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Thread: Moisture problems

  1. #1
    41flathead Guest

    Default Moisture problems

    Just wanted to let everybody know of the problem I am having with my Pro-Billet #8353 distributor. Its the one for the flathead Ford with the 3-hole front cover and it uses the "crab" cap. The problem is that after putting about 1000 miles on it, the engine starting running sluggish and felt as if the timing was really retarded. I took the cap off the distributor and I was shocked to see the amount of corrosion and carbon tracking going on inside the cap. Even the reluctor wheel was so rusty I could just pick off big flakes of rust. I had to remove the distributor and clean up the inside as best I could. Then, before I ordered a new cap (the rotor was actually OK), I cleaned up the old one and put a little dielectric grease around each terminal, and I also drilled a couple of holes in the side of the cap that faced the ground.
    I believe that because of the high humidity in Hawaii coupled with the fact that the caps fit so perfectly tight on an unvented setup, that the constant heating up and cooling off of the humid air inside the distributor caused enough condensation to create the problem of slight water pooling inside the cap and a distributor that was always soaking wet inside.
    After I cleaned up the cap, put the grease and drilled the holes to vent, the engine ran just like the day I installed the thing...PERFECT.
    Well, needless to say I ordered 2 extra caps and put a new one on. Also, I drilled a couple holes to vent the air, so hopefully the venting will alleviate the problem.
    Sorry so long-winded, but I figured this might be a problem that not too many poeple have had yet.
    Thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    msdtech4 Guest



    You hit the nail on the head, glad you figured it out. I will pass this along to see about venting that cap like the other ones.


    MSD tech4

  3. #3
    Malc Guest


    I live about half an hour from the Mediterranean sea, sometimes we have heavy humidity here and if it makes a difference, I have a cowl induction hood, a place for humidity to enter the engine bay, maybe.
    I´m using an MSD 8361 distibutor and had similar problems and a nasty misfire coupled with surging upon acceleration.
    Swapped the plugs and tried to cure the problems by adjusting the carb.
    Eventually I removed the distributor cap and found this.

    I removed the distributor and dismantled it finding the metal strip on the pickup badly corroded as well.
    After a good cleanup I painted the affected parts, not the pickup though, and reassembled it.
    It now performs perfectly.

  4. #4
    msdtech1955 Guest


    how old is that distributor? all distributors built within the last two years have been coated with yellow zinc. if yours is older then can send it is for this process.

  5. #5
    Malc Guest


    I bought it around June 2008.
    As I live in Spain it´s not worth the trouble thanks, can´t be without the Camaro for too long. :001_smile:

  6. #6
    msdtech1955 Guest


    again, since 2009.. all msd distributors have the new yellow zinc coating .

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