[V8] Broken distributor cap

Buchholz, Steven Steven.Buchholz at kla-tencor.com
Mon Oct 4 23:49:45 EDT 2004

... I guess the first question is ... how much do you trust your shop to
work on V8Qs?  The dizzy caps are right there when you're doing the rack
... seems to me that if they didn't remove them before doing the work
the cap(s) could have gotten cracked when they did the job.  Another
possibility ... do you know if they completely removed the control arms?
If so, they may have been reinstalled wrong and caused the dizzy cap to
break when the suspension was compressed.  

As to engine damage ... I guess you know how bad things got when it was
running on 4 cylinders ... but if it wasn't vibrating or jerking around
violently I doubt that any permanent damage was done.  Other possible
damage?  Engine mounts?  I suppose there's some chance the distributor
that was running with the broken cap might have been worn by the event

... as to the new leak being in the pump ... check very carefully before
going out and buying a pump.  The pump is at the bottom of the engine.
Gravity being what it is, any leaking fluid is likely to run down to the
pump.  Most of the line is sheathed, and leaks in the hoses (even the
return hoses !?!) will tend to come out at the end.  On #344 I had a
lower rack hose leak ... it looked for all the world like the pump was
leaking.  Another justification ... if there's a leak following work in
the area, chances are the leak is due to the stuff that was just worked
on ... I suspect that they weren't messing around in the pump area ...

Steve B
San Jose, CA (USA)
> Ok, here's why I asked about the distributor caps/rotors.  I 
> had the power steering rack R&R'ed last week; picked her up 
> Saturday morning.  Rack isn't leaking, which is good (thanks 
> Jorgen.)  Drive about ten miles, stop, open hood, have a new 
> p/s leak.  This one is from the pump, hence the pump 
> questions.  The further I drive (had to run beyond Nashville 
> to get the new tires put on and the alignment done), the 
> worse the car ran.  Acceleration was a little balky at first, 
> then got to be like a horrible surge.  Got the 
> tires/alignment done, and started immediately for home (160 
> miles away.)  About ten miles into the drive, pulled over, 
> left the car running, popped the hood.  Left distributor cap 
> was jumping up and down like it was on a trampoline.  Saw a 
> crack in the orange part of the cap (the underneath part.)  
> Used zip ties to keep it kinda close to on, then limped home, 
> literally.  Last 70 or so miles felt like a four cylinder 
> pulling a two ton car.  I am going to take it back to the 
> shop to get the distributor cap replaced.  FYI, had to take 
> the broken cap off to see which type of rotors I have (got 
> the push-on type.)
> Here come the questions: I'm going to trailer it there.  
> Should I even attempt to start it?  The cap won't do any 
> good, so I could unplug the wire to the cap so it wouldn't 
> try to send any spark.  Should I unplug the injectors if I do 
> that?  Flooding the engine on one side wouldn't be good.  
> How much damage have I done to the engine so far?  What else 
> should I look for that might have been broken by me driving 
> it in the current condition?  
> Also, the inside (orange) part of the cap had a lot of pieces 
> missing.  I found a few, but it seems like there should be a 
> bunch more.  Two explanations: one, they were broken out and 
> he just put it back on anyway; two, maybe there cap saw so 
> much wild spark that it burned them up?  I'm sure #2 isn't 
> possible, but maybe it is?  I've heard of weirder...
> Thanks in advance for all the help 
> Joel
> '90 V8q (hurtin')
> '86 5kcstq (passin' everything on the road)

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