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rhusak

Distributor install

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Hi All...
Long time follower Old Studebaker fan with a 63 R2 Avanti that I have owned a good while.. Maybe 8 or 9 years..
Here is my story.. Several years ago I had a power steering pump fail.. I parked the car in the garage and there it sat as I was in the middle of 2 knee replacements and my back went south...
Well recently I got enough initiative to try to get the car on the road and possibly sell it.. My back is still quite bad but at this point is tolerable if not pushed too hard or actually hardly at all...
Well I got the pump back on and ready to go but the battery (which was out of the car) which I reinstalled but found it had shot craps even though on a maintainer... Well between pulling it out again and reinstalling a new one my back was out of commision for a couple of days... Anyhow, Decided to try to get it fired up... No Go... I suspect the Pertronix ignition shot craps as the type ones were apt to do... So I called Dave T-Bow and got a new one and a new coil to freshen things up..
I figured as old as I am (74) and as shaky as I have become (100% disabled Vietnam Vet with quite a few issues) It would be prudent for me to pull the distributor to change and clean things up. I am the son of a Studebaker dealer and have owned a few in the prevailing years so I felt comfortable doing it this way.
Well.. It came up pretty easily and things went according to plan UNTIL it was time to drop it back in... For the life of me I can't get the unit to drop back in.. I mean not just to get the oil pump drive lines up but can't get the shaft back into it's hole or get the gear past the boss..
I never remember having these issues before! Am I missing something? Is there a trick here? I have tried about a half hour at a time (all my back will stand) at different angles moving it about and all no dice!
Any ideas would be most appreciated...
Thanks in advance..
Ron Husak
Conifer, Colorado

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If I read this right, you are using the same distributor in the same engine.  I assume that the engine hasn't been turned.  Then I can not see what is giving you the problem, unless there is something in the way, like a washer (that is blocking the hole) or something else fell into or on the distributor hole.  Get a good light and perhaps a mirror and look around and in the area of the hole.    

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Ron, thank you for your service in Vietnam....You HEROS got a raw deal when returning home, and some of you, like my cousin, never did recover from that traumatic experience.

About that distributor....the tolerances are 'close' as you drop it down into the engine.....Clean off any varnish on the housing with a red 3M scuff pad....liberally coat the housing with engine oil and then shake and twist the distributor while pushing it down....They can sometimes be a real tight fit, but it definitely should go back in.....Good luck....Ed

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Ed..

 Thanks for the kind words.. I remember when we came home from Deployment (I was a Navy Sea Bee) we were warned not to wear our uniforms home on leave!

 Thanks for the advice... I will use a Harbor Freight Borescope in the morning and look see.. The 3M pad is also a good idea..

 Thanks

Ron

 

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I have had the difficulty also and finally come to realized the engine is on a slight incline therefore to drop it straight in does not work. I found that by raising the back of the car such the engine is no longer on a slant then the distributor drops right in. Of course you may have to rearrange the spark plug wires to correspond with the timing. Pull the plug on #1 and rotate the engine such that you get a rush of air out then check where the rotor is pointing, that is #1, and you can rearrange your wires accordingly. Also if the distributor lacks a little from setting then just bump the starter and it will fall into the oil pump slot.


Chet.. I think your tip helped me get it in... Started with jacking about 4 inches.. No deal.. Then 6 inches nope.. Then about 8 inches.. And clunk dropped in... Even the rotor is pointing in the right direction!
I tried the suggestions everyone suggested.. Tried with all of this almost 2 hours.. Looks in with a borescope.. Everything looked like new...
Tried the greased joint nope.. I had wheel bearing grease but it really didn't hold it that well.. But when I got to 8 inches jacking after a couple of minutes.. Clunk it dropped in...
Then I promptly dropped the distributor hold down somewhere.. I thought it went all the way through but no deal... By that time my back was screaming so it will wait till tomorrow... Beak out the Borescope and look around.. 
Thanks to all for the tips..
Maybe get it running tomorrow when my back calms down...
Thanks again..
 Ron Husak
 

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