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  • 4wd HEI distributor

    Has anyone purchased this distributor and had problems? I bought mine along with a new cam gear and got 30 miles before the cam gear was shreaded.......Why? Both parts were new and purchased from 4WD.

  • #2
    not always the product...

    Jay, first welcome to the board. Someone will probably move this post because it doesn't sound like you're in true 'review' mode here.

    Anyways, I used the 4WD HEI and aside from the fact that they were selling it at the time with zero instructions, it has performed quite well. (Even do it yourselfers need some freakin' instructions from time to time...especially this one.)

    This 'gear eating' phenomenon is not restricted to the 4WD HEI. I've read about it with the DUI and the stock dizzies.


    • #3
      Are you suggesting it was installed incorrectly? or just a bad batch of gears.....and if so which gear is bad the ultra hard distributor gear or the soft cam gear?


      • #4
        There is a lot of talk about the dizzy gears on hei's on the FSJ forums also.

        Apparantly all the HEI's are subject to this problem.

        Bought mine off EBay and hav'nt installed it yet. Hoping it works.

        ON TOPIC:

        I'm sure someone from 4wd will be in contact soon enough.


        • #5
          wasn't slammin' your skills...

          Originally posted by jaykump View Post
          Are you suggesting it was installed incorrectly? or just a bad batch of gears.....and if so which gear is bad the ultra hard distributor gear or the soft cam gear?
          No, I wasn't suggesting that you didn't put it back together properly, but I can't tell you whether you got 'bad gears' or not, either. My point was that this is not an unusual problem. One of our board members went through this with a 304 using a DUI dizzy. To the best of my knowledge he never did figure out what was causing the problem. (He's running a 350 now and the dizzy gear destruction problem is a big reason for it.) I know this is a suck answer. I've read that lubrication can cause it. I installed mine and I don't see any real way you could screw things up as far as eating gears if you properly seated the dizzy. (I certainly had my fingers crossed and so far so good.) It has to be some sort of lube or clearance issue. has a lot of useful AMC motor tech. You might do some reading there, or maybe someone else will post up from here once this thread is moved. (Probably should have posted this in the CJ board.)


          • #6
            Sometimes doubling up the gasket works. Also, shredded gears could come from a worn timing cover. I would double your gasket first and start there.


            • #7
              No worries.....I have heard a worn Timing cover could cause this too. What I don't understand is why didn't the original gears do the same? Also has anyone heard if buying a matched set of gears the answer? I am hearing alot about the MSD gears.


              • #8
                The MSD gears are stronger. This is a GM distributer so it could be a hair longer. Definately go double gasket. That should fix it. Your mesh is too tight.


                • #9
                  tolerance mysteries...

                  Originally posted by adamcj-5 View Post
                  ...Definately go double gasket. That should fix it. Your mesh is too tight.
                  Adam, if I remember correctly, the 4WD dizzy doesn't come with a gasket. I'm pretty sure it sits in the timing cover indentation metal to metal. He's not going to know how much clearance he needs.


                  • #10
                    you should definitely double gasket it.

                    if you're taking the timing cover off make sure and pack the oil gears with vasiline to prime them.

                    the reasons for dizzy gear destruction are oil starvation and cam walk. if you didn't experiance them before i doubt they're the problem now so try shimming the dizzy. i used an aluminum sleeve and a gasket so it wouldn't crush as much as two gaskets, but either can work. lube the gears very good before installation. bulltear does sell matched gears and the AMC experts on that board swear by them.

                    i'm the one that blackwater was talking about going to a SBC 350. my problem was when the machine shop rebuilt the motor they either used bad cam bearings or installed them wrong. they were so screwed up i couldn't tell if the gear or installation was the problem.

                    EDIT: the reason for double gaskets is that, as adam said, the shaft is too long. when it rides on the oil pump it get's pushed around. this movement makes the cam gears not mesh properly and they get chewed up. when the dizzy is shimmed, the slot still turns the oil pump but doesn't push down on it, it's just spins around, and doesn't "ride on" the oil pump.
                    Last edited by FUBAR; 05-12-2008, 12:29 PM.


                    • #11
                      Engine back running

                      I put the original Dist. back in with new Gears from MSD.....So far I have about 20 miles and pulled the Dist and have zero signs of wear. I believe this confirms that the gear on the Bilet Dist was too Hard......Thanks everyone that gave some info.



                      • #12
                        I had some other problems with my dizzy, (DA12) but the gears I've been checking every 50-100 miles (becuase of what I've read/pics I've seen) My gear is hardened steel, but no mesh/wear problems in the first 1600 miles. (mine is in a 258 Inline 6) I also had a new cam/bearings installed (complete rebuild) It's now running fine after changing the vacuum pot, mech advance springs and internal electronics.


                        • #13
                          Hmmm....When I installed mine it was metal to metal. I'll have to check to see if the gear is worn. I think I have about 400 miles on it.

                          As far as reviewing it I haven't had a chance to check gas mileage but I will say I have been able to switch from supreme fuel to regular. Before I had bad pinging on regular. I haven't noticed a power difference but part of that may be because I am preoccupied with how the Jeep feels since the Locker install.


                          • #14
                            Bought this unit for my 304 about a year ago and have only ran it for maybe 200-500 miles and it ate my cam shaft gear this weekend. To me it appears the distributor gear was cut slightly wrong wearing the cam shaft gear.
                            Last edited by JPatten; 07-13-2008, 02:10 PM.


                            • #15
                              HOWS the locker doen


                              I am thinking about doing a locker,, they very pricey,, so I'm very interested in how the CJ-5 drives on dry pavement with a locker


                              OPPS didn't / don't mean to Hi Jack topic,,