Engine Cardone Distributor Cardone me wrong :(

Mclay

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Sep 19, 2018
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Yes, I have seen the posts about Cardone distributors... but I assume that might be isolated incidents.
Well, my experience will be added to this growing group.

I have a 1990 GT, with roughly 170,000kilometers. I have just received this car back after it leaving my possession for the past 18 years. After receiving it back (it spent 12 years in a garage) I have gone about the usual refurbishing, but had recently run across some issues of bucking/stuttering after the car is hot, which has gotten worse the last little while, so I thought it was time to throw in a replacement distributor while I source and prepare to rebuild my factory unit.

I installed the new cardone distributor (842892MA) yesterday with little issue. Car started immediately, ran smoothly. I set base timing and went for a test drive around the block. Ran good. Decided to do a longer trip out into the back roads and it did well (I did notice a slight stutter up high, but assumed I may have a fueling issue due to old fuel filter). Still, performance was much better.

Got home, let it cool down, changed the fuel filter out. Tried to start the car... crank no start
Thought the pump may need to prime fuel system... A few key ons until pump sounded like it was under load and crank....no start
Checked at schraeder valve at front... fuel sprayed out... checked spark... none

Decided to replace coil (because I had it on hand) and checked spark.. nothing.

Put original old distributor back in.... car fired right up.

From running well without incident, to cooling down, to dead. I was surprised to say the least.

Now fighting with partsavatar to get refunded. They only want to replace the unit, but I have to buy the same unit first, send in mine and wait for the refund, meanwhile, the price has gone up $20 for the unit (wondering if this is only when viewed from my account). They are asking me for vin, pics of the faulty unit, my old unit, etc. Should have just dealt with a local supply store for this problematic part, at least I would have someone real to deal with.

Ok, rant over.

I will be rebuilding my original dist., so, if anyone can provide the part #s for motorcraft PIP, TFI and any other recommended rebuild parts for my original distributor, please chime in.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Screenshot_2019-07-09-09-49-11.png

There's the pickup number.
 
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Mustang5L5

Put lubricant all over the balls
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The dist is likely ok but the choice of electronics that Cardone uses is junk. You are better off swapping the parts out for Motorcraft parts. Hell, I would trust 20-30 year old oem for parts over the current crop of Chinese electronics for our cars, which is being made by the lowest bidder in a dwindling bidder pool (how many 302 based vehicles are still running to justify companies making Oem replacement parts)
 
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Grn92LX

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I just installed a cardone remanufactured distributer in along with a motorcraft tfi. It had a ford pick up still in it, they only change what’s bad in a reman unit so I got lucky. My stock distributer was wobbly as hell and it’s much easier to buy a reman then rebuilt it

you’re not going to find a motorcraft pick up, only cheap Chinese replacements. A “new” distributer will have all new Chinese stuff in it most likely and probably a wrong shutter wheel
 

Potomus Pete

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I was reading an article that was about how important the Ford shudder wheel is. It said the problem is that nobody makes an accurate enough shudder wheel.
 

Potomus Pete

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I don't know how to drag it , but Pro M Racing has your shutter wheel for sixty nine bucks. And they have the article. Interesting if you can pull it up.
 
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nickyb

WAIT,you now have a pair?
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I replaced my wobbling dist. a few years ago with one from oh oh Oreilleys , it was a New unit and has served my stang well.
Things keep getting made cheaper and with less quality , what to do?
 

02 281 GT

Agreed...My wife has great Boobs
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I replaced my wobbling dist. a few years ago with one from oh oh Oreilleys , it was a New unit and has served my stang well.
Things keep getting made cheaper and with less quality , what to do?
I feel like the quality of parts has fallen drastically within the last three to five years.
 

Potomus Pete

Gretchen Whitmer is eating at me
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I got a starter two months ago for my Tacoma...Just went bad last week, and had to replace it last weekend. If I had this done at a shop I wonder how they would have handled it. Advanced just gave me another one, also I have been thru two master cylinders for the same truck under warranty. One good thing if you order online you have proof.
 
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7991LXnSHO

wanna catch the space herp
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I got a starter two months ago for my Tacoma...Just went bad last week, and had to replace it last weekend. If I had this done at a shop I wonder how they would have handled it. Advanced just gave me another one, also I have been thru two master cylinders for the same truck under warranty. One good thing if you order online you have proof.
If you get a starter, alternator or generator OTC at the Flaps or Chain, have them bench test it. At a store that is now part of O’Reiley’s, we cut returns down significantly by testing those parts before they went on the shelf.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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Here is what happens, the shop has a form to complete when replacing a failed part covered under warranty if they installed it originally, Advanced Auto reimburses labor costs, there are exceptions of course.
 
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90sickfox

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Here is what happens, the shop has a form to complete when replacing a failed part covered under warranty if they installed it originally, Advanced Auto reimburses labor costs, there are exceptions of course.
When I worked at Advance auto I only knew one shop that actually did that. When I opened mine I also continued to do that. If more shops asked for reimbursement it would be too expensive to carry bad parts.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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When I worked at Advance auto I only knew one shop that actually did that. When I opened mine I also continued to do that. If more shops asked for reimbursement it would be too expensive to carry bad parts.
The shop owner scoffed at me when I first suggested doing that. After I showed him the loss in only six months it convinced him.
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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I posted the Motorcraft pickup number and even a picture on the 14th. I see some doubted my post. So today is the 28th. I just ordered the Motorcraft DU30C pickup 2 days ago. Supposed to be here first of the week. I'll post a pic of it when it's here. ;)
Don't give up!
 
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Got the Motorcraft pickup in today. New in the box. $15 shipped to my door.
motorcraft1.JPG
motorcraft2.JPG
 
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Mclay

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Thanks for all that have replied. Due to a busy summer schedule the car has been put on the back burner....

So, against my better judgement (I'm a glutton for punishment) I ordered a new distributor through the local parts store. Turns out, all they can get is Cardone... ok, lets give it one more shot.

Keep in mind my stock distributor works fine until the car is driven and gets really hot, then it tends to stall out and the usual bucking etc once hot. So, I have a stock distributor that I intend to rebuild eventually, I just wanted a replacement in the meantime to move the car in and out of the garage.

As before, i Installed the new dist, fired right up.

I shut off car, hooked up timing light, took out spout connector and set base timing and let car idle a bit. Shut car off

Started car, moved out of garage and decided to take a trip around the block. Ran good, no issues, smooth... normal. Arrived home, put in garage and shutoff.

Decided to move the car out of the garage to let it idle and give me space to clean up...

Start, run, die (a slow, descending idle almost as if running out of fuel). Tried to restart and a shorter fire up and die... then finally crank, no start. Grrr...

So, decided to investigate. Definitely had no spark, coil was firing (by the way, I replaced the coil last time with a Motorcraft unit as I believe it was the original coil with the car... it was still working fine) but distributor not distributing.

I decided to (gently) tweak the rotor. Suddenly the car fired, but very short and then crank with no start. I did this a few times.

I swapped my original old rotor into the new unit, same thing, fire at first, then crank with no start.

I decided to stop playing around at this point and put the old dist back in and it started right up, set timing, and idled flawlessly in the driveway for 15 minutes while i packaged up the new unit to return.

I asked at the parts store if there was anything else I could do and all they could say was "thats odd" (thats the same response I got when I retuned a leaking water pump a year ago for a replacement and now the replacement is leaking !!!).

Anyway, sorry for the long winded reply, it may be time to source another original distributor and rebuild it perhaps.