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Stuck Distributor, 3.2

I was working on my 911 and with the distributor cap off I accidentally turned the rotor in the distributor to the left just a bit. (I had it aligned for #1 cylinder and TDC. Now it sits a half inch or less to counter clockwise to the notch for #1 - about 11 o'clock). I assume if I start the car it will not run very well.


I was planning to remove the distributor and reset it with the motor at TDC, but I cannot get the doggone thing to come out! I removed the nut and washer, put a little mystery oil on the threads to clean them up and then tried pulling - it would not budge even a little. I tapped it with a rubber mallet - no change. I do not see any other attachment points.


I have the engine at TDC. Instead of pulling the distributor can I turn the rotor counter clockwise all the way around until it is pointing at the #1 cylinder notch?

If not, any advice about how to loosen the distributor?

Thanks - I can't tell you how many times these forums have provided great help!
Old 07-31-2013, 01:13 PM
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You shouldn't be able to move the rotor, it should be 'keyed' into position... if it moves and doesn't spring back then the springs under the plastic dust cap are broken. Definately do not try to remove the distributor to re-index the rotor if you haven't had the distributor out of the car, since it's not the problem!

Chuck.H
'89 TurboLookTarga, 361k miles
Old 07-31-2013, 01:40 PM
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Stuck Distributor, 3.2

The springs I can see under the dust cap appear fine and the car ran fine before. The rotor will not advance in a clockwise direction - the springs expand and the rotor locks in place, but it did move counterclockwise - I don't know if it will keep moving counterclockwise -( I assume it will but I didn't know it was supposed to fixed in place when the car is not running.) I accidentally turned it a small amount counterclockwise when I was pulling the rotor to inspect it.
Old 07-31-2013, 02:08 PM
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Yes it's supposed to be fixed in place, other than the springs that only serve to keep the rotor pointing at the right terminal as the ignition is advanced by the DME.

Pull it back off and look at the key in the plastic and the slot in the shaft - it should only go on in one position, and from there it should turn a little in one direction, and then spring back.

Chuck.H
'89 TurboLookTarga, 361k miles
Old 07-31-2013, 02:15 PM
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If you did not remove the distributor, it cannot rotate unless the engine does also. Unless of course the gear or retaining pin is broken. The lower shaft is connected to the motor by a gear. The upper shaft can rotate on the lower shaft a few degrees due to the springs and weights, but if in good shape and lubricated properly, it will spring back.
It is possible for the rotor to move if the tab is broken or not fully pushed down into the slot. I would check that first. The distributor in the 3.2 has no adjustment at the mount because the DME sets the timing.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:50 PM
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Well those explanations make perfect sense. I just took a look and I can move it clockwise a smidge and then the springs return it. I cannot move it counterclockwise at all. I assume the rotor turned as it was coming off, but not the shaft. Nothing appears broken.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Herr View Post
Well those explanations make perfect sense. I just took a look and I can move it clockwise a smidge and then the springs return it. I cannot move it counterclockwise at all. I assume the rotor turned as it was coming off, but not the shaft. Nothing appears broken.
Ok, so does it start and run now? If not, are you SURE you got the wires back in the correct positions?

Chuck.H
'89 TurboLookTarga, 361k miles
Old 08-01-2013, 04:18 AM
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the rotor has a 'key' in it's bore that keys into a notch in the shaft. be sure the key isn't broken off, allowing the rotor to turn independent of the shaft.
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:17 AM
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The car starts and runs great. I believe the rotor turned on the shaft when I was pulling it off and I thought the shaft was turning. Thanks for the excellent advice!

I'm glad I did not have the reindex the distributor because that thing does not want to come out and I could not devise a way to get good leverage on it.
Old 08-01-2013, 11:57 AM
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