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Unread 08-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #1876
ChicagoRod
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I might be jumping the gun on this, but since I replaced my OPDA (about 120 miles ago on Saturday) with the new un-modded one I've not had any "ratta tat, tat" on start up like I used get once in a while. Accelerating and idle sounds better as well, I used to hear what sounded like a fouled plug, stuck-ish lifter or weak cylinder.

History: Never had a CEL for the OPDA or cylinder misfire CEL. Would get what sounded like a stuck lifter at start- up, SOMETIMES, that could be cleared by turning the Jeep off and restarting. Only had a laughing monkey 2 times when it was close to 0 degrees out and I was on the gas and then it cleared up when the engine warmed up. OPDA inspection showed a worn gear but a free spinning shaft.
Actual video:

I plan on doing the FogMod when I'm back from vacation. I only swapped the OPDA to be preemptive.

Coincidence?

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Unread 08-23-2011, 05:10 PM   #1877
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Coincidence that a new OPDA stopped the occasional valve tick at start up? I think so.

Not a valve tick guy, but from what I've read it's common with the 4.0. When I switched from M1-5w40 to VR1-10w30 I had a tick at start up. Eventually it went away the longer the oil was in the engine.

I originally though the VR1 was inferior to the M1. Yesterday I switched back to M1 and the start-up tick is back and I would expect it to last a couple days and go away.

Maybe it's the drain of oil, maybe the combination of oil, but thinking back it happens with oil changes.

Like you mentioned I can immediately turn off the engine and restart and the sound is gone.

If you're not throwing a code I very much doubt there is enough play in the oil pump to show a difference in oil delivery.

BTW, everything in your video looks typical of a normal OPDA regarding movement and up/down slop. Are you sure your laughing monkey was from the OPDA and not a belt, pully, or tensioner? I knew by touching the OPDA and feeling vibration in sync with the squeak. Mine was much worse and had a clear bind in spinning.
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Unread 08-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #1878
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willydigger View Post
Coincidence that a new OPDA stopped the occasional valve tick at start up? I think so.

Not a valve tick guy, but from what I've read it's common with the 4.0. When I switched from M1-5w40 to VR1-10w30 I had a tick at start up. Eventually it went away the longer the oil was in the engine.

I originally though the VR1 was inferior to the M1. Yesterday I switched back to M1 and the start-up tick is back and I would expect it to last a couple days and go away.

Maybe it's the drain of oil, maybe the combination of oil, but thinking back it happens with oil changes.
I DID change the oil to M1 5W-30 with a $14 bottle of ZDDP additive about 2 weeks ago with an improvement in the tick but not an elimination.


Quote:
Originally Posted by willydigger View Post
Like you mentioned I can immediately turn off the engine and restart and the sound is gone.

If you're not throwing a code I very much doubt there is enough play in the oil pump to show a difference in oil delivery.
What if the gear had enough wear to fool the ECM enough to adjust the spark timing on just the first cylinder and it wasn't a lifter tick after all? Restarting, reset the ECM enough to get the spark back on track and eliminate the pre-detonation or detonation early enough to get a tick out of a wrist pin being forced back down while in the upstroke. This is just me thinking out loud after doing a lot of thinking on how a restart cured a lifter tick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by willydigger View Post
BTW, everything in your video looks typical of a normal OPDA regarding movement and up/down slop. Are you sure your laughing monkey was from the OPDA and not a belt, pully, or tensioner? I knew by touching the OPDA and feeling vibration in sync with the squeak. Mine was much worse and had a clear bind in spinning.
I didn't have a punch to remove the gear and inspect the shaft but the gear was showing wear. I guess I assumed the shaft was dry on top due to the condition of the gear despite it spinning freely. The times it did squeal were, like I said, very cold and I was on my way to work. 3 blocks from my driveway the noise was gone.

I'm taking a 1200+ mile, 13 day vacation with my Jeep to some remote parts of MI and $140 investment might help me sleep better while battling flies and mosquitos.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 03:47 PM   #1879
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I've done a vertical dissection of my first (failed) OPDA and have some thoughts to share and am looking forward to feedback before I proceed to modification of my current unit.

The diagram shown below shows path of oil in the OPDA and the restriction imposed by the seal.



What's been pretty clearly established is that there is no lubrication to the shaft above the seal, but it's not clear if the original design is faulty or if there's something missing in manufacturing like an oil channel or channels.

This is the cross-section of my failed OPDA which clearly shows the point of shaft galling in relation to bushings, seal, and "grease chamber". Notice that the galling is almost entirely between the seal and the chamber. Also note that the seal is in it's original orientation.




Here's a cross-section of the seal. Notice the "flare" or taper and the "gap" in the seal which would allow it to widen it's ID, so-to-speak, if a small amount of pressure is applied.




Here is the seal in place and in it's original orientation with the shaft removed. Notice that in this position, with the wide part (and "gap") facing downward, any potential oil pressing from below would tend to decrease the seals ID, pressing it more tightly against the shaft and preventing the upward migration of fluid.




And here's the seal turned "upside down". Not only does this orientation seem to fit better with it's upper and lower edges more nearly matching the IDs of the housing and bushing, but any pressure from below would also increase the seal's ID and allow fluid to rise into the previously un-lubricated area of shaft galling. (Note: in this image it appears as though the ID of the lip of the seal is greater than the ID of the upper bushing, but in fact the opposite is true; the ID of the widest part of the seal is slightly smaller than the ID of the bushing.)




Now, some have called the chamber around the upper bushing a "grease" chamber, but the material inside is some sort of flax-like packing that is oil soaked. There is not, nor ever was, any grease in this chamber, which is central to the theory I'm developing. In any case, this chamber is completely isolated from the shaft and so appears, at face-value, to be entirely useless for any purpose whatsoever.

The crux:

Suppose for a moment that there was a channel in the bushing that connected the chamber and the shaft. By itself, this channeled access to the chamber would not be of much use as there would be no significant source of oil (nor pressure to drive it) for lubricating the shaft. But what if we also flip the seal as shown above? The pressure created by the rotation of the shaft gear would then push oil up, not only past the lower bushing, but also past the seal and into the upper bushing and the failure area above which the centrifugal force caused by the shaft rotation would expel most excess into the chamber to be absorbed by the packing material preventing oil from spilling into the upper housing.


Could it be that 1) the seal has been installed incorrectly during assembly? And 2) that somewhere in manufacturing a channel was supposed to be machined that would connect the chamber to the inner shaft area?

I doubt that it's possible, but I would be interested to see if the upper bushing and seal could safely be removed and the seal reversed prior to reinstallation and pressing the bushing back in. If someone can do this, I would be willing to provide the OPDA and test it in my Rubi.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #1880
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It's interesting to see the dissected view, thanks for putting that up for us.

As far as your theory about the oil seal possibly should have been the other way to allow oil in and then keep it in, I don't think so because I don't think oil can go that far up the shaft. I base this off of the OPDA I tinkered with where I completely removed the oil seal. Oil didn't even get past the bottom bushing. I should note however, I had replaced the shaft with one from an old distributor which had oil grooves going all the way to the top bushing and these grooves, I believe, prevented oil from going any higher up the shaft than the lower bushing so I'm not sure the groove-less shafts on these newer units would do the same but I still don't think the oil would reach that high with enough pressure to push through the seal at least.

As far as replacing the oil seal and trying it "upside-down", the dissection you provided shows the outer section of the seal is metal and would have had to go in before the upper bushing was installed. To remove the seal in one piece, the upper bushing would have to be removed. That's not easy. I tried with hammer and punch and it didn't budge at all. I think Tkki removed one or had a machinist do it if I remember right.
EDIT: I re-read your post and see I'm not telling you anything you didn't already know here. I'll just say you might ask Tkki about removal.

As for the missing channel between the chamber and the upper bushing, I think that's the question everyone wonders about. Just how in the heck was that upper bushing supposed to get lubricated with this design?

Thanks for the pics and your thoughts on it.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 07:01 PM   #1881
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lope
It's interesting to see the dissected view, thanks for putting that up for us.

As far as your theory about the oil seal possibly should have been the other way to allow oil in and then keep it in, I don't think so because I don't think oil can go that far up the shaft. I base this off of the OPDA I tinkered with where I completely removed the oil seal. Oil didn't even get past the bottom bushing. I should note however, I had replaced the shaft with one from an old distributor which had oil grooves going all the way to the top bushing and these grooves.
I'd considered the grooved shaft idea and unless I'm mistaken, the prevailing thought about it is off; the direction that it's cut in the '04 and in Willydigger's would cause it to draw oil down the shaft rather than up, given the clockwise rotation of the shaft. With that said, it think the direction of the groove in our OPDAs would be counter productive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lope
As far as replacing the oil seal and trying it "upside-down", the dissection you provided shows the outer section of the seal is metal and would have had to go in before the upper bushing was installed. To remove the seal in one piece, the upper bushing would have to be removed. That's not easy. I tried with hammer and punch and it didn't budge at all. I think Tkki removed one or had a machinist do it if I remember right.
.
That's exactly why I'm not sure if it's possible. Just getting the upper bushings out would be difficult, but I'm sure the seal would only come out intact of it's not pressed in to begin with. I'm hopeful that it's not pressed because there seems to be some "float" room between the seal and the upper bushing and I'd imagine that pressing it in during initial assembly would damage it from the start.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 09:02 PM   #1882
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying_bosun View Post
I'd considered the grooved shaft idea and unless I'm mistaken, the prevailing thought about it is off; the direction that it's cut in the '04 and in Willydigger's would cause it to draw oil down the shaft rather than up, given the clockwise rotation of the shaft. With that said, it think the direction of the groove in our OPDAs would be counter productive.
Yep. The one I tried seemed to have the oil groove there to keep any oil from going above the lower bushing. After running it awhile, I pulled the shaft and it had a nice, oil film in the lower bushing area but ended right at the top line of bushing (where the oil grooves started). From the way the grooves were cut and knowing the direction of rotation of the shaft, it would be pushing down, not pulling oil up. Wish I had thought that through more before removing the oil seal in hopes of getting oil up to the top bushing.

I think the consensus now is the oil groove in the older units was to take the oil back down the shaft.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #1883
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lope
I think the consensus now is the oil groove in the older units was to take the oil back down the shaft.
I've thought about this, too. One early notion I had was that if the groove were reversed and located to begin just at the top of the lower bushing and terminate beyond the seal at the height of the chamber, it would deliver oil to the upper bushing. The trouble I see with that's that there would too much volume and it would expell through the upper housing.

I also do not believe that the part we're dealing with has been produced as originally designed simply because failure has been built-in and would be far too obvious to any engineer. There must be some simple oversite somewhere between the drawing board and our Jeeps.
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Unread 08-25-2011, 10:36 PM   #1884
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I really see no way to put a seal at the top easy. Possible a groove cut in the shaft and an o-ring, but that really is not the best way to do it. I've had old CJ distributors apart and they had no grooves to direct oil up the shaft IIRC. Those shafts and bushings lasted forever.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 10:04 AM   #1885
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying_bosun View Post
There must be some simple oversite somewhere between the drawing board and our Jeeps.
I agree. I feel like the problem just requires some more testing and manipulating of the part, but unfortunately all the parts are expensive should the testing go wrong for the back yard engineer.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 11:32 AM   #1886
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Great shots. I will include them in the first page dissection, section.

The original seal placement seems correct to prevent oil from accessing the upper bushing. Since there is no oil channel for return or discharge, I don't think you want oil up there. That black gunk under the seal IMO is the sludge we see on some units like ItsMrHall's OPDA. When the seal fails oil gets in and collects and breaks down.

I have no idea what the purpose of the factory grease is or the reason behind the reservoir. I'm more inclined to think the OPDA is a universal type distributor where some require a reservoir and others don't. Perhaps the factory fill plug could be a fill point for a distributor with a full grooved shaft?

Could a misalignment be the culprit causing the wear on the gear and undue stress on the upper bushing that normally would require no lubrication in this application? Not all distributors require lubrication on the upper shaft/bushing area.

Benderff, maybe you can send your old unit (which was in great shape) to Bosun so we can compare seal placement.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 12:42 PM   #1887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flying_bosun View Post

I doubt that it's possible, but I would be interested to see if the upper bushing and seal could safely be removed and the seal reversed prior to reinstallation and pressing the bushing back in. If someone can do this, I would be willing to provide the OPDA and test it in my Rubi.
Post #1006 shows how Tkki got his top bushing out. I doubt there is a practical way to remove it so that it can be reused. I personally believe that the bushing material (steel?) is the biggest cause of all our problems. Look at the area of galling on the top bushing on flying bosum’s cut away. Interestingly it ends right where the open reservoir area begins behind it. Willy, you are right. Normally “distributors” didn’t require lubrication & they were known to last pretty much indefinitely. But I never saw one with steel bushings. Normally it was a steel shaft on just the aluminum housing acting as the “bushings”. I think Tkki is on the right track with his bronze (maybe oilite would be even better) bushings.



Quote:
Originally Posted by willydigger View Post
I have no idea what the purpose of the factory grease is or the reason behind the reservoir. I'm more inclined to think the OPDA is a universal type distributor where some require a reservoir and others don't. Perhaps the factory fill plug could be a fill point for a distributor with a full grooved shaft?
If the reservoir has no purpose in our application, why put ANYTHING in there?
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Unread 08-26-2011, 12:53 PM   #1888
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi4MyMrs View Post
Post #1006 shows how Tkki got his top bushing out. I doubt there is a practical way to remove it so that it can be reused. I personally believe that the bushing material (steel?) is the biggest cause of all our problems. Look at the area of galling on the top bushing on flying bosum’s cut away. Interestingly it ends right where the open reservoir area begins behind it. Willy, you are right. Normally “distributors” didn’t require lubrication & they were known to last pretty much indefinitely. But I never saw one with steel bushings. Normally it was a steel shaft on just the aluminum housing acting as the “bushings”. I think Tkki is on the right track with his bronze (maybe oilite would be even better) bushings.

If the reservoir has no purpose in our application, why put ANYTHING in there?
I'm sure Chrysler will chime in shortly with that answer.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:24 PM   #1889
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubi4MyMrs View Post
If the reservoir has no purpose in our application, why put ANYTHING in there?
I'm just a tap dancing monkey with a cowboy hat on but, I figure the bushing is a oilite type that has some porosity and once the shaft and bushing warms up the waxy crap soaks into the bushing. Some highly educated engineering dude figured that out.



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I'm sure Chrysler will chime in shortly with that answer.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 08:22 PM   #1890
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Perhaps the factory waxy grease was for some sort of cooling once it heated up? Like a sodium filled exhaust valve?
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