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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

I am currently rebuilding a Delco-Remy (points-type) distributor I found in a junk yard to use in my '78 Opel Ascona 1,6S. . This is the first time I am rebuilding a distributor so this lack of experience makes me feel uncertain about some things, so I would really appreciate some opinions on the following:

1) Without any lubrication, there is about 0.3mm (0,01in.) radial movement of the shaft. With grease applied, as during usage, this free-play is much reduced, to about 0.1mm (0,003in.), but not completely gone. Should I consider bushing repair? As I can't find new bushings, if needed, I will take the distributor's housing and shaft to a machinery shop, and have them add some material in the inside of the bushings to compensate for wear. I don't think that adding material to the shaft is a good solution as there are lubrication grooves which might get clogged, right?

2) When the shaft installed and secured, with the washer and spring clip below the housing, there is about 2.5mm vertical movement of the shaft in the housing. Is this slack normal? Does anybody know what that slack should be (if any) so I can properly repair this as well?

Thank you all in advance!!!
 

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Hello from New Zealand

Most of our pre-1975 Opels are fitted with Bosch distributors but are very similar. The Factory Service Manual merely says "Replace all defective parts."
But there are no specifications for the clearances you mention - not very helpful! That being said I will answer from my experience with other distributors:

1) Radial Movement - Usually it is the steel shaft that seems to wear the most. Check that there is minimal wear on the shaft before considering replacing, or installing, the new bushes. It may be possible to polish the entire length of the shaft parallel again to remove any slight wear. The clearance of 0.3mm (0.010") does seem to be a bit loose - remember that the grease will heat up and come out during operation and cannot be relied upon to "tighten" the clearances. Also be careful that excess grease does not get up onto the points during operation. A dry clearance of 0.1mm (approx 0.003" or 0.004") would be better - too much tighter may lead to the shaft binding and jamming as the mechanism warms up while running.
Your distributor is "worn but usable" as it is but new bushes and a cleaned up shaft would make it better.

2) Movement up and down has a considerable effect on ignition timing due to the helix angle of the drive gear which advances/retards timing as the shaft moves up and down. 2.5mm is far too much movement so remove the lower circlip and install a thin steel washer or even red fibre washer to reduce the end play to about 0.3mm (0.010") Once again, any tighter may cause binding during operation.

So at least reduce the end play on your distributor - installing tighter bushes may not be needed to achieve servicability but would make the distributor more accurate.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks GTJim, you have been VERY helpful. That was the information I was looking for!
 
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