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Old 10-02-2007, 11:35 PM   #1
bwood
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Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

I was putting the distributor back together after replacing the fine cheap plastic Vortec intake gaskets (I'm sure someone at GM saved some $$) with the new style steel ones (FEL PRO MS98000T), when the plastic ears broke off the plastic distributor (Another cost savings idea). I knew of the issue with them, I used the old screws to make sure the threads were the same, I was careful and slow installing them, I put a little antiseaze on them to lube the threads and still on the front tab before it was tight, SNAP. Then on the back screw I stopped when it was snug and was going to deal with it for now and rig the front one when CRACK, I wasn't even touching the distributor and the back tab broke off too.

I am looking at around $250 for a new one. I don't think the store will take the old one as a core (for a reman) since the body itself is broken. I was wondering if anyone knows of a performance replacement? I was thinking it probably wouldn't be much more, but I can't seem to find one.

Sorry about the rant, I was hoping to be done with the job tonight and it really dissapoints me that GM would use this stuff on their vehicles and the not step up and do something about it (gaskets). I also have a 3.1 Malibu, guess what, same problem two times. Using the new style on it as well. This is the third set on my GMC also. My mother has a Series II 3.8 in her Buick that GM only recently has attempted to do something about. THe plastic intake cracks between the EGR passage and a coolant passage (I think). They replaced it 3 times under warranty, and on the last time she raised and they sent her a letter that the part and labor would be covered for 12 months or 12k since her warr was about to expire. Well her warr has been out for 2 years and they have replaced it two more times. I wonder why they went back to aluminum for the Series III 3.8L.
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1998 GMC Sierra SLE 1/2 ton 2WD 305 Vortec
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Last edited by bwood; 10-02-2007 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:28 AM   #2
Scott68-93-97
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

The distributor in a vortec truck really isn't like your old convensional distributor so thats why you cant find one The only mod you can do is buy an inline harness that advances your timing at low rpm for better take off, by the way the plastic is to help with cooling and weight, The common intake manifold problem is in the aluminum lower at the four corners where the coolant passages are, most intakes are plastic these days for a number of reasons. Look at it this way older cars and trucks you were lucky to get a 100,000 out of a lot of things including the drivetrain know a few plastic parts may break at 150,000 or higher oh well. But sorry about your trouble with them
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1968 Short Fleet 350/700r4
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=249435
1997 Bagged XtdCab Vortec350/4L60e
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...44#post2286144

1993 XtdCab Longbed 4x4 6.5Turbo/NV4500 "Daily Driver"

1985 Toyota XtdCab 4x4 22re/W-56/Dual T-cases, Doug Thorley Header, Homebrew front and rear spring packs, Tons of Mods to suspension and drivetrain, 35" boggers, coming soon ARB's and 5.29's, Possible 4.3/700r4 swap
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Old 10-03-2007, 09:20 AM   #3
bwood
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

Thanks for the reply. I do know that the dist is basically just there for the coil/plugs and the Camshaft pos sensor. I just don't want to pay this much and get a piece of crap. I understand why these things are the way they are, it's just wears me out how much you pay for these things and they let you down and even when your dealer knows of the problem they say "well it will hold for a while, but it going to happen again" (ref to the first time the intake gaskets were replaced on my truck). I know they are only a service center, but you would think that if enough of them worked together, we might see a better/quicker response. I was talking to the service manager here at the Chevy house, I asked him if he knew of the newer revised gaskets for these vehicles, he said he did but the can't install them under warranty. That just doesn't make sense. You know, my neighbor across the street just bought his old work (99 F250 w/ 5.4 V8) truck from the paving company he works for. He has driven it since it was new. It has 256,000k and has never had a problem other than tune up issues. Anyway, I'm still a GM guy and always will be.
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-SS Wheels
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:44 PM   #4
Scott68-93-97
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

Every vehicle made has at least 150 usually more technical service bulletins full of these type of problems and still not all vehicles have the problem, Ive seen people with vortecs run em over 200,000 and not have them it just means its a common deal and the manufacters wont do anything unless its a safety or emission issue, oh well Ive always and will always be a GM guy also, with the exception for my toyota 4x4 affairs but GM helped Mr.Toyoda and that is how you spell his name get started back in the 50's I watched a show on the History channel about it a couple of weeks ago thats why theyve always made cars or parts for eachother like the new ecotec motors in the small cars like the colbalt HHR and so on are a Toyota/GM motor Isuzu has also done business with em for the last 30 years.
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1968 Short Fleet 350/700r4
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=249435
1997 Bagged XtdCab Vortec350/4L60e
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...44#post2286144

1993 XtdCab Longbed 4x4 6.5Turbo/NV4500 "Daily Driver"

1985 Toyota XtdCab 4x4 22re/W-56/Dual T-cases, Doug Thorley Header, Homebrew front and rear spring packs, Tons of Mods to suspension and drivetrain, 35" boggers, coming soon ARB's and 5.29's, Possible 4.3/700r4 swap
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Old 10-13-2007, 10:33 PM   #5
HtownPapiJc
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

Wow that interesting to know (toyoat/GM)....i too have gone thru the replacement of the intake gasket and the quick fitting on the manifold. Those were the only two major problems ive ever had with my (98)baby. Shes been thru the tick and thin with me and hardly ever lets me down. I can remember of a couple of times i had her up to the mirrors in water and she never stopped juggin.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:20 PM   #6
Hog
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

Here is a fully billet dizzy for teh 1996-2003 Vortec L30 5.0, L31 5.7 and 7.4(454 L29).
Much better quality than teh stock Vortec dizzy.
http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...0002_321378_-1

peac
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Old 11-01-2007, 03:49 PM   #7
Scott68-93-97
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

Whats the difference except the billet it doesn't talk about any performance upgrades, unless I was breaking dizzys in half I wouldn't be concerned with the billet housing expecially for the price
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1968 Short Fleet 350/700r4
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=249435
1997 Bagged XtdCab Vortec350/4L60e
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...44#post2286144

1993 XtdCab Longbed 4x4 6.5Turbo/NV4500 "Daily Driver"

1985 Toyota XtdCab 4x4 22re/W-56/Dual T-cases, Doug Thorley Header, Homebrew front and rear spring packs, Tons of Mods to suspension and drivetrain, 35" boggers, coming soon ARB's and 5.29's, Possible 4.3/700r4 swap
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Old 11-03-2007, 10:31 PM   #8
bwood
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Re: Looking for Performance Vortec Distributor

I ended up with a reman from NAPA. I did come across a used one from a local GM dealer that needed only a gear. It had a tag that said "350 Vortec", $20, worth a try. Finished putting it all together. Fired it up on the first try. SES came on with P1345 Cam/Crank sensor corralation error. Tried moving dist back and forth, reset TDC and tried again. Still SES light, got it running ok and took it to another GM dealer, (he said he would set it with the computer for free as long as he didn't have to pull the dist). About an hour later he calls, "Where did you get this dist?, (I told him the story) Well they sold you a dist for a V6." Well son of a . So that is how I ended up with the reman from NAPA. He did show me how to tell in the future. For one, the metal top of the dist (where the rotor sits) is marked with a 6 or an 8. Also if you line up the hole in the bottom of the dist gear with the white mark on the base of the dist (may not have white mark if reman), the rotor will point to about 30 degrees counterclockwise of a small triangle/arrow in the dist housing. There are 2 arrows one for V6 (6 stamped in it) and one for V8 (8 stamped in it). Once the dist is installed and the dist rotates to engage the cam gear the rotor should point to the approiate mark.
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1998 GMC Sierra SLE 1/2 ton 2WD 305 Vortec
-Gibson Stainless Cat Back Swept Side
-SS Wheels
2005 Honda CRF250R
2006 Honda CRF150F

Last edited by bwood; 11-03-2007 at 10:32 PM.
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