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Distributor on its last legs

 
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:54 PM
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Distributor on its last legs

So yesterday I got around to trying to fix my tacho, it's been jumping all over the place for years and usually these things are down to a fault in the distributor wiring. I pulled the whole thing apart and cleaned and re-crimped all the connectors and I think i managed to get the tach to stop jumping but it still reads 1-1.5k high so I'm thinking I'm up for at least a new ICM. The problem, I'm pretty sure the dizzy o-ring is leaking since I've replaced all the VTEC solenoid bits and I'm still getting oil all around that area, and all the wiring inside the distributor is dried and cracked and some of the plugs are broken. BTW, I have the JDM TD-60U type distributor. I've just replaced the cap and rotor (like last week), the internal coil is only a few years old and the mechanical guts of the dizzy look to be in quite good condition, so I don't really want to replace the whole thing.

Now for the problem. If I go OEM out of Japan then I can pick up just the ICM for around $275, the housing + o-ring for around $470, or an entire new distributor (ICM, coil, cap and rotor included) for around $810. This is kinda ridiculous. So, looking at aftermarket and Rockauto.com seems to have some good options. The guys over here love Rock Auto but I've noticed a few members on here being cautious about the quality of some of their parts. I'm thinking of sticking with an internal coil type so I'd be looking at either the WPS or the Spectra Premium ones ($240 or $410) and just keep my new cap and rotor as spares. I can't see if either of these come with a new ICM (seems unlikely) and the one I have has the heat sink attached so I can't re-use it and can't seem to find anywhere to buy another one, so it looks like I have to go with the Standard Motor Products one ($215) since this looks like the only one that matches what I have. So if I go for the Spectra dizzy and ICM then I'm up to $625 which is only $120 cheaper than going OEM and would not be OEM quality. BTW, it looks like from Hondapartsnow and OEMAcuraparts that the housing has been discontinued so no luck there. If I want to get something more local then it looks like I'm stuck with either CAD, PAT or RAE brand dizzy's all for around the same price as the WPS one, I really don't trust the quality though. It seems I can't get an ICM at all locally which is what I was after to begin with.

Can anybody help me out? Has anyone got any horror stories from using cheap distributors? There are no problems with the actual operation of mine at this stage so doing nothing and living with a busted tach is starting to sound like a good option.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:31 PM
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Re: Distributor on its last legs

I found one on ebay when mine started leaking. Cost me $90 new. Works just fine.
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Old 07-05-2015, 05:52 PM
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Re: Distributor on its last legs

Thanks Noober. How long have you had it in and running for? That $90, by the time you add shipping, paypal fees and currency conversion, quickly becomes like $170 in my neck of the woods.

I had thought about simply buying the cheapest distributor I can find (i.e. that $90 on eBay) and swapping the wiring over into my OEM one, then I'm just up for the ICM. Not sure it's worth my trouble over just replacing the whole thing though. I'm a big fan of doing it properly the first time, I don't want to go replacing the thing again in a few years.
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Old 07-06-2015, 04:00 AM
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Re: Distributor on its last legs

When my son needed one, he got one at a part store for $150. Lifetime warranty.
A year later it's fine. But if it fails he can easily remove it, plunk it down on the counter and say 'gimme another one'.
Can't do that with e-bay stuff.


I looked up "distributor parts" thinking I'd rebuild mine. The market is so tight with tons of remanufacturers..IF I can find the parts, I'd likely have to buy in bulk or pay about as much for the parts as a part store dizzy...

Have you considered junkyards? Car-part.com?
I realize that is used stuff, but that would be cheap and chancez are good they'll work just fine.
US junkyards give 30 'will work' warranties. If you are not installing right away...perhaps a motor for example for like $3 they'll extend it to 90 days. I know guys that buy junkyard stuff, use it for racing or whatever and if it breaks, take it back for an exchange...not cool imo, but I'm just saying the junkyard is an option.
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Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 07-06-2015, 06:02 PM
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Re: Distributor on its last legs

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Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
When my son needed one, he got one at a part store for $150. Lifetime warranty.
A year later it's fine. But if it fails he can easily remove it, plunk it down on the counter and say 'gimme another one'.
Can't do that with e-bay stuff.
Can't do that in Aus either. Parts stores here offer a limited out the door warranty, meaning if it happens to be a complete fail inside the store then they might think about giving you store credit, but once you're out the door you are on your own. There is no such thing a parts interchange either. Mechanics don't even warrant their own work, if it's broke when they put it in they'll charge you to fix it again. If I buy something out of the US and it fails then it'd cost me more to ship it back than to just buy another one too.

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Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
Have you considered junkyards? Car-part.com?
I realize that is used stuff, but that would be cheap and chancez are good they'll work just fine.
US junkyards give 30 'will work' warranties. If you are not installing right away...perhaps a motor for example for like $3 they'll extend it to 90 days. I know guys that buy junkyard stuff, use it for racing or whatever and if it breaks, take it back for an exchange...not cool imo, but I'm just saying the junkyard is an option.
Carpart.com seems to be US/Canada/Mexico only, not much help there. We don't have anything similar over here really, local wreckers generally don't have much of a clue as to what they have left anyway let alone keep a log and post it online. The used prelude market over here is very limited, and there are practically zero JDM models still floating around, finding a TD60U used would be practically impossible. I have many problems with buying used online too, there is just no guarantee if I get something in Aus I'd be getting anything better than what I already have. Once again if I get it out of the US I'd be paying more for postage than the item itself so no joy there, I'm happy to pay the extra to get new.

And yes, this thing will see some abuse which is why I don't want to cheap out. I really don't want the teeth to sheer off the thing. If that happens then I'm sure even a lifetime warranty is no comfort given all the tiny bits of metal now flying around in the motor. I guess the question I'm really asking is can I get away with a Rockauto special or am I just better off going OEM for the extra piece of mind?
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:34 AM
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Re: Distributor on its last legs

Woah! We got it made here.

Well if I were in your shoes...oem for sure as the last one lasted how long?

If your purchase at Rock Auto doesn't have a great guaruntee that is.

Rock Auto, Parts Geeks JC Whitney...all them guys are the same. In general they are fine businesses to sell pretty much the same parts as the other guys.
All have been around quite some time, but of course you'll get some screw ups now & then.

Do I buy from them? No. Not because they suck. But because Ima cash n carry kinda guy when buying aftermarket products, so I support by local part stores. I can usually count on folks getting it right...either by online or at the store. But when it goes wrong...
Example, a manufacturer boxed up a bunch of axles backwards a year ago. They sold them to several companies.
I had one overnighted to an Advance Auto store. Next morning I saw it was incorrect before paying for it.
Ended up going to NAPA and buying rebuild parts.

I coulda sworn car-parts was worldwide. Sorry about the incorrect info.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ogsmakdade View Post
welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
Quote:
Originally Posted by elspectro29 View Post
Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

God's Not Dead
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