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Offline 2.3stangii

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Oil in Distributor
« on: February 19, 2013, 07:17:02 PM »
As my luck would have it I'm already having a few problems to sort out on the new Pinto, got stranded in a walmart parking lot for a couple hours.  Upon close inspection I saw flames jumping out from under the dissy, took the cap off to find oil all over the inside of the cap, after wiping it off and waiting a few minutes it finally started back up.

Any ideas as to HOW oil can get in there? I had noticed two things beforehand, 1 There is either a valve ticking or exhaust leak, it ticks almost constantly while driving and stays about the same pace with the RPM but don't tick at idle or revving. and 2 I couldn't get it to time right, after it warms up it won't start back easy unless I back off the distributor, but then it runs like crap and has detonation. I figured the belt might have jumped a tooth or was incorrectly set but I wonder if the oil is causing those symptoms?

I did leave the vacuum advance line unhooked to get it home just in case that was the source of the oil.
It doesn't seem to lack much power despite the situation, at least not compared to my other 2.3

78 Pinto wagon
74 Mustang II
78 Cobra II

Offline Clydesdale80

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2013, 12:52:48 PM »
this is mostly a wild guess but maybe you should take your valve cover off and look at your cam and lifters.  My engine was ending up with oil in funny places (intake manifold) and I could not get rid of detonation no matter how far i retarded the spark.  When i took the valve cover off i saw that i had several stuck lifters(possibly the cause of your ticking) and both cam lobes for my #4 cylinder were basically gone.  I think the valves not opening right on that cylinder was forcing it to zoop air/oil from the crankcase and then pump it out any way it could.

with how easy the valve cover is to remove it might be worth a look.
Bought a 1978 hatchback to be my first car.

Offline r4pinto

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2013, 12:54:26 PM »
Since it is below the valve cover it could be coming from there. It's also possible the PCV hoses/lines could be worn & some blowby is getting oil in that area since the PCV is nearby
Matt Manter
1977 Pinto sedan- Named Harold II after the first Pinto(Harold) owned by my mom. R.I.P mom- 1980 parts provider & money machine for anything that won't fit the 80
1980 Pinto Runabout- work in progress

Offline Clydesdale80

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 12:58:15 PM »
I believe in my engine it was both forcing air/oil directly back into the intake and through the PCV because of the erratic crank case pressure that the dead cylinder was causing.
Bought a 1978 hatchback to be my first car.

Offline 2.3stangii

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2013, 07:11:57 PM »
Good suggestions. Now that I have my tools back (left them in my other Pinto at my dads) I'll check the compression tomorrow and see how she looks. I'm also going to check the play on the distributor in my other car and see how much it should move up and down, this one seemed to have a lot at the shaft.
78 Pinto wagon
74 Mustang II
78 Cobra II

Offline 2.3stangii

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2013, 04:40:40 PM »
Ok, took off the valve cover, cam doesn't look any more worn than usual, all the valves seem to move freely. Replaced the timing belt, added a quart of oil and a bottle of Marvel Mystery oil and I no longer hear the ticking.
I did find that the oil cap was plugged off completely, don't know if that with a bad pcv was the cause of the oil problem or not. Also there was oil in the intake as well. Compression was around 125psi on all four cylinders.

Only problem now is it seems to run rich, I can back in the mixture screw all the way and it still runs, or unplug a vacuum line and it runs smoother, even with the old jets off my other Pinto that always ran a little lean with that carb. Wierd.
78 Pinto wagon
74 Mustang II
78 Cobra II

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2013, 04:55:39 PM »
 I was told before and found it to be ccurate, if you cant cut off the engine with the mixture screw it means too much gas getting through the top of the carb. I always know its time to change my power valve diaphram when that happens, Youll sure save some money on gas once you do too.

Offline 2.3stangii

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2013, 05:10:54 PM »
Where is the valve located?
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74 Mustang II
78 Cobra II

Offline ToniJ1960

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Re: Oil in Distributor
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2013, 05:14:30 PM »
 If you take off the top of the carb turn it over youll see a post with a spring around it held on by three screws. The diagphram goes under the metal cover. You can also check it by pressing it in, and holding your finger ver a little hole in the edge of the top half of the carb. If it doesnt stay down util you take your finger off that hole, its leaking.