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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, the antifreeze is drained, the carb is off, and the distributor is next. Isn't distributor gear drive a helical unit? How do I take the distibutor off and then get it back on the same place when I reassemble so I don't have to play with timing?

I am looking at the valve train. There is a big nut in the middle of the rocker arm. Do I just take the nut off and remove the rockers to relieve forces on the push rods and valves?

Does everyone promise that I will be able to get the head past the AC evaporator box?


If I am wasting group bandwidth with my questions, please let me know. I don't want to bog down the forum, but I think others may find this thread as interesting as I do.
 

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1. Easiest way is to bring engine to TDC and make sure rotor points to #1 then yank it. BTW, don't turn engine over while heads are off.

2. Personally, I'd take the rocker and push rods out first. Gonna have to anyway to get the heads back on.
I prefer to put each pushrod through a box of some sort so I can put them back on the same rocker and lifter.

3. Sure
Actually the head should only have to lift 1/4" or so to clear the guide pins/dowels. That's one reason why you want to take the pushrods out now.

4. That's what the forum is for.

Almost forgot, don't forget to remove ALL the head bolts.

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Dale McIntosh
Team Chevelle Gold #92
ACES #1709

1974 454 Corvette for sale
www.dalesplace.com

[This message has been edited by Dale McIntosh (edited 02-12-2001).]
 

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Actually gibbons, there isn't an easy way. Sure you can turn the engine to TDC before and remove it and mark the position of the rotor with paint and all that. But part of your learning process will be learning how to reinstall and time a distributor completely from scratch. Now's a good a time as any to learn. Any mechanic should be able to reinstall a distributor after someone blindfolds him, removes the distributor, and spins the engine a few times. It's one of those things you must teach yourself. We'll help you when you get to that stage. I usually have people remove and install them several times until they get the hang of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, yeah, I know I should learn to do it right. But if there are tricks to shorten the process and save me time, I want 'em. I am also restoring my own '71 Schwinn Fastback Stingray, trying to be a good husband and father to my 3 kids, etc. Time is very important to me.

I taught myself how to align the propshaft within .001" on my inboard direct drive MasterCraft ski boat. That is one of those jobs that is "only for trained technicians". It took me about 4 hours the first time. I can do it now in 30 minutes. If up front someone had said, "oh, yeah, elevating the front right engine mount 1/16" makes a .002" difference at the flange, it would have cut the learning time in half.

So, I am open to any slight-of-hand tricks on this big block work
 

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I only say it because it's the number one reason I've had people call me at night needing my help. They either have the distributor installed 180 off, or they're not even close to having the engine timed right. This is one of those things that, like your propshaft, once you learn how to do it, it'll be a piece of cake.
Like I said, we'll get you through it. Email me if you have to when the time comes.
 

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Turn the engine so the timing mark is lined up with "0" on the timing tab. Be sure the rotor is aimed at number 1 plug wire. Before you unbolt the distributor hold down, put a mark in the body of the dist directly above the hold down bolt. A felt pen is best. Unbolt the hold down and lift the distributor, hold the distributor still, don't turn it. The rotor will turn, as soon as it stops turning put a mark on the distributor housing where the rotor is pointing. DO NOT turn the engine again until the distributor is back in.

To put it back in. Align the mark on the out side of the housing with the hold down bolt hole. Align the rotor with mark you made for it. Drop the distributor in. If all goes right the tang in the distributor shaft will drop right into the oil pump drive. Re-install the hold down and bolt. Align the mark on the outside with bold and snug it up. You should be close enough to start the engine. Re-check your timing with your light.

If the tang in the dist shaft won't drop into the pump, you may need to turn the pump with a long screwdriver. I'll will be very close so don't turn it very much.

There are other ways to do this but this works well.

Hope this helps,

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Pat Kelley
66 El Camino, daily driver
67 El Camino, STRIP/street
Pat's Page (CR Calculator, Utilites, car specs)
 

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gibbons,

also cover the fender with an old blanket or a fender cover. if you have a buddy that can come over and help you lift the head out it is a good idea. I do them by my self, first time I did it was when I was 13 with my dad, almost drooped it!LOL. take your time...do not rush the job as when you rush you make a mistake or hurt yourself or the damage the part.

most of all have fun and be careful!!!
 

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I feel like that guy who calls at night, about dropping in a dist and timing.
It has taken me 2 distributors (one bad of course) and 3 seperate days of trying all about 4 hrs total learning. I think I have it now. The tricks are not to overtighten valves (glowing headers may result), make sure the timing mark is on 0, make sure you bump the engine over to feel the air exit the 1 plug hole.
Last, but not least call someone for the first time. It is easier to learn from someone experienced.
 

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Don't forget to label all the rocker arms and pushrods, you want to be sure to put them on the same cylinder they came off of. I don't know what kind of heads you have but I think they are all basically the same external dimensions. My heads are #3964280 oval port closed chamber and they cleared okay like I said before but every car is different. But I'm 99.99 percent sure you'll be allright. Feel free to email me if you get stuck. I just went through the same thing a few weeks ago. I am going a few steps further though and changing the cam too. That was kind of a pain, I had to remove the motor mount bolts and jack the motor up a few inches to clear the grill when removing the cam. I would have taken the whole motor out but I don't have a garage or a hoist. Also when you get all the bolts out and start prying the heads off if they don't break free fairly easy check again to make sure you got all the bolts out. It's easy to miss one when the motor is in the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
When we built our house, we built a second,detached garage around back. I designed in a massive I-beam strong enough to lift and support my 2600 lb boat. It ought to hold that big block, huh? How hard is it to just yank the whole motor???
 
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