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Distributor problem with my 2.8

franklin2

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Oh that's right. I think that's why I was a little confused about what that guy told me. Hard for gears to slip a tooth unless they spin on the shaft or are just worn out.
The center of the cam gear is steel or cast, the teeth are nylon. I have been talking to people, they say they have also had the roll pin the the distributor gear partially shear causing something like this also.
 


4x4prepper

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Do a compression test. If the valve lash is not adjusted correctly there will be a loss of power. I fixed a rebuilt 2.8L that would not start just by changing the head gaskets and doing the valve lash. The previous person did the valves as you would do a Chevy. I mark the Intake valves with white out so I know I am adjusting the intake to .014. If you go IntakeExhaust-IntakeExhaust-IntakeExhaust on both banks, you will do it incorrectly.
 

franklin2

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Got to work on it a little bit today. Went and bought a new cap and rotor. Installed it, no go. But I did get the engine to start doing the pull the wire off #4 trick.

Once I got it going and let it warm up and idle down, I went and got my timing light, as I mentioned I had turned the dist some and didn't know where I was at now. Shot the timing light onto the damper and it was way off. But when I moved the dist to line the marks I made up, it started slowing down and running rough. I am sure it would have stalled if I tried and line the proper marks back up (I had used white out to mark the damper a couple of years ago and could still see it).

So something with the timing is definitely off. I think I am going ahead and tearing the front of the engine down and have a look at the timing gear teeth.
 

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Got to work on it a little bit today. Went and bought a new cap and rotor. Installed it, no go. But I did get the engine to start doing the pull the wire off #4 trick.

Once I got it going and let it warm up and idle down, I went and got my timing light, as I mentioned I had turned the dist some and didn't know where I was at now. Shot the timing light onto the damper and it was way off. But when I moved the dist to line the marks I made up, it started slowing down and running rough. I am sure it would have stalled if I tried and line the proper marks back up (I had used white out to mark the damper a couple of years ago and could still see it).

So something with the timing is definitely off. I think I am going ahead and tearing the front of the engine down and have a look at the timing gear teeth.
Definitely sounds like you have skipped a tooth or something.
 

franklin2

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Well, I worked on it a little bit today. Somehow in my mind I was convinced it was the timing gears. I tore the front of the engine down and found out the gears have been replaced. It has a solid aluminum large gear and a small steel drive gear, which is what you get from the aftermarket replacements.

So that was a lot of work and wasted time, but I had a choice, pull the front down or pull the distributor. I guess the distributor is the only thing left. I should have doubted it from the start, it's a Cardone unit. But I can't condemn it till I pull it and figure out what's going on.
 

ford4wd08

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Well, I worked on it a little bit today. Somehow in my mind I was convinced it was the timing gears. I tore the front of the engine down and found out the gears have been replaced. It has a solid aluminum large gear and a small steel drive gear, which is what you get from the aftermarket replacements.

So that was a lot of work and wasted time, but I had a choice, pull the front down or pull the distributor. I guess the distributor is the only thing left. I should have doubted it from the start, it's a Cardone unit. But I can't condemn it till I pull it and figure out what's going on.
Need a new water pump? Great time while you're in that deep....
 

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> they say they have also had the roll pin the the distributor gear partially shear causing something like this also.

Never had it happen on any Ford I have owned, from 2.3 to 390s, but, I have heard it is a possibility. The most problems I have had with a Ford dist. is dropping the oil pump drive hex shaft into the oil pan on the FE series engines.
 

franklin2

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Need a new water pump? Great time while you're in that deep....
Did that when I first got it on the road. I have never seen a waterpump bearing so sloppy but the seal not leak. Since I am taking my time on this, I might clean everything up and give the engine a coat of grey paint.

I am having to wait awhile on the timing cover gasket set. The harmonic balancer surface looks good, so I wanted the set without the speedi-sleeve. Not very many places could even get it, but of course Amazon had it.
 

franklin2

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Update;

Finally got the gaskets and got the front of the engine put back together. Just to make sure I was back to square one, I cranked it over, nothing. Pulled #4 sparkplug wire off, tried to start. Move the dist a little bit, started. Let it run just a little bit with just a little coolant in it, put the wire back on, smoothed out. Turned it off, tried to crank it, nothing. So I was back where I was before.

So I turned my attention to the distributor. Pulled everything loose, pulled it out of there. I would like to shoot the guy who designed the intake to hang over the distributor hold down bolt so you can't get a long extension on it.

Distributor is slam wore out. Another Cardone mess. I have wasted more money on these Cardone distributors than I would care to admit. Time for a rebuild, but I can't find any parts. It needs a new bushing for the main shaft. I checked the old TFI 2.8 distributor, tight as a drum. Check an old 2.9 distributor I had gutted out, that is tight also, no play. So the first thing I thought I could do is carefully push the bushing out of the 2.9 dist and put it in my wore out dist. Shaft is different size!

I have been going round and round doing research. I am finding on the 5.0 mustang forums some of them are converting to carb and running the TFI dist with locked timing. I thought that broke all the rules, but some were doing it. My 2.8 TFI dist is in really good shape bushing wise, So I decided to try it. Stabbed it in place, hooked the TFI module up with 3 wires, put everything back together, and it fired right up. I adjusted the timing to about 25 BTDC and took it for a spin. Seems to have the same power as it did before. And I restarted it hot and it cranked right over.

So I am going to live with it for now, at least it's running. I hopefully have time now to do some more figuring as to a permanent solution. And at least now I know it was the other distributor causing the problem.
 
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bobbywalter

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You need this.
 

franklin2

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Well, the 2.8 rebuilt distributor supply has pretty much dried up. I bought my rebuilt single port vacuum advance unit from O Reilly's. They found where I bought it in 2017, and it had a lifetime warranty. They put in a request to Cardone to see if they had another one, they didn't. I then told them about the dual port unit and that I could use that if that would not be against their warranty rules. They were working with me to get another distributor, and did a request for the dual port. They are out of them also.

I looked at the 1974 Mustang II units, which are points. On O Reilly's site they already say the single port unit is a give them your unit and they rebuild it and send it back. They have a dual port points unit which does not say this, but these units are about $167.00. And then I would need to buy a pertronix unit to convert it from points, another $108.00.

Option B Use the TFI distributor with a electronic control box shown here. http://www.daytona-sensors.com/tcs-1--timing-control-system.html
That unit is $190. And then you need a ignition system to go along with it. They are hinting at using a MSD box, not sure if you could use a HEI module or not. So that's $190 + about $300 for a MSD box. I did find the electronic timing control on ebay for $160. With this option you would not have any vacuum advance, but there may be options for that also with a MAP sensor.

Option C Like option B but this programmable timing control has the ignition box with it. https://www.holley.com/products/ignition/ignition_boxes/street_and_strip/parts/6530 As you can see, this is a little over $500.

Option D I stumbled upon this. https://www.summitracing.com/parts/dui-68722/make/ford I wonder if they can get it. It says they take an original Ford housing and rebuild it with a new bushing and other components. $265.00 Not bad but I wonder how many cores they have?

Option E. Get my calipers out and measure the bushing in the one I have and try to find or make one. And see if I can get the old one out. That is all it really needs is a new bushing and shims to set the end play of the shaft.

Last option Leave it like it is with the locked timing. I need to do some gas mileage checking. If it gets at least 20 mpg and I have no other problems crop up, why not leave it with the locked timing? It would be funny if it got better fuel mileage like this. I noticed it already seems to run a little cooler on the temp gauge.
 

rusty ol ranger

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bobbywalter

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bobbywalter

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Or ...

Megajolt.....


Mega squirt....

Best that 2.8 will ever run.
 

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Used one? Car-part.com had a bunch listed when I looked earlier this year.
 

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