Can’t refit Distributor!

Technical MGB discussion
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F3eng1911
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:09 am
Forename: Garry
Surname: Bestwick

Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by F3eng1911 »

Hi. I know, I know, sounds silly but during my rebuild, I just can’t get the distributor to go in the hole again. I had it in, but when I fitted the engine, I then had to remove it again to get the starter in. Am I missing something here... it feels like it’s hitting something before it fully seats and won’t go any further . I’ve been fiddling, tweaking and turning to try to get it in but no joy. The internal drive gear looks at about 2/40 position and main pulley at TDC. Distributor drive lugs set to match. Looks good to go but just stops that last half inch. Pulling hair out, please help...it should be simple right...cheers.
Not_Anumber
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am
Forename: Chris
Surname: Silk

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by Not_Anumber »

I had the same trouble when i changed my distributor very recently and for a while I even doubted it was the right diameter.

The trick is to keep turning the inner shaft round until it engages. Bear in mind the distributor (and camshaft) turn once for every two turns of the crankshaft. If the distributor seems absolutely nowhere near ready to engage then its worth rotating the crank once (full 360 degrees back to TDC again) and then trying the distributor again. Turn the inner shaft a few degrees in either direction to find the point where it engages with its drive gear and it will slide into place. Line the body of the distributor up so the rotor arm points towards where the number 1 spark plug lead is in the cap, semi tighten the distributor's clamp so it will still move but wont turn too easily and you should now be good to start setting up your timing.
Ian Fozzard
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Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:18 am
Forename: Ian
Surname: Fozzard

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by Ian Fozzard »

Garry - you have got the clamp completely loose I trust? Not attached to the block and loose around the distributor?

Ian F
1972 BGT, Blaze, Navy trim, recessed grill
1961 Midget, 948cc, Clipper Blue, Blue trim and weather gear
F3eng1911
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:09 am
Forename: Garry
Surname: Bestwick

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by F3eng1911 »

Thanks so much folks! Just read your replies and rotated 180 degrees. Can’t say why it wouldn’t go in before as I hadn’t rotated while it was out! But, rotated and it slid right on in! Great. Thanks again for your swift help ...problem sorted. Till the next one eh! ! 👍😀
Ian Fozzard
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:18 am
Forename: Ian
Surname: Fozzard

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by Ian Fozzard »

Good result!!

Ian F
1972 BGT, Blaze, Navy trim, recessed grill
1961 Midget, 948cc, Clipper Blue, Blue trim and weather gear
Vic Butler
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:07 pm
Forename: Vic
Surname: Butler
Location: North West Hampshire

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by Vic Butler »

I presume the distributor drive hasn't been fitted 180 degrees out. It happens. Decades ago I bought a nearly new Gold Seal engine for £10 for my 1955 Series 2 Morris Oxford. It wouldn't start and we eventually discovered the distributor drive was 180 degrees out. 2 & 4 plug leads swapped and then it ran .
1977 Stage 2 MGB GT
1975 SWB Series 3 Land Rover with a later 2.5 petrol engine
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Lakesailor
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:59 am
Forename: Phil
Surname: Brown
Location: Northern Lake District

Re: Can’t refit Distributor!

Post by Lakesailor »

I had the same problem, but only for a minute or so. The drive lugs seem to be a very precise fit. The OP did have the offset in the drive and the distributor matched up, did they?
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