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Unread 07-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #1
drerict
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1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Alamosa, CO
Posts: 121
CJ keeps eating my distributor gear???

83 CJ with a 304 out of late 70s era wagoneer,

Here is the skinny:

Had the motor rebuilt with a stock cam 1000ish miles ago with complete balance etc.

I got about 1000 miles on the first distributor gear, one cold morning, jumped into the jeep and got about a block from the house and a big back fire, then died on the road, would not start after that.

Pulled it home, pulled the distributor, the teeth were almost gone on most the the gear, and some places completely gone.

Took the distributor back the machine shop, no warranty on used gears. What? After paying about $3500 for this motor, they used old parts?

Now they looked at the distributor and said there was too much play in the distributor shaft, and it was riding up and down on the cam gear under acceleration wearing the gear down. So I ordered a gear through them (MSD) and had them install it on the distributor, and put in shims so there was appropriate play.

Got it back a week later, installed it, I could not get it timed, before that gear was shot also.

I took the distributor out, and realized it did not spin freely like it did before the machine shop put the shims in. I then realized that getting a re-built distributor from NAPA was cheaper than the gear through the machine shop.

I then put in the new distributor, I got about 20 miles and again, back fire, and the gear is gone.

Now I realized I have a bigger problem, the cam gear is probably shot. I ordered a new set of "matching" MSD cam and distributor gear.

I took the front of the motor apart to install the cam gear, I just thought I would check the oil pump. I found that one of the gears was installed upside down (the dots were installed on opposite sides). I re-installed the oil pump gears. Installed new cam gear, new distributor gear with the the rebuilt distributor. Changed oil, new anti-freeze. Now I got about 60 Miles out of it.

Now today the jeep started backfiring again and quit. I was able to get home coasting, but now I am baffled.

Please give me some ideas to diagnose what is causing the distributor gear to take a crap so fast.

Thanks,

Eric

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Unread 07-08-2011, 09:55 PM   #2
JeepHammer
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1973 CJ5 
 
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First thought off the top of my head is...
1. Is the oil pump binding?
If the oil pump is too tight, it will kill distributor gears instead of camshaft gears most times.

2. Is the camshaft walking?
If the camshaft walks forwards and backwards, it will usually eat the distributor gear before it chews up the camshaft gear.

3. Did anyone clear the overcast out of the upper sprocket for the timing set?
If you didn't, then the gears and fuel pump eccentric, along with the timing set, aren't getting any oil.

Oil passes between upper sprocket and camshaft nose on it's way out to the accessory drives, and most upper sprockets have overcast in the oil passage groove.

4. Are the oil passage holes lined up on the accessories?
Since the oil has to pass out to the accessories, if you don't make SURE everyhting is lined up, you won't get oil to the drives.

5. Did you check the camshaft gear for an oil hole?
Some gears don't have oiling holes, or don't have them in the 'Correct' place for your engine type.
AMC moved the oil hole about 90 degrees between '69 production engines and '70 production engines, so you have to check to make sure the hole is there and in the correct location.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 07:24 AM   #3
mopar408
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do the oiling "mod" to the timing cover.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 07:29 AM   #4
MoC
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Is the cam gear installed backwards?
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Unread 07-09-2011, 01:26 PM   #5
COBRA5LADDICT
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check the for flashing as jeephammer said that is the #1 cause. if you can remove the fuel pump and prime the oil system with a drill. you should be able to see the cam gear from the pump hole and it should be dripping oil while you are priming the system.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 01:57 PM   #6
drerict
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Location: Alamosa, CO
Posts: 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
First thought off the top of my head is...
1. Is the oil pump binding?
If the oil pump is too tight, it will kill distributor gears instead of camshaft gears most times.
How do I know if the oil pump is binding? I used a screw driver on the end of my drill to prime the system after I put the front back together. It seemed to spin freely. I pulled the passenger side valve cover to be sure that the pump was working.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
First thought off the top of my head is...

2. Is the camshaft walking?
If the camshaft walks forwards and backwards, it will usually eat the distributor gear before it chews up the camshaft gear.
How do I determine camshaft walking?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
First thought off the top of my head is...

3. Did anyone clear the overcast out of the upper sprocket for the timing set?
If you didn't, then the gears and fuel pump eccentric, along with the timing set, aren't getting any oil.

Oil passes between upper sprocket and camshaft nose on it's way out to the accessory drives, and most upper sprockets have overcast in the oil passage groove.

I am not sure since the motor was rebuilt at the machine shop. I do know that when priming the motor, I get spash on the cam gear (visually saw the oil splashing on the gear).


Again thanks for your help. I am glad you are posting, it makes me feel better. I am sure I have spent more time reading your posts than acutally driving the jeep in the 7 years I have had it.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 01:58 PM   #7
drerict
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar408 View Post
do the oiling "mod" to the timing cover.
Can you explain this more? What are the benifits and potential side effects of this?
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Unread 07-09-2011, 02:17 PM   #8
mopar408
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the "oiling mod" takes oil pressure directly off the pump at the outlet for the oil pressure sending unit thru a line and to an "orifice" installed in a spot on the timing cover that is aimed directly at fuel pump eccentric/distributor drive and driven gears, thus feeding them as well as timing chain and gears with a pressure -fed spray of oil and not just a drip (hopefully) coming thru the front cam bearing.
I haven't figured pic posting here but have a good Picasa file and details if you/anyone is interested. Even if yours (maybe) works, can you have too much lubrication? Not!
2 hrs, 20 bucks, best thing I ever did to mine for peace of mind.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #9
drerict
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Mopar408, if you can post the link, that would be great, or your picasa account name I can search for it. Any help on oiling would be great.
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Unread 07-09-2011, 07:29 PM   #10
mopar408
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send me an email addy and I'll send you the info and a buncha pics. I've done it for several here already.
John Smith
flhbagger@gmail.com
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Unread 07-09-2011, 10:21 PM   #11
85LaredoCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar408 View Post
the "oiling mod" takes oil pressure directly off the pump at the outlet for the oil pressure sending unit thru a line and to an "orifice" installed in a spot on the timing cover that is aimed directly at fuel pump eccentric/distributor drive and driven gears, thus feeding them as well as timing chain and gears with a pressure -fed spray of oil and not just a drip (hopefully) coming thru the front cam bearing.
I haven't figured pic posting here but have a good Picasa file and details if you/anyone is interested. Even if yours (maybe) works, can you have too much lubrication? Not!
2 hrs, 20 bucks, best thing I ever did to mine for peace of mind.
So...do you lose your oil pressure gauge with this mod?
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Unread 07-09-2011, 10:50 PM   #12
Rollbar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar408 View Post
I haven't figured pic posting here but have a good Picasa file and details if you/anyone is interested.

Posting a pic, I just do it manually.

[img] then the http address or address where pics are stored,
then [/img]

So at the beginning you have [img] and at the end you have [/img] works on 90% of the forums on the web.

There is also the yellow square box at the top w/a mountain in it=click
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Unread 07-10-2011, 06:29 AM   #13
mopar408
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Quote:
So...do you lose your oil pressure gauge with this mod?
Absolutely NOT. You come off the stock AMC pressure fitting on the side w a "tee" that points up.
O/P sending unit goes in the side and fitting for the mod goes into the top. I also like to change to the long skinny Wix/NAPA filter instead of the stock short fat one. Makes a lot more room in an already crowded area anyway.
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Unread 07-10-2011, 11:40 AM   #14
85LaredoCJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mopar408 View Post
Absolutely NOT. You come off the stock AMC pressure fitting on the side w a "tee" that points up.
O/P sending unit goes in the side and fitting for the mod goes into the top. I also like to change to the long skinny Wix/NAPA filter instead of the stock short fat one. Makes a lot more room in an already crowded area anyway.
Did you notice a change in the o/p on the gauge? Did you drill/tap your timing cover in place?
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Unread 07-10-2011, 12:40 PM   #15
mopar408
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It didn't drop 1 POUND!!!
I was wondering about that myself but decided if it did drop appreciably all I had to do was put a pipe plug in the t/c and 1 in the tee and I was back to stock. I can only conclude that the orifice hole is so small as to not be noticed.
Kicked my own @$$ for not doing it while building my Moder but after I figured the trick, it's not a problem.
You hear stuff like grease on the bit, etc but here's the trick: Take a MALE air hose fitting like goes into your impact wrench, remove the PCV and put the THREADED end into the grommet. Remove the oil filler cap and regulate your air pressure down to 10-15 #. Chuck the hose to the fitting and you'll hear air coming out the filler tube. If you lightly place your palm over the top of the tube you can "regulate" a small amount of pressure in the engine. When you drill thru the t/c and also as you run the tap thru, the chips/shavings blow OUT (safety glasses here, they BLOW out). Clean as can be.
I've already emailed details and some pics out twice this a.m. Anyone who is interested, pm me an email addy.
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