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Technical Distributor replacement for 347 stroker WTF did this dude do!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by J:Mac, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    All,
    I have a 60 F100 placed on a 65 Chassis. It has a 302 supposedly stroked to a 347. It is a carbureted set up with a Motorcraft E4ZE-12131-AA Distributor which as I understand is the wrong distributor since it is for and EFI engine.
    The engine at idle is way to far advanced and is ideling around 1500rpms. If i retard the timing, it will lope and sound good, but then fall on its face when you put on the accelerator. To make it even more confusing, the builder put in an MSD 6al ignition control module in and decided to cut all but 2 wires to the distributor. Obviously to make it run some how.
    I aim to put in a vacuum advance distributor, which sounds easy enough, but I have no clue what kind of cam was put in (Roller Cam Vs. Flat Tappet ) and have no way to find out from the builder, since that was several owners ago. Is there any easy way to solve this mystery so that I can get the correct distributor with the correct gear and this beast back on the road and make it reliable for my wife to drive? I bought it for her for her birthday, and she is hella excited to take it out.
    As always, any advice is GREATLY Appreciated!
    IMG_1004.JPG IMG_1005.JPG IMG_1136.JPG
     
  2. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,330

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    He only needed two wires on the distributor to fire the MSD. I did the same thing with an early Ford Duraspark distributor. I would guess that the distributor is not set right. Maybe needs advanced a tooth? I just set mine on 38* total advance and paid no attention to what the initial timing was and it runs fine. Does that distributor even have advance weights in it?
     
  3. That distributor has no advance in it at all, that was done by the EFI computer. Pull the distributor and measure the shaft diameter; if it's .491", it has the iron gear and I'd assume that's what's needed. The steel gear units used a .531" shaft. You can use a '74-82 Duraspark distributor (about $50 at any parts house) with conventional vacuum/mechanical advance, simply connect the pink/purple wires coming out of the distributor to your MSD box (ignore the black) like it is now. The distributor you have is for pre-roller cam EFI motors, but you may want to verify that you DON'T have a roller cam. If you do, you can still use the early distributor above but you WILL need to swap the gear to a 'conversion' aftermarket steel unit. Jegs and Summit both carry these for gears about $30.

    The only positive way to ID the cam that I know of is pull the intake and look...
     
    slack likes this.
  4. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,330

    tommyd
    Member
    from South Indy

    You don't sound so crazy.....Steve. Thanks for chiming in. I have one of those distributors in my shed and was going to go have a look at the inside of it. Guess it would make a good oil pump pre-oiler if I cut it up.
     

  5. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    Ok so I do have options. Measure the shift going through the gear.
    .531" = steel =roller cam
    .491= iron gear = flat tappet
    The 78-82 Duraspark distributor comes with the iron gear?
    Is there a way to tell which gear I.e. Metal I have on the current distributor? And then just match it? Or no?
     
  6. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    Something like this for a 302?
    image.jpg
     
  7. Well, not exactly.... LOL. The part number cast into the housing identifies that as an '82 non-roller cam distributor, but Ford didn't always update casting numbers. There should be a machined area on the housing with numbers stamped in (probably painted over) that will be more accurate. If the shaft is .491 it IS an iron gear, but the .531 shaft could be either. The '74-82 distributor WILL come with an iron gear on a .491 shaft, you'll have to buy the steel gear separately if needed. Ford used a roller cam in the '85 '5.0' Mustang, then went roller in all 302 motors in '86. Another way to check for a roller cam is to look at the casting number on the block down by the pan rail. This number will start with a letter then a number; the letter designates the decade, with C = 60s, D = 70s, E = 80s. The number will be the year, so a 'E2' would be a '82. If this is a E4 or older, it's a non-roller block. A E5 could be either, a E6-up will be a roller block. But that's not say that the PO didn't install a roller cam with a retrofit kit in an non-roller block, or a flat tappet cam in a roller block. I'd have to say that the PO didn't quite know what he was doing because of the EFI distributor he used... I'm not aware of a positive ID method on the gears, but SOME of the steel gears are fully machined, the rest are a machined casting. Again, the only POSITIVE way to identify the cam is to pull the intake and look.
     
  8. mrconcdid
    Joined: Aug 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,157

    mrconcdid
    Member
    from Florida

    Can't he run a bronze gear on either a solid or hydraulic cam, therefore which ever he has its ok, I have even seem composite gears that went both ways too.
    Godspeed
    MrC.
     
  9. I got a neighbor that goes both ways. LOL

    I would probably use a bronze gear. I don't know anyway to know if it is running a roller cam without pulling the intake, there is not way to see into the lifter galley ( or gallery I never get that one right). You still won't know if it is a billet cam or not without pulling the cam shaft.

    Crazy steve by the way knows his Ford stuff he is a reliable source for the info needed. ;)
     
    Andamo likes this.
  10. Bronze gears used to be the answer for steel billet roller cams, but their main drawback is they don't last all that long. The racers didn't mind, but on a street car replacing the distributor gear on a regular basis got expensive. I'd just bite the bullet and pull the intake to be absolutely positive. It'll be obvious if it's a roller cam, as you'll find either the 'spider' if it's a factory-style setup or 'linked' lifters if it's conversion. A intake gasket set isn't much money, much cheaper than replacing the cam and distributor gear (and maybe the motor) if you get it wrong...
     
  11. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,604

    Gearhead Graphics
    Member
    from Denver Co

    My stroker said not to use a bronze gear.

    Also, Id toss a carb spacer on there and do something to flatten out that air cleaner bend.

    Looked into the HEI systems. Had one on my last carbed ford, worked very nicely
     
  12. Yeah, but they look butt-ugly on a Ford motor... LOL
     
  13. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    image.jpg
    Ok so to be certain of year of engine. I am trying to find the damn engine casting. Was reading that it is above the starter. So I pulled the starter and all I found was this glob of mess that I can't defragment. There is no engine stamping or any other casting marks anywhere else that I see. I'm at a loss.
     
  14. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    Sorry. I guess what I am trying to ask is if anyone knows where else I can look for the casting numbers.
     
  15. You may have a service replacement or 'crate motor' block which would explain the lack of a casting number. Nearly all of these were roller blocks. But this still won't tell you if you have a roller cam or not. Pull the intake, then you'll know...

    A trick for installing SBF intake manifolds... Get two 4" long 5/16-18 bolts and cut the heads off them, then saw a screwdriver slot into the ends. Lay the port gaskets on the heads (with sealer if needed), throw away the end seals; instead use a fat bead of silicon sealer at the ends. Let the sealer partially set up, then screw the 'guide' bolts into two of the manifold bolt holes (one on each side). Drop the manifold down the guides, install the rest of the bolts, remove the guides, torque it down. Let the sealer cure overnight.... you're done.

    Make sure you have the right intake gaskets as there's 3-4 different sets or you'll have vacuum and/or water leaks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
  16. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    Getting the correct gaskets was precisely the reason I was on the hunt for the castings so I could use the year and buy them ahead of time. Does the engine year make a difference in the gasket set or is the gasket set a function of intake design?

    Thank you so much for your insight.
    I WILL SOLVE THIS RIDDLE!
     
  17. rickl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2012
    Posts: 102

    rickl
    Member

    J:Mac, If you are in the twin cities, I have a spare Duraspark distributor you can try. I'm pretty sure it is for a non-roller cam motor.
     
  18. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433529960.273891.jpg

    I did however pull the right bank valve cover and found this stamping on the head.
    In case you can't read it, says 4F29. I don't imagine it means much since the heads could have been replaced though.
     
  19. There's a couple of intake port sizes and a couple of water outlet configurations. OEM, they were year/cylinder head specific but with the advent of all the aftermarket heads now available not to mention factory heads that get swapped, matching up what you have is the easiest way. None are hard to get, you just need to get the right ones...
     
  20. One other thing I'll mention; once you get a distributor, make sure you connect the vacuum advance hose below the throttle blades (non-ported vacuum). I prefer to connect directly to the intake manifold for the best vacuum signal.
     
  21. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T
    Member

    I'm not a Ford guy, but the pushrod holes look pretty big in your picture. Can you pull a pair of rocker arms and guide plates, pull the pushrods, stick a light down one hole, look though the other and see what kind of lifters are in there?
     
  22. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan
    Member

    Thank you Steve for saying what I've thought for years. Even though they are a good distributor/ignition the HEI doesn't look that good on the GM engines either.
    -Dave
     
  23. Relic Stew
    Joined: Apr 17, 2005
    Posts: 1,127

    Relic Stew
    Member
    from Wisconsin

    That's the casting date code.
    4 is the year. Doesn't cover the decade, but it looks like pedestal rockers, so either '84 or '94
    F is the month, 6th letter = June (I is skipped, so don't count it if you see letters higher)
    29th day
     
  24. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    Rickl,
    I am in Baton Rouge. But thank you for the offer. We're about 20 something years too late. I grew up in Little Falls Mn not to far from you.
     
  25. Engine man
    Joined: Jan 30, 2011
    Posts: 3,476

    Engine man
    Member
    from Wisconsin

  26. JeffB2
    Joined: Dec 18, 2006
    Posts: 8,483

    JeffB2
    Member
    from Phoenix,AZ

  27. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433625888.737832.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433625901.090108.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433625913.812893.jpg

    So as you can obviously see. I have the intake and distributor out. Even took a picture of the cam gear. So what do you think is the verdict? Steel,iron, or brass distributor gear?

    On a side note, there has always been a ticking noise coming from the passenger bank valve cover. The the push rod is very loose on the 1 cylinder on both intake and exhaust valves.
     
  28. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433626364.705306.jpg

    Yes folks. That's a leaf that was found under the intake. This thing sat for so long that it had a tree growing out of it!
     
  29. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,660

    Larry T
    Member

    Heads have a little port matching done.
     
  30. J:Mac
    Joined: May 10, 2015
    Posts: 22

    J:Mac

    ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433634147.564236.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433634165.668726.jpg ImageUploadedByH.A.M.B.1433634178.025518.jpg

    Slowly putting it all together. Can't understand why the mechanic would have went through all the trouble only to put in a flat tappet cam.
     

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