Mugger fuggin cam gears

Mugger fuggin cam gears


Senior Jeeper
Kihei, Hawaii
77' CJ-5, 360 c.i. motor, T-176 trans, D-300 transfer case w\ twin sticks, Dana 30 front, A.M.C. 20 rear w/ 4.10's, solid axles & trac-lok, 2.5" lift Y.J. springs.
O.K.- I'm really getting frustrated here. I love my H.E.I. but this is the second cam gear it has trashed and the repair is a real pain. The first one was the stock gear and it only lasted 3 months but the summit piece I picked up lasted 2 years before grenading on me last night. Does anyone know if the Bulltear pieces will work with an aftermarket G.M. style H.E.I unit? I am also getting an odd wear pattern on the dist gear and would like any opinions/ideas on a possible remedy.

thank in advance for any help.
The BullTear gears will fit the dist. Did you replace both gears last time or just the dist gear?

I highly recommend replacing both gear with the one from BullTear - they are specifically hardened to work together. but they also have been known to tear up a camshaft... :(

Even easier, if you have the original dist, just take to original gear off and put it on the HEI. You didn't happen to change out the timing cover did you? Do you have the alignment dowels installed in the block? What kind of dist is that?

Also check out this post -->>
Well, I only changed the cam mounted gear last time. This time I will do both. I did not change the timing cover and I don't have that kinda money right now so unless Santa brings me one that ain't gonna happen either. I believe the dowels are in it but to be sure I'll have to wait till i tear it down. Summit told me to use 2 dist. gaskets when I installed the H.E.I. but the wear pattern is so low on the dist. gear it seems like I should not have used any.
The dist. still fits snugly in the timing cover so I hope that is not the issue.
Thanks again for the help.

Bush :confused:
I just wanted to make sure you haven't changed the timing cover - some replacements just don't fit well - it's good you still have the original cover.

Did you see the MSD gears in the post? They supposedly work very well...
I destroyed the cam mounted gear last time- It was a summit piece. The gear on the dist. is relatively unharmed. Do you have more faith in a matched set from summit or bulltear? I only want to do this one more time if I can help it.

The problem with the BullTear gears is they are hardened - I have never had a set tear up but I know others who have. I would try the MSD gears recommended in the post - in fact - when I put together my 401 - those are the ones I will be using.
The most common problem is the gear on the aftermarket dist is harder than the cam gear and the cam gear gets trashed. Aren't the stock dist gears brass? Normally I'd know this but i'm stupid tired, LOL.

I'd also use a set from MSD.
O.K.- ordered the summit gears, gasket set and a tube of prussian blue- If these things do not mesh properly I'm throwing my H.E.I. in the friggin ocean.
( It will give me an excuse to go diving and retrieve it- I don't litter). Hopefully all will be well cuz I am getting used to the awful noise this thing makes when it goes south at highway speed. thanks for the info.


Da' Bushman
Sure looks like you are too high, looks like the cam is only catching the bottom of the dist gear, why not go to a parts house and measure a stock one from mounting base to base of gear, you may have the wrong dist. shaft or need to mil the base of the HEI.
It does look like I'm to high- I'm gonna ditch one of the dist. gaskets, but if I mill the base of the dist. won't I also have to grind down the blade that runs the oil pump? I've got the first gear it ate up and looking at how the teeth mesh it looks like they were not meant to work together in the first place. The dist. gear has flat ends and the cam gear teeth bottom in a "V".

You can see light through the space at the base where the gears contact.
The dist. is a G.M. clone- when I bought it the high end was $300+ and the low end was $99 so I went for the middle of the road at $199. Could be I just got a junk gear but with no manufacturer markings on the dist. I can't even call anyone. This may be a "you get what you pay for" type situation.

Thanks for the info-

That is an interesting question. That is why I think you need to know the length of the stock shaft. I always buy the cheap HEI dist. But then I modify them to fit my needs, I have never seen on that had the wrong shaft but I have never had a dist gear fail so I don’t know.
As I recall the oil pump drive shaft has a huge cut in it.
O.K.- here's another question- what keep the cam from traveling back and forth? There should be almost no resistance from the dist. on this gear and it is getting eaten up from front to back. I know chevys use a nylon cam button against the timing cover to keep it from moving but I do not recall seeing anything like that on the A.M.C. Am I missing something? :confused:


Your not missing any thing - there is no cam button on the AMC v8 - but if you want to add one - they can be purchased here -->> Cam Bushing
Wow- $34.00 for a nylon bushing:eek:.
I guess if it saves me a headache in the future it's worth it but WOW:eek:
Well I got her put back together last night and scared the :dung: out of myself in the process. I buttoned the last few things up in the dark, asked my buddy to hit the key while I screwed with the distributor, and when she fired the valvetrain was rattling like a coffee can full of nuts and there was a steady thunk - thunk coming from the bottom of the motor. Then my buddy shut it down and said I had no oil pressure. I knew that when the dist. jumped time at highway speed the backfires could have done some serious damage to the valves and god knows what else. So I grabbed a beer and sat down and just before the tears started flowing I remembered that I had dropped the oil pan 1/2 inch to get the timing cover lined up and lo and behold I had only tightened the front 2 bolts that go into the cover itself. Ten minutes and some socket work later I fired her up again - no thunk- no rattle- and a very relieved Bushman.

So - the moral of the story is- don't do :dung: in a hurry in the dark- I got lucky and it was an easy fix but it could have been a lot worse.

Thanks for all the advice and help- this is an awesome site!

Bushman. :chug:

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