Reader Tips

Distributor Shaft
by Larry Jenkins

This article first appeared on the WWW Model A Message Board sponsored by Dale Clinton on Dec. 16, 1998

Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks.

While preparing my Model A distributor for the PerTronix Ignitor electronic ignition system, I replaced the bushings and added a new two-piece distributor shaft.

Great. No wobble at all, but the shaft seemed to turn a tad tight. It will wear itself in, I said. Ahah! Why not help it?

Pull back the oiler and squirt some oil in the hole. Then oil around the top where the shaft protrudes from the casting. Turn the distributor upside down, and oil it again where the shaft comes out of the casting.

While inverted, tighten the casting between the jaws of a vice. Not too hard now. Seems to work best between the condensor flats.

Chuck up a slot type driver in your variable speed corded drill, carefully place the bit into the slot on the bottom of the shaft and turn on the drill. Alternate between slow and fast while adding some more oil frequently. An added benefit here is to determine if your shaft is running true. Observe this at slow speed. I was lucky.

Loosen the vice, turn the distributor right side up, re-tigthen and screw in the cam screw. Sqirt a little oil again, and repeat the spinning of the shaft. After about five minutes, my casting spun on the shaft very freely without any wobble or shaft looseness at all.

Sorry this took so long. Hope it helps someone.

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Last Updated: 01/03/09