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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
here is my predicament.... i got the oil pan on the other night and the motor back in my truck but now i can t get the oil pump drive shaft to line up with the distributor! it engages with the cam and it seems to hit the shaft. when i had the pan off i could get it with wiggling the shaft from underneath but now i can t get it to seat all the way! and how do i know if the motor is back to TDC so i can set the timing? is there a certian way to do it before i fire it?
 

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Presuming this is a 302? But it is similar for most engines regardless.

To get TDC for #1 cylinder. Rotate the crank until just before TDC. Make sure you have the valve cover off on the #1 bank. Watch for the intake valve closing before before it starts coming back up towards TDC. This way you'll know it is TDC on the compression stroke. If the exhaust valve is closing as it comes to TDC then your 180 degrees off.
Once you're set. Lower the distributor meshing the gear. Make sure the rotors is pointing at #1 cap wire position and also make sure your vac advance pot (if equipped) is reasonable centered in its adjustment range, However you need to account for the few degrees it will move as it meshes lower onto the cam gear. The best thing at this point is to bump the starter while holding down the distributor. If there is no interference due to parts mismatch it should drop into place. Just be sure if you have a 302 make sure you haven't swapped in a 351 pump shaft as they are bigger and won't fit a 302 dizzy socket. STu
 

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By all means, do as the capt says and bump the starter. If it drops in properly, it should be easy to arrange the wires and move the distributer to correspond to TDC. If you can't get it to drop, then I have a couple of questions:

Is it possible that you placed the shaft retaining clip in the wrong location?

Is this a new aftermarket shaft? It is possible that it is too long for your application. Sometimes it must be ground off to fit properly.
 

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I don't have any tips, just a word of encouragement. When I did this the first time after rebuilding my 460 I tried repeatedly before it worked. I was sure something was wrong, but it was just my inexperienced hands. I have been driving it for a year and a half. Your results may vary, of course. Good luck.
 

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If you don't want to "bump the starter" to get the distributor to drop in ...

You can use a long extension and 5/16" socket (tape the 5/16 socket to the extension so it can't fall off the extension) and simply turn the oil pump drive shaft a tiny bit one way or the other until you get the Distributor to drop in ...

Just my preference, but I like this method better than cranking the motor with a partially "disloged" distributor gear in there.

Something about that just bothers me ... but folks do it that way all the time ...

Understand this is just my preference...

As an added benefit ...

I can do it with the 5/16 socket "100% all by my self" with no fear of harm to anything.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: MonsterMach on 11/3/06 10:53am ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes it is a 302, and all stock compenents except the oil pump is a high volume. it seems as if the shaft lays to one side, when i had the pan off if i played with the shaft through the bottom it was no problem to get it in, but the other thing is it seems as though the dist. doesn't seat all the way, now it is just a tiny bit like 1/8" than if i would just put it in with no shaft. and the spring clip would only go in one way so i don t know how else you would put it in. thanks!
 

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I wouldn't use the starter to bump it over. (safety reasons) I would use a socket and long pull handle on the crank bolt. I have had pretty easy results that way. Sometimes I go the other way, just a smigen, and it drops right in. Just a thought. The bottom of the distributor is a made to allow the rounded end of the shaft to slide in even if it is lending to the side.

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<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: retyler on 11/3/06 10:30am ]</font>
 

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Pull #1 plug and hold finger over spark plug hole. Then crank motor with breaker bar, when you feel compression you know your on compression stroke. Keep rotating until the timing mark lines up with what you want for initial timing(I always rotate and line up with 11-12 degees) When the crank is at 12 drop dist. so it point directly at #1 on cap. drop in like you have been and make sure you have it engaged with cam. rotate motor again with breaker bar while pushing down on dist. and it will fall into place because the cam is rotating dist. After it fall down rotate motor opposite back to 12 on balancer and rotate dist. until pointing at #1.
 

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I think that greasemonkey85 is saying that he can't get the dist. to drop in because the top of the oilpump shaft won't line up with the socket on the bottom of the dist. Yes, the pump shaft can actually lay over to one side far enough to cause this even though it's rounded, particularly if the holes in that particular block casting are slightly bigger. I had an old 302 that was a real pain that way. What I finally did will sound funny, like "No way I'm trying that!" but it works and won't hurt anything: Pull the pump shaft out of the engine with little forceps or something. Don't drop it in the engine!! Clean off all the oil on the shaft end and the end of the distributor. Using just a drop or two of superglue, install the shaft into the distributor bottom all the way and straight. When dry, install the whole thing back into the engine. Goes in pretty easy. I've done this several times and it works on engines with this problem.
 
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