Distributor gear

Discussion in 'Technical' started by FinnMav, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. FinnMav

    FinnMav Member

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    Hi!

    Is there a easy way to identify that is my distributor gear Steel or cast iron? Or something else?

    Trick flow says that I must NOT use cast iron or my cam will be soon broken. I have a distributor from my previous engine but I dont know the material of that gear. I dont want to spend another $100 just to be sure, if I already have the right gear.

    Thanks!

    -Finn
     
  2. BBMS18

    BBMS18 Member

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    It’s my understanding that the cast gear will have a ruff looking finish and a steel gear will have a smoother machined finish.
    Left/cast Right/steel
    5345B926-9E06-4F5B-B3A5-62AFC0C71DCC.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2019
  3. FinnMav

    FinnMav Member

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    Im guessing that it is a cast iron.

    So, do I want to replace this gear with steel gear( $100) or do I want to buy a whole new distributor ($200 - - - >)?

    I have already ordered a Pertronix ignition module for this distributor but I can sell it forward.

    What do you recommend?

    I think at least I want to have distributor without points etc. IMG_20190804_165511.jpg
     
  4. BBMS18

    BBMS18 Member

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    Yes that looks like a cast gear. I think you should do some shopping around for the steel gear as they can be had for well under $100.
    F0694B41-7FA7-4FEB-B2BA-C67D1C5B10D4.jpeg
    A new aftermarket distributor with a steel gear is not a bad idea, but it’s up to you how fast to burn that hole in your pocket .
     
  5. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Any points dist would originally have a cast gear.

    Except for '85 Mustang 4bbl, all Duraspark dist should have a cast gear.

    ANY factory roller scammed engine will have steel. This includes TFI dist used in port EFI dist for 5.0 passenger cars(includes Crown Vic, T-Bird etc) have a steel gear. The 5.o truck engines used flat tappet and cast cast iron up till '92 or so.
     
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  6. FinnMav

    FinnMav Member

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    Yeah, I saw that too. BUT when you ship it here in Finland and pay taxes etc. its around $100.

    I need to think about this...
     
  7. BBMS18

    BBMS18 Member

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    I understand now. In that case I would go with the new distributor you mentioned for $200

    I’m doing the same thing myself, if I can find a really nice used Dura Spark distributor in my parts stash I’ll use that with a new steel gear, otherwise I’ll buy a new aftermarket distributor.
     
  8. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    You would think so. I'm currently in the opposite situation, working on a guy's 77 F100 with a 351M. He was conned into heads and a huge roller cam only to find out there's no intake to fit those heads on a 400 block, Now going back to the stock heads (which were plenty for a 351M to start with) and when I went to replace the steel gear on the Duraspark distributor (new aftermarket unit, maker unknown) I drove the roll pin out and the steel gear slid right off the shaft. I'd hate to think what would have happened when that roll pin sheared from carrying all the load of the oil pump.
     
  9. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Lets back up, what cam are we talking about and is it roller?

    If it isn't a roller(which are steel), you want the cast gear.
     
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  10. bmcdaniel

    bmcdaniel Senile Member

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    He said Trick Flow, so probably a roller.
    Definitely listen to the cam manufacturer's advice. Once upon a time I ran a big roller from Edelbrock in a 347. Their directions said you could use any factory cam gear, iron or steel, with that cam. I ran the cast iron gear for several years without issue. It all depends on how the cam manufacturer heat treats the gear on the cam. It can be different than the heat treat on the lobes.
     
  11. FinnMav

    FinnMav Member

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    It is a Trickflow stage 1 roller cam. I asked from trickflows tech support and they said that I must NOT use cast iron gear.

    I try to find that steel gear from Finland. If I cant find it here, then I will put in a whole new distributor.
    This thing can wait a while, because my mav is still in the garage. About a million pieces and "the winter is coming" :D
     
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  12. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    You need to measure the shaft diameter of your distributor where the gear sits before ordering a new gear. The new gear also needs to be a snug fit on the shaft. The one I changed last week was too loose, it fell off the shaft when I drove the roll pin out. I don't know what brand distributor it was (nothing on the body but a part number) but that gear fit was completely wrong.
     
  13. FinnMav

    FinnMav Member

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    I have measured it, it is 0.467" shaft.

    Maybe the shaft size depends on the manufacturer?
     
  14. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    No. Ford used two dimensions. The points dizzys and early Durasparks used the smaller of the two (.467) the later EFI dizzys had a larger diameter shaft (.530 or thereabouts) the one I just changed gears on was the larger but aftermarket Duraspark unit (not EFI)
     
  15. bmcdaniel

    bmcdaniel Senile Member

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    Don't know if it's possible in Finland but some here find that buying a remanufactured distributor and using the gear from that is cheaper than buying just a new gear. I've also gotten them from 5.0 Explorer cam sensors.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/96-98-Expl...963131&hash=item1a81a3e090:g:-pEAAOSw6S5dSEku

    I've had loose gears on distributor shafts, too. If the shaft diameter is only few thousandths small I've used a spring loaded punch to put a bunch of dimples in the shaft, raising the metal to where the gear had to be pressed on.
     
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