Distributor O-Ring: Keeping Oil Leaks at Bay
Oil leaks in your engine bay are nasty things to clean up. O-rings are mechanical seals designed to sit in a groove to create a seal at the interface by compression between two or more parts during assembly. Zero clearance is created to block liquid and gas from spilling out to other parts of your engine, etc. Choosing the right distributor o-ring keeps those nasty oil spills at bay and by shopping smart, you will get it right the first time around.
Know Your Materials: Rubber
It's flexible, very durable and forms a tighter seal when wet. Rubber is the perfect material for o-rings and there are a lot of materials to choose from. Here are some examples of rubber o-rings and their benefits:NBR ? It's the standard material for o-rings and is commonly used for a variety of applications. It has good resistance, strong, and very durable. NBR is the most affordable material used to manufacture o-rings.Silicone Rubber ? This material is very flexible across a wide temperature range and it's resistant to most chemicals. The only downside to silicon rubber is that it wears out over time and tears apart.FKM ? It's also known as "Viton" and this is a high-quality type of rubber. FKM has high resistance to chemicals, corrosion, and heat. This top of the line o-ring is the most expensive type of o-ring seal in the market today.
Getting the Right Dimensions
For the o-ring to do its job, you have to consider the right dimensions for your needs. It can't be too big or too small; it has to be just right. Before purchasing an o-ring, you have to either consult your vehicle owner's manual or use a ruler to measure the part's inner and outer diameter. Getting the right measurements leads to the perfect fit.
Engine Seal Basics: Replacing a Distributor O-Ring
The presence of oil at the side of your transmission bell-housing and at the bottom of the distributor is a sign that the distributor's o-ring is leaking. Just like most seals, they wear out over time and need replacement. Replacing a distributor o-ring is a fairly easy and fun job to do on a lazy afternoon.
We listed the steps, reminders and tools that you will need to help you change your Geo Metro's distributor o-ring.
Tools that You'll Need:
- Wrench set
- Socket wrench set
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- A set of clean rags
- Brand new distributor o-ring
- Disconnect the battery's negative terminal to avoid electric shock.
- Always keep a first aid kit handy when working on your automobile projects.
- Check your vehicle owner's manual on how to locate the distributor. Make sure that the replacement parts are compatible to your vehicle's make and model.
- Always wear recommended safety equipment like closed-toe shoes, an industrial-grade dusk mask, safety goggles and gloves.
Step 1: Open your vehicle's hood, and locate the distributor. Remove the distributor's cap and the ignition coil cable connected to it.
Step 2: Locate the power cable going to the distributor and disconnect it.
Step 3: Use a socket wrench to remove the two T40 bolts or 12mm bolts securing the distributor to the distributor mounting plate on the head's driver side.
Step 4: Hold the distributor by its sides and gently pull it out from its socket.
Step 5: Take note of the distributor end's position because if the distributor is off by 180-degrees, your vehicle may not start or it may run poorly.
Step 6: Remove the worn-out o-ring and clean the oil on the side of the transmission, motor, and on the distributor.
Step 7: Clean the distributor shaft and make sure it's free from foreign debris. Install the new o-ring and apply a little lubricant on it. Carefully slide the new o-ring onto the distributor shaft, and make sure not to spin the distributor's end.
Step 8: Apply lubricant on the distributor's shaft and inside the distributor's mounting plate. Slide it back in and make sure that the rotor is in the correct position.
Step 9: Use a socket wrench to secure the mounting bolts on the mounting plate. Re-connect the distributor's power cable and ignition coil cable. Place the distributor cap and make sure it's secure.
Step 10: Reconnect the battery's negative terminal cable and close your vehicles hood.
Replacing a worn-out distributor o-ring will take about 20 minutes for an expert DIYer, and around 30 minutes for a beginner. Always exercise caution and have fun!