Jammed Chevy Distributor

markbradOctober 27, 2009

I was searching for help and saw a thread here about a jammed engine. Here is my story, 2000 Silverado 1500, 4WD, 4.3 V-6, 168K miles. The truck stopped dead in its tracks, no codes. One possible problem. Both distributor cap mounting holes were broken out. Set the engine to TDC with the timing marks, rotor pointing at #1 cap terminal and pulled the distributor. Installed the new distributor with holddown positioned correctly and the rotor counterclockwise 42 degrees from the base mark. It went in as the rotor rotated maybe 20 degrees clockwise as the gears engaged and stopped. It will not go in further and will not come out. I have destroyed the dizzy trying to get it out. The rotor will rotate as the crank turns. Any ideas? It is going to a professional this week and I hope they can save it. Appreciate any comments.

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john_g

I've pulled distributors that were stuck like this by making a basket out of interwoven coat hangers to grab the distributor. The hangers should tighten up under the head of the distributor as they are pulled up. Attach the coat hangers to the shop crane and use that to apply the vertical pulling pressure. Do not just attempt to power it out with the crane, just put some pressure on it, and then use a twisting motion on the distributor housing.

Remember, too much force with the crane will break the distributor. Try to not break it, and bring the lifting force up slowly.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 6:55PM
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markbrad

Thanks for the reply. The distributor is buried in back under the cowl. I will pass the idea on to the shop.
What did I do wrong or why did it jam? I contacted the supplier and he responded saying they had no issues before.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 7:05PM
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jemdandy

The distributor is a close fit in the bore, and it is in a very awkward location. Possibly, dirt got carried in between the distributor shank and bore causing it to jam. The description is similar to the classic case of galling, but I would not expect that phenomonem in this case.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 1:46PM
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john_g

Yes the distributor is down behind the intake plenum. A piece of wood will allow the hangers to slide along the cowl. If the hood is in the way, I'd just pull it off and make myself room to work.

Off hand I can't say exactly what has ocurred here. I typically apply a little motor oil to the distributor, and to the hole in the block where it fits anytime i remove one. It's possible that some type of debris has caused the o-ring seal to roll over inside its grove, or worse yet pinched it partially out of its grove.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 8:57PM
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kalining

Just a horror story you might want to hear, or maybe not. It's Halloween you know. I had a 318 back way back. I think it was a 75- 70 something. Automatic transmission. Well a distributor for a standard was put in. It went in but you never got it out. The gears on the dist. are smaller in the standard and fell behind the cam gear over center. The dist. turned and the car ran. When the dist was removed ( we had to bust it apart ) the dist driven gear was stripped and the cam gear was stripped. I hope you don't have the same problem. I think you do. I sure hope i'm wrong.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 4:25PM
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coolvt

My small block Ford's distributor will not even turn to adjust timing until the engine is warmed up. Haven't tried removing it, but assume it will come out if the engine is warm. I think this is a different problem from the one described, but wonder what is causing my problem.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 12:11PM
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