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Old 12-28-2006, 16:50   #1 (permalink)
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Distributor rotor will not turn.

I need some expert advice. My son was driving my 1973 Ford F250 (390) ...and it just quit. After spending about an hour trying to get it started I pulled the distributor cap off and found that the rotor was not turning. I made sure the cam/chain were still operational by removing the valve cover and saw the valves going up and down normally. Then, I removed the distributor and found the rotor drive gear (the one that meshes with the cam shaft) spining freely on the rotor. Great, I thought I had my problem nailed! So, I put a new distributor and then tried to start the truck. I wouldn't start. I pulled the cap and found the distributor rotor NOT turning...AGAIN!!! I pulled the new distributor and found a bunch of gear teeth missing from the drive gear on the rotor. The cam shaft gear teeth are all still there although i do see some damage on the leading edge of the teeth. So here are my questions:

1. Do you think the cam shaft is ok to use? My hope is that the gear on the distributor rotor is much weaker then the cam shaft gear and therefore the cam shaft is ok. Please let me know what you think.

2. What is preventing my distributor rotor from turning?

Thanks, Rich
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Old 12-28-2006, 18:16   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richminer
I need some expert advice. My son was driving my 1973 Ford F250 (390) ...and it just quit. After spending about an hour trying to get it started I pulled the distributor cap off and found that the rotor was not turning. I made sure the cam/chain were still operational by removing the valve cover and saw the valves going up and down normally. Then, I removed the distributor and found the rotor drive gear (the one that meshes with the cam shaft) spining freely on the rotor. Great, I thought I had my problem nailed! So, I put a new distributor and then tried to start the truck. I wouldn't start. I pulled the cap and found the distributor rotor NOT turning...AGAIN!!! I pulled the new distributor and found a bunch of gear teeth missing from the drive gear on the rotor. The cam shaft gear teeth are all still there although i do see some damage on the leading edge of the teeth. So here are my questions:

1. Do you think the cam shaft is ok to use? My hope is that the gear on the distributor rotor is much weaker then the cam shaft gear and therefore the cam shaft is ok. Please let me know what you think.

2. What is preventing my distributor rotor from turning?

Thanks, Rich
Pull the dizzy and rotate the motor , does the cam turn ?
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

My buddy has an 86 F250,with the 400,he had the same problem and when we pulled the distributor,the pump's drive shaft was trwisted up,come to find out that a piece of the plastic coating off the timing gear had broke off and some how got int the pump,logded itself between the wall of the pump and gear.If you haven't found out anything yet,but if your cam is missing teeth I wouldn't use itit might be worth checking out,hope everything goes well,JD
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Old 12-29-2006, 13:40   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

Hi JD,
So I used a long extension and a 1/4" deep well (accessing the pump through the distributor hole) to see if the oil pump was frozen. As soon as I mounted the socket on the oil pump drive shaft I heard a clunk...I thought my socket fell off, but it didn't. When I looked down the distributor hole, the oil pump drive shaft was gone (at least I couln't see it anymore)? I'm guessing I need to replace the oil pump. So I drained the oil to remove the oil pan. I only have about 1/2" clearance between the pan and a very sturdy cross member. Here are my questions:

1. Do you think my oil pump needs to be replaced? And, if so, the only way to replace it is through the pan...right?

2. Will I be able to remove the pan without having to raise the engine? That cross member only allows the pan to drop down about 1/2". There's probably an oil pick up tube that drops into the pan that might not let me coax the pan out. What do you think?

3. If I have to raise the engine...can i just loosen the two engine mounts on either side and use a floor jack? I sure hope I don't have to pull the engine just to get the pan off so I can replace the oil pump.
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Old 12-29-2006, 13:49   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

it does sound like you need to replace the pump,sometimes when you pull the
Distributor out the shaft comes out with it.
it is easier to pull the engine but yes you can lift the engine out of the mounts to pull the pan off,but you will need an engine hoist to do it,and to get the engine high enoug you will also need to loosen the transmission mount bolts to do it
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Old 03-22-2007, 13:10   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

I had a 76 with a 360 - same motor physically. The pan gasket was leaking, and I was able to unbolt the motor mounts, jack the engine up with a floor jack as high as I could get it. Yep, the tranny hit the body, but I just kept jacking a little...did not do any damage.

I put a 2x4 block of wood between the motor mount on the engine and the mount on the frame. That gave me "just enough" clearance to get the pan off....still had to turn the crank to clear one of the rod journals....

It is not fun but is can be done....actually, trhere is so much jockeying around, you probably need to plan on about three times the amount of time you think you'll need. And, of course, getting the dumb thing back on is another issue...have fun.
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:43   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Distributor rotor will not turn.

Hey all.. new here.. was hoping richminer would post the results of his findings.. happend to my dad once.. similar to JD's issue and it was something in the oil pump gears..and yes ... a total pain in the arse to switch out.

Slick
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