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IAN IAN is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Bend, OR USA
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Anyone ever Snap a Distrib. Rotor? Cause Pertronix?

I installed a pertronix unit last night.

I test drove the car today. I drove about 2 miles and then the car sputtered and stalled. I pulled over popped the hood and noticed that the distributor cap was not sort of 1/2 off. I put it back on and tried to start the car. It did not start.

Perplexed I went back to the distrib cap and pulled it off. It looked pretty normal. I thought maybe I fried the pertronix unit but it wasn't the case.

I then pulled off the rotor and saw a few bits of orange colored plastic in the distributor. I turned the rotor upside down and noticed that the vertical plastic part of the rotor that slots into the metal cam on the distributor was snapped off.

I placed the rotor back in place- roughly since I couldn't locate the exact right spot since the plastic piece was snapped off. The car fired up and I drove it back to my garage.

Anyone have any thoughts?

I did notice last night that the plastic piece on the bottom of the rotor that ended up breaking today was a bit worn- perhaps from me sliding it on and off a bunch in the last year or so.

A few theories:

1) The distributor cap was not properly in place and this caused something

2) Pertronix does not fit properly hence the distributor cap does not close properly.

3) Pure coincidence

4) Any other thoughts?

Old 10-15-2005, 04:46 PM
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I vote for door no. 1. It happens.

Make sure the new rotor is fully seated on the shaft. Sometimes they're a tight fit and they won't slide down all the way. Don't use brute force.

Sherwood
Old 10-15-2005, 05:40 PM
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Re: Anyone ever Snap a Distrib. Rotor? Cause Pertronix?

Quote:
Originally posted by IAN

I installed a pertronix unit last night.
the unit's dizzy shaft collar has to be fitted way down or the rotor won't fully sit.
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Old 10-15-2005, 10:52 PM
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I never had that problem, but I did take a belt sander to the bottom of the rotor to shave off 1/8" to make things line up better.
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Old 10-16-2005, 04:40 AM
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MRM MRM is online now
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It is possible for a distributor to get so old that it builds up resistance to the electrical current. When that happens it starts putting out more electircal current to overcome the resistance. Eventually it can takes so much juice to get through that it will break the rotor.

This happened to my family once in our Chevy while on vacation. The rotor fragmented and chunks were sucked into the engine, pretty much chewing it up.

I would change the distributor cap. They're relatively cheap and good insurance.

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Old 10-16-2005, 06:11 AM
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