Moisture in the Distributor - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
KEG
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Moisture in the Distributor

I did a quick search on this subject and didn't see anything that answered my question. My brother has an 85 CJ with the stock 6 cyl engine. When we go out and go through some moderate water, "4 to 12 inches" we are forever having to stop and dry out his distributor. I think I have troubleshot the problem down to where the vacuum advance arm goes under the cap there seems to be quite a qap. I have RTVed the bejeebers out of it, I hope it holds. I guess my question is do you folks know if there is supposed to be some kind of a cover over this arm? If so where can we get one, it not is there a better solution than a big glop of rtv?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 12:34 PM
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

Here is your solution.

Instead of hitting those puddles at a high rate of speed, splashing water everywhere try slowing down. That will keep the water from splashing onto your dist and allow you to see where you are going.

It's simple really.

If you must splash water I'd suggest upgrading the distributor cap, rotor and wires to the Fprd "Dura-Spark" style.
Here's what you do. Go to Shucks/NAPA/Autozone or whatever parts store you have and ask for a Cap, rotor and wires from a 1981 Ford F150 with the 300 I6. You will also need the Cap "base" or what ever it is called. What you will end up with is a cap that is wider in diameter , has more area between posts (less arcing) and better wire connections. The upgrade costs about $100 total but can be done easily by a newbie. No Timing adjustment needed as it's all just bolt on stuff.

You can find more info on this swap in Moses Ludels "Jeep Bible".

It worked really well for me and even made the engine run "smoother"

Good luck!
post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
KEG
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

MRRACRRO,

It doesn't take alot of water to make it act hokey. If it is raining, the distributor will still get some water in it and cause it to bog down.

The mod that you have explained sounds good, I just have one question. Does it help with the waterproofing the inside of the distributor? Thanks for all your help.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 02:35 PM
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

It seems to do a better job of keeping the distributor dry.

If you are having problems with the Dist getting wet in the rain you might just need to get new wires then seal them (the caps to the wires) with some silicon sealant.

post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 05:45 PM
 
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

That vacuum advance arm is definately an achilles heel on the distributor. I notice the distributor is not vertical, but at a slight angle towards the passenger side. I indexed my distributor to have the vacuum pot located slightly rearward of the 90 degrees to the passenger side. I definately would not want the pot facing forwards or back, as it won't be able to drain.

Some sort of a boot over the whole assembly, or even a spray shield would help alot. Nothing is going to allow it to work submerged unless you enclose the whole distributor in.

I used grease on the base of the distributor, and a blob of grease around the shaft arm. Don't forget, the arm has to be free to move in and out as vacuum controls it. They should have used a shaft and o ring. Can it move freely if you seal it up with rtv? I have my doubts unless it tears free of the rtv.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

Timinmb
I know what you are saying about the arm needing to move freely. I kind of tented the rtv over the pan like area where the arm is located. I don't think I got rtv in contact with the arm at all. The only thing I see is if any water does get in it will have no way out. I like your idea about indexing the distributor around. Currently the vacuum actuator is straight forward. If he rotates it will this not screw up the timing?

Mrmacrro
We changed the plug wires and rtv'ed around the boots where they plug into the distributor several days ago. I told him about the Ford distributor mod he is going to check into it. When you say "distributor base" do you mean the part that goes in the engine with the driven gear on the end? Or is it something that goes on top under the cap? How does the vacuum advance hook up with this mod?

Thank You
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-23-2002, 11:33 PM
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

When I say "Distributor Base" I mean the part that attaches to the Distributor at the top inbetween the Cap and the top of the distributor, I don't know how else to describe it, the auto store should have it instock. Its plastic like the cap and rotor.
post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2002, 01:17 AM
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

what you need is a cap adapter it goes on top of your dist. under your new cap.
post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2002, 01:37 AM
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

A piece of an inner tube wrapped around the distributor and
wires, tied with a tie wrap or string to keep direct splash
off it should be enough, always has worked for me.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-24-2002, 09:45 AM
 
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Re: Moisture in the Distributor

You can index the distributor to the position you want by rotating the engine to #1 top dead centre (or you can turn it to #1 tdc before installing the distributor), removing distributor, turning the pump drive slot with a slotted screwdriver, dropping the distributor back in place to desired position of vacuum pot. Either have the rotor lined up with #1 when you install it, and you will find it turns as you drop it in, and /or you must ensure that whatever the end result, the rotor now points at what will be the position for the first spark plug wire. After that, simply follow the firing order. It doesn't matter where you place #1 on the cap, as long as the rotor is pointing there for #1 tdc and you follow the correct firing order thereafter.
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