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1927 Buick Distributor Frozen

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 I have a similar issue. I have a 1927 Buick Standard Six and the distributor has grown into generator and is frozen in place!!


So, it’s time to remove the entire distributor and “fix” this issue. So what the easiest way to proceed here?  Is it best to remove the generator to then be able to get the distributor out of the generator while working on s bench?


Obviously I just want to make sure I can successfully get the distributor out without damaging ANYTHING else including the generator gg, that I can get the parts I need to rebuild the distributor,  and reinstall everything and get the car running better than ever!


A friend of mine that I work with at the dealership has the car at his house and is giving me a hand with this, I am no mechanic that’s for sure however “Nick” is a master mechanic and while he has never worked on a car this vintage, I am not only fortunate enough to have Nick giving me hand, I am also fortunate enough to have many great members of this fine group who have provided me with the correct info including Hugh!!  The Man the Myth the Legend!!


Sorry for the book here, and if this was some of the “other” forums I am on I’d post a crazy motorcycle or boat picture with an attractive woman in it to get everyone’s attention but I’ll try to keep this on topic for the time being!😂😂🙌🏼


I do have a few questions, if I switch from

 the infamous “1927 Potmetal Distributor” to the  1928 “Cast” Distributor housing does it just drop right into place and use all the 1927 internals I already have?? And can I use my existing 1927 generator with 1928 Cast distributor housing without changing anything else?


Any other path I should pursue in this process that will make life easier?


After I “drove” the car to my buddy “Nick” house with little to no power he discovered that not only is the distributor is frozen in place, the car was out of time, the advance plate was also stuck in place so the car had ZERO ADVANCE I so it’s no wonder the car had no power!!!


If anyone has a lead on a nice 1928 Distributor let me know if you would!!


As always I FEALLY appreciate everything and all the help and advice.... I can’t wait to be able to actually drive the car with power!!!


Thank you!




Pictures for reference and were previously shared and was from when I first got the car and before we ever touched it!


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William,    I have been looking at this older posting that you should read.  
The 640A is 1928 Buick,   The 640J is 1929.  The 640Y is 1930.  I do not know what changes they made but I think they are the same or atleast interchangeable as units.  Does anyone know if any 640 distributor is a direct drop in replacement for the pot metal 1926/27 distributors?       Hugh
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Chiltons says the 1927 Buicks 115, 120, 128 all use the same shaft gear or coupling and they are not used later nor on anything else that year. 1928, 29 and 30 Buicks all used the same, different to 1927, shaft gear or coupling. The only part of the ignition system in 1927 Buicks that was also used later was the coil. The 1927 automatic advance springs are different to later springs. All 1928 models had the same springs. They are the same for 1929 models and series 40 in 1930 and 1931 to 1933 and perhaps beyond for all models. The 1930 50, 60 had different springs.


So will a later distributor drop in? Maybe, but you might have to use the earlier shaft gear or coupling, if it will fit. The later advance springs might give a "better" advance curve than 1927? Chiltons is silent on whether the body is interchangeable.


My information begins in 1927.


The 640-Y was used on Series 40 in 1930. The others were 650-B.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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33 minutes ago, rustyjazz1938 said:

My apologies the greasiness of the photos, I had a bad rocker arm cover gasket. The car was setup like this when I got it, but I think it was just a drop in... The car has always ran very strong with this setup





Thanks Rusty!  So on the ‘29 Distributor in your 27/27 can you still use the retard/advance lever on your steering wheel?  I see it looks like the adjuster linkage is still hooked up?








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Cool, hopefully I can find a good distributor to make it work, the car runs but has zero power!  The distributor housing was cracked from someone else trying to free up the housing I guess since it’s the infamous ‘27 Pot metal model (that’s what it should be called)😳😂


So the housing was cracked, the advance plate/springs were stuck in place so it had zero advance, it was out of time as well.  So add all that together and no wonder it had zero power!!!!


So now the hunt for a good distributor or one I can rebuild easily, that will drop right into the generator!

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10 hours ago, Old26Buick said:

I used the end of a 28 or later generator and used 28 or later dist. Can get all ignition parts from Napa for around $40. internal advance. Works great. Did this on my 26 and 27 Buicks


Do I have to use the end of a 28 or later generator to use the 28 or later distributor?


Several people are telling me it’s a drop in us it if I keep my 27 generator and use a 28-30 distributor??!!!

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