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EA-81 Distributor ????


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12 replies to this topic

#1 benebob

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 01:59 PM

I've been suffering with the dreaded tac jump for a few weeks and it hasn't gotten better. I'm assuming it is a bad distributor as it makes a slight electrical whine when the tac does the dance. It couldn't be anything else really right assuming the wires aren't crossed or nicked or 20 years old? Is there anyway to fix this one easily? How about a junkyard replacement. How do I tell if it'll work? Can I put it in w/o a timing gun???

#2 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 02:09 PM

Yep - classic symptoms.

Obviously your disty is working - cause it's still running. Best thing you can do is have your disty rebushed. Cost for me locally is about $35, and you'll have a basically new disty if you go that route. JY model is going to cost you the same, and who knows how good the shaft is on it....

These guys did an excelent job for me (they are local for me):
http://www.philbingroup.com

A rebuilt unit from CCR is about ~$145 ask them for details on exact price tho..... I don't personally see the point if you can have yours rebuilt for $35...

On the JY one:
Q: How do I tell if it will work?
A: You can't

Q: Do I need a gun to install it?
A: Yes - absolutely.

GD

#3 ShawnW

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 02:32 PM

Most major chain parts stores do a loaner tool program, and I have seen a few that have timing lights on the list.
Somebody here might be near you that has one and is willing to loan it.
If you mark everything and follow the procedure the amount of timing that you are off will be very minimal and you can time by ear enough to drive somewhere and buy or borrow a timing light.

I too would go with a rebuilt unless you have a cheap u-pull it yard around. CCR is probably charging that much cuz its a full rebuild....vac advance, bearings, cleaning and replacing some electronics, etc. Just a guess, I havent checked their site for details on the disty rebuilds. Highly recommend them though, very thorough on what they do.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 02:38 PM

Oh - yes, forgot to mention - the place I linked above can rebuild your vacuum advance for $25 as well. And they even painted it, and polished my disty for me when they did the rebush. I was VERY happy with their service.... did I mention 24 hour turn around? Nice guys too.

I think that a rebuild from CCR will actually have a NEW vacuum advance unit, and probably NEW ignition module too - thus the higher cost. And I hear they do great work too..... for this job tho, I don't really see the need to go to the expense of a whole rebuilt disty, when all you really need is a rebush.... your ign. module is working fine it sounds like.... course it wouln't be bad to have it lying around as an extra I suppose....

GD

#5 calebz

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 02:48 PM

Not to say that anyone is wrong, But I don't see why you would need a timing light to replace your disty.. Just mark the position of the rotor somewhere on the metal surrounding the disty. them fine tune by ear. very little tuning should be required if your disty goes back in the same place it came out from.. I recently replaced my disty by this method.. took about 10 minutes and I was on the road..

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 05:32 PM

Yep - caleb your right. But he asked if he would need a gun to install a JY one - and since it did not come from his vehicle, I would say yes. Possibly you could do it without, but guesswork is not the way I work on my cars.... and I don't reccomend that others work that way either. Also - I personally like to do things the right way - and if that means I spend $19.99 on a timing light to do it right, then that's what I do..... or I borrow one from a friend or something.

GD

#7 Meeky Moose

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 05:41 PM

personally i would say you don't need a tming gun to put one in.. regardless of where it came from the rotor has to point in the same direction as the old one.. so i'd snag a JY one before you pull the old one, then remember exactly how the old one was positioned when putting the new one in.. as long as ya get it in the same position it'll be timed right..

#8 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 05:52 PM

Well it's not as simple as that - IF he got one from EXACTLY the same model and year, he might be alright. But there are two different brands of EA81 distys, and about four or five different vacuum advance units, all with different curves in the disty, etc. So it *might* be right, but why not be sure about it?

GD

#9 v8vega215

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 07:29 PM

to time the disty by ear wont always work, there is always the posibility for eror because you cant always remember where the old one was or you dont always see the marks you made the same as you did earlyer in the day, I have found that 9 times out of 10 the chicken scratch marks you made while pulling the disty arent always relavent due to having to mark it a coupl of times so you can see where you marked it or you are on your second disty, etc..etc...

I recomend getting a timming light, they really arent that expensive and it will make it so you may pass smog emissions if applicable in your area. If you go with the tune by ear method, if your like me you will probably be wondering when the car may stall or leave you stranded.

Good luck with the disty swap and do it right for the best reliability

#10 benebob

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 07:49 PM

Thanks everyone. I suspected this was the case. I've never been good at timing. Can rebuild a carb with my eyes closed but electric is greek.

Well there is no way I can afford one except a yard distributor until after Xmas. Spent way too much the past week or two and haven't been working so nothing coming in. It'll have to wait at least until mid January when we finish the job we're working on. Hope she'll hold out another 5k. If not I'm pretty much screwed.:brolleye: No one has a used disto they wanna part with cheap do they?

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 09:48 PM

Go post on the marketplace forum - when I needed one, several came up - then I found that local place that rebuilds them, and went that route instead. I figured it was best to just get it over with, and I've put a 10k on mine with the new bushing and nary a blip to be seen on my tach (it would occasionally read 7,000 RPM's while idleing with a bad disty bushing :eek:). I think I spent a total of $55 to do my bushing and my vacuum advance unit. Drove my dads van for a day, and was back on the road the next morning.

At least around here the JY's charge about $35 for a disty IF you can find one, which is a BIG if. There almost always picked. I'm not sure why other than people don't know you can rebuild your disty rather than get another - virtually the same price to have a bushing installed, and that seems like a lot better investment to me.

GD

#12 calebz

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 10:41 PM

Rick, Thanks for the education on the various distys. thats the kinda info that helps everyone. I didn't suffer from all the potential problems when I did mine. Being an ea82T(87+), they're all the same.. no need to worry about vacuum advance variances.. theres no vac advance.. just plug and play.

#13 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 16 December 2003 - 11:20 PM

Absolutely Caleb - this is a discussion forum - if everyone was right ALL the time, then there wouldn't be much need for discussion. We all have our specialties - I personally know more about EA81's than anything else - you know about the turbo's. It was logical to think that there would be only one type of disty..... alas it is not so. 2WD differs from 4WD, and even those are different from year to year. Any of them should work, but I wouldn't expect timing to be the same at any given RPM.

You can even use carbed EA82 disty's.... with a little work and modification - you have to cut off one mounting ear, and put the EA81 gear on the EA82 disty shaft, but it would work......

GD




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