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Distributor Installation Info Needed

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Dave1, May 9, 2005.

  1. Dave1

    Dave1 Registered Member

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    Is it possible for a distributor to be installed 180 degrees out and still crank and run?

    I had a fresh rebuilt GM "M" series 350 installed in my 1986 GMC 3/4 4WD pick up and noticed the vacuum advance cylinder on the dist is on the opposite side of the engine than another truck I had. On the other truck the dist was installed so as the vac advance cylinder was on the passenger side of the engine. This fresh engine has the dist installed so as the vacuum advance cylinder is on the drivers side of the engine and I am wondering if the dist is in wrong.

    After I picked the truck up I found the dist was not tightened down and moved around freely so I know I will have to have the engine timed but I am really wondering about how the dist has been installed.

    Any feedback appreciated.

    Dave
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  2. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    yup,its in wrong!

    the vacuum advance should be on the passenger side!...yours must be 180 off,and they moved the plug wires to compensate...its best to have the distributor body in right,it can interrupt the oil flow to the drivers side head if its in wrong(though I've personally never seen it happen)...you might need to pull the # 1 plug and find top dead center on the compression stroke,note the position of the rotor,pull the distributor out,rotate the rotor 180 degrees,and put the plug wires back in the correct holes in the cap--#1 is the hole in the cap that is just to the drivers side of front and center,(where the rotor should now be pointing)...firing order is 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2,clockwise rotation...... :crazy:
     
  3. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    thay srewed up big time. are you going to go back there again? just do like he said above and check the timing.
     
  4. Dave1

    Dave1 Registered Member

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    I thought that was wrong when I noticed the vac advance was on the drivers side.

    Is there any reason the mechanic would have had to install the distributor that way such as maybe the cam or crank shaft gear timing in the fresh rebuilt engine is not correct and they compensated by installing the dist 180 out??? I am just hoping that if I pull the dist and try to re-install it that I don't learn there is another problem that caused it to be that way.

    The engine cranks up and seems to run OK but does have sharp spark knock when you give it gas. I think the timing is way advanced right now causing the spark knock.

    I want to fix it right and trying to learn all I can before pulling the dist out.

    What an experience this has been! Just goes to show you to not believe every smooth story you hear from a stranger.

    Thanks, Dave
    davisalf@aol.com
     
  5. trailblazer86

    trailblazer86 1/2 ton status

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    I don't understand about this oil to the head thing. What's with that?

    If the plug wires are in the right spot to make the engine run and all the wires reach the distributor what is the problem?
    Tighten the hold down bolt a little now that it is real easy to get at, set the timing and then bolt her down tight.

    There is no law that says number one plug wire must be located at a certain terminal on the distributor and there is no law that says the vacuum advance must be on the right side of the engine.

    Sometimes it is just easier to drop the distributor in at a so called strange orientation. Who wants to run over to the work bench and get a screw driver to line up the oil pump when I can just drop it in like this?

    The person installing the distributor may have been lazy, but they did not do anything that will harm your vehicle
     

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