HEI distributor gear swap help

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atf01
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HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by atf01 » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:59 pm

Hello everyone, I recently got an HEI distributor, I've been trying to install the old distributor gear on the new distributor but i'm having trouble getting the pin through, not as in it's too tight, but as in the holes do not align, the following picture shows how the pin wont come out the other hole after getting it through the first hole in the distributor and through the hole in the shaft, could my distributor be deffective and have the hole in the shaft not centered properly?, any ideas on how to get it through? i'm thinking of drilling out one of the holes in the gear and then maybe tack welding the pin on that size or hammering it with a punch to widen it out because it'll obviously be too loose after drilling it.

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Stuka
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by Stuka » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:10 pm

I would pull the gear off and see if the hole is actually straight. Looks like it was drilled at an angle since the gear was obviously ok on another distributer. I would definitely not drill anything out.

Who made the distributer?
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


rocklaurence
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by rocklaurence » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:22 am

If it were me, I'd run a drill bit through it to align the holes. Its not a precision fit and the gear floats a little on the cam gear.

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Stuka
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by Stuka » Tue Oct 20, 2020 6:33 am

rocklaurence wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:22 am
If it were me, I'd run a drill bit through it to align the holes. Its not a precision fit and the gear floats a little on the cam gear.
You would void the warranty on a brand new distributer? I guess if I was in a super rush I might. But getting it exchanged for one without the issue is the better course of action.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


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atf01
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by atf01 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:29 am

Regarding the warranty I'm not really worried since that's not much of an option, I'm not in the US and getting it returned is really complicated and expensive :mrgreen:, after destroying two roll pins (my bad since I got a bit desperate and I'm not exactly using a proper punch for these), I drilled through both holes as you suggested, with a drill bit just slightly (and I mean slightly) bigger than the original holes, still wouldnt fit, then i grabbed a tiny drill bit, and slowly started beveling from the inside to the outside on the side that catches on the gear hole, I took my time checking with the pin and grinding at it until it eventualy fit, it fits really snug now, and now the shaft doesnt spin freely, i'm going to pull the pin out again and pull out one of the shims and see if that fixes it, I'll explain what I think it's happening on the next post.


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atf01
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by atf01 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:41 am

So the HEI distributor I ordered from amazon, it's made by Top Street Performance, but i think all of these china distributors are the same just rebranded lol, from what I've been reading online, most people have no issues fitting the pin through, but a small amount of people run into the same issue I had. most of them just drill the hole out on one side and put some jb weld on it after they get the pin through if it doesnt fit tight anymore, what I think is happening is, the holes are drilled crooked on some gears (or on the shafts themselves) making it impossible for the pin to fit through, even by forcing it (which if you do you'll just destroy the pin trying to hammer it or press it in because it has no where to go on the side that catches),as you punch the pin through the first hole and into the shaft the gear shifts about 1mm or maybe even less and that's just enough to get it not to fit, I read somewhere they do that on purpose so that it holds the gear better since it's forced on, which makes sense too but depending on the pin size, and if it's beveled or not it just won't go in, now the cleanest solution seems to be what I did, taking out a bit of material at the right angle on one of the gear holes is better than just gouging out the hole with a bigger drill bit, it still fits tight and if you feel like adding some jb weld around the pin where it's not touching the borders of the hole for insurance it can be done, either that or maybe a tiny tack weld, talk about a freak occurence this thing was.

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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by Stuka » Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:53 am

I would advise against putting JB weld on that. When it cracks and comes off (and it will) it will drop into the cam/distributer gear, the timing set gears, and will end up in the oil pan where it can then get sucked up.

If the pin is not wanting to stay in, you could mushroom each end of it a bit.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


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atf01
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by atf01 » Tue Oct 20, 2020 2:13 pm

Yeah on second thought you're absolutely right, I managed to punch it in far enough that I feel comfortable with the engagement on both sides, replaced the shims for the one on the old distributor after trying to sand down one of them trying to get it to spin freely but it still wasn't enough, there's some up and down play, but I reassembled the old distributor and realized there was far more play than that and it was working ok so I'm not too concerned with that, good luck to anyone having the same issue, I hope my experience helps


threepiece
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by threepiece » Wed Oct 21, 2020 9:06 am

atf01 wrote:
Tue Oct 20, 2020 7:41 am
I read somewhere they do that on purpose so that it holds the gear better since it's forced on, which makes sense too but depending on the pin size, and if it's beveled or not it just won't go in, now the cleanest solution seems to be what I did, taking out a bit of material at the right angle on one of the gear holes is better than just gouging out the hole with a bigger drill bit, it still fits tight and if you feel like adding some jb weld around the pin where it's not touching the borders of the hole for insurance it can be done, either that or maybe a tiny tack weld, talk about a freak occurence this thing was.
I doubt the hole misalignment was done purposely. It is more likely their fixture is not secure or worn, or they fail to take the time to do a proper set-up.

I would not weld the pin for the same reason you shouldn’t use JB Weld. I assume a spring pin is being used. The carbon content of the steel pin makes welding unreliable without special methods. Even if the weld looks good it could break off, fall into the system and cause problems.

I think if you are happy with your results you should leave it. If you want you could spread the spring pin a bit before installing it. This will provide more stress/holding power. Do so carefully so as not to over strain the pin. Measuring the diameter each time you apply force to the pin is a good way to keep track of progress. On a pin ‘this small .001”- 003” increase would be a significant improvement.
I used to name my FSJ’s after their previous owners, I realized I had too many when I had five named Rick.


oregonphil
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by oregonphil » Wed Oct 21, 2020 12:26 pm

I have had the same problem. I drilled it out one size larger and put in a larger roll pin. It's been running like that for a few years with no issues.

Phil


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atf01
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Re: HEI distributor gear swap help

Post by atf01 » Fri Oct 23, 2020 12:14 pm

It's good to know I'm not the only one suffering from this :D I did end up pulling it back out and spreading it out a bit more, it's also not just a normal spring pin with one layer, it has about 2 layers, like one pin inside another so that gave me more confidence on it's integrity, the oil pump shaft spins quite freely as I found out when I was aligning it with the shaft by hand to put the dizzy back in so it isn't under as much stress as I thought.

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