Distributor Gear Choices

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Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 3rd 2018, 9:36 pm

I fired up the old google machine and wasn’t impressed with what I found. My question is does anyone make a composite or melonized .531” dist gear for the 385 series engines? My new build utilizes a billet roller and would prefer not to use a bronze gear.

Thanks Justin

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  BBFTorino on December 3rd 2018, 11:52 pm

There was some talk of this a while back, but not sure that any cam company ever stepped up to make it for the BBF.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 4th 2018, 12:01 am

I did find that Tritecmotorsports.com sells a composite gear but they provide basically no info about it on their website.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  rmcomprandy on December 4th 2018, 12:47 am

wickettoby1 wrote:I fired up the old google machine and wasn’t impressed with what I found. My question is does anyone make a composite or melonized .531” dist gear for the 385 series engines? My new build utilizes a billet roller and would prefer not to use a bronze gear.

Thanks Justin

YES, "TriTec Motorsports" in Fenton, Michigan offers a 335/385 composite distributor gear for use with Cleveland and big block Ford distributors. Whatever information you need ... just call 'em.
(810) 655-3900

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 4th 2018, 12:45 pm

Hey Randy

Have you used the composite gears in some of your builds? If yes how is the wearability compared to a bronze gear?

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  cletus66 on December 4th 2018, 5:12 pm

They have a website too. Looks interesting:

https://www.tritecmotorsports.com/products/gears
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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  rmcomprandy on December 4th 2018, 6:39 pm

wickettoby1 wrote:Hey Randy

Have you used the composite gears in some of your builds? If yes how is the wearability compared to a bronze gear?

I have used them in several builds.
As to longevity ... I don't know; no one has ever brought one back.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 4th 2018, 7:15 pm

Well I guess no come backs is a start. Have these builds utilized HV or HP oil pumps or tight oil clearances that would put extra strain on the drive gear?

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  rmcomprandy on December 4th 2018, 7:44 pm

wickettoby1 wrote:Well I guess no come backs is a start. Have these builds utilized HV or HP oil pumps or tight oil clearances that would put extra strain on the drive gear?

A lot of people would consider these as tight oil clearances; I NEVER use a high volume pump.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 4th 2018, 8:04 pm

Okey dokey

I did find a Crane gear that they claim is compatible with a steel roller cam, I need to contact them to see what they say.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/crn-52971-1

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  rmcomprandy on December 5th 2018, 12:25 am

wickettoby1 wrote:Okey dokey

I did find a Crane gear that they claim is compatible with a steel roller cam, I need to contact them to see what they say.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/crn-52971-1

Use whatever you want to use.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 5th 2018, 12:32 am

I was asking because I don't/didnt know what gear to use. With a billet roller I know I can run a bronze but the lifespan isn't the best. At this point I'm leaning towards the composite from Tri Tec.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  Dave De on December 5th 2018, 1:33 pm

There are many bronze gear choices that aren't up to task because of the material. Bronze material grades that have nickel and aluminum are very good for this application as they are widely used for bearings. The low end ebay (nameless) gears are mostly tin/ lead/zinc alloy's. Not to long ago I bought a gear from a large ebay dealer that advertised a nickel/aluminum bronze for half the cost of and MSD replacement gear. I had it scanned at work to find it to be a low end alloy.

The MSD gears that I have used were scanned to be the correct bearing grade alloy for this use. MSD gears have performed well for my street/strip use. My concerns for using a composite material is in the strength of the material. I would need to know more information and compare it to usable bronze.
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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 5th 2018, 1:46 pm

Thanks for the info Dave. I like the idea of a bronze gear made from quality materials but not a big fan of ANY sort of metal being circulated through the oil system. If I knew more about gear types and the hardness measurenents of a material id call Tri Tec and quiz them on their composite gear.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  stanger68 on December 5th 2018, 11:21 pm

Dave De wrote:There are many bronze gear choices that aren't up to task because of the material. Bronze material grades that have nickel and aluminum are very good for this application as they are widely used for bearings. The low end ebay (nameless) gears are mostly tin/ lead/zinc alloy's. Not to long ago I bought a gear from a large ebay dealer that advertised a nickel/aluminum bronze for half the cost of and MSD replacement gear. I had it scanned at work to find it to be a low end alloy.

The MSD gears that I have used were scanned to be the correct bearing grade alloy for this use. MSD gears have performed well for my street/strip use. My concerns for using a composite material is in the strength of the material. I would need to know more information and compare it to usable bronze.

Interesting. what kind of scanner is capable of that? That sounds pretty cool.

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  Dave De on December 5th 2018, 11:41 pm

stanger68 wrote:
Interesting. what kind of scanner is capable of that? That sounds pretty cool.


The device is called an XRF (X Ray Flourescence). A hand held x ray tube that can detect most elements in metals to determine the alloys.
http://handheldxrfanalyzer.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  wickettoby1 on December 6th 2018, 12:22 am

Only $14K, I think I'll buy two Smile Smile

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  Mark Miller on December 6th 2018, 12:45 am

Dave De wrote:There are many bronze gear choices that aren't up to task because of the material. Bronze material grades that have nickel and aluminum are very good for this application as they are widely used for bearings. The low end ebay (nameless) gears are mostly tin/ lead/zinc alloy's. Not to long ago I bought a gear from a large ebay dealer that advertised a nickel/aluminum bronze for half the cost of and MSD replacement gear. I had it scanned at work to find it to be a low end alloy.

The MSD gears that I have used were scanned to be the correct bearing grade alloy for this use. MSD gears have performed well for my street/strip use. My concerns for using a composite material is in the strength of the material. I would need to know more information and compare it to usable bronze.

I don't drive a bunch of miles but also have never had any problems with the MSD bronze gears!! Smile

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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  68galaxie on December 6th 2018, 12:43 pm

Just my limited experience.

I had run a Crane solid roller (8620 carburized core) with the Crane steel distributor gear.
Over a few years the distributor gear showed a little wear - not much.
However when performing an inspection the gear on the camshaft had at least twice as much wear as the distributor gear.

I have since run an MSD bronze gear - changed camshaft as well.

I am nowhere near 1000 miles per year, thus the bronze gear choice.

Also one can run a non bypass type oil filter if concerned about bronze in the oil.

Cheers
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Re: Distributor Gear Choices

Post  stanger68 on December 6th 2018, 7:34 pm

Dave De wrote:
stanger68 wrote:
Interesting. what kind of scanner is capable of that? That sounds pretty cool.


The device is called an XRF (X Ray Flourescence). A hand held x ray tube that can detect most elements in metals to determine the alloys.
http://handheldxrfanalyzer.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59

Damn! That’s straight outta Hollywood right there!

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