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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Time for a new Distributor...need advise!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Demon Brat

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 05:57 PM

Just completely rebuilt my son's BRAT motor.


It is a 1979 Subaru BRAT EA71.  It has the top starter.  I think someone has upgraded the distributor because it is electronic ignition.


The car was running smooth and then the tach started jumping around.  I couldn't get it to idle smooth and it started dying.  My USMB research indicated the distributor might be going bad.  So I opened up the distributor and wiggled the rotor.  Lots of side to side play. 


Pulled the distributor out today and found out there is a plastic washer/spacer/thing in the distributor that has(had) three ball bearing in it to allow the inside plates to rotate when the vacuum advance was activated.  It was busted up and part of it was lying in the bottom of the distributor.




I pulled the rest the pieces out, cleaned everything up, removed the cam gear (it was pinned in, not pressed on) greased everything and put it back together.


I re-installed it with out that piece and it runs fine, no more jumpy tach, but I know it is not a permanent fix.


I want to get a new distributor and below is what the motor currently is using.


Part#   420852000


 It also has the number 812 stamped on it but not sure what it refers too.








Rockauto has the part number D4H601 but it is for a 1980 Brat.  Could someone just put a newer distributor in it?


Think the one will work?


A-1 CARDONE Part # 31633 More Info {#420857302, D4H601, D4H901, D4H902} Reman. Distributor (Electronic)




Someone who can shed some light, it would be greatly appreciated.  I just want to make sure I order the right one.


What distributor do I have and where do i get a new (without dropping big bucks!!)


Thanks, Shawn

#2 turbosubarubrat


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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:07 PM

Or you could just get it rebuilt at a shop.

#3 Demon Brat

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Posted 01 September 2014 - 06:17 PM

If I knew of a place in Iowa I might.  Hoping to pull this one and install new one so the truck is not out of commission for too long.


Maybe I'll have the old one rebuilt and then sell it or keep it as a spare?

#4 Dirk


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Posted 01 September 2014 - 09:58 PM

The one you have selected looks about right.  These distributors are remarkably generic.  I have a dozen or so collected from wrecking yards from different engines.  As long as the direction of rotation is correct you should be able to get the rest to work.  Just be aware that they may have different shaft lengths, timing curves and VAC specs but these can all be fiddled with and made to work one way or another.





#5 djcommie


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Posted 03 September 2014 - 05:16 PM

That looks like the Hitachi electronic distributor, originally on automatic California EA71s. I have one in my 78 4WD Wagon. I have a complete Denso one you can have cheap in trade for that (and its ignitor), it only needs a new advance/retard diaphram and has the ignitor internal to it, makes for easier wiring as it takes its power right off the coil!

#6 Demon Brat

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Posted 03 September 2014 - 08:39 PM

I was able to order a Re-built Cardone.  


(Cardone 31-633)


The whole California thing sounds about right.  It came from California and I have the original California license plate.

I'll let everyone know when it gets here and maybe my old one will be available as long as the new works fine.





#7 Demon Brat

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:17 AM

Got the new one and it was identical to the one I removed.  That was a nice surprise.  Put it in, set the timing and it never ran so smooth.  Fixed the jumpy tachometer, smoothed out the idle.  All is good for now.  I found it by searching (Cardone 31-633) on Amazon.  Was $97 with no core charge.


So now I have the old one if anyone knows where a go distributor rebuild shop is. 

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