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cant remove distributor. please help me. im stupid.

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:34 PM   #1
9550
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Default cant remove distributor. please help me. im stupid.

hey all
trying to get the distributor off my car.
i have heard it can get stuck on there pretty good, but i think what i am encountering here is something special.
i cant spin it and i cant pull it out.
i have tried using a large adjustable wrench on the housing, no good. i then tried whacking the end of the wrench with a small sledge hammer, no good.
i tried heating the block as best i could around the base and then using the wrench and hammer technique, no good. i tried heating it, then spraying pbblaster, then wrnech and hammer, no good.
the wrench actually cracked, and then busted completely. distributor moved maybe, MAYBE, 0.5mm (i marked it before trying to remove it).
im guessing maybe i need a longer wrench to get more torque (or a wrench with a pipe over the handle, whatever). i dont know how that will work any better than the wrench/hammer combo, but i dont know much to begin with.
any suggestions will be considered.
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Last edited by 9550; 08-23-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:12 PM   #2
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If you cant spin it the shaft its locked up and youll play hell getting it out. You can try twisting the shaft while trying to pull it up but you may just have to creative with it.

Also im assuming you remove the hold down clamp.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boss_Hotrod View Post
If you cant spin it the shaft its locked up and youll play hell getting it out. You can try twisting the shaft while trying to pull it up but you may just have to creative with it.

Also im assuming you remove the hold down clamp.
theres a hold down clamp?!

just kidding.

but you might have helped me maybe. i have the car in gear. i assumed that wouldnt have caused me any trouble in getting this thing off, cause i assumed it should have pulled up pretty easy. but if youre telling me the shaft might be locked up, maybe the shaft isnt really locked up but the car being in gear makes it appear that way? im guessing the car being in gear has absolutely nothing to do with my problem however.

what exactly does the shaft being 'locked up' mean in general, and what does it mean for me in my situation (whats my next step basically)

thanks!
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Old 08-23-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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If the shaft is locked up you won't be able to move it. At the end of that shaft is a gear that matches up to one on the cam. So if you can't move the shaft, you can't move that gear. Making it very hard to separate from the cam.

I would take a breaker bar and socket and see if you can turn the crank. That would move the cam some and maybe free the shaft.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1slow67 View Post
If the shaft is locked up you won't be able to move it. At the end of that shaft is a gear that matches up to one on the cam. So if you can't move the shaft, you can't move that gear. Making it very hard to separate from the cam.

I would take a breaker bar and socket and see if you can turn the crank. That would move the cam some and maybe free the shaft.
Well, I already turned the crank to position the rotor before I started to pull the distributor, so that wont make a difference I guess. Which reminds me, the car isn't in gear (in case it mattered)
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:24 AM   #6
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If you can turn the crank then the shaft should spin if the gear is okay and the chain isnt broken. If thats the case the distributor should come out especially if you applied heat to it.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:13 PM   #7
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still cant get this thing out

i bought a new (bigger) wrench, and with the extra torque i can spin the distributor, but its very very difficult. i still cannot budge it even a tiny bit upwards however.

wtf can i do? it seems like im going to need some type of mini-jack or something to leverage it up. im trying to figure out a way i can get some type of fulcrum in the area and maybe use a crowbar or something.
this blows
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:44 AM   #8
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Odd situation. Thinking hard here...

First things first, this distributor is junk, so really.. make no qualms about destroying it in your attempts to get it out.

I'm struggling to find a reason for it to stick in 2 different directions, meaning spin & up. Obviously the shaft has seized itself to the casing, but what's causing the gear to snag? Hard to say.. Maybe the oil pump driveshaft ? Whats the purpose behind removing the distributor, anyway?

You might find yourself having to remove the timing chain/cover to fix this. Or just keep on hammerin' away.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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im taking the engine apart as a learning experience.

as far as the distributor being stuck: it appears that the distributor base is stuck in the opening, worse than if it was pressed in or something. i stuck my finger in the opening in the engine valley and the shaft gear thing seemed loose and unfrozen. cant be sure if i was feeling the spot i needed to feel however being a novice and all.

as far as the distributor being junk, not sure why youre saying that (cause its stock? cause i whacked the base with a wrench?), but i did have the apparently common problem of the engine dying in the heat which apparently gets remedied by the pip thing, or a full distributor replacement, so i guess im not saving this distributor either way.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:44 AM   #10
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if i took aff the timing chain, how would that help? better access?
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Old 08-27-2012, 01:07 PM   #11
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By removing the chain and cover you'd have access to the cam gear, could pry up on the dizzy from underneath. Maybe. It's been a while since I tore down a 5.0 block.

I called the dizzy junk because it shouldn't be frozen trying to spin it. The casing shaft isn't the same size as the hole in the block, it shouldn't stick. The fact that it is, likely means that the shaft is internally seized with the casing.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:53 PM   #12
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when you say the shaft might be seized, you mean the casing (housing), is seized to the block correct? (im pretty sure this is what you meant), not that the internal shaft (that spins the rotor) is seized to the casing of the distributor, right? the rotor spins normally (as far as i know) when i turn the crankshaft with a socket.
it stopped raining here, som im going to ty and pry this bitch off soon

thanks
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:17 PM   #13
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I meant the shaft that spins the rotor is seized to the casing of the distributor. Or at least thats how it seems given your description of the problem.

The diameter of the casing that goes into the block is roughly 1/2" smaller than the hole in the block, therefore it cannot seize itself in there. If it won't spin side-to-side, the shaft must be stuck to the casing.

Of course, if it spins by turning the crank, then my theory is shot to hell and I have no idea whats going on.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #14
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Thats what I said. If you inner shaft (one rotor is on) spins when you turn the crank im lost. It should just slide right out if that shaft spins since the shaft has to rotate for the dizzy to be removed. I doubt a stuck oil pump would be enough to lock the dizzy in the block.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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I just figured it out. Duh.. It's all about the meshing of the gear with the cam.

Since the inner shaft is seized to the casing, the gear cannot come loose from the cam, since it unmeshes itself by turning counter clockwise as you lift the distributor out.

Find a way to force the inner shaft counter clockwise as you lift the distributor. Take the rotor off, the shaft itself should be squared off in some fashion, to which maybe a wrench can be applied to it. Turn the wrench left as you lift, and hey presto, you're done.

Here's hoping.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdel View Post
I just figured it out. Duh.. It's all about the meshing of the gear with the cam.

Since the inner shaft is seized to the casing, the gear cannot come loose from the cam, since it unmeshes itself by turning counter clockwise as you lift the distributor out.

Find a way to force the inner shaft counter clockwise as you lift the distributor. Take the rotor off, the shaft itself should be squared off in some fashion, to which maybe a wrench can be applied to it. Turn the wrench left as you lift, and hey presto, you're done.

Here's hoping.
but the inner shaft isnt seized. the inner shaft turns when i turn the crank with a socket. or am i misunderstanding what youre saying?

also, there is up and down play of the rotor shaft. very little, maybe it goes up and down 1/32". it moves that much easily by hand. and again, it spins when i turn the crank. it really appears the problem is the casing is stuck.

after the rain stopped, i went out there today and used a flat bar (carpentry tool) and tried to pry it up. seems it lifted just enough to see that it lifted, but the amount was too small to measure. know what i mean? like i can see that it obviously moved upwards, but the amount was tiny, like 1/100"

i sprayed more pbblaster in there and will go buy a big crowbar tomorrow. the flatbar is only like 15" long, not enough leverage apparently.

i will take some pics tomorrow too so i can be clear on what i am talking about and what you guys are telling me

i will try the 'spin the shaft while pulling' trick if i can. im doing this alone, so it might be tough.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
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The diameter of the casing that goes into the block is roughly 1/2" smaller than the hole in the block, therefore it cannot seize itself in there. If it won't spin side-to-side, the shaft must be stuck to the casing.
the diameter of this casing as far as i can see is exactly the same diameter of the hole in the block, unless it gets smaller below my line of sight. like i said earlier, its like it was pressed in there.

pics coming tomorrow. maybe im really dumb and not doing something right
i know for sure the hold down clamp is off though!
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:23 PM   #18
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oh ok, I wasn't clear on whether or not the rotor was capable of turning. nevermind then. As far as the diameter, I'm pretty sure it tapers down rather quick, but maybe it is roughly the same size right underneath the clamp lip. You are likely on the correct path in that you just need to keep prying on it.

I've never really seen one get that stuck before, so it's pretty much a guessing game for me.
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Old 08-28-2012, 02:18 PM   #19
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i got it off
finally
went to harbor fright, picked up a 36 wrecking bar for like $8
stuck it under protrusion of the casting and rocked it a bit. didnt come right out, still took some decent effort. then all of a sudden, POP! then i immediately started worrying that maybe i broke something internally.
take a look at these pics. does anything look abnormal?
when i looked down the hole, i saw that irrgular shaped thing that i just assumed should have been circular and thought it broke and was maybe why i couldnt get this thing out, but further review makes me think thats the shape its supposed to be.
but check out the red circle are, look right? im going to go back out and look at it more closely. the pic looks like at least some of the diameter of the hole is damaged. (definitely not using the correct terms here)
looks also like theres a gasket on the distributor casing that has deteriorated.

anyway, thanks for the help

imageshack for some reason inverts pictures. the top picture is inverted.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:01 PM   #20
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anybody know if everything looks ok in the pic above (red circle, and other stuff in that photo)?
thanks
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:01 PM
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