Need Distributor Help - Rotor and Rotor Arm Questions - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 15th, 2013, 09:08 PM
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Need Distributor Help - Rotor and Rotor Arm Questions

Having an issue with the distributor rotor that won't come out and the entire arm appears to have popped up a bit when I tried removing it and now the cap won't go back on. Since I have a new distributor rotor I was just going to replace it, but after not being able to remove it I ended up just wire brushing/cleaning it in place (but of course now the rotor cap won't go on all the way). Can you confirm that the distributor arm is not supposed to move up like that, that this is an issue or non issue (easy fix hopefully that I'm missing?), what to do next, etc. I thought the rotor is just supposed to pull off with some light but firm upward pulling. That's what I did but it seems f'd up. After all the issues I tried to shock it a little with some light taps with the handle of a hammer, but still no movement. It must be elevated a bit higher than it was, since I can't get the cap back on, and I've checked the little spring a few times in the cap to make sure that it's not just folding over when I try to put the cap on, so I don't think it's that. In the videos you can see that there's a little spring that's under the plate that sits under the distributor rotor, and I'm not sure if that's the issue or no, but it seems to be operating as it should. Other than that, I can move the rotor with my hand...that doesn't seem normal. I can only move it 45 degrees until it seems to "click" and stop, but that was just another observation. Clearly, I'm stranded if I can't get the cap back on...

Videos:





I was diagnosing a starting issue I had had after torrential rains here 2 weeks ago, which had resulted in a rough start and idle upon first starting, and it died shortly after when I took my foot off of the accelerator when backing up out of the driveway and had to stop for traffic. It had finally restarted (still talking 2 weeks ago) and it ran really rough at first but quickly went back to normal once out on the road.

I had decided it was likely an issue with condensation in the distributor cap and maybe time to inspect the ignition wires and the truck was probably due for some spark plugs so I decided to work on them all today.

Before I started anything today I checked to see how the truck started. It started right up perfectly and idled fine. I then started replacing the spark plugs and decided to also inspect the distributor cap. Opened it up and the cap looked fine. Looked at the rotor and there was some corrosion on the end of the connection, probably confirming that there had been some humidity in there.
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  #2  
Old September 16th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Jeff B
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You didn't pull up on the rotor, did you?
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  #3  
Old September 16th, 2013, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomar View Post
You didn't pull up on the rotor, did you?
Looks like he did. I can't remember the fix for this fault. I always break off the old rotor to avoid the issue.
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  #4  
Old September 16th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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On a side note, those good Lucas rotors seem to be NLA. I've tried a few places and they send me these crappy ones in Lucas boxes.
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Old September 16th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomar View Post
You didn't pull up on the rotor, did you?
Ha. Um that's exactly what I did. From the replacement unit it looked like that's all I had to do. I couldn't find any instructions online, but all other vehicle videos had "just pull up on the rotor with light and steady pressure" to remove it and they all looked basically the same. :-(
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Old September 16th, 2013, 07:31 AM
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Under most circumstances simply pulling upward will remove the rotor. If there's corrosion or glaze, it can be difficult to remove. If you pull hard enough you could pop the snap ring that prevents the dizzer shaft from being driven upward. If that's the case you have to take out the distributor, repair the snap ring and put it back in. In the meantime do not spin the engine at all from where it is now and take a pic of the position of the rotor.
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  #7  
Old September 16th, 2013, 08:15 AM
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Throw some marks on the distributor before removing and when installing new rotor line its inside with anti-seize compound to prevent the same issue next time. Anti-seize is a long term owners best friend. Hope it is a quick repair for you.
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  #8  
Old September 16th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Josh, yank that old school Lucas for a Mallory and don't look back. I'll send you a video hosing my Mallory w/a high pressure washer and the engine continues to run/idle fine.
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  #9  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Josh, yank that old school 3.9 for a 4.6 and don't look back.
Fixed it for ya.
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
1994 RRC LeWiB "ruining the air behind me"
1968 2A 88

All my troubles are Rover
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  #10  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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LOL, good one. What is the extra power of the 4.6 going to do other than break more stuff?
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  #11  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:18 AM
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No diz on a 4.6
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1966 109 5 door wagon 300Tdi "spermaceti fueled"
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  #12  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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For future reference, I was told long ago, if the rotor didn't easily pull right off... to stop pulling!
Get a chisel/screwdriver or similar tool and whack it with a hammer cracking the rotor in the center.
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  #13  
Old September 16th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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I use a screwdriver to hold down the shaft on the distributor to avoid this problem. Breaking it works too.
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  #14  
Old September 16th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Josh, welcome to the dark side. You made the right call.
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  #15  
Old September 16th, 2013, 08:40 PM
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Perfect time for that 300tdi to go in.
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  #16  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSBriggs View Post
Have you been drinking? A 300 is no substitute for a 4.2 in a 90! Thats like going from a '73 911 RS, to a '73 beetle.

-Jeff
That's really splitting hairs. Both are turds.
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  #17  
Old September 16th, 2013, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Perfect time for that 300tdi to go in.
Put the pipe down and go fix your distributor.
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