1986 E150 distributor

I have an 86 E150; 302 w/electronic ignition. It is not starting; no spark. I suspect the TFI module. It has given me this same problem before, but the
work was done by a mechanic. Because of its age, I am reluctant to pay the $300 the shop wanted for the job. I have the module; I have the special 7/32 tool for removing the screws. The problem is, the back screw is blocked by part of the engine. I loosened the hold down bolt at the base of the distributor, but apparently it's not made to turn, right? I am thinking of pulling the distributor, but it seems frozen and is not budging. I realize all the pitfalls of pulling it; marking the location of the rotor, shaft, etc. Am I overlooking something more simple, short of pulling it? I have the Chilton manual and it's useless in this instance. Not even a good diagram of the distributor.
Thanks in advance for any info!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The distributor is meant to be turned (this is how base timing is adjusted) but the distrbutor can corrode and tighten up in the block. If you feel under the bowl paet of the distributor, you'll find that is has been cast with a hex shape.... Can't remember the size but you can purchase a wrench and bend/cut it to suit to help free up the distributor. Liberal amounts of penetrant around where the distributor goes in to the block will help....

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Jim Warman wrote:

Just to add to what Jim said: At this age the pickup in the distributor can be very likely to fail. Make sure to test it while you have the distributor out. If you look at the pickup, it appears to be made of plastic moulded onto a metal bracket. If you can dig into the plastic with your thumbnail (dig out a chunk), replace the distributor. Even if the pickup checks good, it will fail shortly. If the plastic is solid and it tests good, you're probably good to go. I say replace the dist. because it has to be disassembled to replace the pickup. The gear has to be "pressed" off then realigned perfectly on assembly, along with an alignment collar that is easily broken. A reman distributor can save a DIYer a lot of headaches. A quick online check shows the pickup at ~$30 and a reman distributor at ~$60. If you want to try replacing the pickup, it only costs a bit of time to try and disassemble the distributor. Clean the shaft spotless, use lots of solvent and be patient. You'll see what I mean about the collar once you look at it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the help... I'll have another go at it and see if I can loosen it up. Maybe I just need more beer, lol.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.