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Discussion Starter #1
What I have here is a 76 T-bird and what it looks like is someone had advanced the timing (to 30 BTDC) to cover up another issue that I fixed. For this old stock engine that is way to high and would like to dial it back some. but the trouble is not figuring out the setting. It's getting the thing to move! it totally locked in place. I have had a lot of ford engines with tight distributors when the engine get hot but never locked up like this. Any suggestions that would help me loosen this thing up "WITHOUT DESTROYING" it. I need the car to drive to work it my winter ride. only 40 K on the clock.
 

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Soak the distributor base / collar with penetrating oil with a warm engine several times over the course of a couple of days.

Attempt to move dizzy back and forth to loosen up. Takes patients but it can be done.
In some really sever cases you may have to destroy the body to remove it.


SJ
used 2b RHP


.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your advice. I have been soaking the unit now for over a week and have been applying liquid wrench on it at night when I come home from work while the engine is hot. tried moving it yesterday with a cold engine by getting a pry bar in a nice spot. I all could see was the body of the distributor twisting. Again don't want to break it (yet) need the car to drive. I have worked on many ford engines in my lifetime and have never come across one this stuck.
 

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Give the distributor body a few taps down if you can, sometimes that'll help "shock" the corrosion loose. Other than that and what you're doing, it's just going to be patience.... are you saying it's set at 30 degrees base or all in?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok let's go through everything that has been done and the short story on the car and it's function. I bought this car for use as a "cool winter ride" so I can store my nicer rides (so it is important that this car is running) Now let's go into what has been done to free this thing up
1) liquid wrench spayed on base of unit every night when hot (been doing and still doing for over a week now)
2) have tried to loosen by using a 5 Lb hammer and a steel rod
3) have tried a 3 ft pry bar and distributor body will "twist" and base stays put (don't want to break it)

Now for the timing someone in this cars past decided to set the initial timing @ 30 BTDC and then they unplugged the vacuum advance.(to compensate for another issue that I have fixed) So all that is left is the centrifugal advance. the marks on the damper (as you know) go up to 30 BTDC and with a timing light this thing is going way over 40 BTDC. This issue here is when the car is hot restarting becomes a bit of and issue and this thing is no hot rod bone stock mid 70's internals. So it knocks and pings so much that I have to run high octane fuel in it to stop that from happening. this engine should not need 93 octane fuel. again I will mention never seen one this stuck and I have worked on a lot of old fords)
 

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Might have to bite the $45 bullet and order a new distributor. Run the car until the new one shows up, then take a day off to swap it in by whatever means necessary. Sounds like you're over $45 worth of frustration into it ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First I want to say thank you for your help. I am not at all worried about the $45 distributor (would spend it in a heartbeat) I am worried that this thing will break off in such a way that the engine will have to be removed to to extract it from the block. Now that leaves me driving my very nice rides on our salty roads this winter. If I knew this would "only be a day" again I would go for it. Been there done that way to many times and found myself without the car I bought for a specific purpose (in this case winter ride). So I will wait drive it the way it is for now run the 93 octane to prevent the knocking and pinging. then try again in spring time when other options are available to me and this car can afford to sit. Then I will fix it the right way. Again Thank you.
 

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Because you are so far advanced you might want to bring #1 piston to TDC, check where the rotor is pointed. It's possible to move each spark plug wire one hole forward or backward to get your desired timing, just a thought.
 

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I had one the same way a while back, would not come loose it seemed. Like you I tried all that stuff then got a bit pissed at it and went with the steel bar and hammer again a bit harder back and forth and a bit harder and she finally broke free. Next thing was to drill into the base so I could get some penetrating oil in that way maybe. I was ready to bust it off and use a slide hammer to pull the rest out if need be.. It will come loose one way or another..
 

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Use a filter wrench of BMF pipe wrench on the top part and star twisting back and forth, while prying up on it at the sametime.
 

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Can't promise it won't break. Same problem tearing down a junkyard 460. My solution, hook the engine hoist to it, get a bunch of weight on the hoist, two taps with the hammer and it popped out - no damage.
 

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I've got one on a 351M that was the same way, I had to soak it, hammer it with a chisel on the flange that the vacuum advance bolts to, back and forth a lil bit every day, soak it, hammer it.. I used wd-40 with thread penetrate? Just took a lot of back and forth till it came loose.. I knew I'd have fits getting it loose if I didn't, I saw on YouTube someone rebuilding one and they has to take an air chisel to theirs to get it out an I really didn't wanna do that.. It's a chemical reaction between the aluminum in the distributor shaft and the iron in the block, that's why sometimes it needs a shock as well as the oil to try to get between the two to get it loose..
 

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Mine was similar. After doing the extended penetrant soaking routine I took a pair of coupling nuts and appropriate length bolts and slowly pressed it out by placing the bolt/nut combos between the distributor and the engine. You must go slowly and keep the two "balanced" so as to not break the casting. Be sure the hold down is removed. After the distributor is removed clean the distributor and the engine mating surfaces and use some anti-seize where they touch.
 

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Mine was similar. After doing the extended penetrant soaking routine I took a pair of coupling nuts and appropriate length bolts and slowly pressed it out by placing the bolt/nut combos between the distributor and the engine. You must go slowly and keep the two "balanced" so as to not break the casting. Be sure the hold down is removed. After the distributor is removed clean the distributor and the engine mating surfaces and use some anti-seize where they touch.
This seems like a better idea than mine!
 

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I've had some that were severely stuck that took days or weeks of soaking,if you can't wait one other thing you may try is while the engine is nice and hot use a refrigerant to cool the distributor body something like freon or starting fluid or electrical contact cleaner something that sprays out as a liquid and flashes to vapor really quick,have the area flooded with penetrant and try working it back and forth,if you can get movement keep working it and flooding with penetrant until you can finally get it out.If you can ever get it to move if you keep working penetrant in it will eventually loosen up.Once you get it out,make sure to clean the bore out really good and to smear a nice thick grease in the bore and matching areas of the distributor body to help keep moisture from getting in there again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks guys for all your suggestions. I have a piece of rag soaking in liquid wrench wrapped around the base. I soak it every night when I bring the car home from work. will try loosening this thing up in a few days. Busy with the holiday and work right now. take care and peace, Dan
 
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