Rotor screws stripped

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by cb20061, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. cb20061

    cb20061 Newbie

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    Has anyone had a problem with the rotor button screws stripping out? My truck stopped running a couple months ago pulled the cap and moth screws had backed out and were laying in the distributor. Bought a ew cap and screws and one tightened down fine the other was kinda iffy but pretty snug. Fast forward about 2 months and it started skipping and missing so I pulled the cap again and one was loose one was out. Tightened them back down this morning and they fell worse than before. Only fox I can think of would be to tap the hole out slightly bigger and use a small machine screw? It's a 97 gmc 4.3 vortec
     
  2. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro OBS Enthusiast

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    I'm pretty sure that you're supposed to use threadlocker on those screws. In fact, I think that some kits come with blue stuff pre-applied to the screw threads. That should be enough to keep them from coming loose, but it sounds like you need to inspect your distributor and see if the threads in the top plate are still any good. I wouldn't want to re-tap the hole for a bigger screw unless it was absolutely necessary.
     
  3. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    The Vortec disgtributor body is plastic (unless it's been replaced; some aftermarket distributors are aluminum.) The screw bosses crack and often break completely off.

    I would strongly and I mean strongly recommend DO NOT use threadlocker on the distributor cap screws. This will only make them "thicker" and more likely to break the plastic body that they thread into.

    Anyway it's not the end of the world; you don't HAVE to replace the distributor. Just loop a big zip tie around the cap down around the base of the distributor. Yeah it sounds ghetto, but it works perfectly. The side-exit design of the Vortec cap allows you to really get it nice and snug, costs practically nothing for you to try this, and trust me it works.

    Eventually you'll need to replace that POS of a distributor because it'll get a bunch of slack at the top of the shaft, but until then, you can get by with the bad screw bosses.

    Richard
     
  4. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro OBS Enthusiast

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    Agreed. While it might be ok to use threadlocker on the rotor screws, I would say that if you're going to put anything on the cap screws, use anti-seize. I've had to resort to the zip-tie trick to hold the cap down, and it works pretty well but it's better to just avoid that situation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  5. cb20061

    cb20061 Newbie

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    Yeah the screws on the cap are good it's just the two that hold the rotor down. I might try a little thread lock to try and get by. Thank yall for the input
     
  6. someotherguy

    someotherguy I'm Awesome

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    Wow. I should wake up before I reply. Somehow I read this as another broken Vortec distributor body post..

    Richard
     
  7. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    Usually you hear about the cap screw holes stripping out, not the rotor screws. For the cap there is a simple kit from Dorman for like $25. It's just an offset metal "C" that wraps under the flange. I am not sure what to tell you about the rotor but those little screws should be pretty low torque anyway. Almost positive you are supposed to loctite them.
     

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