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Old 01-27-2006, 00:01   #1 (permalink)
5000horsepower@coldmail.com
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Distributor Question

I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
there.

I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
"pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....

I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?

In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
and do not know how to get them.....

Anyone?

Thanks


5000HP
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Old 01-27-2006, 00:01   #2 (permalink)
Tom Adkins
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Re: Distributor Question

5000horsepower@coldmail.com wrote:
> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
> there.
>
> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>
> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>
> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
> and do not know how to get them.....
>
> Anyone?
>
> Thanks
>
>
> 5000HP

Back in the "old days" plastics (bakelite) weren't all that resistant to "burn
through". There was a piece of felt in the top center of Ford distributor shafts to
help prevent "burn through" of the rotor. It effectively increased the resistance
through the rotor. With modern "plastics" it is unecessary. It plays no part in
lubrication.
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:01   #3 (permalink)
fireater
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question

5000horsepower@coldmail.com wrote:
> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
> there.
>
> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>
> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>
> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
> and do not know how to get them.....
>
> Anyone?
>
> Thanks
>
>
> 5000HP

its for lube of the mechanical advance ONLY ... newer distributers
usually have eliminated it
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:01   #4 (permalink)
fireater
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question

Tom Adkins wrote:
> 5000horsepower@coldmail.com wrote:
>
>> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
>> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
>> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
>> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
>> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
>> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
>> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
>> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
>> there.
>> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
>> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
>> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
>> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
>> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>>
>> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
>> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>>
>> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
>> and do not know how to get them.....
>>
>> Anyone?
>>
>> Thanks
>>
>>
>> 5000HP

>
> Back in the "old days" plastics (bakelite) weren't all that resistant
> to "burn through". There was a piece of felt in the top center of Ford
> distributor shafts to help prevent "burn through" of the rotor. It
> effectively increased the resistance through the rotor. With modern
> "plastics" it is unecessary. It plays no part in lubrication.

well according to the shop manual for mu dads 51 dodge it was for lube
...... it was a scheduled manintenance item
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:01   #5 (permalink)
Rick
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question


<5000horsepower@coldmail.com> wrote in message
news:fngjt1ptokfphvu7aoskhha9iirrp5db33@4ax.com...
> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
> there.
>
> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>
> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>
> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
> and do not know how to get them.....
>
> Anyone?
>
> Thanks



Fireater is correct-it's a lubrication wick...


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Old 01-27-2006, 19:01   #6 (permalink)
Bob
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question


"Rick" <notta@goodone.com> wrote in message
news:nhrCf.6527$rH5.4174@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>
> <5000horsepower@coldmail.com> wrote in message
> news:fngjt1ptokfphvu7aoskhha9iirrp5db33@4ax.com...
>> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
>> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
>> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
>> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
>> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
>> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
>> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
>> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
>> there.
>>
>> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
>> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
>> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
>> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
>> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>>
>> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
>> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>>
>> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
>> and do not know how to get them.....
>>
>> Anyone?
>>
>> Thanks

>
>
> Fireater is correct-it's a lubrication wick...
>
>


Except that it lubes the lobes that cause the points to open and not the
mechanical advance.
Bob


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Old 01-27-2006, 21:01   #7 (permalink)
Ted R
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question


"Bob" <bob@n0spam.net> wrote in message news:XYACf.476$tG1.347@fe02.lga...
>
> "Rick" <notta@goodone.com> wrote in message
> news:nhrCf.6527$rH5.4174@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>>
>> <5000horsepower@coldmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:fngjt1ptokfphvu7aoskhha9iirrp5db33@4ax.com...
>>> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
>>> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
>>> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
>>> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
>>> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
>>> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
>>> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
>>> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
>>> there.
>>>
>>> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
>>> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
>>> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
>>> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
>>> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>>>
>>> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
>>> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>>>
>>> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
>>> and do not know how to get them.....
>>>
>>> Anyone?
>>>
>>> Thanks

>>
>>
>> Fireater is correct-it's a lubrication wick...
>>
>>

>
> Except that it lubes the lobes that cause the points to open and not the
> mechanical advance.
> Bob
>That is why the point sets came with a packet of cam lube, at least the
>Motorcraft sets; the felt wick became a point of curiosity after that. Of
>course, after 30 years of cars not using points, everything about that
>technology is mainly curiosity....but I digress- back to the original post,
>what works really well to see the timing marks is white-out from an office
>supply place- the pen type works best, as you can draw a thin line with it.
>You may have to look real close at the pulley to find the marks, as they
>weren't real visible, but once you find and mark them, the timing light
>really shows up the white-out. What I usually did was to draw a line the
>full width of the pulley at the tdc or zero line, then a shorter line at
>the actual timing mark- this makes setting timing really accurate and also
>helps to set the engine at tdc for other work.



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Old 01-27-2006, 22:01   #8 (permalink)
Rick
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question


"Bob" <bob@n0spam.net> wrote in message news:XYACf.476$tG1.347@fe02.lga...
>
> "Rick" <notta@goodone.com> wrote in message
> news:nhrCf.6527$rH5.4174@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> >
> > <5000horsepower@coldmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:fngjt1ptokfphvu7aoskhha9iirrp5db33@4ax.com...
> >> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
> >> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
> >> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
> >> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
> >> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
> >> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
> >> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
> >> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
> >> there.
> >>
> >> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
> >> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
> >> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
> >> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
> >> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
> >>
> >> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
> >> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
> >>
> >> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
> >> and do not know how to get them.....
> >>
> >> Anyone?
> >>
> >> Thanks

> >
> >
> > Fireater is correct-it's a lubrication wick...
> >
> >

>
> Except that it lubes the lobes that cause the points to open and not the
> mechanical advance.
> Bob



Nope, it's for lubricating the lobe assembly where it slips on the distributor shaft....


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Old 01-28-2006, 23:01   #9 (permalink)
Jim Warman
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question

WHOA!!! Sea Bisquit!!! That little dab of breaker point grease that we apply
to the rubbing block lubricates the lobes (don't put too much.... it will
find the points). The felt wick is for the mechanical advance (more exactly,
where the cam fits over the shaft) only.

F*ck... all we need to do is look at the thing and think "Why??" to figure
it out.

What next... we going to wonder why there used to be felt washers under the
battery connections and we don't see them now??? Oh, shit... I dun it now...


"Bob" <bob@n0spam.net> wrote in message news:XYACf.476$tG1.347@fe02.lga...
>
> "Rick" <notta@goodone.com> wrote in message
> news:nhrCf.6527$rH5.4174@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...
>>
>> <5000horsepower@coldmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:fngjt1ptokfphvu7aoskhha9iirrp5db33@4ax.com...
>>> I recently replaced the distributor in my Ford F-150 400eng. with a
>>> rebuilt from the local parts store. I have poor eyesight, and could
>>> not read the timing marks real well, so I timed it "by ear". The
>>> other day a friend came to visit from out of town. He's a retired
>>> mechanic. I told him the old truck still had a miss. He said he would
>>> set the timing for me using the timing light. He took off the
>>> distributor cap and immediately said there is supposed to be a felt
>>> thing in the center of the shaft, under the rotor. He said it's not
>>> there.
>>>
>>> I know what he means, I have seen them in other distributors. I
>>> always thought they were there for lubrication of the shaft, but he
>>> said the real reason they are there is to prevent a spark from popping
>>> thru the rotor and shooting down the shaft hole. I thought he was
>>> "pulling my leg", and laughed. He said he is serious....
>>>
>>> I trust this guy, and he was a very good mechanic. But this sounds
>>> real weird. Is this for real, or is he really pulling my leg?
>>>
>>> In the meantime, the parts store said they dont sell them separately,
>>> and do not know how to get them.....
>>>
>>> Anyone?
>>>
>>> Thanks

>>
>>
>> Fireater is correct-it's a lubrication wick...
>>
>>

>
> Except that it lubes the lobes that cause the points to open and not the
> mechanical advance.
> Bob
>



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Old 01-29-2006, 10:01   #10 (permalink)
Bob
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Posts: n/a
Re: Distributor Question


"Jim Warman" <mechanic@telusplanet.net> wrote in message
news:0rZCf.135621$AP5.73708@edtnps84...
> WHOA!!! Sea Bisquit!!! That little dab of breaker point grease that we
> apply to the rubbing block lubricates the lobes (don't put too much.... it
> will find the points). The felt wick is for the mechanical advance (more
> exactly, where the cam fits over the shaft) only.


The way I remember it the felt rubbed directly on the cam lobes, but I'll
admit it's been a long damn time since I've worked on anything with points
or a mechanical advance. I do have one customer that still drives a 69 Ford
PU, I guess I'll have to take a peek under the cap next time she brings it
in.
Bob



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