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Old 10-15-2019, 06:28 PM
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Default Distributor endplay shims

Putting my distributor back together, and I noticed an item (most probably the result of the stupidity or carelessness of my youth) that I'm trying to fix. I have too much shaft endplay, so I need to find/make an appropriate thickness shim, but what I'm "scratching" my head about is if I lost a factory washer. In all the aluminum body distributors I have laying around, there's a "keyed" washer between the the housing and gear that keeps anything from rotating and wearing out the bottom of the housing. My cast iron distributor has a notch in it that looks like it is made to locate/anchor a similar type non-rotating washer. Is that correct? I was going to modify and use one of the washers from an aluminum distributor, but it's too thick to use. I need something thinner.

So, did I lose a special thrust washer that should be there, or am I FOS?

Thanks for any clarification here.

Edit: Apparently I'm FOS (no surprise to many people in my circle of acquaintances). I've been told by a learned Corvette guy that the tanged/captured washer was introduced on the aluminum housing distributors, and my antique iron piece just uses regular type thrust washers.

Last edited by 69427; 10-24-2019 at 02:39 PM.. Reason: I'm FOS.
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Old 10-22-2019, 11:10 PM
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Not much help here but Mcmaster Carr sells Shims for Keyed Shafts in a lot of thicknesses.

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Old 10-24-2019, 02:33 PM
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Not much help here but Mcmaster Carr sells Shims for Keyed Shafts in a lot of thicknesses.

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Hey, thanks, Larry, I forgot about Mc-C. I'll dig around in their site and see what I can find.
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Old 10-29-2019, 03:19 PM
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Well, I'm striking out so far on finding exactly what I'm looking for. I need a washer that has a half inch hole, but I also "need" the OD to be one inch. The shims I'm finding so far are usually 3/4" OD, and the 1" OD washers are too thick. I need to come up with a combination of shim material to get about .045" thickness. I've got about .048" clearance, and with my "old" shims I have .009" endplay. The specs are IIRC .002-.007". I know the present setup is damn close to the desired range, but I'd just like to reduce the slop a bit more, as the gear wear pattern is smaller/shorter than I like.

I may have to make my own shim washer, but right now I'm trying to figure out what material will be durable in this rubbing/sliding environment. I have no real feel for what the thrust force is on these washers when the oil is cold/thick, or when pumping a lot of oil volume at higher RPMs.

Edit: I found a selection of thicknesses of spring steel shim stock on our favorite auction site, and ordered a package of them. I'll have to somehow make a clean half inch hole in the material somehow. Wish me luck.

Last edited by 69427; 10-30-2019 at 01:05 AM.. Reason: Added update.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:45 AM
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Moroso sells a shim kit, you will get the .500ID you want but not the 1.00 OD which you don`t really need, or go to ebay and try and find NOS shims...
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Old 10-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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I have tried to cut a hole in shim stock by sandwiching it between two pieces of aluminum and cutting with a carbide ball mill. I would describe the results as semi-successful. Have used Bokers in the past for things like this.

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Here is another

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These are pretty close (.86 OD):

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Old 10-30-2019, 03:50 PM
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Moroso sells a shim kit, you will get the .500ID you want but not the 1.00 OD which you don`t really need, or go to ebay and try and find NOS shims...
Pretty much every vendor I've looked at has a pretty poor assortment of shim thicknesses. The Moroso kit has two .010", two .020. and an astounding .053" shim. There's no way to dial in the clearance closely with these step sizes. The endplay specs IIRC are .002-.007". I have .047" with no shims (.009 with the shims I have). Using a few of the aftermarket shims will only get me to the high end of the spec (and the .053" is worthless). I just prefer that as long as I've got the distributor apart I'd like to get the slop a bit closer to the lower/middle range, and allow a touch more gear contact in the process.
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Old 10-30-2019, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBShark View Post
I have tried to cut a hole in shim stock by sandwiching it between two pieces of aluminum and cutting with a carbide ball mill. I would describe the results as semi-successful. Have used Bokers in the past for things like this.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click Here To Register...]

Here is another

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These are pretty close (.86 OD):

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The Superior washer guys offer a .015" thick washer (that you highlighted!). That is exactly the size I need to substitute in to get me in the middle of the endplay range.

I'll confess though, I'm a bit uncomfortable with what the response might be if I submitted a RFQ for a package of five or ten of those washers.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:00 PM
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Well, it looked like the easiest route was to buy some shims and make my own washer. I got some .015" shim material (spring steel!) and made a washer out of that. Had to use my plasma cutter to rough in the shape, and then tweak it with my carbide grinder. Fits good, and the endplay is now at .003".
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