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Hi, I have an issue with my distributor, one of the tabs that are used to lock the distributor cap pins in place has broken off. When attaching the cap you have this bit...

distributor cap.jpg

 

....and this locks into place on the body of the distributor by means of a tab that the pin goes behind and then holds it in place. Well, that's the tab that's broken.

At the moment I'm getting by with the use of locking the other pin in place and using some industrial strength cable ties to hold the cap on. It is tight with no movement however I'd like to fix the issue.

Looking at the price of second hand distributors I could go down that route but I'd rather fix what I've got as functionally there is nothing wrong with it. New ones are unobtanium and big ££'s if I could find one. So, any ideas chaps, can this be fixed?

Edited by SurlySurdi
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Wouldn't a suitable thick piece of ali/steel plate be fashioned into a replacement?  Isn't it just bent with a notch in?

 

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by Nige
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Is that the bit to the right of the part number? Is it screwed on? I was thinking how it was attached, with the distributor on the car I couldn't see what looks like a screw.

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Nige I've found some other pics and yes I can clearly see a screw there! Thanks mate, now the question is can is fabricate something to go there or can you buy these tabs? Also, can it be changed with the distributor in situ?

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I don't think it has a part number so probably unlikely available by itself.  The whole distributor appears to be NLA as well.

I'd remove the dizzy, so long you don't loosen the clamp your timing won't be affected.  Though put some marks on it anyway.  You can then remove the remaining tab and use as a template.

Some basic tools and you'd have that tab made in no time.

 

You could try some of the Porsche breakers out there, though not sure who they are these days and they'll probably only wont to sell the complete dizzy for £10000000.

 

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Don't remove the distributor unless you HAVE to, all too easy to loose ignition timing..... Should be accessible without, although I have backdated heating, original heating may make it harder.

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3 minutes ago, Beaky said:

Or try a few local Indies who may have a broken cap you can cannibalise and take the rod from

It's a part on the distributor body itself Beaky rather than the cap but I will be asking around good suggestion.

3 hours ago, Nige said:

I don't think it has a part number so probably unlikely available by itself.  The whole distributor appears to be NLA as well.

I'd remove the dizzy, so long you don't loosen the clamp your timing won't be affected.  Though put some marks on it anyway.  You can then remove the remaining tab and use as a template.

Some basic tools and you'd have that tab made in no time.

 

You could try some of the Porsche breakers out there, though not sure who they are these days and they'll probably only wont to sell the complete dizzy for £10000000.

 

Cheers Nige, I'll try the breakers first, recently Douglass Valley helped me out with a headlamp part that I needed. What I can't understand is why these distributors are NLA with no alternatives. 

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49 minutes ago, sopor said:

On a 3.2 the distributor doesn't determine the timing - the Motronic does that.

Yes indeed, but unless you re-insert the distributor so the rotor arm ends up exactly where it was before or you loose timing, motronic can only compensate so much. Just easier to leave it in.

Surly, can't believe you are contemplating a whole new (used) distributor, it should take somebody competent with the right tools about 10 minutes to knock a tab up. just my 2p, it's your money.....

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53 minutes ago, Chris T said:

Yes indeed, but unless you re-insert the distributor so the rotor arm ends up exactly where it was before or you loose timing, motronic can only compensate so much. Just easier to leave it in.

Surly, can't believe you are contemplating a whole new (used) distributor, it should take somebody competent with the right tools about 10 minutes to knock a tab up. just my 2p, it's your money.....

No Chris no way I'm buying a distributor, just surprised bout lack of availability.

31 minutes ago, strosek34 said:

Just make a bit out of a small piece of off the shelf aluminium or steel angle bar,  from B&Q or Homebase.

Steve that  will be the plan if I cant get something from a breakers. Luckily everything still all works and the car drives. 

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Surly, perhaps I can help. I have an old 3.2 distributor I'm not using. I do want to keep it, but I'll post you one of the tabs as a loan so you can make one. I stress I do want it back though! If that helps, PM me your address and I'll post it to you.

Chris.

 

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14 hours ago, Chris T said:

Yes indeed, but unless you re-insert the distributor so the rotor arm ends up exactly where it was before or you loose timing, motronic can only compensate so much. Just easier to leave it in.

Surly, can't believe you are contemplating a whole new (used) distributor, it should take somebody competent with the right tools about 10 minutes to knock a tab up. just my 2p, it's your money.....

Rotate the engine to TDC and mark the body against the surrounding crankcase metal, then line everything up on refit then surely the timing isn't affected?

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Might just be me, but O couldn't remove a dissie and replace in exactly the same position, to within a degree.  If my dissie is touched, then it gets the timing checked  & reset.

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Do bear in mind that on an SC the dizzy distributes the spark and sets the timing whereas on a 3.2 it just distributes the spark - the timing of the spark is done by the Motronic system.

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Indeed, there is no option to rotate the distributor, the fixing hole is just a hole, not a slotted hole like an SC. But as I say, you do need to refit the distributor such that the rotor arm comes back to exactly where you left it (without rotating the engine). If there are 10 teeth (a guess) on it's drive gear, there are 9 wrong positions.....

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13 hours ago, Chris T said:

Surly, perhaps I can help. I have an old 3.2 distributor I'm not using. I do want to keep it, but I'll post you one of the tabs as a loan so you can make one. I stress I do want it back though! If that helps, PM me your address and I'll post it to you.

Chris.

 

Many thanks Chris, very kind of you. I will try the breakers today to see if I can buy one, failing that I'll take you up on your offer.

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1 hour ago, Chris T said:

Indeed, but not as simple as not removing it in the first place! 

I'm definitely going to try and remove it in situ, the little tab is towards the top edge of the distributor, if I can get a screwdriver or a thin blade in enough to turn the screw I should be alright. If I can't then I'll be forced to remove it. The Bentley manual page shows it to be ok'ish to do but I'd rather not go down that route.

15 hours ago, Roy M said:

Hi Roy I had a look, thanks for that, to be honest I can't tell if it would do but if I can't buy or make one I'll dig into that further.

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Stop fannying around! Remove it and then cut and bend some ali bar to match the remaining tab.  You'll done within an hour. :)

Edited by Nige
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Mark where rotor arm is, either as per manual turn engine until it's at the existing mark or with a marker pen just make a new mark wherever it is. Remove distributor and rotor arm will turn a bit due to it's angled teeth worm drive. Reassemble with this in mind so the rotor arm rotates back to the mark, may take a few goes but easy enough.

Chris.

 

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