View Full Version : Distributor in 327F engineanyone know if rotation matters

10-06-2006, 05:44 PM
"I am working on a 327F right hand rotation engine that is missing its Prestolite IBM 4116 distributor. I located a good used one that is the correct Chris Craft OEM part number but is from a left hand rotation engine. My question is: does this rotation matter? I cannot find anything in the Chris Craft parts manual that specifies RH or LH rotation on the distributor--leading me to believe my part will work. Or am I just better off forgetting being the purist with points, etc and installing a whole new electronic distributor (which will not support my tach drive)."

10-07-2006, 08:18 AM
"..."My question is: does this rotation matter"

No. The distributor and oil pump ALWAYS rotate the same way, regardless. The gears on the cam and distributor are ground backwards, which turns the distributor the other way, which is now the same way on a reverse...I'm gettin' a headache!

Be sure to use the same distributor gear and you'll be all set. Note that the firing order on the cap is set up the opposite way--number one plug is hte same place, but the order rotates around the cap backasswardsly.


10-07-2006, 10:31 AM
"Maybe in 1964 (I was in kindergarten), not so today. The modern RH GM engines have a gear driven camshaft instead of the chain driven one used in LH motors. This gear means the cam is now turning the opposite way. The modern distributors use a thrust bearing above the drive gear in the distributor. Since the rotation is now pushing up on the distributor, rather than pulling down, this bearing keeps the drive gear from grinding against the bottom of the distributor housing. The oil pump is bi-directional, so the rotarion does not matter.

As far as I know (which isn't very far) this information should not effect you, but I thought I'd throw it out there for someone who may be working on a newer version.

Good luck

10-07-2006, 12:30 PM
"Since reverse rotation motors are the Model Ts of marine powering, I guess what motors are designed like now doesn't matter.

ALL modern marine engines, and ALL outdrive engines, use the standard rotation. The reversing is now done in hte trans or outdrive. Only old clunkers like mine, and some dopey old single screws, use reverse rotating engines.


10-27-2006, 03:35 PM
"Hello Chris,

I sold my twin 327F powered CC Sea Skiff years ago, and I've been running a twin 427 powered Commander for the last ten years, along with a 327 powered CC Speedboat, and just last week purchased a 327F powered 20' fiberglass (yes, fiberglass 1966) Sea Skiff.

What the gent said about the distributors rotating in the same direction is true.
Here is a link that will confirm the timing etc., for your engine http://www.network54.com/Forum/424840/message/1123103583/ ("")

I think the port and starboard distributors are the same, but the gear on the bottom will be different from one to the other. If you buy the wrong distributor, you may be able to make it the right distributor by changing the gear. I would try to find the right distributor to be sure there aren't any other issues.

Happy running to you!


10-29-2006, 06:54 AM
"Hey, Dog, that is sure a nice web site! Don't own a Chris, but I sure enjyed looking at the photos and reading about the oddball engines some of them used (like Lincolns!)


11-16-2006, 11:19 AM
"Thanks Jeff

If you or any of the other guys need any reference photos or specs, etc., pay us a visit and someone may be able to help. There are a couple guys now who are going after the small blocks in the off season, so they have the "hands on experience" that is good.

regards, Paul

aka "dogsharks""