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Last weekend while cursing at highway speeds my car suddenly started backfiring and died. After towing it home and determining that the timing was off, I pulled the distributor. It appears that a nut inside the distributor cap that 'locked out' the distributor came loose and created havoc. No big deal, new distributor, done deal.
However; I noticed some 'damage' to the gear on the distributor. Three teeth appear to be chipped slightly. I put my scope into the distributor hole to get a look at the camshaft, and there is definitely some matching damage on the camshaft distributor gear.
So, here is my question. How acceptable is this? Can I put a new distributor and gear in and hope for the best, or do I need to replace the camshaft too?

Ford Racing 427 (535hp) crate engine.
MSD Atomic EFI and Ignition
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I'd want to closely inspect the cam gear and that isn't going to happen looking thru a small hole from 8" away. So since its not hard to pull the cam with the engine in place, you might as well order the necessary gasket sets right now. If its a stock or stock-type hardened cast cam and you don't want to replace it with something better- of which there are many, you might get away with Dremel-polishing the cam's chipped teeth. Do NOT rely on a new distributor gear to 'polish things up'.

Note also that stock distributor gears can be replaced using your original distributor and following Ford's guidelines. But Loc-tite that nut that came loose this time- or discard the mod! This is the second 351-C in a Pantera I've heard of that was messed up by a bolted-in mod coming loose inside a distributor. The other one was on a Roush-modified engine and was far more expensive to repair. As they say, 'there's no horsepower gain from an ignition but there are certainly losses'!
I had a Compcams camshaft, new out of the box that when I touched the thing three teeth crumbled off of it.

I'm told that the issue is the blanks are being purchased from "overseas" and that the cams are cut on slave machines. Something like one in four are only being quality checked.

Compcams replaced the cam as "a courtesy" saying that their warranty did not cover this kind of a problem. Nice huh?

It could have happened internally in the engine and probably no one would have looked for that when the engine stopped running. Not until it got torn down that is.

Consider yourself lucky that's as bad as it got? Wink

I have NEVER NEVER NEVER heard of an OEM cam failing like that. Aftermarket just keeps finding ways of lowering the standards.

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