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  #1  
Old 10-12-2012, 08:31 PM
97 2500 97 2500 is offline
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Default 97 2500 5.9 distributor won't drop in PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!

I have a 97 2500 with a 5.9 360 I was driving and all of a sudden it just died so I was gonna check the distributor cap but the bolts broke off in the distributor so I pulled the distributor and got a new one since it wasn't expensive and the old distributor was stuck so I bumped it out with a pry bar the engine is on TDC and when I tried to put the new distributor in it will not go in the hole it sits on top of it and acts like its to big but I checked and its the same size I've checked the hole with a mirror and everything looks fine any help will be appreciated ALOT I need my truck back to go to work
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:18 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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You have to line up the distributor shaft to fit into the distributor drive slot down in the engine. Take the distributor cap off and try again. You can the turn the distributor shaft from the top side til you feel it engage the slot. Then it'll drop in. It'd be helpful to actually crawl up there and, with a flashlight, look down into the engine to see it. This will help you visualize what you're trying to do. Remember that this slot will fit only two ways: the correct way, or 180 degrees out.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:26 AM
97 2500 97 2500 is offline
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Yea I got a mirror and looked in the hole and everything looks fine cause I can't see anything really without a mirror cause of the intake manifold it seems like to me that the input shaft is to big for the hole in the gear because it won't go far enough into the slot to drop in all the way the base of the distributor housing just sits on the edge of the hole like
and I said in the original post I had to take the old distributor out with a pry bar and tap the end with a hammer
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:26 AM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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ANy Mopar smallblock distributor will fit in there, so it sounds like you have some interference from crud. Might need to wipe it down, and I'd take a little axle grease and run along the edge of the opening. As you try to seat it, you have to wiggle that rotor shaft a little to make sure it aligns just right.
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Old 10-13-2012, 11:55 AM
97 2500 97 2500 is offline
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Ok I wiped everything down greased it up and it still won't drop in I even tried lightly greasing the input shaft cause I'm gonna change the oil anyway I've tried everything short of hitting it with a hammer it still acts like the input shaft is to big or the distributor housing is to big
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Old 10-13-2012, 08:55 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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If it's the same as the old one, and that was my point, even a 1965 273 will fit, just won't work for electronic reasons, then it's not too big. Mt point is that the smallblock distributor layout remained constant for over 35 years. Either you are missing the drive slot down in the engine or are slightly sideways (which also would have you missing the slot. No other make used that type distributor, and there was no big block version. I think you're misunderstanding something. Greasing the input shaft dows nothing. Only the flattened tab at the end of the shaft is involved with anything. Once you try to drop it is you must move it around a bit til the flat tab matches the drive slot. Once you catch that slot it'll drop in with minimal downward pressure. Might need to gently rotate the housing back-and-forth as it drops. It's really just that simple.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:19 PM
97 2500 97 2500 is offline
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I understand your point I've been mechanicing for about 12 years and ive changed distributors before I've now even pulled the intake manifold so I'm Absolutely sure everything is lined up it just won't drop in even without all the obstructions
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:33 PM
Gen1dak Gen1dak is offline
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Ok with the intake off you can look thru the lifter valley and actually watch the distributor shaft engage the drive slot on the cam/distributor drive gear. Is it even reaching the gear. Just resting on the gear the distributor will still have some wiggle and have an inch or so left to drop in. With the intake off you can physically manipulate the distributor from the lower side and maneuver into the slot. Failing that, I don't know what to tell you. Too bad no pics.
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:00 PM
97 2500 97 2500 is offline
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Thanks for all the help and sorry its taken so long to get back its been a long week but after taking the intake manifold off and breaking two bolts and having to drill and tap and all that mess found that the distributor housing was indeed to big turns out it was a bad reman so I returned it and the new one dropped in pretty as could be now that I've gotten everything back like its supposed to be I'm back to my original problem in this whole ordeal I've replaced the intake manifold gaskets the whole distributor cap and rotor button camshaft position sensor and I've still got no spark coming from the distributor going to the plugs and I've checked a couple wires to rule out bad wires and I've got spark coming from the coil but its a yellow small spark but I removed the coil and checked the ohms there in the middle where there supposed to be primary and secondary I'm wondering if I'm getting a weak voltage going to the coil or something but I've checked and I'm getting 12.5V going to the coil from the wiring harness but I can't find the specs for what I'm supposed to be getting anywhere if anybody knows how much Voltage I'm supposed to be getting to my coil to power it sorry if this is jumbled up but this truck has been racking my brain for a month now any help would be greatly appreciated
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