turn - I can't get the nose to enter the hole at all. I've done this many times before and never had any issue.

I may be able to feel a VERY slight lip between the top and bottom sections of the mounting hole. Could it be that I need to loosen and retorque the exhaust cam? Which would tick me off since I just put sealant on the valve cover and torgued it down.

Any other thoughts? Anybody else experience something like this?

Thanks in advance for your help.

2010-10-03 16:28:01
Very odd. I know you put on valve cover but I would pull it and take a look to be on safe side anyway, even if you do get it to go in slot of cam. I would say to try retourqing. Then again you obviously are not new to cams.
2010-10-03 16:34:02
Thanks for your input.

Update: I loosened just the 2 bolts that are visible with the valve cover still on and the dizzy went in (the ones with the 12mm heads). Then I retorqued them to spec. The dizzy turns (as to adjust timing) but maybe feels a bit tighter than I am accustomed to. But it turns by hand.

Any thoughts or concerns?

Thanks again.

2010-10-03 16:39:49
The cam is not bent is it and are you at TDC? If it doesnt feel right, I would pull valve cover, take a look and retourque. Better safe than sorry.
2010-10-03 16:45:33
The cam cap over by the distributor was overtorqued as you found out. The rest of your cam caps are probably overtorqued too if this happened.
2010-10-03 16:46:53
stupid question you didnt swap the cams by accident?
2010-10-03 23:36:04
The distributor rotor only goes in one way....if you put it in the cam recess and torque it down, you break your cam bearing cap.
2010-10-04 09:16:41
Thanks everyone, for your input. I didn't swap the cams by accident (intake vs. exhaust), and I understand that the distributor only goes in one position relative to the exhaust cam.

OK, so I pulled the distributor, pulled the valve cover, and loosened the exhaust bearing cap bolts about 3/4 of a turn, following the proper order. I used a 1" wrench at this point to rock the cam back and forth a couple times to make sure it was properly seated.

Then I followed the 3-step torquing procedure in the FSM, and still couldn't get the distributor in.

Then I loosened the bolts one more time, did the first 2 steps of the torquing procedure, and was able to install the distributor. Then I did the final step of the torquing procedure. The distributor turns (to adjust timing) fine -- feels normal, but I had added a few drops of oil to the shaft housing before the last install.

I put everything back together and fired her up. There was absolutely no unusual engine noise. I warmed it up and checked the ignition timing - it was dead on, indicating that the crank and exhaust cam are properly timed relative to one another.

Since then, I have driven 120 miles with no indication of any trouble. I'm keeping the revs down for the first few hundred miles.

Fingers crossed. I'll post if I run into any problems.

2010-10-04 12:52:28
Sounds like you'll be fine.
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