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Distributor binding in block

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  • Distributor binding in block

    Hello Mini people-

    I installed a new distributor from MM in my Mini's metro engine, the kind with the "fork" holding clamp, with a little oil on the shaft. I want to adjust the timing, but once the engine is warmed up the distributor is REALLY STUCK, as in, it won't rotate, even with the holding fork totally disengaged. Once the engine cools, it turns. It will be a challenge to set the timing under these circumstances...

    Any advice? Should I have used anti-seize during installation?


  • #2
    Are the mating surfaces clean?

    It would be interesting to compare the new distributor with your old one, diameter wise. My micrometer measures up to 1" and you are welcome to use it if the housing is less than 1".

    Autosport will measure it for you also.

    My guess is that Mini Mania owes you another distributor.

    Last edited by Dixminion; 11-04-2014, 04:57 PM. Reason: bad grammar


    • #3
      Ah! Good idea, Don. I've got a micrometer (somewhere...). I'll measure both distributors and report back with dimensions (probably not until the weekend, though).

      Everything was clean going together. The new distributor definitely did not go in "like butter". I even put the old one back in to get a measure of how it should feel going in, and the new one was notably tighter.



      • #4
        Why replace the distributor? Contact [email protected]. The man is an absolute genius. He'll send you a questionnaire about engine mods, intake, exhaust, etc., and will fashion an advance curve/rebuild your distributor for a very reasonable price. He rebuilt my wife's MG 1100 distributor and I highly recommend him. Give him a shout, you wont regret it.


        • #5
          Well, dang it, where were you when I decided that getting a new distributor was a good idea? (kidding) I use the car at least weekly, so the 3-4 week down time would have been trouble.

          I had a high-speed part throttle miss, and hit the problem with the "sledgehammer solution", assuming it was ignition related: new distributor, coil, wires, plugs. I wanted electronic ignition, anyway, so the new distributor seemed like a doubly good idea.

          Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. Some time in the future, I had it in mind to get the programmable 123 distributor and get a custom curve from a dyno shop. We'll see if that ever happens...



          • #6
            After Jeff at Advanced Distributor reworked/re-curved/rebuilt the distributor for my wife's 1100, I changed from standard points to the Petronix ignition. Not a single regret. Just bump the ignition key and the engine starts. If you can do without driving the car for a short time, it will be worth the wait. And personally, I think that the 123 distributor is over rated and over priced.


            • #7
              Hello again, Mini people-

              Removed the distributor to measure its diameter to compare with the old one. Here's the results:

              New diameter: 1.062"
              Old diameter: 1.060"

              I guess the difference, though small, is enough to bind the distributor when the engine is all warmed up (noting that aluminum (distributor shaft) has a much higher thermal expansion coefficient than iron (block)).

              Not sure how to handle this with MM...

              An unfortunate result of this measuring exercise is that the new distributor pulled the distributor drive shaft out with it. Grrrr! Now I have to totally reset the timing.



              • #8
                Send it back to MM with an explanation why it wont fit and either get a refund or exchange. If you are determined to replace the dizzy and don't trust MM, try either Seven Enterprises or Heritage Garage. Just be advised that a some of the 'new' distributors come out of China. You be the judge. Not to harp on it, but I still like the Advanced Distributor solution; you get a customized ignition curve in a rebuilt distributor that fits. Spend the money and get an electric Pertronix ignition, it is not that expensive. 'Nuff said.