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1986 Chevrolet c10 8cylinder 350 Crank/no start
01-05-2016, 10:28 PM
Post: #11
RE: 1986 Chevrolet c10 8cylinder 350 Crank/no start
If you remove the distributor then you will probably need to adjust the timing as you put it back together. If you can manage to replace the ignition module while everything is in the truck then you might be able to skip that part.

Here's a few suggestions if you want to take the dist out...

Remove the vacuum hose and the plug(s) on the dist.

Scribe / scratch a mark on the base flange of the dist and also the top of the engine right next to that so you can align it to the marks when going back in.

Before removing the distributor turn the engine by hand to top dead center #1. The rotor will point to the #1 plug wire position on the cap and the mark on the front pulley will line up with the mark on the timing cover. You may also want to scratch a mark of where the rotor points on the outside / top of the dist body. This will help later. At this point remove the negative battery cable so nobody can crank the engine by mistake.

Now take out the 9/16" bolt holding the dist clamp and see if you can work the entire dist out. You may need to break it free with a large pair of channel locks and give it a slight twist. Notice that the rotor will make a partial turn as you lift the assembly out. Notice which way it turns because that will help as you put it back in later. IOW, that's where you will start the insertion and it will land back a bit to be in the right place when you assemble things.

Now you can disassemble the dist itself... or if you are brave you can do this part in the vehicle and skip the above. (remove the battery cable anyway and mark the positions of everything just in case)

Ok, remove the rotor. Below that is what they call the reluctor, which is a star shaped piece of cast iron that has a small roll pin holding it in place. This pin makes it a tight fit on the shaft but using a pair of screw drivers you can gently pry this star wheel up till it's free. Keep track of the pin so it doesn't get lost. Below the reluctor is the pick-up coil (has wires on it that break sometimes) and the ignition module itself. (more wires) Might be handy to use your phone / camera to snap a few shots as you work in case you need to remember where the colored wires belong. The new ignition module MUST HAVE the special white grease on the back for proper heat transfer or it will burn out. It will be supplied with the new part.

Once the new parts are in place you can drop the reluctor back on and tap the little roll pin into place. (notice there's a grove / flat spot for this on the shaft)

Soooo, now that I have given you step by step instructions you can see this is a cumbersome task, which is why so many people choose to replace the entire distributor assembly.

If you decide to go with an entire dist replacement you can make notes (take pics) of where things go and where the rotor points then "eyeball" it back together close enough to get the engine started.

BTW, there is a round gasket where the dist meets the top of the engine. If it gets lost you will have a DOOZY of an oil leak so pay attention. It's ok to use the old one again... just as long as it's there and not torn. A replacement dist will come with a new one so in that case you can clean the old one off first.

Any more questions before I open a beer?
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01-05-2016, 10:39 PM
Post: #12
RE: 1986 Chevrolet c10 8cylinder 350 Crank/no start
No more questions but thanx for all the help!!!!!!!
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01-06-2016, 06:57 AM
Post: #13
RE: 1986 Chevrolet c10 8cylinder 350 Crank/no start
You have to know what you are doing or; yes, you can mess up the timing. You have to know where the rotor is positioned before removing the old distributor. All of the wires must be placed properly on the new cap. You have to watch how the rotor turns slightly backwards as the old distributor is removed because you will have to start it back in that position for it to end up in the proper position when it is in place. Then you need the timing light to finish up. I can usually hit it within a couple of degrees by ear, but I have many years of experience doing it.

I usually lift the cap off and use a marker to mark the position of the rotor. Then; as you lift the distributor, I mark the position that it moves to while pulling it out. As long as you don't touch the key switch or turn the motor by hand, everything should land back close enough to start the engine. You can use tape and a marker to number the wires or, get a White Out pen in the office supply section. You can write on the Black wires with the White Out and it shows up good. I keep a White Out pen in my pocket and use it all the time.

Please keep us posted as to how you are doing and/or if you need more advice.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

Interested in Mining? Look here: Coal Mining, PA
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01-06-2016, 06:59 AM
Post: #14
RE: 1986 Chevrolet c10 8cylinder 350 Crank/no start
Oops, sorry, didn't see that Rupe had already posted and you must have it figured out.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

Interested in Mining? Look here: Coal Mining, PA
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