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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys and gals,

I have encountered an issue I have never had before. I got a 95 Bronco 302. My pickup went bad in my distributor. I bought a new distributor assembly., which initially dropped right in. I ended up pulling it back out to re-attach the rearward clip for the dist. cap that fell off.

Now I can't get it back in. I have done plenty of distributors before so the job is not new to me, but am stumped on this. I tried rotating the crank pulley by hand, bumping the starter, holding pressure down on the distributor while both of these are happening and can't get it to fall in.

I see a lot of issues come up in search with the oil pump shaft. I have looked into this and can say it is not that it isn't centered. I am thinking mine came disengaged when I pulled the distributor back out. I can visually see the cam gear rotating when starter is engaged and the oil pump shaft turn a bit too.

I have tried a 1/4" socket taped to an extension and rotated the shaft, I feel like it is to easy to turn. I do not feel any resistance. I was able to pull it up with a magnet and patience, but not remove it. It seems to have a stop from allowing to come to far out. I was able to pull it up a good inch or so though.

Rotating the shaft and even light taps with a rubber mallet or brass hammer do not seem to reseat it. I even tried to lightly tap the center shaft of the distributor but cannot get it any lower than about 1" over the intake. I am fairly certain it is the the pump shaft as I removed the drive gear from the old distributor and attempted to seat it just to rule out any cam gear mesh issues and it has the same result as the new assembled one.

Does anyone have suggestions to overcome this or is their something I am overlooking?
 

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Take a picture of inside the hole. Let's see where the oil pump shaft is located.

As far as turning the crank, this has ALWAYS worked for me. But remember, it takes at least a 90 degree turn to marry the shaft to the hex head in some instances.

To feel resistance when turning the shaft, you have to go counter clockwise. Clockwise just pushes air to the oil pan. Coutner - Clockwise will pull the oil up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I attached some pictures of how far I can get it in and the one you request.

Thank you for the note on the counter clockwise. I had thought I turned it both directions, but thinking back I'm not sure if I did. I am sure that I did clockwise motion though. Maybe I just need to grab my wife for a helping hand. When I didn't get it to drop in by rotating the crank with a breaker, I resorted to holding pressure on the dist. and bumping it with the coil unplugged at the fender relay/solenoid.

Let me know if you see anything standing out with your experience. Most of my background is SBC.
 

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It does not appear that the oil pump shaft is out of place.

Check the distributor for burrs where its sitting in the block in the picture above. Wiggle the shaft while dropping in to see if that helps.
Drop the distributor into the hole and manually turn the crank one full turn and see if it drops in place. It should drop in..

I made an edit to my post above, I see that I forgot "Counter" Clockwise to pull oil up
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well update.. Kinda.. I still cannot seem to get it seated, but after ruling out it can't be a cam gear mesh issue as the old distributor would not go back in either with the gear removed. I pulled of the oil pump drive shaft and dropped it back in. I got it to drop down more, I now feel resistance and the gears of the oil pump when turned by hand with a 1/4" ratchet.

Still can't get it in. I have turned it by hand again.. I have bumped it with pressure on. When I pulled up the shaft I made sure it slid easily into the bottom of the distributor and cleared any potential burs with light file work and emory cloth.

I have measured everything between the original and the new with a micrometer and they are the same. I have even spun the oil shaft from a taken apart distributor in a cordless drill to confirm the oil pump is seated.

What the hell could change? This distributor was in and timed. I now regret taking it back out to mess with the one clip that came off the cap.

If the gear is out of the equation, and the shaft is seated, and the dist. is confirmed I am out of ideas. Its not like the timing cover it inserts into can move out of line? I can align the oil pump drive shaft into the dead center and still not install.

I have never had a simple repair I have done countless times before bite me like this. I am stumped.
 

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Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
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this may be a dumb question, when you took the gear off, did you reinstall it the same way..seems like you've tried everything else..I'm thinking the teeth on the dizzy gear wore into a specific pattern and then won't seat in the other direction..that's all I got..good luck.

never mind..I see you bought a completely new distributor assembly..I'd bite the bullet and get another one and see if it works..If the new one doesn't you can always take it back..
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took the gear off the old distributor. I did not reinstall the gear.

So a distributor than had been installed, then now had no gear even will also not fit and stops at the exact same point.
 

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I hate to say it. But You problay will end up removing the oil pan to get to the bottom of this
It sounds to me like something got into the oil pump hex where the drive shaft goes
Somthing is not Allowing the shaft to seat all the way.
Must be some type of obstruction
 

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Is it possible you got a 351 distributor? I could be full of poop but aren't they're shafts just a tad longer which would in turn cause it not to seat? Taller deck height and all that?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is it possible you got a 351 distributor? I could be full of poop but aren't they're shafts just a tad longer which would in turn cause it not to seat? Taller deck height and all that?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
I had wondered this. The bottom of the current distributor takes 1/4" allen key to fit. Isn't the 351W a larger size?

I did get this one fully installed at first. I don't think it is the distributor itself, but I am going to return it to Rock and buy one from one of my local vendors. If nothing else, maybe just taking a break from it will let me come back fresh. I will update you all when I actually figure it out.
 

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Somthing changed. He can not get the original distributer that was in the engine to go back in either
In my mind that means oil pump drive shaft or the oil pump
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Somthing changed. He can not get the original distributer that was in the engine to go back in either
In my mind that means oil pump drive shaft or the oil pump
I agree. I just can't see it. I even lifted up the shaft out of the timing cover (of course it has a stop), but was able to confirm the shaft fit smoothly into the bottom of the distributor ruling out any unseen burs.

I fear an oil pan drop assuming it is an issue with the pump or something as the shaft itself seems to be ok. I worry something happened that is not able to be seen as everything visual I feel like I have combed over a few times.

I am not super familiar with Fords though, I primarily owned SBC/LS. My ford experience is limited to your typical passenger car engine that would come into the shop and a little BBF 460 (70s)
 

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'96 XL EEC-V 347 E40D 1356 411 6" lift 35x12.50x15
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Hmmmm,

Is your rig Indoors in a heated work area?
(Expansion vs Contraction)

just a thought.
 

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It's always possible the end of the shaft is not fully in the pump (I think others mentioned this). I ran in to this issue when I stupidly put the collar on the wrong end of the oil pump shaft when I built a motor for my mustang a number of years ago. If you can get a 1/4" socket on it and use a drill in reverse as if you are priming the oil system it will help rule that out. If it just spins with no oil getting pumped up through the system you may have found the problem. The first time tool me around 20 minutes with a magnet and thin stick to get it dropped in and fully engaged with the pump. Then the diz went right in with the typical small adjustments to line up the diz/top shaft portion.
Don't forget to tape the socket to your extension.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 
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