Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA area
Re: 6 cylinder dist vacuum diaphram interferes with oil dipstick
I see two solutions here, one is that the dipstick tube may be slightly bent, and reshaping it a hair would allow full function without moving the distributor. The distributor (and vacuum canister) appears to be in a typical location. The alternative is to 'clock' the distributor by either 60° (one cylinder) or per-tooth.
Method 1: To clock the distributor one cylinder, the concept is to simply rotate only the distributor body (housing) 60° clockwise, then move the spark plug wires one terminal counter-clockwise. This leaves the distributor firing exactly where it was, but with it's body and cap one cylinder clockwise, and plug wires shifted to compensate.
Method 2: Move the entire assembly, held in it's current orientation, between one tooth and one cylinder clockwise. For this, we must index mark the body and internals to maintain their alignments, remove the assembly as a whole, and re-insert in the new position. As the assembly parts do not change relationship, the plug wires are not moved.
Note with this second method, that the oil pump driveshaft may require turning so the distributor can re-engage the drive easily when re-inserted. Also note the required reference indexing, which is commonly done with tape or marker, noting the relationship of the rotor tip to a reference such as the distributor body, to verify proper alignment after re-insertion.
To finish either job, you can attempt starting the engine and re-set base timing with the timing light. Or, you can pre-set the timing to 12° by connecting a continuity device (ohm meter, continuity meter, test light, etc.) to the points, and turn the distributor body to where the meter shows the points break contact (to fire) when the crank is setting at 12°BTC on #1 compression stroke.
Trivia - A distributor timing 'buzzer' or 'squealer' was a little battery or car-powered device that simply made a sound when there was continuity. They were small and clipped directly to the distributor points, allowing the operator to accurately set base timing when the crank was set at the desired degrees of advance, as in the method above. They were common to see in toolboxes or glove boxes, as it allowed changing points and re-timing on the side of the road without a timing light, but these days they are understandably unusual to find.
-=≡ If it was easy everyone would do it ≡=-
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