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Old 23rd December 2010, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Distributorless conversion

To all:

I'm looking to convert my 351W EFI to distributorless ignition and need a little advice. Does this camshaft position sensor take the place of the distributor?
Ford Explorer Mountaineer 5.0L Camshaft Position Sensor - eBay (item 220709066111 end time Jan-08-11 12:12:08 PST)
I'm a little behind the times when it comes to "advanced" sensoring like this. In other words, I pull out my distributor, put this guy in, and I have my cam position signal ready to go to my ECU? If this is the case (and I sure hope it is), this would be a very elegant solution to what was turning into a complicated endeavour.

If I recall, the 5.8L requires a longer shaft than the 5.0L, so I guess I would have to swap the shaft out of my distributor.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice you can provide me.

Eric
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Old 23rd December 2010, 07:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

While 5.8 gear remains same in regard to tooth count & size, the oil pump drive hex on 5.8 is 5/16" as against the 1/4" hex on the 5.0 or 302 with an increase in distributor shaft dia in that area. Shaft 'length' should be the same.
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Old 23rd December 2010, 10:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Eric,
Your assumption is correct. I am using the FAST EFI and XIM setup and that is how the computer knows the cams position. What system are you using? I will take some pics of my system to help you out. We basically bought a brand new distributor and hacked it up to suit our needs. It may be a little different form what you may be doing but it will get you started in the right direction. Look into the FAST system and see if it is somthing you might be interested in.

Bill
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Old 23rd December 2010, 11:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Distributorless conversion

Eric

If you want to use this in a 351W the best otpion is to find someone (preferably a mate) and get them to graft the 351W shaft into that encoder.
I have done several before with the 5.0 distributor into 351W.
I found the best option is to transplant the whole shaft if you can find one from another 351W distributor. Previously I have used Mallory twin point shafts. It is a little bit of mucking around but possible. Just make sure the bearing clearances in the top are ok and the encoder ends up at the right height. At the bottom it is supported by
the block. I usually use EZY-Flow so as not to get to much heat into the shaft and make it hot enough to lose it hardness

KB
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Last edited by kevinruthbox; 23rd December 2010 at 11:35 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 24th December 2010, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Thanks guys.

Bill, I'm using MegaSquirt 3 ECU (the new version just released over the summer). It allows fully sequential injection as well as distributorless ignition (among many other cool things), but I need to have a cam sensor in addition to the crank sensor. Please post pics of your system when you get the chance.

Kevin, thanks for the info. I have a distributor for the 351W, so I can pillage the shaft from it.

Merry Christmas to you and thanks for you help.

Eric
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Old 24th December 2010, 10:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Eric,

Not sure if economy is your motivation for trying to adapt the OE Ford cam sync but MSD and others offer a drop in product for the 351w. They usually come with an iron gear but you call them direct you may be able to order them equipped with what you need as I've found them to be quite helpful. Just go search the MSD website.

Best,
Kelly
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Old 24th December 2010, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Kelly

Thanks for the info. My motivation is equal parts economy and the fun of cobbling something together.

Eric
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Old 25th December 2010, 12:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Eric try these guys


1997 Ford Explorer Camshaft Synchronizer F7TZ12A362AC


$42.75

I will be modifying one for 351W as soon as it arrives from US (maybe mid January)

regards

KB
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Last edited by kevinruthbox; 25th December 2010 at 12:34 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 25th December 2010, 09:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Kevin

I have one on order now myself. Maybe we can compare notes and pics on the modifications.

What are you using for a crankshaft position sensor? (I assume you are uisng one of those in addition to the camshaft position sensor.)

Eric
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Old 25th December 2010, 04:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Hi Eric,
Earlier this year I replaced the crank angle sensor in my wife's 3.0 Taurus.
I did little research.
I purchased the only one that Napa had which happened to be Dorman brand.
I think I paid around $55.00.
I was not impressed with the tolerences or the quality (FYI ,Dorman is made in China). I returned the Dorman back to Napa and got my money back.

Her car has the 3.0 Vulcan motor, which came in both ford cars and trucks. I now started to research and found other people on multiple sites (Ranger and Taurus Forums) posting on their results with the Dorman drive and sensor. The average life of Dorman was reported between 5K-20K miles.(Low quality bushing material and complaints of non hardened roll pins)
The origional Motorcraft were lasting 70K+ miles.

I then found two other options: 1.Origional Motorcraft-$150
2.Remanufactured A-1 Cardone (which use Motorcraft casing and sensors)-$65

I bought and installed the A-1 with no problems so far.

If this were my GT-40 I would have ordered the origional Motorcraft part. I will always spend more money on a better product if It will save me problems in the future and more so when I spend time to customize a part. For the extra $10-$20 you might consider the A-1 Cardone option. That is what I would do.
Hope this helps, Bob
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Old 25th December 2010, 08:37 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Sorry I haven't gotten back on the distributor setup. Here is the distributor as it sits on the engine(351 Windsor).



We cut the top off the distributor so it wouldn't have any interference problems with the frame member and the fuel lines. We then cut a piece of aluminum to fit on the top. Here is the inside view as best as I could get it. You can make out the sensor setup.


Bill
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Old 25th December 2010, 09:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Bill: Thanks for the pics. I think my setup is going to be a bit different, but it's good to see how others have approached things, too.

Bob: Thanks for the info. I've had good experiences with A-1, too.

Kevin: Don't know if you will be looking for the connector and pigtail to go with your sensor, but Rock Auto has them. They are, of course, in the US, so maybe somebody local to you would have them to save you time and shipping.
1998 FORD EXPLORER Camshaft Position Sensor Connector

Eric
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Old 26th December 2010, 06:54 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: Distributorless conversion

Eric

Crank sensor will be custom toothed piece that will also hold the dry sump HTD pulleys.
The sensor I will use is a Rockwell industrial type


As for the connectors I think I can source one locally in Australia but cab try US if I can't

Will post pictures when all finished



regards

KB
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Old 22nd November 2011, 11:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Any updates on these projects?
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Old 26th November 2011, 09:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Matt

Not much progress for me. I have the cam sensor I indicated above and converted it for 351W use. That was actually pretty simple, since I had an old 351W distributor: took the shaft out of the cam sensor, took the shaft out of the distributor, cut the distributor shaft down to match the length of the cam sensor shaft, and reassembled the cam sensor with the 351W shaft. The cam sensor shaft was actually the same diameter as the 351W distributor shaft, just necked down at the bottom for the smaller 5.0 oil pump drive. As a result, just swapping in a cut-down shaft was all that was needed (no welding of the 351W distributor shaft end onto the cam sensor shaft).

Unfortunately, that's all the farther I have gotten. I am going to run MegaSquirt III with the MSX expansion, but I have not gotten those guys assembled yet. I'm going to be running sequential injection (not batch) and COP ignition.

I also have to work out the crank trigger wheel situation. I have a damper from a 5.0 with the trigger wheel in place and am going to see if I can adapt that to the 351W, but have not put much thought into how to approach this.

Wish I had more to report. Feeling bad about my lack of progress (which, in general, has been zero for about a year now).

Eric
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Old 26th November 2011, 12:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

I know when the MS 3 had just come out both the cam sensor & crank wheel were required, but something I ran across on the forums a while back made it sound like it was only because they were still adding to the programming to get away with just the cam sensor. I talked to some of the MegaSquirt folks a few weeks back & it sounded like only one or the other was needed (but I have not fully investigated yet). I'll take a look through my info when I get a chance to see if I can find anything definitive.
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Old 13th April 2013, 01:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Distributorless conversion

Hi all,
I came across this thread while searching the internet for a solution for my DIS. I'm wondering if anyone has come up with a solution or if there are any pictures for modifying a 351W distributor to be used with Megasquirt? I like the idea of using a Cam synchronizer from a 5.0 Explorer, because it will sit close to the block and look much cleaner.
My understanding (and I'm just learning) is that MS2 only need a crank sensor, but for sequential EFI and MS3, a cam sensor is needed as well.

Thanks in advance,
Don
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