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I'll say it again.....lube the O-ring. You said the pump and shaft are not installed, so unless the gear on the distributor is improperly installed and it's not hitting the intake, it's hanging up on the O-ring.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I'll look at it tonight. It honestly feels like metal hitting metal, which is preventing further downward movement of the dizzy. GWL (george) on the other forum was having some issues as well. Reading his posts, there seems to be a difference is the length of the dizzy shaft below the gear on post 1987 EFI distributors compared to 1986 and before. Some have trimmed this shaft as a last resort if the shoulder of the dizzy shaft was hitting the circlip on the oil pumpshaft or the widened part of the pumpshaft. However, it appeared that it was like a 1/2" difference in length, which wouldn't be very subtle. On the other forum it appears that the pre 1986 dizzy shaft ends about 1" below the bottom of the gear. I'll measure this when I get home.
Jeff, i'll also clean out any paint around the hole for the dizzy and try taking off the O ring to see if this is what's keeping it from dropping the extra 1/16-1/8".
 

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If the pump and the shaft are not installed, then what relevance would that have on the fit of the distributor? If the pump shaft isn't installed, then CROSS that off as the problem. Stop bouncing all over the place and be systematic in finding what the problem is. We are trying to help.
 

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I agree with Jeff. Remove the paint from beveled area on the hole in the block for the distributor. Paint and O ring rubber will stick to each other. Run a tap down the bolt hole for the distributor hold down clamp.

Like Rich said, definitely lube the distributor hole with assembly lube or engine oil. DO NOT USE ANYTHING OUT OF A SPRAY CAN. The carriers in these products may attack the rubber O ring and make it soft and sticky.

Make sure the cap is on or the rotor removed and slightly twist the distributor while gently pushing down. If you feel metal on metal grinding STOP and look for witness marks on the distributor.

I would try these steps before removing the O ring for a trial fit. You may stretch the O ring while trying to remove it and only make things worse.

HTH

Norm
 
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I'm also going to agree with Rich. There are a few ways this can go wrong. Let's eliminate possibilities.

Remove paint if any inside distributor bore
Remove o ring from distributor.
Leave pump and drive shaft out of engine.
Install distributor.
Does it fit?
Push on central shafts of distributor. Can it still move 0.010-0.030" between the block gear support and the distributor collar. If so add driveshaft and pump back in.

If no:
Does distributor hit the intake?
No:
The distributor is pinned incorrectly. Grease should mark the block support.


Phil
 

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refer to the link above from Ford Racing but concentrate on the column on the right highlighted in red - "Alternative method of verifying correct distributor gear installation". Doesn't matter if it is 289,302 or whatever. There must be some free play after installation. Also pay attention to the "Common distributor problems". All these issues are addressed. The unfortunate truth is that many "ready to run distributors" are not in fact ready to run at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
OK. Finally figured it out after removing paint around the dizzy hole, lubing up the o ring, measuring gear distances, etc. My dizzy was hitting the intake🤦‍♂️. This was the metal on metal sensation i was noticing that i thought was something internal interfering.
360024
Wasn't able to initially see it because my wiring harness was obscuring the view. I ended up filing a spot on the intake and on the dizzy to get clearance. Now fits all the way down with enough room to turn the dizzy to adjust timing.
360023
 

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So, for a month, you've looked for problems inside the engine? But didn't check the simple obvious thing to see if it cleared the intake? The first rule of problem solving is, check the simplest, easiest first.
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
So, for a month, you've looked for problems inside the engine? But didn't check the simple obvious thing to see if it cleared the intake? The first rule of problem solving is, check the simplest, easiest first.
Well honestly I hadn't spent too much time troubleshooting other than searching the forums because of other irons in the fire (replacing oil pump, getting studs to access the rear pan bolts, getting teflon fuel lines back, finding appropriate AN hose clamps, etc). I'm just glad this "ah ha" moment was a relatively easy fix. This is my first real significant automotive building experience, so thanks for helping and being patient and supportive.
My next build will go much smoother 😎
 
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Great that you actually found what the interference was caused from. I have also sweated over things and then all of a sudden there is the solution looking right at me. So the lesson I try to exercise is to be very observant all of the time, not just when I have time.
 

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The distributor shaft come up at a slight angle. Floor jack the car until that angle is straight up and down, center the shaft with a small screwdriver and the distributor should drop in. If not, rotate the shaft slightly and try again. Dumping a little oil on the end of the shaft never hurts...
 

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Discussion Starter #54 (Edited)
Well, my original problem (pump shaft tipped to one side) still likely exists. I need to remove the dizzy again to prime the system before first start. The clearance issue with the intake only gave me the final 1/8"of downward movement that I recently discovered after removing the pump and shaft. Before, there was like 1"of dizzy still showing. I was able to eliminate the pump shaft interference by dropping the pan and inserting the pump shaft from below while I was there replacing my pump anyway. I'll use Doc's suggestion of holding the shaft in the center of the bore with a glob of grease or Tom's suggestion of jacking up one side of the car when the time comes.
 

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Flip the shaft so it's taper end up while the pump is out. If the clip is ok the wrong end. Move the clip. You still may need to cut the distributor depending on what shaft you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Flip the shaft so it's taper end up while the pump is out. If the clip is ok the wrong end. Move the clip. You still may need to cut the distributor depending on what shaft you have.
Both sides are exactly the same. Fat middle with tapered hex ends, both 1". Clip can fit on either side, and slides down and stops where the hex ends. I'll use grease like I mentioned earlier to hold the shaft in the center of the housing if it tips to one side again.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
You said it was an inch out of the block?
Yes, originally dizzy wouldn't sit down because the end of the shaft was hitting the top of the tipped pump shaft. Everything fits now that i replaced the oil pump and while doing so inserted the pump shaft from below.
 
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