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PICList Thread
'[OT]: auto distributor'
2004\10\17@195233 by rad0

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I need to know what kind of grease is used
in assembling a car's distributor?

It looks like the gear and the bottom half of the shaft
gets lubricated by engine oil, because there is
a short spiral channel in the bottom of the shaft.

But up on top where the distributor mechanism is
located, there is a small seal and I think it was packed
lightly with some sort of grease.

I want to do this only once and I thought one of
you might know. Thanks.
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2004\10\17@223851 by Lee Jones

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> I need to know what kind of grease is used
> in assembling a car's distributor?

What does the manufacturer's service manual state?
That's the first place I'd look.

> It looks like the gear and the bottom half of the shaft
> gets lubricated by engine oil, because there is
> a short spiral channel in the bottom of the shaft.

> But up on top where the distributor mechanism is
> located, there is a small seal and I think it was packed
> lightly with some sort of grease.

The seal may be there to prevent engine oil (liquid/fumes)
from leaking into the distributor cap area.

On the engine side of the seal, you could use pretty much
any grease; wheel bearing grease, molybdinum disulfide,
or distributor point grease (kind of like vasaline with a
higher temperature tolerance).  I've only gotten point
grease in little capsules when I bought replacement sets
of contact points.

On the distributor cap side of the seal, I'd keep it dry
or very nearly so.  Tiny dabs on the point rubbing block
(if old mechanical points) and on the contact point where
the distributor plate touches the housing (usually slight
movement due to vacuum advance mechanism).

If it's new enough(*) that the points function is outside
of the distributor, then I'd keep the portion above the
seal completely dry.

(*) new enough that engine shaft position is sensed by a
   magnetic pickup on the flywheel or similar and advance
   done entirely in the engine control computer but old
   enough that there's only one coil with a distributor
   to route the energy impulse to the correct sparkplug.

You could ask at a decent auto parts store (not Kragen,
not Autozone, nor any big chain) what they recommend,
buy it, and try it.  At some point, you pays your money
and takes your chances. :-)
                                               Lee Jones

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2004\10\18@000243 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2004-10-17 at 19:48, rad0 wrote:
> I need to know what kind of grease is used
> in assembling a car's distributor?
>
> It looks like the gear and the bottom half of the shaft
> gets lubricated by engine oil, because there is
> a short spiral channel in the bottom of the shaft.
>
> But up on top where the distributor mechanism is
> located, there is a small seal and I think it was packed
> lightly with some sort of grease.
>
> I want to do this only once and I thought one of
> you might know. Thanks.

Might help to let us know from where this alternator came from.

On all the automotive alternators I've seen (mostly GM) the alternator
is completely self contained, no contact with engine oil.

The main bearings are the self contained types, they are greased at time
of manufacture and that's it, when the bearing goes you don't repack it,
you just replace it (they are standard bearings, nothing fancy).

Remaking alternators used to be big, kits were available for almost
every type out there, but these days rebuilt alternators for most cars
are so cheap it just isn't worth the labour of rebuilding it yourself.
TTYL

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2004\10\18@010503 by steve

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> > I need to know what kind of grease is used
> > in assembling a car's distributor?
>
> Might help to let us know from where this alternator came from.

Did the alternator evolve from the distributor, or was it created in the
image of the distributor ?

Steve


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2004\10\18@042836 by hael Rigby-Jones

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{Quote hidden}

A standard high temperature grease (e.g. Castrol LM) will be fine for this
application.  The bearings (usualy phosphor bronze bushes) have no real side
loads on a contactless igntion system.  As you say, the lower bearing is
often lubricated by engine oil.

Regards

Mike


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2004\10\18@051018 by Peter Moreton

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If the bearings *are* phospor bronze bushes, then they should be 'loaded'
with oil by placing the bearing into hot engine oil for 1 hour +. The
phosphor bronze is porous, and absorbs oil.


{Original Message removed}

2004\10\18@051903 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: piclist-bouncesspamKILLspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam.....mit.edu]
>On Behalf Of Peter Moreton
>Sent: 18 October 2004 10:10
>To: 'Microcontroller discussion list - Public.'
>Subject: RE: [OT]: auto distributor
>
>
>If the bearings *are* phospor bronze bushes, then they should
>be 'loaded' with oil by placing the bearing into hot engine
>oil for 1 hour +. The phosphor bronze is porous, and absorbs oil.
>
>

Normaly I would agree, but the fact that the distributor shaft is mounted
verticaly and the fact that it gets hot means that the oil probably wouldn't
stay in the bearing for very long...

OTOH they may not be phosphor bronze, but the ones I have rebuilt appeared
to be made of something simmilar, and the workshop manual recommended high
temperature general purpose grease.

Mike

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2004\10\18@090432 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2004-10-18 at 01:05, EraseMEstevespam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTtla.co.nz wrote:
> > > I need to know what kind of grease is used
> > > in assembling a car's distributor?
> >
> > Might help to let us know from where this alternator came from.
>
> Did the alternator evolve from the distributor, or was it created in the
> image of the distributor ?

Hehe, nope, that's just me being dumb, sorry to all about that, for SOME
reason I read "alternator", not distributor...



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2004\10\18@133155 by Bob J

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For something like that, I use Dow DC-4 silicone grease.  I use DC-4
for o-rings, oil filter seals, etc.

Regards,
Bob


On Sun, 17 Oct 2004 18:48:35 -0500, rad0 <rad0spamspam_OUTdirecway.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2004\10\18@145059 by rad0

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob J" <@spam@rocketbobKILLspamspamgmail.com>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <KILLspampiclistKILLspamspammit.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2004 12:31 PM
Subject: Re: [OT]: auto distributor


> For something like that, I use Dow DC-4 silicone grease.  I use DC-4
> for o-rings, oil filter seals, etc.
>
> Regards,
> Bob
>
I used dielectric grease.  I'll let you know how long this lasts,
I see that high temp should have been used.

Oh well.

Anyone know how to tell the numbering for the wires
on the distributor?  I know which cylinder is which,
But I'm not sure where to plug them into the distributor?


Thanks.
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2004\10\19@040240 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu]
>On Behalf Of rad0
>Sent: 18 October 2004 19:47
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT]: auto distributor
>
>Anyone know how to tell the numbering for the wires
>on the distributor?  I know which cylinder is which,
>But I'm not sure where to plug them into the distributor?

You either need to know the firing order, or you can work it out from the
inlet/exhaust valve positoons for each cylinder.  Turn the engine until #1
piston is at TDC with both valves closed.  The rotor arm in the distributor
will then be pointing to the #1 HT lead.  If you know the firing order (and
direction of rotation of the distributor) it's now simple to work out the
positions of the other HT leads.  If not, you will need to keep turning the
engine (in the correct direction) until you find the next cylinder which is
at TDC with both valves closed, the distributor will now be pointing to the
HT lead for that cylinder and so on.

Regards

Mike

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2004\10\19@061925 by Lee Jones

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> Anyone know how to tell the numbering for the wires
> on the distributor?  I know which cylinder is which,
> But I'm not sure where to plug them into the distributor?

It's completely arbitrary.

Choose a tower that is convenient such that the rotor points
at it when the engine is at top dead center (accounting for
idle advance timing adjustment).  The "best" tower may change
if you decide to reorient the distributor case to make getting
at some screw or adjustment easier.  And you can always change
to any tower by "walking" the inner shaft & rotor to match the
tower you want for cylinder #1.

Figure out which direction the rotor turns.  [Some engines can
run, but really badly, if you get this backwards.  You wonder
how I know this. :-) ]

Plug the wire from sparkplug in cyliner #1 into your chosen TDC
tower in distributor.

Following the firing order, plug a wire into the next tower (in
rotation order) and then connect the other end of that wire to
the proper sparkplug.

Repeat until all sparkplus & wires are hooked up.

                                               Lee Jones

____________________________________________

2004\10\19@102739 by Peter L. Peres

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On Tue, 19 Oct 2004, Lee Jones wrote:

> Plug the wire from sparkplug in cyliner #1 into your chosen TDC
> tower in distributor.
>
> Following the firing order, plug a wire into the next tower (in
> rotation order) and then connect the other end of that wire to
> the proper sparkplug.
>
> Repeat until all sparkplus & wires are hooked up.

Er, the firing order is not 1-2-3-4 normally, it's 1-3-2-4 or such and it
depends on the engine!!!. Be careful ;-) If you have more than 4 cylinders
the firing order gets complicated (there can be several combinations). Get
a manual or 'consult' another car of the same type if in doubt.

Peter
____________________________________________

2004\10\19@152443 by steve

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> Er, the firing order is not 1-2-3-4 normally, it's 1-3-2-4 or such and
> it depends on the engine!!!. Be careful ;-) If you have more than 4
> cylinders the firing order gets complicated (there can be several
> combinations). Get a manual or 'consult' another car of the same type
> if in doubt.

Also check that it's not cast into the manifold. (One of GM's really good
ideas).
And then there are the exceptions like an aftermarket cam in Ford 351
Windsor will change the firing order.

Steve.


____________________________________________

2004\10\19@164743 by Peter Moreton

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> And then there are the exceptions like an aftermarket cam in Ford 351
> Windsor will change the firing order.

Is that right? - surely a different crank (eg: a flat plane crank) would
change the firing order, but an aftermarket cam can only change the valve
timing.

____________________________________________

2004\10\19@192528 by Russell McMahon

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>> Er, the firing order is not 1-2-3-4 normally, it's 1-3-2-4 or such and
>> it depends on the engine!!!. Be careful ;-) If you have more than 4
>> cylinders the firing order gets complicated (there can be several
>> combinations). Get a manual or 'consult' another car of the same type
>> if in doubt.

1342 on most I have seen (but not all).

When all else fails.

Take out plugs
Take off rocker cover.
Turn engine (manually or electric inching) until exhaust valve(s) open on
one cylinder.
Some other cylinder will have both valves shut (compression top). This will
be opposite of the first cylinder in the sequence.
If desired check that piston is at tdc with a screwdriver (NOT a nail etc
:-))(whoops, where did THAT go?!)
move motor on until another has valves close and piston at TDC.
Continue until all done or pattern obvious.

The ultra keen and clever may look at the cam profiles and work out the
firing order from them.
(No engine turning needed, error easy).

Bearing in mind the (probable) crank throw pattern will limit the
possibilities. Beware of eg 5 cylinder Audis :-).

       RM

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2004\10\19@203356 by steve

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> > And then there are the exceptions like an aftermarket cam in Ford
> > 351 Windsor will change the firing order.
> Is that right? - surely a different crank (eg: a flat plane crank)
> would change the firing order, but an aftermarket cam can only change
> the valve timing.

When the marker on the crank says TDC, you have a situation where
there are 2 pistons at the top of the stroke, 2 at the bottom, 2 coming up
and 2 going down as dictated by the crank.
A piston at the top could either be firing or finishing the exhaust stroke.
A piston going down could be either on the intake stroke or the power
stroke. It is the cam that determines which is intake and which is power.
Then you get the boat guys who change the cam to make the motor run
backwards.

Steve.



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2004\10\19@222459 by rad0

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell McMahon" <TakeThisOuTapptechEraseMEspamspam_OUTparadise.net.nz>
>
> 1342 on most I have seen (but not all).
>
Yeah, that's it. Thanks.

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2004\10\20@041721 by hael Rigby-Jones

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>-----Original Message-----
>From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspamTakeThisOuTmit.edu [piclist-bouncesEraseMEspam.....mit.edu]
>On Behalf Of rad0
>Sent: 20 October 2004 03:25
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT]: auto distributor
>
>
>
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Russell McMahon" <EraseMEapptechspamparadise.net.nz>
>>
>> 1342 on most I have seen (but not all).
>>
>Yeah, that's it. Thanks.

The Ford Crossflow (Kent) engine being a notable exception (1243)

Mike

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2004\10\20@054514 by Peter Moreton

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Aaah, I see.... Thanks.

-----Original Message-----
From: RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamEraseMEmit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesspam_OUTspamKILLspammit.edu] On Behalf Of
RemoveMEsteveTakeThisOuTspamspamtla.co.nz
Sent: 20 October 2004 01:34
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: RE: [OT]: auto distributor

> > And then there are the exceptions like an aftermarket cam in Ford
> > 351 Windsor will change the firing order.
> Is that right? - surely a different crank (eg: a flat plane crank)
> would change the firing order, but an aftermarket cam can only change
> the valve timing.

When the marker on the crank says TDC, you have a situation where there are
2 pistons at the top of the stroke, 2 at the bottom, 2 coming up and 2 going
down as dictated by the crank.
A piston at the top could either be firing or finishing the exhaust stroke.
A piston going down could be either on the intake stroke or the power
stroke. It is the cam that determines which is intake and which is power.
Then you get the boat guys who change the cam to make the motor run
backwards.

Steve.



____________________________________________

2004\10\20@145726 by Howard Winter

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On Tue, 19 Oct 2004 21:24:49 -0500, rad0 wrote:

>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Russell McMahon" <EraseMEapptechspamspamspamBeGoneparadise.net.nz>
> >
> > 1342 on most I have seen (but not all).
> >
> Yeah, that's it. Thanks.

The alternative on 4-cylinder inline engines is 1243 (which works out as the same sequence but backwards!).  
Once you go above 4, it gets more complex.  For some reason I can remember that the firing order on a Ford
Pilot (1950's V8) is 1, 4, 5, 8, 6, 3, 7, 2, ... funny how things like this stick in the memory for decades,
but I can't remember what I'm supposed to be doing in ten minutes' time!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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