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Collinster742002

69-76 2002 Distributor Housing Gasket Replacement

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If your 2002 is smoking like hell from under the hood, and it smells like oil, take a look at your distributor housing gasket. I use a cosmetic mirror to look underneath it; space is somewhat limited back there.

To replace the gasket, I removed:

-Coil

-Spark plugs and wires

-Distributor cap

-Washer tank (Since it's a 74, next to the coil- I believe later years were different)

-Green wire leading to oil switch sender

-Black wire leading to distributor condenser

The tools you need:

-10mm Socket (Preferably 1/4 in. drive)- No extension.

-13mm socket

-A razor blade

-q-tips

-pipe cleaners

I did NOT use RTV Silicone, just simply put the gasket on.

To start, remove the stuff I mentioned before. Although not strictly necessary, it helps you have more space. I also pulled the heater hose off and set it aside- Gives you more room to turn the bolts.

With your spark plugs out and car in neutral (with wheels chocked and parking brake on), push down on the alternator drive belt and pull the fan towards you until you see the distributor rotor align with the bottom of the distributor (there is a mark)- you are now in TDC. At this point I re-installed the spark plugs to keep the engine from moving. Keep the car in neutral.

Now, the fun part. I used a ruler and meticulously marked all timing on the distributor- I removed the vacuum advance and the distributor rotor to get my ruler in there perfectly.

Once your timing is marked, you can begin disassembly. Be sure to have something under the car to catch the oil. I stuffed paper towels under the housing and put an oil pan under the car to catch all the oil that would come out. Keep in mind this has high pressure going through it.

With your 13mm socket, working from the exhaust manifold side of the car, remove the 13mm bolt from the housing. Set this and the wrench aside, this is the only 13mm.

Now remove the 10mm on the opposite side. This one has the small seal on the end as a "Self-Sealing Washer". Be sure that you ordered this part; it is not reusable and you shouldn't take the chance.

Then remove the 3 remaining 10mm bolts, making sure to keep the washers attached. My housing was still on the car pretty good at this point. I gave it a good hard push on the distributor and off it came. Don't worry about your rotor moving; you will reset this when you put it all back together.

Remove what you can by hand of the old gasket; it's useless rubbish. Carefully, if needed, remove the rest with a razor blade. DO NOT SCRATCH THE MATING SURFACES!!!! they need to be perfect in order to ensure a good seal.

Check your oil passages in both the block and the housing. Mine were entirely plugged with sludge; it's a wonder something catastrophic didn't happen.

Clean both mating surfaces thoroughly. Make sure there is no oil present. Set the rotor on the distributor back <--- This way, and down- when you put the housing back on, it will mesh with the cam gear drive and move in -->this direction. It should line up perfectly with your marks.

Loosely fasten the 3 long 10mm bolts you removed back into place by hand. Then, replace the little seal on the short 10mm and tighten this all the way down. Tighten the 13mm bolt all the way down. Now, torque the bottom housing bolt down. Then the one facing the other side of the car, then the one facing you. Check your tightness's... I snugged mine all very tight. This is a high pressure gasket, after all.

Now you can replace the dizzy cap, HT leads, coil, heater hose, connections to the distributor and housing, and washer tank.

Get your keys, do a few hail Mary's, pump the gas and turn the key. Mine started right up and ran perfect; meaning the timing was spot on. If your dizzy moved at all you can just twist it to re-time it, make sure to use a timing light on the steel ball in the bell housing.

If you're scared to do this job, don't be. I'm 16 and performed it no problem, it's not at all a hard job to do. Much better than paying some butt-hole hundreds to do it for you.

Here's some pictures of the process.

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Thanks, Jim. That actually was indeed the source of my leak.

Attached is a picture of the shipping list from Blunttech, with the part numbers for the items needed. You will need the first 3... It's good to have the O-Ring just in case.

If your leak is at the pressure switch you do NOT have to remove the housing or anything else. Simply remove the lead going to it and with a 15/16 open end wrench from the intake side of the car take it out.

Replace with a new one, making sure the copper gasket is installed..

Oil pressure light switch part numbers:

BMW: 61 31 1 354 274 ($21 from dealer)

Napa: MPE OP6065SB ($7.49)

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(edited)
On December 2, 2011 at 11:34 PM, Collinster742002 said:

Curious. Mine is smoking and there's a few reasons why it might be but never thought of this. Should my dizzy housing have any oil on there at all? I am guessing it's dripping right onto the exhaust. (Which is where my smoke is coming from).

Coincidence that I just did the manifold studs and then this happens, maybe so?

Great write up. This will be my next project.

Edited by 72_02

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On 12/3/2011 at 6:18 AM, jgerock said:

Nice write-up.

I'll add a few pictures.

Outside of the distributor housing. The oil pressure switch may also be an oil leak source.

pics82008009.jpg

Inside

pics82008010.jpg

Do you know the torque specs for the housing bolts? I can’t find any numbers in the repair manuals.

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