Author Topic: New Distributor?  (Read 2527 times)

Offline 77tonner

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 11
New Distributor?
« on: April 15, 2006, 08:27:00 PM »
I have a 1977 C30 with a 350 engine, and I am driving on my second remanufactured distributor in 3 years.  The original GM distributor lasted over 26 years. The engine cut out on me today while driving down the road, and surged in and out, which in the past has been the precursor symptoms of my past distributors going out.  All the Chilton and Haynes manuals indicate that this is definitely a symptom of a bad distrinutor. I know I am tired of remanfactured parts as I seem to go through several of them to get the right one.  I still have to meet California emissions requirements here in Utah (because I have California truck). Does anyone have any recommendations on Aftermarket Distributors?  The CARB website lists Pertronix, Accel, and MSD as possible  replacement options.  Or, should I tough it out with the GM remanufactured distributors?  


Offline Lt.Del

  • Andy aka:SgtDel
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3864
  • DelbridgePhotography.com
    • www.delbridge.net
New Distributor?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 11:12:00 PM »
I find it hard to believe that the distributor "as a whole" is bad.  Are you sure it isn't just the module, coil or a loose wire within?  

Have you eliminated fuel problems?

A remanufactured should be just as good as a new one.  However, I did have a new remanufactured one from NAPA about a year and a half ago. It wouldn't start (fire) when hot.    I put the old one in it and it has run fine ever since.

SgtDel


Offline 77tonner

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 11
Re: New Distributor?
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2006, 07:15:00 PM »
Well, I am not sure if it could be a fuel problem.  The carburetor was rebuilt just a year ago.  And, I know it was not bad gas I filled today and it did it again. I had this problem before an several mechanics just told me it was vapor lock.  I always thought that what it was because it always occurred when it was warm day.  But in moving from El Paso to Salt Lake City and after surging (like I mention in the following sentences) for over two years, the distributor bit the dust with my truck breaking down in the middle of city traffic.  After the distributor was replaced, the problem went away. If anyone is a good diagnostic person, I certainly could use the help.  Under steady (not heavy or full-throttle) acceleration, the engine begins cutting in and out and causes the truck to surge down the road.  In a two-hour city trips today, the engine did this three times.  The fix while driving is to let off the accelator, then add throttle again.  It does not always work and sometimes the truck ends up surging with the engine cutting in and out while driving down the road.  If it is a part of the distributor, I would have to take the whole thing back anyway because the remaunfactured distributor has a lifetime warranty, and any modification would void the warranty.  But if it is the distributor, I will have gone through three distributors in three years, as the previous one died in January 2005 while I was driving down the road with no warning at all.  I get it towed to mechanic...oooh guess what? The distributor died when I just had replaced the distributor with a remanufactured distributor only 21 months before.  This is getting really frustrating for me, and that why I ready to abandon this remanufactured junk that supposedly is good as new.  If anyone or Sgt Del has any other suggestions or checks, it would greatly appreciated and I would be more than willing to perform them.  It could be that a spark plugs or a plug wire needs to be replaced.


Offline Lt.Del

  • Andy aka:SgtDel
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3864
  • DelbridgePhotography.com
    • www.delbridge.net
Re: New Distributor?
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2006, 11:21:00 PM »
does your truck ever spill out anitfreeze?

The reason I ask is some of the symptoms you describe happened to me on my 79 for a period of time.  I found out that the catalytic coverter was clogged completely with carbon....too much exhaust back pressure.  This also happens when you passenger side exhaust manifold valve is stuck closed...which is an extrmely common problem w/ these trucks.

Are you sure the vacuum advance works?  take distr. cap off...push forward the  advance manually w/ your finger inside the distr.....while holding it in advance position, put finger over the open end of the vacuum line (must take end of line off)...keep the air inside the line and see if the advance holds when you let distr. go. This checks the diaphram in the advance mechanism.  If this checks out, try putting vaccuum line on another source of intake vacuum. Plug up the old source area.

just a few ideas.

YOu may wanna look at a thread in the other group...
p210.ezboard.com/f7387chevytrucks88686frm1.showMessage?topicID=2450.topic modules do go bad.

SgtDel  

Edited by: SgtDel at: 4/19/06 7:38 am

Offline 1976Scottsdale

  • Junior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 760
Re: New Distributor?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2006, 08:20:00 PM »
Mine had the same problem.  Was a reman distributor, would run fine for forever, then just cut out and die.  Wait for a minute or two and she would fire up again.  replaced the coil, cap, rotor, module, supressor, and RF Capacitor... still did it.  It ended up being the pickup coil that goes under the mechanical advance assembly.  Also, put a new end on the battery wire running to your distributor just 'cause.  That way you not only get to see if the connector has pinched the wire in half or if the copper is purple or green, resulting in possible bad conductivity.  I have to check all of this stuff because I can never afford new stuff any more... also why I have 4 spares lying around.