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Old 10-06-2022, 12:21 PM   #1
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1997 F53 distributor

Hello again my usa chums.
I have a 460 cu inch V8 7.5 litre naturally aspirated ford F53 7.5 litre that you kindly have helped me with recently /-- How easy is it to swap the ditributor without upseting the timing ?? I await and appreciate your comments !! Regards and thanks yanks XX
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Old 10-06-2022, 10:44 PM   #2
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I have never swapped out a distributor and not checked the timing.. you can get it close.. but you still have to go through timing procedure.. usually 1st.. get engine to tdc on number 1.. remove dist cap.. Mark location of rotor on dist.. then Mark on dist shaft location on manifold.. then as you carefully pull dist out.. Mark location of rotor.. that is starting point for new dist.. oh.. and mark new dist shaft in same spot.. and that should get you very close.. but you see.. this is general way.. but you still have to consider.. wear on old dist gear.. and that could be a few degrees for a new dist. Plus how carefully you are at marking and reference location.. they could throw you off too..
Good luck and keep us posted
2000 southwind storm, workhorse custom chassis with 7.4l vortec
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Old 10-06-2022, 11:27 PM   #3
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I will add to donr103's reply. It is not possible to swap a distributor and maintain accurate timing without resetting with a timing light. You can get it close though.

Be aware the distributor is driven by a helical gear set from the camshaft. When you lift the distributor up, the shaft will turn due to the spiral curve of the driven gear. Also know that the base of the gear also engages the oil pump driveshaft, which is hexagon shaped.

I would recommend marking the distributor at it's mounting base with a cold chisel. Make a common mark on the engine and the distributor as installed. Then remove the holddown clamp, distributor cap and wiring connector. Leave rotor in place. While lifting up distributor with one hand, hold rotor and feel as it spirals up, noting spot where it clears gear. Mark that spot with distributor housing still aligned with chisel mark. Transfer those 2 marks to new distributor housing for installation. Start install with both marks aligned. Slight wiggle to match hex shaft and helix gears is normal. The chisel mark is the most accurate method as the gears will insure same shaft position.

Be careful to verify the hexagon oil pump shaft is in place before installing new distributor. It can stick in old distributor drive gear just enough to lift out of place. Rarely, it can stick enough to come up and out with distributor. Has to be guided back in with a strong magnetic pickup tool. Hope it doesn't come to that. Good luck.
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Old 10-07-2022, 12:28 AM   #4
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Easy, done it 100's of times on ford v8' is the trick.....
Remove distributor cap, leave the rotor ON
Mark a reference point for the BODY of the distributor to the intake manifold.
Remove holddown bolt
Slowly lift the distributor out while not turning the body AND STOP WHEN THE ROTOR STOPS, mark the rotor to the distributor base.
New distributor align marks for the rotor to the distributor base.
Align distributor base to intake manifold markings so they line up
Insert distributor into hole stop when rotor stops...
Bump starter while pressing down on distributor body keep cranking until distributor seats all the way.
Done this way I have never been off more than 5 to 8 degrees.
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Old 10-07-2022, 10:05 AM   #5
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It IS possible to get the distributor in and have it be dead on timed correctly. Out of the hundreds of times I've done it, it happened once. And I know it because I wouldn't even consider it a finished job unless I had at least checked the timing with a light.
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Old 10-09-2022, 01:30 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your valued help !!! Regards Mick
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