Tips For Troubleshooting Distributor Gear Wear In Ford Engines

Distributor gear wear can cause a variety of headaches for car owners. Eventually running problems develop, timing issues, idle issues, backfiring, or even an engine that won’t run at all aren’t uncommon when a distributor gear is damaged. Troubleshooting these issues can be somewhat of a headache as well. Fortunately, Performance Distributors has a set of tips for Ford owners when it comes to solving such problems.

Typically worn distributor gears are either caused by a lack of lubrication or a binding problem, in most Ford engines. Lack of lubrication can be caused by a number of issues. One is a high volume oil pump installed in a street engine -specifically with an oil pan that lacks the necessary capacity. According to Performance Distributors, a high volume pump can pull all the oil from a stock capacity oil pan quickly, this can leave the distributor (and other components for that matter) starved for lubrication, which will quickly cause damage and wear. Installing a higher capacity oil pan can help remedy this issue.

In addition to putting in a higher capacity oil pan, there are other ways to get more oil to the distributor gear as well. Performance Distributors recommends drilling a .030-inch hole in the lifter/oil galley plug behind the distributor. This will allow for great oil flow to the distributor gear, helping to prevent premature wear.

Brass or bronze gears are popular but must be monitored for wear.

The oil pump drive shaft can also be a culprit in premature distributor gear wear. Due to varying manufacturing tolerances, and suppliers, these shafts can be different lengths. Ensuring the shaft is the proper length will keep the distributor from bottoming out or binding.

Some engine builders and enthusiasts choose to run a brass distributor gear. This prevents damage to the camshaft where it meets the distributor, it’s cheap insurance to protect a more expensive part. To avoid issues with a brass gear wearing out, Performance Distributors recommends inspecting a brass distributor shaft gear on a regular basis for wear, and replacing as needed.

Whether you have a mildly modified Ford, or a high output engine, Performance Distributors makes a host of parts to fit almost any application from mild to wild. Its experts can help customers not only select the right parts for their application, but also help with technical assistance and advice when needed.

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About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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