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Removing distributor
#1
Not too shy to talk
Not too shy to talk

BrianGalway
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Hi Guys

I need help to remove the distributor on my 54 Patrician. It is installed 180 degrees off. Can someone tell me how to loosen it so I can raise the distributor to rotate it?

Thanks for all help.

Brian

Posted on: 9/19 9:52
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Re: Removing distributor
#2
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HH56
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I believe 54 is still like the earlier models. There is a flange holding the distributor which is fastened with two bolts to the block.

Once you have the crank rotated so #1 piston is at the top of compression stroke as per the service manual, the two bolts need to come out so you can pull the distributor up. You may be able to just raise the distributor an inch or so to pull the shaft out of the oil pump gear and rotate the rotor 180 to the correct position. The tip of the rotor should point to approximately the 7 o'clock position. If the entire distributor is rotated 180 so the vacuum advance is in the wrong spot then you need to go a step farther.

There is a clamp affair built into the flange which actually holds the distributor and loosens so you can slightly rotate the distributor for timing. A slotted screw head for tightening the clamp is just below the distributor body and may be hard to see. The flange is supposed to bolt to the block one way with the octane adjust scale and slot to the left. That clamp bolt needs to loosen so you can rotate the distributor in the clamp 180 to get the vacuum advance at the proper spot and the clamp back in the correct orientation to bolt to the block.

Posted on: 9/19 10:55
Howard
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Re: Removing distributor
#3
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John
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Ross has a good video on you tube on how to set up the distributor. Search under Speedwell Garage.

Posted on: 9/19 15:50
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Re: Removing distributor
#4
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PackardDon
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The orientation will, of course, be dependent on whether or not the oil pump was installed with the proper orientation. It doesn’t really matter if it was or if it was not except that you won’t know for sure which way the distributor goes and you may have to rearrange the plug wires to get it to work properly.

Posted on: 9/19 18:49
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Re: Removing distributor
#5
Not too shy to talk
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BrianGalway
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Hi Guys

Your advice helps me a lot. Now I know my next step and what to do if that does not work, what to do next.

This means I should get it done in one attempt which is what I was hoping for.

Once again you came through in spades as we say.

Brian

Posted on: 9/20 19:25
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Re: Removing distributor
#6
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BrianGalway
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Hi Guys

The bolt on the left that holds the distributor to the block has a slot so the distributor can be turned slightly.

Do I need to loosen the slot screw at the base of the distributor to adjust timing?

I have been able to move the distributor shaft 180 degrees.

All help is appreciated.

Brian

Posted on: 9/26 9:33
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Re: Removing distributor
#7
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HH56
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The slot on the left of the flange was typically used by a non mechanic type for a slight octane adjust that was sometimes needed back in the day when fuel supply with a constant octane was not as reliable. It probably won't need to be touched today.

Basic timing was adjusted by the mechanic with the scale at the slot set to the middle and locked. The clamp screw under the distributor body is then loosened to rotate the entire distributor in the flange to set the base timing using the necessary test equipment. When the specified timing was obtained the distributor body was clamped tight in the flange at the desired setting.

Once the base timing was adjusted a driver or service station guy could then play with the limited adjustment available via the slot to fine tune the timing a few degrees in either direction. It would be set to run best on the fuel being used if it happened to be different enough from the last tankful to ping or whatever. That adjustment was done more by sound and performance rather than needing special equipment.

Because the slot limits the amount of change and has a scale you can refer to in case you wanted to go back to a former setting, it is not very easy to get the timing so far out of spec the engine wouldn't run. That issue could easily happen if someone tried to rotate the distributor body a tiny amount only to have it suddenly break free and overshoot where you wanted it and no way to know precisely where to go back to the former position.

Posted on: 9/26 10:41
Howard
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Re: Removing distributor
#8
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BrianGalway
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Howard

Much appreciated. I will keep you informed.

Brian

Posted on: 9/26 11:56
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Re: Removing distributor
#9
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BrianGalway
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Hi Everyone

The timing is now properly set. Thanks for your help and advice.

Brian

Posted on: 10/2 9:53
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