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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to seat my MSD distributor into the block. It isn't sitting all the way down by about 5mm. The hold-down just won't make it on, and I'd be worried to force it in by screwing that down anyway. I also looked inside the distributor bore, and there's nothing to get caught up on. We tried greasing the shaft as well, but it doesn't seem like that's the problem. Its like its bottoming out eraly or something. Anyone ever have a problem like this?! Thanks guys...
 

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you might have to turn the oil pump shaft a little so it will line up with the distributor. I used a long 1/4 inch extension and taped a socket on the end to turn the shaft on mine. If you do this make shore the socket is taped on there good! The distributor should slide right down easily. Don't force it. I have also read that some of the aftermarket oil pump shafts have to be ground down a little to shorten them. If you have the stock oil pump shaft and the correct distributor for your application its most likely not linning up with the oil pump shaft. Hope this helps.
 

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because its a tight fit. you might need to rotate the engine a bit. i think you will get it. it took me like an hour once with my msd on a 351
 

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What kind of driveshaft

Are you using? I was wondering if I would have that problem with my 351W. I'm using a Milodon oil pan, pickup and driveshaft. I wasn't sure about which one would work the best so I ordered the Milodon shaft and the ARP. Turned out, the ARP shaft if about 5mm longer! so back to summit it went.
 

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What type of oil pump shaft are you using? I have heard of some shafts being slightly to long and they need to be ground down a little bit in order for the disty to fit in all the way. I have an MSD billet disty on my 308 and I had to wiggle it a little bit in order for it to fall in all the way. You may also want to try squirting some oil down the disty hole to make sure that the cam gear has some lube on it. That could help the disty gear slide down into the cam gear.

Hope that helps!!
 

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Yup, My oil pump shaft was too long. MAke usre you have shaft clearance, and dont force it down. I didn't have to force mine down, it was a "perfect" fit. But there was no clearance, when the engien warmed up. The oil pump shaft caused the distributer to gaul against the shaft bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the replies guys. I'm using an ARP HD driveshaft, with a Melling HV pump. Everything was real lubed up and I'm pretty sure that the cam gear meshed with the distributor gear. We tried rotating the engine and stuff, but I swear it's like it is making contact with something. So the idea that the shaft is too long makes a lot fo sense.

So from what I understand here, the consensus is that the pump driveshaft is too long. How the hell would I grind that down?! What do I do...AHHHH! This sucks...
 

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Pull pan, pull pump, and then pull the shaft. Only way to grind it down without getting a bunch of junk in the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, I think I get the idea. Thanks again Kim!
 

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This was on a 351? Maybe I should check mine out. I have a HV oil pump and an ARP shaft with an MSD pro billet distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm still tyring to keep myself from calling MSD or ARP and tearing someone a new butt-hole, cuz this creates a HUGE problem...

*Jordan reminds himself to take triple dose of Paxil tomorrow*

Paul- Have you installed your stuff yet? I was trying to think how you'd check to make sure everything would fit properly besides taking a thousand measurments. I hope you have better luck than I do with this!

Kim (or anyone else for that matter)- Is there any other alternative, even temporary? I have to drive this thing home (to Maryland :eek: ) in about five days. Will the distributor pop out if I don't have the hold-down on?

Edit: I'm taking a picture of my dilemma tomorrow so that I can post it. I REALLY don't wanna take the pan and pump off. I'm hoping someone will say, "Oh, yeah, all you gotta do is..."
 

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No hold down.... yes the distributer will walk up and pop off the cam gear.

Force it in, it will gaul, and the seize.... good by $400.00 distributer. (Not to mention the little metal pieces pumping through the system and destroying bearings).

None of the aftermarket distributors are at fault, yes its the assemblers responsability to measure a 1000 times. That is why engine builders ask so much for the product. The assembly and disassembly time takes time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Kim, you no doubt sound pro-disassembly, so maybe you can prove or disprove my logic here. You obviously don't like BS'ing your engine work, so maybe you're the person to ask this question. :D

I just went down and measured the tapered end of the driveshaft and the bore within the distributor shaft. The bore in the distributor shaft is almost twice as long as the tapered end of the pump drive shaft. I was thinking maybe I could take the distributor to a machinist nearby on Monday (there's actually one ten minutes away) and have them remove 3-4mm of material at then end of the distributor. A nice clean cut. Then the distributor would still fully mate with the drive shaft, yet it would sit a few mm farther down.

Will it work, will it work, will it!?!?

Kim, I thank you so much for the input man.
 

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You can be running into one of several problems.

Oil pump drive shaft too long. (Quite common when using aftermarket hardend shafts)

Distributer shaft itself too long... sometimes. But unusual, the oil pump is a long way down there.

The distributer gear is too low and binding on the shaft support boss in the block. (Mine did)

Your simply off... the distributer and oil pump drive shaft seem to have one face that is 2mm different than any other. THere is only one way that pump shaft will slide into the distributer.... I swear.
 

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let me elaborate on kim's reply.
when the distributor shaft is too long, the hex part of the oil pump shaft goes all the way into the distrbutor and the distributor shaft bottoms out on the oil pump shaft shoulder where it flares out to the round shaft. most have had success grinding off some of the distributor. i had to take my pan and pump off so i just ground off some of the arp shaft. it sounds like you may be able to just grind a little off the end of the shaft. also make sure there is plenty of shaft still in the guide hole in the block and you should be fine. i had it happen to me and it bound up the oil pump and snapped my arp shaft in two.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You all rule...

Thanks you for the replies. I guess I'm going to think about what I am gonna do, and I'll let you all know how it goes.
 

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Wow,
So I am not the only guy this has happened to? I have (had) that ARP hardened oil pump shaft with a Mellings h.v. oil pump and an MSD billet distributor. My distributor did fit, all the way. It even ran, for a 1000 miles, even dyno'd at 343 rwhp and 370 torque. Then, the shaft snapped. I will post my pics when I figure out how to get them hosted for free. Later.....Ken
 

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BTW, I forgot to add this. It's not the length of the ARP shaft that is the problem. It is the lack of depth of the hex sided machining that is the problem. The MSD distributor actually bottoms out where the hex sided machining stops and the round body of the shaft starts. I ended up getting a FRPP hardened aftermarket shaft. It is hex bevel machined an extra 1/2 inch on both ends of the shaft, eliminating any binding of the distributor on the shaft. Lesson learned the VERY hard way. Cracked #2 main on my block, scarred steel Scat crank, 4 fatigued 4340 H beam rods.
 

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Machining the bottom of the distributor' shaft won't do any thing if the oil pump driveshaft is bottoming out inside the distributor's shaft. You need to get the oil pump driveshaft itself machined. I think you are going to have to pull it apart. Is the motor in the car?? Well anyway good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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okay man seing on how everyone is telling you to pull the engine apart I have a easy way to check to see if the distribtor shaft is hitting or if the pump driveshaft is too long, take some Dykem<~machinists dye then stick the distributor inand make sure it hits whatever it hits, then pull the dist. back out and see if some of the dykem is on the block, also you can measure the bottom of the distiubrot to where it mounts on the block and then measure from the block down to the hole and see if its too long, anyhow goo dluck
 
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