very interested to see the outcome of your modification!!
I think Fog's way is probably an easier solution and I hope will be enough for us to not have to worry about blowing our motor every time we drive our jeeps. I also believe trying something different is a good idea. The more people working on this the better, and approaching from different angles might help too.
Moab Trails I've done: Onion Creek, Long Canyon, Dome Plateau, Top of The World (2), Fins-N-Things (2), Poison Spider,
Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Hell's Revenge (2), Baby Lion Back, Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Kane Creek Canyon, Strike Ravine
Has anyone here actually lost an engine due to this problem?
Yes, there's been several. If the shaft seizes up it can ruin the camshaft, fail to turn oil pump (lose oil pressure, motor toast), lifter damage etc. Yours sounds like what mine was doing. I had pulled and checked it for wear and it looked fine, then about 6 weeks or so later got the chirping on a cold morning. Pulled it and it was trying to bind at the top bushing. Probably your top bushing needs lubrication. I hope the dealer will be of help and it works out for you.
All I have left is to put the roll pin in the gear and It's back together. If everything looks good I'll probably swap it for my new OPDA that's in my jeep tomorrow and give it a shot. My thinking is the upper bushing will get oil to it now and the oil groove (along with the poly bushing) will keep it from leaking into the top housing. I don't know if it will work but I figure the old distributors didn't have any problems like we're seeing with the OPDA's so why not give it a try.
I'll keep you posted.
Please keep us in the loop on how this works out. I really want to see how everyone's modification works out. I'm waiting to see Willydiggers results after 10k or so miles, and I'd really like to see this one too.
Did you remove the upper bushing on the OPDA and remove the seal below it? If so how did you get it out and do you have pics of it close up?
The groove will direct the oil out the bottom. It likely goes up into the upper bushing a little so the bushing has contact with some oil. The tight tolerance and the groove should help prevent oil from escaping from the top.
Comparing the two, it looks like LDI screwed the pooch by installing the seal.
Overall I think the FOGMod is easier for the general public. Like Tkki said, I'd be very interested to see long term results.
Great job with the photos and comparison. I really appreciate members contributing. This should help with brainstorming. Thanks!
Willy, I did not have to remove the bushing to get the seal out, I basically dug it out with an old dental pick. The seal was rubber but it was real hard, probably from heat, so I turned the OPDA upside down and plugged the top bushing and poured acetone into it, at least enough to cover the seal and let it soak for awhile. The acetone really softened it up and made removal much easier. Sorry, I don't have any pics of that.
Today I cleaned up and polished my "new" shaft from the old distributor and got it all back together. Here's some pics and a better look at the gear wear up to this point. This was the gear from my original OPDA which had at most 50,000 miles on it. I say that because it was replaced per the TSB E05, and I don't know how many miles it had on it then because I was not the owner at the time.
I swapped in my new modified unit and everything looks good so far. My first concern was oil possibly leaking at the top but it showed no leaks. I should mention I made the fit between drive gear and poly bushing under the sensor wheel a little more snug than what the factory OPDA's have. I wanted to keep the poly bushing sitting flush with the top bushing to help prevent oil leakage.
So far so good but only time and miles will tell. I'm about 4 or 5 weeks from my next oil change and unless a problem causes me to pull it before, I'll probably pull it then and check it out.
I agree about the Fog mod probably being the best way to go for most people. And I thank you and all the others who have contributed as well. Even if people just post their situations and experiences it helps.