Distributor Shaft Woes

R

rogtwo@aol.com

Guest
First off, I'm no expert on these Triumph engines. Hopefully you will get
better advice from someone that knows the weak point of these things. But,
if you don't, here's my advice:

My wild guess is that you might have broken the timing chain. Here's the
test I'd do.

1) Remove the oil filler cap.

2) Using a flashlight, look down the oil filler tube. Crank the engine over
and watch the rocker arm. Does it move?

NOTE: since you already cranked the engine, the valves are already bent if
they are going to be. But, hopefully these engines do not bend valves.

a) If the rocker arm does NOT move, then it is very likely you have a timing
chain or timing gear problem. Remove the water pump, etc., and then the
timing chain cover and see what's wrong there.

b) If the rocker arm DOES move, then you could have a broken distributor
shaft, striped distributor gears, or a broken cam shaft. If the rocker arms
DOES move, then continue with step 3.

Continue with the remaining steps ONLY if the rocker arm moved in step 2.

3) Remove the distributor and its shaft. To do this, remove the two bolts
that attach the distributor shaft to the engine block and pull the whole
distributor assembly out.

4) Look at the bottom of the distributor shaft. Does it have ears on it to
engage the gear? Is the fitting with the ears still pined to the shaft?
Does the rotor turn when you turn the bottom end of the shaft?

5) If the shaft looks OK, then look down the whole in the block. Do you see
a gear down there? Does it look OK or shredded?

6) If the gear looks OK too, then crank the engine again while looking down
the hole. Does the gear spin?

a) If the gear spins, then check that distributor shaft again.

b) If the gear does NOT spin, then pull it out with a set of forceps and
check its teeth Do they look OK? Look down the hole in the block again. Do
the teeth on the gear on the cam shaft look OK?

If the gears look OK but do not spin, AND if the rocker arm moved in step 2,
then you have a broken camshaft.

Good luck.

Roger
White '63
Seattle


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
 
B

Bill Connelly

Guest
So, my old college buddy Jeff was here in town yesterday from California for
the first time in...well...EVER. He gives me a call, and we make our plans
to get together where I work, and thereafter a nice evening cruise of the
Potomac in the "Ol' Wonder-Vehicle".

We hop in the OLD BUOY, drop the top, and tear off down Route 1. About a
mile down the road the engine dies. I figured it might just be the old
crud-in-the-pipes fuel starvation, but that ain't it. I poke around and
finally pop the distributor cap off to take a look at how she's sparking at
the points, but I discover that the distributor shaft in the center ain't
spinning when the engine turns over...doesn't even budge.

So what say you web-toed motoring horde? Got any similar experiences?
Helpful tips? Fixes? Any likely diagnosis to share before I hunker down over
my poor dead engine this weekend?

~Bilgey~
 
D

Daniel & Kathy Gibson

Guest
Bill,

This is perhaps too obvious...but it has happened to me. Is your distributor
bolted down tight? If not, then I bet your oil pump drive shaft has given up the
ghost. Actually not too tough to replace (as I recall). I have had an Amphicar
for only a few months, but Spitfires for years!

Dan
'64 Das Boot

Bill Connelly wrote:

> So, my old college buddy Jeff was here in town yesterday from California for
> the first time in...well...EVER. He gives me a call, and we make our plans
> to get together where I work, and thereafter a nice evening cruise of the
> Potomac in the "Ol' Wonder-Vehicle".
>
> We hop in the OLD BUOY, drop the top, and tear off down Route 1. About a
> mile down the road the engine dies. I figured it might just be the old
> crud-in-the-pipes fuel starvation, but that ain't it. I poke around and
> finally pop the distributor cap off to take a look at how she's sparking at
> the points, but I discover that the distributor shaft in the center ain't
> spinning when the engine turns over...doesn't even budge.
>
> So what say you web-toed motoring horde? Got any similar experiences?
> Helpful tips? Fixes? Any likely diagnosis to share before I hunker down over
> my poor dead engine this weekend?
>
> ~Bilgey~
>
>
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--

Daniel and Kathy Gibson
http://www.katestrackshack.com
"Kate's Track Shack -Your Internet Home For Inexpensive 8-tracks!!"
AND...
http://drnooseandjambone.com
"DrNoose And Jambone - Do It To The Optigan!"
 
M

Marty & Caryl

Guest
Bilgey:
I had that happen in a vw and what happend there is the shaft broke
in half. Are you able to pull your complete assembly out for a look?
Marty in WI

--- In amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com, "Bill Connelly"
<billiam@e...> wrote:
the distributor shaft in the center ain't
> spinning when the engine turns over...doesn't even budge.
>
>> ~Bilgey~
 
D

David Chapman

Guest
Bilgey,

Not seen that particular problem before.
The distributor is driven from the camshaft, the valves will never touch the
pistons and the engine spins so first thing to check - look through the oil
filler.

If the valve gear is moving then it must be the distributor drive gear -
this has a bevelled cog which drives the distributor from the cam, if the
distributor itself freezes then that might snap but never seen that, when
removing the distributor undo the 2 bolts where it joins the block, not the
side pinch bolt. Be careful not to put it back 180 degrees out.

OK if the valve gear isn't turning then it's most likely the timing chain -
they have been known to break when the engine is race tuned but V unusual.

Both of these problems are fixable without engine out.

There are a few obscure things - like a snapped camshaft - that can happen
but even more unusual.

Email or give me a call if you need any more help.

David C
 
S

Steve Behnke

Guest
Hey Bilgey...

Talked to a friend who lives for Triumphs.
He said to take the dist cap off and see if you can turn the rotor by
hand all the way around with a little effort... if so, the upper part of the
dist has become unseated and needs to be reseated... very easy, then
check the timing. This is the most common cause he has seen personally.

Steve
'64 Red
 
B

Bill Connelly

Guest
Re: RE: Distributor Shaft Woes

Update on Bilgey's Distributor Woes:

First off: I wanna thank to everyone who's been pitching in with their tips
and a host of likely diagnoses. This List and the folks who make it happen
are most superb when the chips are down and a little moral support and real
expertise are needed.

I guess the good news is that I had a chance to peer into the oil filler
hole while cranking the engine yesterday after work, and the number one
valve tappet was dancing happily along, so I guess we can rule out a broken
timing chain or related. I guess that's good news.

If these weekend rains ever pack it in (It seems like every weekend here
since the snows melted have been like the set of "Bladerunner"), armed with
your collective expertise I will investigate the other likely causes.

Wish me luck!
~Bilgey~
 
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