Distributor oil leak

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Guthrie
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My tercel:: 1987 Tercel Wagon

Distributor oil leak

Post by Guthrie » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:33 am

Hi folks -

After cleaning my engine, discovered a pretty profuse oil leak. Looked at first like it was coming from the head gasket towards the back, but now I'm certain it's starting a little higher, where the distributor is. Based on what I've researched online so far, it's a matter of taking the distributor out and replacing the o-ring. I'm wary to do it myself because I don't want to disrupt the timing. Does anybody have experience fixing this leak?

xirdneh
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My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
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Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by xirdneh » Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:31 pm

If you remove dist cap and note where rotor is pointing you can reinstall dist so rotor points to same spot.
Just do not rotate crank while dist is out.
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

mrdance123
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My tercel:: 84 and 85 4wd wagons

Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by mrdance123 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 2:21 pm

It's not hard to do. Remove all wires and the 2 or 3 vacuum hoses from the bottom of distributor. You can start with turning the engine to 0' TDC cylinder one, but it's not required. Mark the position of the edge of the 12mm retaining bolt against the plate beneath to remember exact current timing setting. Remove the 12mm retaining bolt. Note the angle the distributor is at before you pull it out (and put it back in at same angle later). I twist it to be straight up and down vertically, then pull out, because I find it difficult to determine other angles before it is all the way back in. You may twist distributor all around it's range of adjustment before pulling it out without upsetting the gear tooth positioning. Carefully pull straight out without bumping or moving the gear on the end of distributor shaft inside engine head. It may be stuck and come loose suddenly, so carefully wiggle and pull with that in mind. Immediately mark the gear position with a sharpie after wiping off excess oil. Cut or pry off old o-ring and put new one on. Re-position gear lining up with your mark, install distributor back at same angle. You can also ignore this match marking, and follow the service manual's directions for setting timing. It is common to be 1 gear tooth off when installing, it will run, but poorly. Fix by pulling out and turning 1 gear tooth one way or the other. You might get lucky and it's right the first time. If it's not right, determine which way turning the distributor makes it run better, and adjust it 1 gear tooth notch in the opposite direction after you pull it out.
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85 T4 Speedy Blue, SR5 + A/C, 303k, summer driver.
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Petros
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My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
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Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by Petros » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:14 pm

easy fix, go for it. nothing to be afraid of. just make sure you get the rotor back in the same place as from before you pull it out. sometimes it takes a few tries.

I also like to put a bit of non-hardening sealant on the o-ring. It should not need it, but it helps prevent tearing the new o-ring on installment, grease also works for that.
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The Professor
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My tercel:: 1987 Tercel SR5 4WD wagon
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Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by The Professor » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:09 am

Does anyone have the part number for this seal? Some detective work on Rock Auto came up empty...
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door, x2
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

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NWMO
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Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by NWMO » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:46 am

Professor,

Here is the Felpro O-Ring and some other part numbers.

Fel-pro Seal on Ebay
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The Professor
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Re: Distributor oil leak

Post by The Professor » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:31 am

In stock at my local auto parts store! Thanks!
1975 Subaru SuperStar wagon
1984 Subaru Turbo-Traction wagon & Turbo-Traction hardtop
1987 Subaru RX 3-door, x2
1987 Subaru RX Type-RA 3-door
1987 Toyota Tercel SR5 wagon
1999 Subaru Forester S
2002 Subaru WRX sedan
2019 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited

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