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Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: bnoggle ()
Date: September 12, 2018 03:57PM

I have been trying for the past few weeks to get my '62 rampside out of the barn again. I parked it a little while ago to fix the leaky transmission seals and bad rear wheel bearing. It ran when parked about 9 months ago. When I went to start it up again last Saturday it ran for about 30 seconds and then immediately shut off. I checked and there is gas getting to the carburetors, so I decided to check if there is any spark. When I checked I found there was no spark whatsoever. I immediately opened the distributor cap and found the rotor had been destroyed, but there are no marks on the inside of the distributor cap indicating it had been hitting. I ordered a new cap and rotor and decided to call it a day. Today I replaced the cap and rotor and it still won't start. I checked with a spare spark plug and now have an intermittent spark. Upon further inspection I found oil coming out of the distributor shaft under the rotor, and that the distributor shaft has about 3/8 in of play up and down. Is the up and down play normal? Should I replace the distributor, and if not what else should I try?

Carlisle Pennsylvania
--
1962 Corvair 95 Rampside
1983 Chevy C-10

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: bnoggle ()
Date: September 12, 2018 05:05PM

could it possibly just be the coil that is causing the intermittent spark problem?

Carlisle Pennsylvania
--
1962 Corvair 95 Rampside
1983 Chevy C-10

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 12, 2018 06:14PM

Up and down movement of the rotor shaft is not good. Would hate to see what the gear looks like on the other end.

Get another distributor. Or get Seth Emerson's distributor, if budget will allow it.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: September 12, 2018 07:21PM

Al,and others.... It's the Advance part that moves up and down. Shaft drives the rotory plate the weights are on...





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 12, 2018 07:56PM

It sounded like the whole shaft was moving up and down. My misunderstanding. Sorry.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: bnoggle ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:02PM

The moving part is the one that the rotor sits on. Is that actually normal? I never noticed it moving before, but then again I never looked that closely at a corvair distributor before.

Carlisle Pennsylvania
--
1962 Corvair 95 Rampside
1983 Chevy C-10

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:03PM

Yup, will lift off if you remove the breaker plate.





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:09PM

If the sheet metal plate over the advance weights is in decent shape, how does the cam move up 3/8"? I'd pull the point plate and see what's raising. Just the cam, or the whole assy. If whole thing, pull dist. and check for broken roll pin. It's not uncommon for points to oxidize during long term storage. They need dressed with a point file or replaced.

'29 Ford Model A Tudor
'61 700 Lakewood 110 4 speed
'69 Monza Convert. 140 Auto.
'70 Dodge Challenger R/T 440 4 speed

Been aircooled since 1973
Northwest Ohio

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: bnoggle ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:11PM

In that case would it be the coil that is likely to be causing my intermittent spark, or a problem with the distributor itself?

Carlisle Pennsylvania
--
1962 Corvair 95 Rampside
1983 Chevy C-10

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:13PM

Taken to a PM

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Seth Emerson ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:15PM

My initial suggestion would be to order the appropriate (matching) rebuilt distributor from Clarks. Check the Part Number on the side. If the "rebuilt" (bushed) point plate is an option, get it. Set the point gap, install it and check it with a dwell meter. Make sure you have no damage in the replacement cap and rotor. Then motor on down the road.

Alternate suggestion, rebuild the distributor yourself. It really is not rocket science.Look for broken or loose parts.

Seth Emerson

Check my new Performance Corvair Web site [www.perfvair.com]

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:18PM

My suggestion is to find out why the shaft is moving up so much so you quite breaking rotors. Then address the points.

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 12, 2018 08:21PM

Thank you Wagon Master. That was the point I was circling around and never quite made.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: September 13, 2018 05:36AM

I just got confused reading the replies above so I'll just return to your original post.
Rotate the engine so the rotor is pointing to where #1 distributor terminal is on the distributor cap and the notch on the crankshaft pulley is at the index marks on the rear housing. Take note of where the rotor is pointing compared to the distributor base and point plate for when you install it later.
With a stubby 9/16 box wrench remove the nut and brackets for the distributor hold-down and the remove the distributor to the bench.

The distributor shaft can go up and down a little bit but not 3/8". There's 2 little roll pins in the shaft, one locates the shaft to the body along with 2 notched spacer sort of things; the other one locates the gear to the shaft.
You should not be getting oil coming up into the distributor body. It must be getting through a worn bushing. A worn bushing will also let the shaft wobble out of round, wreaking havoc with your point adjustment; sometimes opening them for a certain cylinder and sometimes not, or opening them way wide on on one side and not much on the other. This could explain your intermittent spark.
You can feel a worn bushing with the distributor out of the engine by wiggling the shaft back and forth in the body.

I get bushings from Clarks, sometimes a new bushing helps and sometimes it doesn't.
Corvair Underground has a good deal on double bushed distributors, if he's still doing them. Some folks have maybe had trouble getting parts but I've always done okay. He has all the nifty Dale equipment for doing them.

I hope I'm not being too basic, if you're fixing transmission leaks and rear wheel bearings you probably know your way around.

I hope I'm addressing your problem, the more I read above the more confused I got about your symptoms.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Wagon Master ()
Date: September 13, 2018 06:04AM

MattNall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Yup, will lift off if you remove the breaker
> plate.

If you can do this, you have pieces missing.

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 13, 2018 06:11AM

Yep, like the springs.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: September 13, 2018 08:40AM

Guys!! I would think the next two screws would be appearant to most anyone!

But yes I've done so many distributors I don't even think about it...

I just figured if my 8 year old son could run / recurve distributors ....





MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 13, 2018 09:05AM

Before he removes the distributor, he should remove points plate. Then take a photo of what is under the points plate as exposed. It might explain a lot of the movement.

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: Lane66m ()
Date: September 13, 2018 09:11AM

Matt:

Is that an offer to niggle from you to send your son up to help diagnose issue quickly?grinning smiley

Al Lane
Ellabell GA

1966 Monza Coupe, 110 hp, 4 Spd
1968 Camaro SS Coupe 350 CI 295+ HP PG
1964 Greenbrier Deluxe, 6 dr, 80 hp car engine, PG
2015 Chevrolet Malibu 2LT
2018 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ Z71 Centennial Edition
1947 Farmall A tractor 15 hp


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Re: Distributor Problems (I think)
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: September 13, 2018 10:29AM

Wagon Master Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the sheet metal plate over the advance weights
> is in decent shape, how does the cam move up 3/8"?
> I'd pull the point plate and see what's raising.
> Just the cam, or the whole assy. If whole thing,
> pull dist. and check for broken roll pin. It's not
> uncommon for points to oxidize during long term
> storage. They need dressed with a point file or
> replaced.

Agreed - remove the points plate and look at the retainer plate to see if screws came loose, or plate is broken. Yes points do oxidize during storage - in the old days I had it happen a few times. Easy to clean up.

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