Distributor gears AMC 304 - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 19 Old 12-13-2009, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
bobby0872r
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Distributor gears AMC 304

Ok i have a 1979 cj5 with a 304 it jumped timing... thinking it was the chain ordered all the parts....pulled the distributor and the teeth were screwed.... that's putting it nicely.. is this a common problem on the AMC 304s... the cam shaft gear was messed up also... i ordered a new gear and an HEI from 4wd.com. i would upload some photos but we have been FAPPED fing Hughes net..ill post some when our service gets faster...any help with this issue will be appreciated

Thank yall

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post #2 of 19 Old 12-13-2009, 07:17 AM
Mike Romain
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It is a common HEI problem. The aftermarket HEI units have a hardened steel gear that kills the cam gear. They shouldn't be allowed to sell that crap.

You now have to fix the cam or it will eat any proper distributor you put in there.

Mike
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-13-2009, 07:36 AM
mcktiger
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you can also go to bulltear.com they will sell you a matched set. i have them in mine.had the same issues your having. very important to have all groove line up and also take a small file and clean the groove just to make sure no burs are in them that where the oil comes from to liubercate the gears.

2006 tj rubicon
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post #4 of 19 Old 12-13-2009, 08:32 AM
JeepHammer
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OP, first of all, take a 1/8" drill bit, and turn the gear 90 degrees from the pin hole.
Try to drill the gear material.
If you can't do much than scratch/polish the gear material, you are a victim of a hardened distributor gear that is an IMPORT.

These things have been a plague on the Jeep community for about 5 years now, and they are causing REAL problems!
I'd hate to guess how much damage (in terms of cost) they have caused to engines since not only do they destroy the camshaft gear,
But they release very sharp metal shavings into the engines as they eat away that camshaft gear!

-----------------------------------------------

Actually, I stay away from Bulltear.
The gears I've seen that cause this issue first started coming from Bulltear,
And the 'Owner' denies there was any problems at all.

You can get both distributor and camshaft gears from the dealership,
From NAPA,
And from a REPUTABLE aftermarket supplier, like MSD...
USA manufacture, and they have ZERO PROBLEMS/FAILURES that I know about...

LINK: MSD Ignition 8007 - MSD Iron Camshaft Mounted Distributor Gears - Overview - SummitRacing.com

LINK: MSD Ignition 8005 - MSD Iron Distributor Gears - Overview - SummitRacing.com



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post #5 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 05:30 AM
PavementPounder
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Here are the Bulltear gears, which are a matched set and not imported. There isn't a "problem" with them.



The "problem" develops when you mix two gears of different hardnesses, not when you use two gears of the same hardness. People incorrectly using the product is not a problem with the product - it is a problem with people.



If you only need one gear or the other, make sure you buy the correct one as mentioned. You can also rob an OEM gear off off a distributor in the junkyard.

This is how NAXJA Midwest Chapter elected officials like to treat their resident users and former multi-year supporters.


<--- Click "Classifieds" under my avatar to see all my parts (mostly CJ & XJ) currently for sale on JeepForum!

Last edited by PavementPounder; 12-14-2009 at 10:43 AM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 10:29 AM
Fjguercio
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This problem with the HEI and hardened gears has bitten many jeep owners. We are posting it up here all the time and problem with wide spread. Some lawyer is going to get stung and take the 4wd or other internet sell to the woodshed and this will start ending. Just amazing that this crap can be sold and purchased and destroy the engine. THIS IS TRUE and is going on. Sorry to have to tell you.

I also think the HEI is a poor ignition to use the the AMC engines. Not only for the hardened gear issue but for many other reasons. There are dozens of posts on here with issues, does not fit, bound up the oil pump, spark gound out thru the distributor, they use cheap alumium terminal caps, the advance curve can be so bad the engine rattles or cannot get it started because toooooo much advacanc even with initial advance set to 3. These are the type of posts you will find here if you look.

The cost of the MSD multispark ignitions have come down and now half to 1/3 the price they were. So the stock distributor, DuraSpark, and the MSD type multispark ignition can be had for $50 distributor and $150 or so for the MSD... So similar cost, all new wires, good advance curve, fully adjustable curve with controls on the distributor, the jeep dealer will know your parts, and when you sell the CJ pull the MSD and put the stock igntion back/hook up with 2-3 connectors.

The cost reason to use the HEI is gone..... and its a poor solution for the AMC Engines.

I have failure quotes for the HEI in word on my harddrive. I will be adding yours to my collection and your thread. Sometimes to convince the HEI Folks that its all ok you have to hit them on the head with 15 quote failures. So you may see your words again my friend.

Here is a good web site link on looking at the igntions compairson. It also has some tech info on your problem.
JeepHammer’s Knowledge Base Web Site

http://www.junkyardgenius.com/ignition/jeep/HEIcompair.html

Befor you spend the $50 for a gear.... look at what I have outlined above and maybe send your failed unit to JeepHammer for his files and use. Their junk IMO. He is one of the few that could have use for it. He is also the one saving our but on this HEI failure thing.

I am also in the CAMP if you do want to get gears .... the MSD gears are the way to go.

I would chuck that HEI ebay crap and use the CDI and DuraSpark..
MSD or DUI are the only HEI to even think about... they are also $300 to $400 so... Very expensive compaired to a CDI option.
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 10:31 AM
Fjguercio
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Here are a few examples similar to yours and a few other HEI issues too.....


From Thread: CRT HEI cam gear question


Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbagofva View Post
I am currently fixing the shreaded cam gear in mine. Robert



Quote:
Originally Posted by jaykump View Post
I just bought a HEI dist. from 4WD along with a new cam gear from the same place......30 miles later I don't have a cam gear.....has anyone else had issues with 4wd Dist.? l




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dislsmoke View Post
I had a CRT in my 258. after one year the timing was off and I could not adjust it. Pulled the dizzy and found the gear was a little chewed and also the bottom bearing in the distributor was shot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dislsmoke View Post
Good luck. Dan

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacfanweb View Post
His company did the testing for most of the aftermarket HEI makers, and almost all of them had the hardened cam gears at one point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinter View Post
I wish I had seen this thread earlier. I purchased a GM HEI from E-Bay for $119. The seller has sold quite a few. It doesn't say that it is made by CRT. The name is Dragon Fire. I checked the gear and it is so hard a 1/8 inch cobalt drill bit will not touch it. I am at a loss for what to do!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy5150 View Post
the Proform I put in my amc 360 The problem with this ditributor for me was that the MSD gear I bought for it would bind the distributor to the point where it was hard to turn. I ground down the housing slightly to get a little play in the shaft with the gear installed. 4000 miles later, the gears look good, but Jeephammer was correct about the housing being to long. If you,re going to run one these, at least get the MSD gear, and check everything.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ego99 View Post
I too bought the CRT HEI off ebay a while ago, I took out the HEI and to my dismay the HEI was having my cam gear for lunch.

</H1>
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 10:36 AM
texasdave
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Check your push rods for the valves, when my jumed time two or three of them bent.
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post #9 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 11:11 AM
JeepHammer
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Well, when the problem first surfaced for me was when a few of the users that had purchased Bulltear gears couldn't get them to fit the shafts of stock distributors.

Turned out, the owner of Bulltear said he purchased a bunch of gears from Spain and they were drilled off center, and were hardened steel instead of the correct ductile iron the factory used.
(and since he threatened me with legal action for calling out the problems on the forums, I have every one of those conversations, personal messages, ect. printed out for posterity.)

Then gears from other places showed up with incorrect tooth pitch, mostly through Omix-Ada (or how ever you spell that) and they were made in Spain & Mexico.
They were iron gears, but with the wrong thread pitch, cams in the I-6 engines and camshaft gears in the V-8 engines didn't last long with those either...

Both places denied having an 'Issue' and continued to sell the gears for a while,
But Omix-Ada quietly stopped selling the imported gears...

I still see problems with the Bulltear gears when they cross my workbench...

AFTER the big stink broke, Bulltear started selling the gears as a 'Set' saying the hardened steel gears were 'Performance Pieces'.

What actually happened is, WE ON THE FORUMS raised such a stink about the problems he ordered steel camshaft gears so the steel distributor gears didn't eat them up...

Now he sells a 'Supposed USA' made ductile iron gear as a 'Stock Replacment',
(and since he won't respond to me anymore, I don't know WHERE they are actually made...)
And the steel set as a Performance set as near as I can tell...

I still get hardened gears, with the same old problems, crossing my work bench from forum users once in a while...
AND, I won't use them because I can't trust them...
------------------------------

ANYWAY...
I've never had an 'Issue' with things like:
Offset/Off center roll pin holes,
Over sized roll pin holes,
Off center shaft holes,
Wrong size shaft holes,
Wrong pitch teeth,
Hardened gears,
Ect. with the ones you get from the Chrysler dealership, NAPA or MSD...
These have always been spot on from those places!

The ones I get from NAPA work VERY WELL, since they use the same company that made the gears for AMC when they were in production,

Or with MSD gears, which I use a lot of in high RPM racing or high pressure/volume oil pump situations...

Even when I put that MSD/Chrysler/NAPA distributor gear on a stock cam gear/camshaft....
The CAM GEAR STILL LIVES, and that has just GOT to be worth something!

--------------------------------------------

I HAVE had a TON of problems with Bulltear gears when put on stock cam gears/camshafts,
I have had a problem with Omix-Ada gears when used on stock cam gears/camshafts.

Use which ever you like, just don't say there wasn't anyone to warn you *IF* something goes wrong...
-----------------------------------

Since neither place ever actually pressed the legal issue,
(both threatened until they were blue in the face, and I've ALWAYS called it like I see it!)

And since there are HUNDREDS of examples of the bum gears all over the AMC/Jeep the forums now since I called it out back when,
I feel exonerated in doing what I did, and raising the stink over the crap gears in the first place....

And I will continue to do so when I see something that is just plain WRONG...
No matter how many times the sellers threaten, cuss or insult me!
I Encourage YOU to do the research and make up your own minds!


Last edited by JeepHammer; 12-14-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 01:59 PM
dwloop
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I don't know about the others, but I have personally used the MSD gears as sets on three rebuilds in the last two years. I checked the oil passages and holes before assembly, and pulled the distributor to check each after break-in. All three are still going strong today...

HTH

Dave
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post #11 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 07:17 PM
-AC-
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Before this turned into the same old Pro-HEI/Anti-HEI thread, the OP asked a question that I'm not entirely sure we got around to answering. If I read it correctly, he DIDN'T have an HEI originally (his Profile doesn't say) and wanted to know if this is common (not, not having an HEI, but tearing up the gears with a stock distributor). I can't speak for others, but this is EXACTLY what happened to me. Driving along (ok, romping on it to impress a buddy) and suddenly it dies. 304, just like you. Cam, headers, Edelbrock intake and carb, etc. Runs pretty good. Until it "jumped timing". Ordered a double roller set from Summit and the gaskets and tore her down. Timing chain was sloppy (so I'm glad I replaced it) but it was still clocked correctly. Yup, the gear on the cam was TORE UP! From the stock distributor and 120k+ miles. So, I ordered a new gear, and a DUI HEI (Hey, it's a Mid-Michigan GM Town thing...) and I've been VERY happy with the results. So, to answer your question, I can't say it's common, but I would bet it is. And yes, if you ordered the budget HEI you can save yourself some potential trouble and sleepless nights by either using your old distributor gear (no, you said it's tore up, right?) or buying a quality one or even the stock one (bronze?) but not running the one that comes with your new HEI, unless it's a DUI or other high quality unit.

"Damn Everything But The Circus..." e.e.c.
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post #12 of 19 Old 12-14-2009, 08:33 PM
JeepHammer
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Doesn't matter WHICH HEI you get, you need to test the gear if it's anything but DUI or MSD.
Those are the only two I know of that haven't had complaints hand over fist.
-------------------

The 'Better Deal' for the money is a Jeep/Motorcraft distributor and 'TeamRush' upgrade, with a CDI module
Much more spark energy for the bucks spent.
(about 500% more spark energy to be exact)
---------------------

If the OP insists on using the 'HEI Clone' he purchased,
He should replace the distributor drive gear with one that is KNOWN GOOD, like Dealership, NAPA or MSD.

Drill tests for hardness doesn't always find the other problems, like under size shafts, off center drilled holes, wrong tooth pitch angles, ect.
But it's a good indicator if what quality you can expect.
If it's hardened, it's screwed right from the start and SHOULD NOT be used...

I'm not trying to make things up or sell anything...
These are just the facts, and the facts are the facts.
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post #13 of 19 Old 12-15-2009, 09:48 AM
Full Tank
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobby0872r View Post
Ok i have a 1979 cj5 with a 304 it jumped timing... thinking it was the chain ordered all the parts....pulled the distributor and the teeth were screwed.... that's putting it nicely.. is this a common problem on the AMC 304s...
Yes, it's a common cause of death of high mileage AMC V8's due to poor oiling. I have a core 360 in the garage that died from oil starvation in this area.

Send the 4wd HEI back and take the advice given above.

Good luck.

FT

1980 CJ5 39k
Dana 30--AMC20--D300--T176--258

1986 CJ7
Dana 30--AMC20--D300--T5--2.5L
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post #14 of 19 Old 06-08-2014, 12:39 PM
matt1980
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
OP, first of all, take a 1/8" drill bit, and turn the gear 90 degrees from the pin hole.
Try to drill the gear material.
If you can't do much than scratch/polish the gear material, you are a victim of a hardened distributor gear that is an IMPORT.

These things have been a plague on the Jeep community for about 5 years now, and they are causing REAL problems!
I'd hate to guess how much damage (in terms of cost) they have caused to engines since not only do they destroy the camshaft gear,
But they release very sharp metal shavings into the engines as they eat away that camshaft gear!

-----------------------------------------------

Actually, I stay away from Bulltear.
The gears I've seen that cause this issue first started coming from Bulltear,
And the 'Owner' denies there was any problems at all.

You can get both distributor and camshaft gears from the dealership,
From NAPA,
And from a REPUTABLE aftermarket supplier, like MSD...
USA manufacture, and they have ZERO PROBLEMS/FAILURES that I know about...

LINK: MSD Ignition 8007 - MSD Iron Camshaft Mounted Distributor Gears - Overview - SummitRacing.com

LINK: MSD Ignition 8005 - MSD Iron Distributor Gears - Overview - SummitRacing.com




Replying to your message since I used the links you provided to order my msd gears. My question is does the cam gear just slide on or is it a press fit? If it is a press fit does the cam come out to do this? Please forgive the ignorance but I am at my wits end with the front of this motor. I have had it apart more times than I should have. I bought the garbage from omix ada and gears are not even close to fitting. Also looks like the gear that goes on the distributer has to go to a machine shop to be installed, is there any back yard mechanic method to avoid this? If a machine shop is the way to go then no problem I will take it. Thank you for any input you provide.
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post #15 of 19 Old 06-08-2014, 01:11 PM
Matt1981CJ7
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Matt,

I was wrong earlier. Looks like the distributer drive gear is a slide on with a keyway. The end-bolt holds it all together.
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