WTF is breaking my distributors? (1 Viewer)

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Are the folks at Firestone installing them wrong or something?

I had the ignition coil go bad and replaced the dizzy. A couple weeks later it broke the shear pin (messing up the timing so it would only idle at like 500RPM) and they replaced it under warranty.

Today, it broke again (I was going down hwy and it lost power...I coasted to side of road and it died and wouldn't restart...and I got to walk home 2 miles (uphill in the rain...really!!) since I forgot my cell phone. :mad:

Any way, the guys at Firestone said they didn't see anything wrong with what they could see of cam and they said the oil pump was functioning normally.

So, what's grenading my distributors...something internal to the engine?

I don't want to stuff a crate V8 in this beeotch, but I might have to....I guess I'll hold on to my 89 pickup for awhile!

Here's my awesome picture of the day...glad I pay that $1 a month for towing coverage...
IMG_4338.jpg
 

Spike Strip

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You running a stock dissy, or ? Stock cam, or ? Little more info would be nice... And btw, I wouldn't go to a Firestone dealer even to fix a flat.
 
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Remanufactured from the Toyota dealer (I guess OEM is no longer available)

Everything else is stock from what I know...2F with 212K

Runs great when s*** isn't broken...it's been 2-3 weeks in between the last 2 failures...just driving back and forth to work since I can't trust to take it in the woods...
 

Trollhole

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Might try taking the dizzy out and priming to oil pump and make sure there is no issue with the oil pump locking up. Next would be checking the dizzy and making sure it spins freely. Last would be to check the dizzy alignment.
 
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I pulled the dizzy...shear pin on dizzy is broken (again) throwing off my timing and oil pump seems to be rotating as it should.

I'm not quite sure how to check alignment.

Wouldn't the ASE certified mechanics that have installed the last two know how to install a distributor Anything special they would miss with this 2F engine?

Weird thing is it runs fine/great until the dizzy implodes and it takes a couple weeks for it to do it...
 

nuclearlemon

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don't let "ase certified" fool you. as a parts person, i was given the option to become "ase certified". i missed passing by 2 points and i just guessed. this was almost twenty years ago. i'm not a great mechanic, so it's not that hard to be ase certified. also, it's book knowledge, a long way from common sense.

find a real mechanic, not a parts changer. the sad thing about most shops now is that we don't have people that can actually diagnose stuff. they just throw parts at things until they are fixed. ask locally, someone can tell you someone who actually knows how to find out what's wrong with your rig.

i'd love to be of more help, but the only time i've had an issue like this was when the dizzy gear was bad in my cruiser and five miles down the road, the rig would run like crap and be 180 degrees off. my bf at the time had to send a mech four nights in a row before one old guy figured out what the issue was.
 
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Yeah, that's my issue...something breaking that shear pin, causing the gear to go out of whack and f-ing up my timing. I'm trying to figure out what would cause it to continually go bad, but only after a few weeks of driving it. Seems like if there was some internal cam/oil pump issue it would break again right away not after a couple weeks of stop/go traffic...I even had it going up the interstate the several nights back doing 70-80 mph with no issues
 

nuclearlemon

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my issue was all timing, all related to the dizzy gear itself being bad. it had worn and was spinning on the dizzy shaft. had to replace the entire dizzy. this was a chevy hei dizzy on a chevy 350 engine in my 68 fj40.
 
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Found this for Ford inline 6s:
Classic Inlines Distributor Gear Failures

"A common problem which may occur suddenly, is when the gear pin shears off. This has been reported numerous times and is usually caused by improper tolerances, heavy loads, excessive horsepower , lack of lubrication, and/or binding. "

Hmm...I would think the improper tolerances/binding wouldn't be there after 212K miles, and I laugh at excessive horsepower/heavy loads...must be something with the oil pump/lack of lube...
 

John Smith

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Drop the pan and inspect / pull the oil pump. What do the gear teeth on the distributors that are shearing the pins look like?
 
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Carnage...

Pulled the dizzy...here's some close ups...

Shear Pin
Gear (red fuzz from wiping oil off...it's a little chewed up)
Looks like the bottom is hitting on something as it's chewed up too.

Looking down the dizzy hole, it looks like the cam gear is a little chewed up too...despite the fella at Firestone telling me it looked fine...

Oil is draining, was thinking about pulling the pan, but it's starting to freakin' rain... :bang:

Wonder if I should bother or if my camshaft is the issue...
IMG_4339.JPG
IMG_4340.JPG
IMG_4343.JPG
 
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I have to agree... I would not take a rig to a tire store for mechanical work. Also ASE "certification" is pretty meaningless. I used to take the tests and have the little certificates on the wall. Master tech and all that . It had little to do with real knowledge or skill and was simply a test that anyone could study/guess their way through.

Where are the distributors coming from? It is *possible* that you have gotten a couple of substandard units from a lowest bidder supply source.

If the distributor is not binding, and the oil pump is not, and everything lines up right there is really nothing that should break the shear pin if it is not understrength.

I have only seen one distributor shear pin fail in the last 20 years. It was also a non-OEM replacement. The roll pin used to secure the gear failed for no reason we could ever ascertain. We replaced it with a stronger pin and the engine never had a problem again.

If the oil pump seems to be turning freely I would probably beef up the pin and expect the problem to be solved.


Really no way for the cam to cause this problem. The cam and oil pump and everything else have been working fine together since 1986. My money is on less than perfect quality replacement parts and a touch of bad luck.



Mark...
 
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he made a good point

Might try taking the dizzy out and priming to oil pump and make sure there is no issue with the oil pump locking up. Next would be checking the dizzy and making sure it spins freely. Last would be to check the dizzy alignment.

He never did state that he replaced the distributor. see if oil flow near the end gear of the distributor. If you did not change the distributor, take the end gear off, and push the shaft out to see if there is any scoring. I have not personally taken the shaft out, so not sure if there is grease in the shaft to distributor housing. Check it anyway and report back


I forgot to mention, open up the cap. If the inside is coasted with reddish dust, your bearings at the top are disintegrating and it could be causing this issue. If so, just replace the distributor, or the bearings at the top. Another idea, camshaft radial axis play causing misalignment but never heard of a case in the past.
 
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He stated in the first post that the dist was replaced.

The end of the distributor sits on top of the oil pump, below the cam and the entire assembly is bathed in oil all the time from everything slung off the crank , rods and camshaft.

Correction to my earlier post... I have also seen one GM HEI conversion (a DUI unit) that sheared the pin. The aftermarket units (and the GM units) use roll pins. the OEM Toyota distributor uses a solid pin. MUCH MUCH stronger.

Mark...
 
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That could be it

He may want to ask others if these pins are hollow, or solid. What are the chances of the cam bearings near the end.

Mark, do those wear marks at the top of his distributor teeth look normal? If it was machined, I would imagine the surface to be smooth, unlike in his close up picture, rough.
 
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These last 2 dizzys were ordered through the Firestone...not sure where the first came from. They are remanufactured and the dealership said they no longer make OEM ones (is that true?)

Firestone is obviously not my first choice, but the TuRD broke down on the Air Force base right next to it, so I let them fix it the first time and their parts are under warranty, so they replaced the it free. I didn't feel like paying to tow it home and I was busy with finals week, so I just had those fellas fix it.

The cap and rotor are brand new and I didn't see any dust or anything inside.

You think I should get some kind of solid pin, shove it in there and try the same distributor? Should I replace the gear since it's chewed up?

Does the end of the distributor touch something on the oi pump? I don't know if you can see in the 3rd picture in post #14, but looks like something is hitting the tip of shaft causing some wear.
 
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He may want to ask others if these pins are hollow, or solid. What are the chances of the cam bearings near the end.

Mark, do those wear marks at the top of his distributor teeth look normal? If it was machined, I would imagine the surface to be smooth, unlike in his close up picture, rough.

The pins in these reman'd ones are definitely hollow. What should I look for at Lowes/HD to replace my shear pin?
 

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