Distributor – Spark Plug Wires

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    I am making up the ignition wires of my 836. I have none to match up, so need to run each individual wire.

    My question is, since I don’t have the head on I am trying to figure out the orientation of the distributor so I can match up the numbers on the cap.

    I think the easiest question is where does the data plate face when installed.

    Any other advice is appreciated.




    Bill, the distributor faceplate on my 845 faces forward. I believe your ’33 has the same 662J distributor. Here is a picture of my cap with the wires. I did this by pulling the wires in the tube so you might double check that this matches the firing order.

    On mine I didn’t realize that there seemed to be only one combination of the distributor/gear pump mesh that would allow the distributor to face forward and allow the wires to come out in the proper direction. The distributor drive key is slightly offset if I remember correctly so it isn’t just a matter of turning the distributor rotor 180. I ended up having to drop the pan and remove the oil pump and find by trial and error a mesh that would work between the cam and distributor/oil pump drive gears. There is probably a smarter way to do it.



    Thanks for coming to the rescue. Another issue I am struggling with is the oval grommet in the spark plug wiring tube. If you look above the #4

    you can see the 4 wires entering the conduit. Can’t seem to find an appropriate grommet for that hole.




    I don’t know if this was consistent, but this is from 1930 and covered the oil pump alignment in the 8’s.Service letter P-515



    That is great. Thanks for the help.

    I will let you know how it turns out.




    Bill, I had no luck finding a grommet like that, I still had one marginal original and used it but not the other. Maybe someone else has found something.


    This comes to mind, there’s a minimum order length of 10 feet so plenty to work with until you get the length right. Putting the seam under the wires should hide it from view. I haven’t ordered any yet but there’s many sizes and styles to choose from.





    Great idea, thanks!


    Please let me know how it works out with the edging, I’m still a ways off of needing it.

    This might explain why I had that service letter picture so easily available: I spent time today setting my oil pump back in the right orientation which was a lot easier when I had it 180 degrees off… that only took one attempt, getting it right took 6 or 7 as I kept hitting one tooth either side of the right one. Now that’s done I can get the pan back up while I wait on my head from the machine shop.


    Ok, here is a McMaster-Carr fix. Part 96005217. It is listed as a 1 3/8″ hole, but the ID is 1″

    After a couple of failed measurement attempts I was able to find a 1″ ID grommet for 1/16″ sheet metal.

    With much coaxing, prodding and levering, along with some words from the dark part of my vocabulary, I was able to get the grommet in the oval opening.

    The plug wires are a tight fit but you can trim the slot a little if needed. It is heavier than the original and I might try the next size down but this eliminates the raw edges for about $1 per opening.


    Grommets for the individual wires I got from Harbor Freight for less than $5

    Harness Grommet Set, 180 Pc. (harborfreight.com)


    Just by chance, does anyone have the length of the individual distributor to spark plug leads?

    Parts book says 148 1/2″ of cable but not the individual lengths.

    I can puzzle it out, but was hoping for a short cut. Lazy I guess.

    An additional 37″ coil to distributor is stated in the parts book, so I figured that one out.


    Tom Barrett advised that the ’30 Parts book lists the spark plug wire lengths, but he has, thru unfortunate circumstances’,  loss access to his copy.

    Does anyone have a copy and if so could they either list the lengths 1-8, or scan a copy?





    Is this what you are looking for?




    Ah the Holy Grail.

    Thanks for taking the time.




    David and Tom,

    It works out that the ’30 cars is a little less than 1.5″ longer with 159.5″ vs the 148.5″ on the ’33.

    I guess that is to compensate for the Cobra Head?

    Interesting. Thanks for the help.




    The ’30 lengths worked. Just trying to figure the routing for the coil wire and what does in the hole on the top of the metal loom at the left end. Coil wire enter here from the firewall?


    This conduit is unpainted and doesn’t have the grommets, but I thought it would be easier to check the lengths. I have another one that is painted with the grommets.

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