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1922 Cadillac Type 61 Oil in Distributor


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Hello everyone,
 
I'm having some trouble with the spark dying out on my 1922 Cadillac leaving me stranded. I'm getting a lot of oil into the distributor, causing it to short out. It seems to be building up under the segment plate and shorting out below the points. Is this a common problem with the type 61 Delco distributor and have any of you been able to fix it? I did check the breather screen and it seems clear and unobstructed.
 
Should there be some kind of seal or felt above the top roller bearing to keep oil from penetrating through it?
 
Any tips? Thanks!

DistributorTower.jpg

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Does the engine have a lot of blowby? I have never seen so much going on INSIDE the distributor.   the breather would indicate that there was some problem with pressure building up. Make real sure it is open. Don't know if there is room for felt as you do not want to get something hung up in the flyweights. Maybe a metal shield above the bearing?

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5 minutes ago, jp1gt said:

Does the engine have a lot of blowby? I have never seen so much going on INSIDE the distributor.   the breather would indicate that there was some problem with pressure building up. Make real sure it is open. Don't know if there is room for felt as you do not want to get something hung up in the flyweights. Maybe a metal shield above the bearing?

Thanks! I still need to check for blowby. I did check the breather and it isn't blocked. so that's not the issue.The V-63 shop manual does mention a felt seal below the ball bearing, so I think that may be a good place to start. It's possible that is worn out and letting oil past the bearing.

 

Is there a way to check for blowby? I've heard of placing toilet paper over the oil filler cap and somehow blocking the fan.

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If it is worn it needs to be replaced. Check to see if there is any movement at all pushing the shaft back and forth. If you put in a sealed bearing you will have no trouble

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1 hour ago, jp1gt said:

If it is worn it needs to be replaced. Check to see if there is any movement at all pushing the shaft back and forth. If you put in a sealed bearing you will have no trouble

Hey jp1gt, I checked the play in the bearing and it seems good. Almost no play at all. My concern with removing the shaft is getting the gears to line up again. does it need a precise reinstallation where the teeth are exactly the same?

 

In looking at the bearing, it's supposed to have a felt and two washers on top of it. Do you know anything about what type of washers were used?

 

Photo attached. Note the oil!

IMG_6497.jpg

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I'm not super surprised at the amount of oil given the position of the distributor and that Cadillac thought it necessary to include a felt washer, given that on a lot of other places they seemed to have no concern with oil seeping out 

 

I've had mine out and cleaned it all out, it's not that hard to line it back up if you take your time. There was a fair amount of road gunk in mine probably because of how close it sits to the front of the car and fan

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If there is a felt seal in there and it's never been replaced (which is likely the case) it almost certainly dried out, stiff and shrunken. Get some white "seal felt" (McMaster Carr sells it). The color signifies the density of industrial felt. White is what you want.

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

If there is a felt seal in there and it's never been replaced (which is likely the case) it almost certainly dried out, stiff and shrunken. Get some white "seal felt" (McMaster Carr sells it). The color signifies the density of industrial felt. White is what you want.

There is supposed to be a seal, but there is no seal at all. Thanks for the tip about the white felt. I did order some and will try to make a new seal guessing at the dimensions.

 

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well look what I found! I guess I do have a washer and felt. But they’re not really big enough to act as a seal. More of a lubricator. The felt here is super thin. Maybe 1/16”. The washer doesn’t cover the whole ball bearing.

C5A3DE3D-7B2D-41A4-A912-442D853588B6.jpeg

BE6CEF7F-AB16-4F6E-9180-4B395A3FAAE0.jpeg

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10 hours ago, hidden_hunter said:

Where was it in relation to the oiler?

 

(I’m on holidays and don’t have my books handy)

I hope this image helps. The felt washer isn't visable below the bottom washer which is on top of the bearing.

IMG_6509.jpg

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7 minutes ago, hidden_hunter said:

I’m wondering if that washer has shrunk 

Possibly, it's certainly much smaller than the opening of the ball bearing.

 

Several other folks have suggested that perhaps I overfilled the oil. I've only changed it once since I've owned the car but I added the 7 quarts recommended in the manual. Could it be over filled? Even with one quart drained out, the gauge still says "Full".

IMG_6620.jpg

IMG_6622.jpg

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I wouldn’t trust that gauge unless you’ve verified it, and instead work off measuring how much you put in (assuming you emptied it)

 

 My car had a home made float on it that would stick

 

 You can also get crank case dilution which from the book is mostly caused by the over use of the enricher

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