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Senior Charter Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have not been able to get my 302 distributor to seat all the way down in its mount. It stands about 1/8 inch above its fully seated postion - the upper o-ring seal is just about even with machined surface on the block. It seems to be real solid at this position. The cam gear is engaged and the oil pump coupling shaft is also engaged (my oil pan is off so I have access to the oil pump coupling shaft).

The engine has been rebuilt with a new oil pump and drive coupling.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

DogCatcher :mad: :mad:
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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522 Posts
Can you move the oil pump shaft up and down a little while the distributer is installed?

Have you tried to rotate the engine a little, Sometimes it will seat after you move it back and fourth.

Go Fast
 

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What kind of dist is it? My MSD dist was tight to seat the first time. I had to put the car in gear and rock it to get the oil pump shaft to line up, then it seated.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Go Fast,

Thanks for the reply! I stepped into the garage and tried to move the coupling shaft up and down. Since the distributor is not bolted down, any up movement moves the distributor up by the same amount. So, the difficulty is with the coupling shaft. The shaft has a "keeper" on it to prevent dropping the shaft into the oil pan when the distributor is removed. Could it be that this "keeper" is set too high or could the coupling shaft be too long (and not for this motor and oil pump combination)?

Thanks again,

DogCatcher
 

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I had that issue a few times in the past myself. What happens is that the hex on the oil pump shaft is not indexed exactly where it needs to be to align while the cam gear is being meshed with the dist. gear. What I've done in the past is pull the dist. back out, and turn the pump drive using a socket or priming rod a little at a time until it lines up right. Since you have the pan off, you could have someone turn the rotor slightly while pushing it down, and you can align the pump drive from underneath. You could also just unbolt the pump, seat the dist where you want it, then go back and insert the shaft from underneath and remount the pump.

Personally I would try indexing it from the top as I explained earlier to minimize the work.

good luck!
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Spddemon,

The distributor is the stock Ford one that came with my donor.

Thanks for the post!

DogCatcher
 

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Pull out the distributor.

Look down at the top of the oil pump drive shaft.

If you don't see a clearly defined "point" on the end of the oil pump drive shaft, the shaft has been installed upside down. The point fits into the recess in the bottom of the distributor about 1/8" further. The oil pump itself has a "Flat" bottom to the hole that the shaft fits in and the shaft will ride "High" if it is upside down.

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That being said - there are also some after market drive shafts that have been machined so that they have a longer hex end for the bottom than for the top - they should still have a point machined on them anyways.

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The real p!$$er is that if the shaft is in upside down, you have to pull the pan and the pump to square it away properly.
 

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We don't need no stinkin stitches
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1,432 Posts
Yup as BigFoot said, the shaft has to go in before oil pump is installed, from bottom of block.
I did the same thing and had to remove the oil pump to install it.
Jack
 

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Fast Snake Charmer
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585 Posts
If you have replaced your oil pump with a heavy-duty (aftermarket), some are designed for the older distributor (shorter shaft).

You will have to cut 1/2" off the the end of the distributor shaft and clean it up with a file. Very easy.

I've done this, but still tring to understand why Ford designed the longer shaft!?!

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Greeen1,

Thanks for the post! I have checked to make sure the pump and distributor are properly engaged to the coupling shaft. They seem to be correct (lift the distributor with the lower end set into the oil pump - then as is drop the distributor, the distributor will fall to its 1/8 inch off its mounting surface when the coupling engages). I don't think the coupling is installed upside down, because the instructions with the pump made a special point the slide on "keeper" was to be installed towards the top of the motor so that the coupling would not fall into the oil pan when the distributor is removed. It is installed towards the top of the engine.

Your reply seems to make the most sense to me. It seems that the coupling shaft is too long. Is there any way to verify this before I go changing something else?

DogCatcher
 

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I think Dave hit the nail on the head with the oil pump drive shaft length. Ford Racing also sells the shorter EFI shaft if you'd rather not cut the one you have. As far as checking the length now, I don't know of any way without taking it out. The only other thing I would check is to make sure the retaining clip is on the oil pump side of the block and not the distributer side.
 

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The Never-Ending Builder
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5,329 Posts
DC,

I have both an ARP and a Melling oil pump drive shaft. Both check out at 7 1/2 inches in length. Both shafts have the retainer/keeper on the end of the shaft that is pointed, and the keeper is 7/8 from the pointed end. The bottom portion that goes into the pump is flat. Hope this helps.

Hank
 

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Fast Snake Charmer
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585 Posts
We first ran the motor with a carb on a stand and no problem. Installed EFI dist & then about went nuts until we put the distributors side-by-side.

Borrow an older shaft from someone (Autozone?) & see what happens.

Like I said, very easy fix (and cheap) if this is your situation.

Dave
 

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Dogcatcher, If I'm reading you right you have the keeper on the top, this is'nt right, goes on the bottom. , don't sweat yet, you can pull the shaft and remove the keeper and install the shaft without it if you don't want to pull the pan right now.[of couse if you do drop it you'll be pulling the pan anyway.] As a help later on get an extra socket that fits the oil pump shaft and weld it to an extension rod so when installing the dist. you can reach in there and tweek the oil pump to get the drive lined up, never have had a ford dist. drop right in with out some cussing, and I've had the shaft in the pan to, at least the cobras are easy to get to.It helps to smooth the upper end [ end only!]of the shaft to help the dist. seat on it.
 

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The Never-Ending Builder
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5,329 Posts
To quote from the "Offical Factory Guide To Building Ford Short-Track Power"

If the shaft from Ford Racing is to be used, first press the enclosed collar on to the longer hex end of the shaft all the way to the bottom of the hex(only the first 1 1/2 inches of each end of the shaft are hex, the rest of the OD is round). This is the end that will go into the bottom of the distributor. The collar will keep the shaft captured between the oil pump and the distributor pilot.
So make sure the metal press on collar goes on the distributor end. And that you push it down at least 7/8 to 1 inch. ARP list only one shaft for 289-302 engines, just so you know.

Hank


[ December 31, 2003, 12:12 AM: Message edited by: Hankl ]
 

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Senior Charter Member
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173 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Thanks a million for all the input! My distributor is now seated properly! I pressed the retainer clip off of the coupling shaft and tried the fit - distributor seated properly without modifying in any way the coupling shaft. I then pressed on the retainer clip leaving it about a full 7/8 inch from the upper (pointed) end of the coupling shaft. With this measurement, I tried the coupling shaft to make sure that the lower end would not disengage from the oil pump when the distributor is out. It would not. I then installed the distributor and it seated properly!

Again, I appreciate all the good inputs!

DogCatcher
 

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FFCobra Fanatic
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Ya!!!! Great news!!!! Now you can go on with the rest of your build ;)

Good luck, Go Fast
 
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