My 1994 Chevy 4.3 liter V/6 is giving me a fit!
I removed the distributor to replace the pickup coil. I am having trouble
getting the distributor back in. I have tried a number of things.
1) I tried to reinstall with out moving the crankshaft.
2) I tried to reinstall after moving the crankshaft.
3) I have relined the piston #1 at TDC, and tried to re-insert the distributor.
The problem is that it sits just a 1/2 to 1 inch higher than it should. I have been told to try several methods. I have left the distributor where it stops, and rotated the crank clockwise expecting the rotor to drop in place. I have tried rotating the oil pump shaft 'around the clock'. From the rotation of the
distributor the seating of the oil pump shaft at 11 and 5 o’clock. I have tried to pull the rotor out and turn on gear at a time clockwise until the
distributor seats. NONE of this has worked!
I even put some grease on top of the oil shaft and lowered the rotor of the distributor. I see that the oil pump shaft hits the right side of the rotor as you look at the engine from the front of the truck. I have been told the oil pump shaft is not to be worried about but it seems that the shaft will not even allow the bottom of the rotor to drop. I even attempted to align with the pin inside the rotor that drives the oil pump. Is there a secret here I have not been informed of?
It sounds as if all you are doing is the correct installation procedure!
The distributor should fall into place if you are cranking the engine while you are pushing down on the distributor.
It is possible you may have damaged the gear that is on the distributor or
the housing. If you “smack” them too hard with a hammer to get the
distributor shaft out, you may have damaged something.
The distributor shafts “always” seem to get stuck when you have to do this job!
If you have to work and work to get the distributor apart, I suggest spraying carburetor cleaner down between the rotor shaft and housing. Then gently work is back and forth and up and down to get it to come apart. Do not hit the shaft with a metal hammer. (Gently tapping with wood hammer is okay to do.)
I tell my technicians to change out the distributor to avoid this problem of taking so much time to take them apart.
In business time is money! You have to charge for the amount of time it takes to disassemble and repair. Replacement is quicker and in most cases saves you from pulling out your hair!
Going the least expensive route can really cost you in the long run. Just replace the distributor assembly and get back on the road.
Thanks for your question and let me know what you decided to do.
Return to frequently asked questions