It shouldn’t be this hard!

Installing and checking points on a frequent basis is just part of the territory with mechanical distributors.  The thought of getting rid of this chore led me to decide to take advantage of IAP’s 15% off sale on electronic distributors and replace the original Marinelli unit.  It arrived yesterday and It’s a nice, solid device. I thought it should be relatively simple to install.

electronic distributor

It does not come with a mounting bracket so I took the old one off the stock unit (very tight fit, old and new).  This is where my first problems started.  There is no reference for the bracket relative to the distributor shaft.  The ignition timing with the electronic distributor is still set the same way, rotate the body and tighten down on the clamp nut, except instead of looking for the points to just open, you look at a small LED under the rotor to light up.  After what seemed like 100 attempts, I was finally able to get everything lined up and was ready to tighten down the clamp nut.

NOT!  With the old distributor I can loosen/tighten the nut with a simple 10mm socket on a long extension.  When I tried this with the new unit, I couldn’t get the socket over the nut due to interference from the body of the distributor.  I even have a special right angle 10mm box end wrench made just for this application, but it too was hitting the body and not able to get over the nut.

distributor comparison

That’s my special distributor wrench trying to get on the nut on the left.  The old distributor had lots of room under the head but the new unit has virtually none.  Sigh…

I had even gone out for a spin before trying to install the new unit so the engine would be all warmed up and start easily.  So much for that idea.  Tomorrow I will go out and try to find a right angle 10mm open end wrench.  I will probably have to grind it down, but the open end may fit under the new distributor body.

It shouldn’t be this hard!


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