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Distributor overhaul help needed

Ben Jordan

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I have now got a new Vacuum advance unit, Advance unit to plenum hose, Mallory plug leads, Dizzy cap, Rotor arm but im still waiting for the plugs as Steve Lund forgot to put them in the parcel.

When i was testing the vacuum advance i managed to mash the vacuum advance to plenum pipe in the running engine :unsure: to the vacuum advance is definitely not working. I am going to work in the Rangie tomorrow and would like it to start returning more then a 1/4 a tank of petrol for 26 miles :angry:

I didn't really want to fit the parts until the plugs arrive but i would like to get the vacuum advance done today in the hope i may get a better MPG for tomorrow.

Anyway i have looked through my workshop manual and it tells me how to test the ignition system how to remove and replace the dizzy but not how to replace the individual parts. The bits i would like to have an idea about before i do the job are the Vacuum advance unit and the rotor arm. The vacuum unit looks simple with its two Torx's heads (which are tiny, I have a standard set and they are way smaller than any i have, looks like a trip to Hal fraud’s) but the actuating arm with the hole worries me somewhat. As i don’t want to take the old one out and that arm be connected to some complicated mechanism that pings out all over the place. Can you tell im used to modern electronic engines?


All help gratefully received as always.

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I managed to get it done it was dead simple once i started taking it apart. The advance mechanism is not spring loaded is it? As i pulled the Vacuum unit out it pull the pin towards the gap and stayed there so it was dead easy to hook the new one up :lol: Just making sure it's not meant to spring back. The hardest part was figuring out with of the new leads when where. I did have a bit of a problem with the engine not firing after fitting all the new bits but soon realised that i had knocked off the plug on the side of the Dizzy whilst changing the cap.

I now love my V8 it is so smooth and powerful now. I must have been down on power by 50% and ive not got the new plugs yet :wub:

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Nice one ben,

One thing that is worth doing is remembering the V8 firing order (although it could be stamped on your manifold), then marking your dizzy cap for number one, then if the worse comes the worse and you need to strip / test the ignition system in a muddy puddle, a lot of panic engineering is lost as you can place the leads with confidence. See other reply for cable tidies, you can buy these numbered which helps even more.

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not really sure of what the question is.

I replaced vacuum advance on my p6 distributor by a unit similar to the one in your photo. Sods law came into effect as a very small proportion of v8 dizzy's had different hole position for the 2 v.a. screws and ofcourse mine was one. I drilled a hole into the body and tapped it; think I did the same with the other hole to use metric instead of some weird ba size.

IIRC the advance unit is spring loaded and the vacumm advance unit itself has a spring as well.

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