Author Topic: Distributor gear wear  (Read 1277 times)

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Jim Comet

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Distributor gear wear
« on: April 24, 2022, 12:25:58 PM »
Hey guys, I am seeing wear on my distributor gear after about 150 passes. The cam in the motor is a Bullit steel solid roller cam and I don't see wear on the cam gears, which is good. But my distributor gear does have quite a bit of wear. This gear is an MSD steel gear on an MSD distributor. I do have a Crane steel gear on the shelf, would you continue to run the MSD for a while or would you switch out to the Crane. My other option would be to get a bronze gear. I appreciate your thoughts. Jim

blykins

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2022, 12:45:26 PM »
A couple of things....

When they wear the thrust surface of the gear, it could be that the gear was not installed properly.  There's a dimension that has to be held on installation. 

You look like you have a lot of wear everywhere.  Even the pilot portion of the distributor shaft that goes into the block has wear around the OD of it, which is not normal either. 

I see a whole lot of cam thrust plate bolts being supplied that are too long.  If the lower right bolt is too long, it will block off the oil supply from the cam bearing to the distributor.  The oil feed supplies oil to the ID of the hole in the block and then comes up to oil the thrust surface of the gear/block.

I wouldn't go to a bronze gear.  I'd find out why this one is wearing because steel gears with steel cams are the correct combination.
Brent Lykins
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1968galaxie

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2022, 02:10:32 PM »
A bronze gear would last a heck of a lot longer than 150 passes.

Looks like the camshaft core from Bullet is a whole lot harder than the MSD steel gear.
I would be asking Bullet what they recommend as a compatible distributor gear.
Not all cam cores are made from the same alloys - and not all distributor "steel" gears are made from the same alloys either.


gdaddy01

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2022, 02:37:56 PM »
I am just thinking out loud , have you tried turning your oil pump with a priming tool , to see if it is hard to turn for some reason? looks like the bottom of the gear has burrs rolling up on it . I would listen to Brent and others on here , lots of experience.

blykins

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2022, 03:27:03 PM »
I have used billet cams from Bullet and Comp and have used steel gears and melonized gears from MSD, Crane, Mallory, and Morel....

You don't see wear like that unless there is not enough oil getting to it, or the gear was installed incorrectly.

Push all the end play out of the distributor.  Measure from below the flange to the bottom face of the gear.  If it's outside of around 3.045-3.050", then there's your problem. 

Brent Lykins
Lykins Motorsports
Custom FE Street, Drag Race, Road Race, and Pulling Truck Engines
Custom Roller & Flat Tappet Camshafts
www.lykinsmotorsports.com
brent@lykinsmotorsports.com
www.customfordcams.com
502-759-1431
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My427stang

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2022, 03:44:43 PM »
First, I'd check depth and compare it to the measurement on the block.  Easy to measure the block, it locates solidly in the valley and you can plunge a caliper in to the hole and get the exact distance for your block, then add some room for oil and you'll be there. Best to be on the loose side than the tight side. If the gear was too deep and rubbing hard, that could explain the gear wear, consider yourself lucky that you didn't shear a pin.

Second,  If the gear was correct, and probably even if it was wrong, if you don't have factory stock cam retainer bolts in it, pull the timing cover and check depth of the bolt in the drivers side hole.  As Brent said, almost every, if not every, aftermarket bolt is too long and guess what it blocks?...the distributor feed

As far as switching to bronze, if that got eaten in 150 passes, you may not get out of the trailer with bronze, with an oil or depth problem, they get ugly even faster.

I would replace that gear regardless though, the bottom wear is one thing but those teeth are a bit ugly for me
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Ross

- 70 Fastback Mustang, 489 cid FE, Victor, SEFI, Erson SFT cam, TKO-600 5 speed, 4.11 9 inch.
- 71 F100 shortbed 4x4, 461 cid FE, headers, Victor Pro-flo EFI, Comp Custom HFT cam, 3.50 9 inch

67xr7cat

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2022, 03:49:43 PM »
 :)
« Last Edit: April 26, 2022, 11:02:00 AM by 67xr7cat »

blykins

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2022, 03:53:23 PM »
Now that all said I do have a question what retainer are your using?  The stock ones usually are not hard enough for a billet cam.  Sometimes you get away with it, sometimes not. Best to use a bronze or roller bearing one.   

Good Luck, Steve

Probably not related, but that's a good tip for everyone buying roller cams.  I only use steel thrust plates with them. 
Brent Lykins
Lykins Motorsports
Custom FE Street, Drag Race, Road Race, and Pulling Truck Engines
Custom Roller & Flat Tappet Camshafts
www.lykinsmotorsports.com
brent@lykinsmotorsports.com
www.customfordcams.com
502-759-1431
Instagram:  brentlykinsmotorsports
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Jim Comet

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2022, 05:20:25 PM »
Good advice, thanks all. I did mention it to Blair before last year and he thought the MSD would be fine. I think I will talk with Bullit cams and see what they say. I went out today and looking down the distributor hole, the block does not appear polished like the bottom of the gear. I see not witness marks from gear wear. Again I think I will contact Bullit and most likely put on my new Crane gear while verifying the depth. Jim

blykins

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2022, 06:37:14 PM »
Not trying to tell you what to do but before I called anyone or changed gears, I would verify the current dimension and then prime the oil pump while looking down the dist hole. 

The thrust collar has two holes in it, which means it’s been changed at some point.  I see a lot of guys just line up the holes on new gears without measuring and it ruins stuff pretty quick.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2022, 06:39:49 PM by blykins »
Brent Lykins
Lykins Motorsports
Custom FE Street, Drag Race, Road Race, and Pulling Truck Engines
Custom Roller & Flat Tappet Camshafts
www.lykinsmotorsports.com
brent@lykinsmotorsports.com
www.customfordcams.com
502-759-1431
Instagram:  brentlykinsmotorsports
YouTube:  Lykins Motorsports

My427stang

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2022, 06:39:45 PM »
Not trying to tell you what to do but before I called anyone or changed gears, I would verify the current dimension and then prime the oil pump while looking down the dist hole.

Very good advice and zero cost
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Ross

- 70 Fastback Mustang, 489 cid FE, Victor, SEFI, Erson SFT cam, TKO-600 5 speed, 4.11 9 inch.
- 71 F100 shortbed 4x4, 461 cid FE, headers, Victor Pro-flo EFI, Comp Custom HFT cam, 3.50 9 inch

Jim Comet

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2022, 06:39:24 AM »
I will do that. It was me that put the new gear and collar on. I'll try and post a couple of min and max photo's.

Faron

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2022, 10:14:18 AM »
What Brent said !!! the gear distance is CRITICAL on Fords you really only have .010-.015 to play with , you dont want it to ram into the block when tightened or constantly be pulled down when its set to short on distance , NEVER Assume

Jim Comet

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2022, 08:22:19 PM »
Hey guys, I measured tonight and sure enough my extended length is 3.1 and compressed is 3.05. I think at this point I will install my new Crane gear and make sure it falls in the specified 3.045-3.050 range. Thanks for the help. Jim

Jim Comet

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Re: Distributor gear wear
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2022, 09:26:32 PM »
I found out my Crane gear is for a .531 shaft and my MSD is a .466 shaft distributor. So I contacted MDS and am going to send it to the to set up properly with a new steel gear. It is probably better to let a professional set it up anyway. Thanks for the advice. Jim