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View Full Version : Need to adjust timing, but dist is seized to engine block.


catamount
10-28-2012, 07:08 PM
Now the my boat is out of the water for winterizing, I thought it would be a good time to convert to electronic ignition. Everything went well enough, but the timing was off after the conversion so I went to spin the distributor (hold down clamp is off) and it is frozen solid.

The distributor body is aluminum and the block is cast iron so I'm sure it's galled together pretty good.

I have tried soaking in PB blaster, ATF+Acetone mix and MMO. I soaked the distributor with "freeze spray" to try to get the aluminum to shrink and break the bond with the block. I've also tried moving with a punch and hammer but I'm being very cautious as I don't want to end up with 1/2 of the distributor in one hand and 1/2 stuck in the blck.

So far nothing is moving.

Any other tricks people know about? Has anyone else experienced this?

thatsmrmastercraft
10-29-2012, 09:25 AM
Spray starting fluid down the dipstick tube and drop a match to pop the distributor up like seating the bead on a tire???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRJ4M76Wur8

















Seriously, have you tried any gentle lifting motions with a prybar? Good luck with this.

catamount
10-29-2012, 09:55 AM
Seriously, have you tried any gentle lifting motions with a prybar? Good luck with this.


I have not tried lifting the distributor yet; should that be my next move? So far I have only attempted lateral movements.

thatsmrmastercraft
10-29-2012, 10:03 AM
I have not tried lifting the distributor yet; should that be my next move? So far I have only attempted lateral movements.

That is what I would try next, using the same cautious approach that you have been taking. You will need to make sure you don't damage the underside of the distributor housing. Perhaps get a metal plate under it to spread out the force.

CruisinGA
10-29-2012, 10:29 AM
How long was the distributor in the block before you tried to move it?

catamount
10-29-2012, 10:32 AM
How long was the distributor in the block before you tried to move it?

That's a great question; I bought the boat last year (it's an '87). No way to know for sure.

thatsmrmastercraft
10-29-2012, 10:32 AM
You might try gently tapping down on it also trying to get some movement. The rubber o-ring might have turned to stone.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
10-29-2012, 10:38 AM
bump the starter motor while lifting on the distributor...

mikeg205
10-29-2012, 10:39 AM
Spray starting fluid down the dipstick tube and drop a match to pop the distributor up like seating the bead on a tire???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRJ4M76Wur8



Seriously, have you tried any gentle lifting motions with a prybar? Good luck with this.

The dude in the video can move pretty fast...lol

thatsmrmastercraft
10-29-2012, 11:54 AM
The dude in the video can move pretty fast...lol

The slow ones are on different videos.:D:D:D

catamount
11-03-2012, 02:30 PM
Well, I have tried EVERYTHING except for removing the intake manifold. I am going to winterize it as-is and deal with it in the spring.

That said, I am nervous about breaking the distributor shaft in the spring. I think my best is removing the intake manifold in order to drive the distributor off. Can you guys tell me how hard/easy it is to remove the manifold?

Thanks!

CantRepeat
11-03-2012, 02:52 PM
How about a heat gun at the mounting point? I'd aim more for the intake then the distro.

CantRepeat
11-03-2012, 02:55 PM
Spray starting fluid down the dipstick tube and drop a match to pop the distributor up like seating the bead on a tire???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRJ4M76Wur8


Seriously, have you tried any gentle lifting motions with a prybar? Good luck with this.


Way better here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=uRetDNdrBNM

catamount
11-03-2012, 03:51 PM
How about a heat gun at the mounting point? I'd aim more for the intake then the distro.

From everything I've been told, heat is the enemy here. Heating the intake undoutably cause the dist to expand (aluminum will expand even more quickly than the cast intake) and get even more lodged.

I used CRC freeze off which is supposed to help shrink the aluminum to break the bond; I got it down to 19 degrees but haven't noticed a difference.

My intake is pretty ugly; peeling rust and what not. I would not be against pulling it in order to get the dizzy out. I am just wondering how involved it is.

mikeg205
11-03-2012, 04:04 PM
Way better here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&NR=1&v=uRetDNdrBNM

I think he filled his pants with that one...

CantRepeat
11-03-2012, 04:16 PM
From everything I've been told, heat is the enemy here. Heating the intake undoutably cause the dist to expand (aluminum will expand even more quickly than the cast intake) and get even more lodged.

I used CRC freeze off which is supposed to help shrink the aluminum to break the bond; I got it down to 19 degrees but haven't noticed a difference.

My intake is pretty ugly; peeling rust and what not. I would not be against pulling it in order to get the dizzy out. I am just wondering how involved it is.


I would think some expansion and contraction would be worth a try. I don't think you could make it worse by trying. Heat does amazing things to metal.

T-Rager
11-03-2012, 05:23 PM
I've encountered this problem many times over the 50 years I've been working on cars, especially small-block Fords. I recommend using a rolling-head pry bar to apply a stout upward force on one side of the distributor housing while simultaneously rapping the opposite side of the housing with a plastic mallet. Don't be afraid to be a little aggressive.

Another option is to use two rolling-head pry bars to apply diametrically upward forces on the distributor. Alternate applying increased force on one side and then other until the distributor pops loose.

Good luck.

catamount
03-07-2013, 07:36 PM
Bump for any new ideas. Spring is coming and I will need to address this as soon as the wrap comes off.

Any and everyone suggestion is welcome.

thatsmrmastercraft
03-07-2013, 09:24 PM
I assume you have been bathing the base of the dist. in penetrating oil. I would think that if you continue to whack the dist horizontally in 4 directions and by prying up repeatedly, that you should be able to free this.

Bouyhead
03-07-2013, 10:34 PM
I would think some expansion and contraction would be worth a try. I don't think you could make it worse by trying. Heat does amazing things to metal.

Like he said^^^ if anything the heat will help with the penetration of lubricants.

catamount
04-22-2013, 08:33 AM
Well, the boat wrap came off this weekend and I tacked the problem again. I bought two things over the winter to help: Kroil & a chain wrench.

http://i.imgur.com/dm8SnrT.jpg

After soaking the base in kroil over and over again, I got the chain wrench on it yesterday and after a few whacks I saw the distributor move! After some working back-and-forth I had the thing moving 1/2" in either direction.

It will still be work to get the thing out of there but I have renewed hope.

The springs in this distributor seem really worked. I'm wondering if I should buy an entirely new distributor at this point.

88 PS190
04-22-2013, 10:35 PM
I had a similar game with an old Porsche engine, two people were required and we went back and forth till it wiggled up and out.

Distributor was rebuilt professionally due to play in the shaft, but the case/body was fine.

Really very little corrosion, mostly the rubber broke down and got grody.

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
04-22-2013, 11:58 PM
Well, the boat wrap came off this weekend and I tacked the problem again. I bought two things over the winter to help: Kroil & a chain wrench.

http://i.imgur.com/dm8SnrT.jpg

After soaking the base in kroil over and over again, I got the chain wrench on it yesterday and after a few whacks I saw the distributor move! After some working back-and-forth I had the thing moving 1/2" in either direction.

It will still be work to get the thing out of there but I have renewed hope.

The springs in this distributor seem really worked. I'm wondering if I should buy an entirely new distributor at this point.

Good job getting it loose, you don't need to fully remove the distributor to set timing I would just look for a good amount of rotation and go from there.
I would not just go and buy another distributor without first knowing if the one you got it is truly bad with weak springs, worn cams etc. and not giving full advance, also you can't tell if the springs are bad by a visual inspection unless they are just broken.
Set your initial timing to 10, then check to see if it's advancing properly and fully.

catamount
04-23-2013, 08:51 AM
Good advice, thank you. I have got it moving enough to set the timing in either direction so I will probably leave it in place and see how it advances. The boat ran GREAT last year with points so I imagine the advance is still working fine. I'm going to fire her up later this week.

The condition of the o-ring has me slightly concerned though (it can't be in good shape).

thatsmrmastercraft
04-23-2013, 09:01 AM
Good advice, thank you. I have got it moving enough to set the timing in either direction so I will probably leave it in place and see how it advances. The boat ran GREAT last year with points so I imagine the advance is still working fine. I'm going to fire her up later this week.

The condition of the o-ring has me slightly concerned though (it can't be in good shape).

Persistence (a LOT of it) pays off once again. I wouldn't be too concerned about the status of the o-ring. You will feel the difference in driving the boat and appreciate the difference at start-up.