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Sheared Distributor Gear

A simple problem: my 1975 Volvo 242 DL had the distributor lock up when the springs came loose from the movable throwout arms. The arms wore against the inside of the distributor housing. Eventually they wore through. The arms stuck in the housing and froze. Well, of course the distributor is history.

I replaced the distributor, but the distributor gear kept on turning even though the distributor stopped -- broke both tabs off the gear. My problem is this: how does the gear come out? Through the top? Should I try to drill, tap and easy-out the gear? Do I need to rotate the shaft? Or do I have to pull the pan and it get out somehow from the inside? Whatever it is doesn't seem easy. It's a really tight squeeze if it comes out the top and a lot of work if it drops out the bottom.
Glen Collins

Phil says: Not so simple a problem. The gear pulls out the top; you'll have to find some way to grab it. It is case hardened and will wear out your drill bits and break off your easy-out. I would also wonder if the bushing under the gear sustained damage, and where the remains of the tabs went.

If you chose to proceed without pulling the motor for further inspection, there is some chance that you will be able to extract the gear without pulling the pan. Make a drawing or otherwise mark the exact orientation of the gear as it sits installed (there's enough left of the tabs to see where they were, I hope). It will twist as it comes up -- note its orientation at the point where is disengages the drive gear on the cam as it comes up. Not only does the gear have to go back in the same way, but its shaft will have to mate with the oil pump as it goes back in. No turning the motor with the gear out!

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