4.9 distributor bushing wear
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, 4.9 distributor bushing wear in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; I have 91 4.9 Cadillac in my 84 notch back Fiero, distributor converted to vacuum advanced HEI, Edelbrock carb. The ...
  1. #1
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    4.9 distributor bushing wear

    I have 91 4.9 Cadillac in my 84 notch back Fiero, distributor converted to vacuum advanced HEI, Edelbrock carb.

    The problem I'm having is the top bushing in the distributor keeps wearing down to the cir-clip, allowing contact with the pickup coil, eventually burning through the plastic and shorting out.
    I changed the bushing and lubed it, and in less than 200 miles it has worn half way down to the cir-clip again.
    I'm on my third pickup coil, I didn't realize the distributor was moving down and using the pickup coil for a bushing on the last two.
    Any ideas on what’s going on, and how I could fix it?

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  3. #2
    100
    100 is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    This is just my guess..., but do you have a thrust washer at the bottom of the distributor shaft? If it is missing, I suppose the distributor may be able to move up and down. Just throwing an idea...

    Good luck.

  4. #3
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    I'm not sure about a thrust washer at the bottom, is there an exploded view anywhere that you know of? My Caddy manual doesn't show that detail.

  5. #4
    100
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    I don't have the picture (or whatever) with me... Well, but it is a very trivial thing. Pull the distributor, take a look at the bottom of the distributor assy. If you cannot find any washer there, look down the hole where the distributor goes in and check the bottom of the hole. If you cannot find a washer there either, you have no washer, which is wrong.

    Well, again, this is just my guess and I have never had an engine without the washer, so I don't know what would happen without it.

    Good luck.

  6. #5
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    N0DIH is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Are you shimmed up too tight? Olds V8's are sensitive to that, but my Pontiac was not, I could set it up for a slick 0.050" with no issues. But when I tried that on Olds, I could not tighten the distributor at all, it would push right into the gears. Cad may be like that.

    Grab an FSM and see if they spec what the distributor shim dimensions should be.

  7. #6
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Thanks for the replies.
    I don't think it's shimmed up, because it's wearing down on the bushing, so maybe there are no shims. I have to go to the dealership for bushings(no one else stocks them) so I'll check on the fsm there.

  8. #7
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Just went to the Caddy dealer today, he said no washer is shown under the distributor gear, and new bushings are $499.00, they come with a new housing only. After hearing that, I forgot to ask about a manual and maybe why my bushing is wearing out.

  9. #8
    NickySantoro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    There is a thrust washer under the distributor. With the distributor out, the top surface of it looks like a machined surface. Note item #5.
    Attached Images

  10. #9
    chevelle is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    There is no thrust washer or thrust provisions on the distributor itself. But.....

    Look down the distributor bore inside the engine. There is a thrust washer that belongs there..... If it is not there then the thrust load on the distributor gear will be transfered to the distributor shaft and cause the problem you are seeing. If you look down the distributor bore into the block and see the machined aluminum land that the distributor thrust washer seats against then the washer is missing.

  11. #10
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Quote Originally Posted by hemicide
    he said no washer is shown under the distributor gear,
    As others said, the thrust washer is not a part of the distributor assembly. But "he" at the dealership seems to know little about Cadillac products... I would say the best way is to pull your distributor and check. Takes 10 mins!

  12. #11
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Thanks, does anyone have a drawing I could be armed with next time I try to explain it to someone who should know more than I do?
    I've searched but with no luck.

  13. #12
    NickySantoro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    See my post above, scanned from the FSM. I had my dist out last summer and found no washer immediately discernible. I checked the FSM, eyeballed the dist hole, then verified presence of the washer manually.
    FWIW
    YMMV

  14. #13
    hemicide is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Thanks all, that's just what I needed.

  15. #14
    vettemad is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 4.9 distributor bushing wear

    Here's a question that could be answered in this post,87 deville 4.1, how far does the oil pump drive shaft stick up, mine sticks up about a 1/4 inch I fear that I may have forced it down when replacing distributor causing it not to complete connection with bottom of distributor thus causing no oil pressure...thanks, cliff

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