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I have an 85 Brat that isn't getting spark. New plugs, new plug wires, new ignition coil, new disty cap and rotor. I pulled out the distributor and noticed the distributor shaft has about 1/8 inch vertical play and 1/16 horizontal play. Is that too much on both sides? Do I need to replace the whole distributor? Could that be why it doesn't start? Any info is appreciated.

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Maybe slightly too much play,but,that won`t be the reason for no spark.

 

Got power at the coil?

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Alright i'll check tomorrow. I showed my shop teacher the movement in the disty and it does move enough side to side that blades of the piece that rotates hits the pieces of metal on the top. He said it might be enough to make it spark incorrectly and not start. No contradicting what you all said, just saying what he thinks.

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Does the distributor actually turn when you crank it over? The reason I ask is because I worked on a Brat EA81 recently that had the distributor drive gear on the crank all chewed up. This caused a no start - no spark situation.

Edited by Crazyeights

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If the vanes are hitting the pickup, the bushing is shot and it's not going to fire. It has to have an air gap to work properly. You can get it re-bushed if needs be, but you do need to check for power at the coil and the leads on the dizzy.

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Ok I will check for power at the coil tomorrow and found a refurbished distributor. Is this the right distributor for an EA81 Hitachi carb/distributor Brat? I ordered a cap and rotor from them before and it didn't fit, so I don't want that happening again.

 

https://www.partsgeek.com/gbproducts/MC/322-07003437.html?utm_content=MC&utm_term=1981-1987+Subaru+Brat+Ignition+Distributor+A1+Cardone+31-810+81-87+Subaru+Ignition+Distributor+1983+1984&fp=pp&gbm=a&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ff&utm_campaign=PartsGeek+Google+Base&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1JbPBRCrARIsAOKj2PlvvW9CSahNkLg2xXQaYVXN60mdBpujE9aQP1vnTaB1NL4LYb2Sy2IaAkxCEALw_wcB&ad=47584901292

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The Hitachi is the one you want. 

 

For some reason,  :blink: the EA81s came with two different distributors. Hitachi on the 4WD and Nippondenso on the 2WD. Don't ask me why, I think it was political.

 

The Hitachi's had a problem with bushing wear, mostly attributed to the oil grooves in the shafts gumming up from neglected oil. I used to rebuild these myself, and had a machine shop making the bushings. The Hitachi electronics are extremely robust, and I have yet to see one fail.

 

The Nippondenso's had no bushing problem, but the electronics would wink-out with no warning and leave you walking. 

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A lot of failures don't show up for years.  They can be hard to predict.  It's not always them trying to be cheap.

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Yes, the one in your link is right. 

 

And just to elaborate on the differences, The Hitachi only had a vacuum advance. The ND had a vacuum advance/retard.

 

Either manufacturer could have provided both.

 

That was the only practical difference between the two, and either will work with just a difference in advance curve. 

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Maybe one was more available, or they decided one worked better or emissions regulations forced a change. Just guessing around.

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I ordered a rebuilt one, it had the wrong trigger mechanism even though it said it was correct. Ordered a second, same problem. I ended up using my old electronics. The rest was good and what I needed.

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