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Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

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Don H Jr
I made it to triple digits!
I made it to triple digits!
Posts: 103
Joined: January 12th, 2010, 1:11 pm
Vehicle Year: 1994
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: Cherokee

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Don H Jr » June 9th, 2010, 10:32 am

JEEP 4x4: Yours is an 88'; a different distributor than my 94' I believe.

Right all?

Don H. Jr

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Jeep4xb4u
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Donator
Posts: 75
Joined: August 3rd, 2008, 6:44 pm
Stroker Displacement: 4.6L
Vehicle Year: 1988
Vehicle Make: XJ 2dr
Vehicle Model: Sport
Location: BAY AREA / CA
Contact:

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Jeep4xb4u » June 9th, 2010, 11:10 am

Well. Guess i should of read a bit better. :doh:

On a side note, this doesn't look like a bad deal, Rock auto claims its "New" not remanufactured. :huh:

Check out the Richporter one.
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carco ... ttype,7108
88' XJ 2dr
4.0l / AW4 / NP231 / D35c
6.5" Long Arm Lift - 33x12.5's - 15x8 Mickey's

Currently working on 4.6l / D44 Swap

Don H Jr
I made it to triple digits!
I made it to triple digits!
Posts: 103
Joined: January 12th, 2010, 1:11 pm
Vehicle Year: 1994
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: Cherokee

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Don H Jr » June 9th, 2010, 3:08 pm

Jeep 4: Very interesting prices and such. How do they do it for those numbers? Thanks for the followup info. Lately I've been hit in the guy buying stuff even from the Jeep dealer, made in China. Even my Accel coils said same on box. What's up with stuff that doesn't fit and you can't read any of the numbers on some of the parts from CHina. I wonder if that's done for a reason, I see it so often on my new stuff I'm trying to match numbers with some research source or another and can't.
I guess if one were to sell copies of stuff at cheaper prices it could and has happened. I'm just losing faith in my ability to find good quality parts these days. I do hope MOPAR Jeep parts don't stop being available at dealership. They seem very shy on parts and customers these days here where I live and have nothing in stock to speak of.
Again thanks, sorry to go on and on.

Don H Jr

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Jeep4xb4u
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Posts: 75
Joined: August 3rd, 2008, 6:44 pm
Stroker Displacement: 4.6L
Vehicle Year: 1988
Vehicle Make: XJ 2dr
Vehicle Model: Sport
Location: BAY AREA / CA
Contact:

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Jeep4xb4u » June 9th, 2010, 8:46 pm

I feel you on the built in U.S. stuff. Sad part is, even the brands we have all learned to trust for local manufacturing and quality have turned over seas. Its a never ending circle. Consumers loose money, overspend, loose jobs, etc,...., buy cheeper goods, and in turn... buy over seas, depleting our job market and the U.S. manufacturing backbone. My family owned company manufactures amplifiers and audio equipment in the states for the Harley market, its a tough market out their, both on the consumer and vendor end. I give you props for your concern on where you spend your hard earned cash and your dedication for quality. Thanks for keeping us in business. :cheers:

P.S.

Rant on brotha!!! Ill stop while i'm ahead and stop interrupting your technical discussion. :D Good luck with your rebuild.
88' XJ 2dr
4.0l / AW4 / NP231 / D35c
6.5" Long Arm Lift - 33x12.5's - 15x8 Mickey's

Currently working on 4.6l / D44 Swap

Don H Jr
I made it to triple digits!
I made it to triple digits!
Posts: 103
Joined: January 12th, 2010, 1:11 pm
Vehicle Year: 1994
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: Cherokee

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Don H Jr » June 9th, 2010, 9:05 pm

Is your D35 a 3.55 ratio? Condition of it OK?
I hate that kind of rear, but it is the only one where I can keep the Anti lock brakes that saved my life twice so far. Mines got a bent axle tube and about two inches of play and I'm sure it won't last much longer. I want an 8.8 with discs from an Explorer, but then all the expense of changing front ratio and the fab costs on the rear. Diffs are an all or nothin kind of a thing at the point I'm at, or just patch it up with another D35 and keep on truckin' till financial times improve.
I find 4.10s in old V6 Cherokees and newer 4 cylinders, even found 4.10 Chrysler set up in a 92' the other day for 450 bucks in junk yard. I accidentally jumped mine about 6 feet or so off ground at night. Came down so hard nothing was ever quite the same. Toolboxes on interior roof, lol, then back down the windows to the floor. I failed to remember about that one last big ditch dug in the logging road to keep guys like me out. It was the thing where the 1 2 shift is at five grand by design. It hit second, and I saw the ditch too late. The rest seemed like all in slow motion. Funny how I hit square and never even came close to going down the cliff twenty feet to my right the whole time.
That was ten years ago. I drove the D35 to this very day, but now know why one side of the rear of Jeep sits a bit high, and why the pinion and ring gear don't quite match up anymore.

Don Jr.

jpcallan
Posts: 2
Joined: January 22nd, 2011, 6:06 pm
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: ZJ

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by jpcallan » January 22nd, 2011, 8:28 pm

I'm going to give DIY rebuilding a shot with help from my favorite machine shop.

Thank you to all the previous contributors to this thread to get me looking in the right direction.

The patient - a Jeep factory made (not a rebuilt) distributor from a 1996 Grand Cherokee 4.0L with 113K miles; it squeaks and squeals intermittently. The part is labeled "Sagem, Inc. (some bar code) 56027028".

After disassembly, by removing the roll-pin through the drive gear at the bottom, the problem is clear. This distributor was designed to fail. The upper bushing is severely worn; a piece of .035" MIG welding wire will easily slide in between the bushing and the distributor shaft. In a previous post by member "5-90" that very correctly recommended Oilite (trade name) sintered bronze oil impregnated bushing. He would be, as I am, shocked to learn the factory bushings are steel, not bronze. While they are steel, fortunately they are a much softer alloy than the distributor shaft. The shaft is only worn about .001" after measuring and comparing worn shaft and virgin metal shaft with my best Mitutoyo caliper. I don't have a bore gage to get into the upper bushing, but it is at least .035" and perhaps over .040" oversize. A lip seal prevented engine oil from reaching the upper bushing. The lower bushing was splash lubricated by engine oil, it's hard worn at all.

There is a hole in the distributor casting in the middle of the upper bushing that was no doubt for an oiling cup, but the hole is blocked with a pressed-in metal plug. There is no source of lubrication for the upper bushing. I can only assume Chrysler specified this part from Sagem Inc. with every last penny of robustness stripped out of the product. I'm surprised my wife's engine even runs; in fact it runs very well. Go figure.

A few technical facts about the worn out distributor:

1) The distributor shaft has already been cleaned up with 600 grit emory paper where the upper bushing rode. It's ready to go back into service.
2) New bushings will be Bunting Bearing brand stock off-the-shelf bushings modified to fit by my local machinist.
3) The upper bushing appears to have a non-stock inside diameter (ID) and outside diameter (OD), and a stock length (1.5").
4) The lower bushing appears to have a non-stock ID and a stock OD (.750") and length (1.00")
5) There is an oil seal just under the upper bushing that must be replaced. It keeps engine oil from coming up into the body of the distributor. I have no data on this seal since it is inaccessible until the upper bushing is pressed out.
6) There is an .030" round steel thrust washer at the top end of the distributor shaft.
7) There is an index-keyed purpose made hardened thrust washer at the bottom end of the distributor housing. The drive gear rides on this washer.

More later. I can't get the bushings out with my puller, so it's off to the bearing shop on Monday to get them pressed out.

Jeepheapandy
Posts: 2
Joined: June 12th, 2019, 1:31 am
Vehicle Year: 1998
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: Cherokee

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Jeepheapandy » June 12th, 2019, 1:50 am

Hey there Sorry for the zombie thread resurrection but I'm intrigued to know if you ever got around to rebuilding your dizzy and if so how it went?
I've had all sorts of electrical issues which I finally resolved by replacing the Coil, Dizzy, Crank & Cam sensor and O2 sensors on my XJ.
Distributor was a Spectra Premium ( ex Richporter ) unit that was ridiculously cheap at less than 40 bucks from R.A. Word on these is that the electrical components are pretty much garbage ( cam sensor, Cap & Rotor - so I replaced these ) but that the mechanical/metal hardware is adequate . Despite this I'm still anxious this fine piece of Chinese engineering may scrap out on me one day soon - so am considering taking apart the old unit and rebuilding if possible. As you probably know there are no rebuild kits for these Sagem units.
Issue with original unit was the usual one - excessive shaft play.

jpcallan
Posts: 2
Joined: January 22nd, 2011, 6:06 pm
Vehicle Year: 1996
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: ZJ

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by jpcallan » June 12th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Hello Jeepheapandy - Yes, I did rebuild the Jeep's distributor for my wife's 1996 Grand Cherokee inline 6. It's been online for about six years and working great.

The distributor was made for Mopar by an auto parts maker named Sagem. Sagem was purchased by a European parts company and merged out of existence, so no parts or reference data were available.

Improving lubrication -- The biggest thing I did, aside from replacing the upper bushing, was drilling out the plug where the oiling cup would/should have been had Chrysler had not ordered it deleted. I saw a nearly identical Sagem distributor for a different engine at a junk yard with the oiling cup installed. I could not find an oiling cup to fit, so instead I tapped the opening and put in a removeable threaded plug to replace the pressed-in plug. All around the upper bushing and the channel leading to the plug is filled with Permawick oil-absorbing felt. Oil from the Permawick diffuses into the Oilite bushing and keeps in lubricated. When the Permawick dries out, the bushing starts to wear rapidly. I pull the distributor every couple of years, remove the threaded plug, and soak the Permawick to saturation with light oil. The new bushing is lasting quite well. Shame on Chrysler for removing the ability to lubricate the distributor's upper section.

One thing I discovered about so-called rebuilt distributors is that over time the oil seal mid way up the distributor's shaft cuts a deep groove. I took home several rebuilt distributors, took them apart, and found the worn groove had not been repaired (flame spray buildup, or weld), then returned them to the store; the seal in rebuilt distributors would not keep engine oil from being forced up into the head of the distributor.

Jeepheapandy
Posts: 2
Joined: June 12th, 2019, 1:31 am
Vehicle Year: 1998
Vehicle Make: Jeep
Vehicle Model: Cherokee

Re: Distributor Rebuild DIY Possible Anymore?

Post by Jeepheapandy » June 17th, 2019, 5:12 am

Thanks for the detailed response. Great to hear it all went well and is still in service in your wifes GC. I really like that you restored lubing ability that - as you say - should have been there all along. I might do the same at a later date, but for now just intending to replace bushing/s to remedy radial play on the dizzy shaft. I'm a bit of a newbie to smaller projects like this so keeping it simple for now.
I'm based here in the UK which is not as well served as the US for locating parts such as suitable bushings etc - or indeed finding any old school small shop able or willing to modify the standard off the shelf bushings. You mentioned the bunting bushings you sourced required further modding to fit - could you elaborate if possible?
The Spectra 'Premium' unit I have in the Jeep does seem to be running ok. I was getting a bird chirping/whistling noise initially ( ? ) which seems to have self resolved. But I'm still very wary of this piece of Chinesium & would like to rebuild & refit the original unit if I can. In addition to the useless pick up coil that came D.O.A on the Spectra - I've also noticed other shortcomings such as the reluctor assembly being only secured by glue! That's just not acceptable quality wise.
Best regards from across the pond

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