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Author Topic: 1111499 Distributor Question??  (Read 2561 times)
Dillon14
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« on: August 31, 2013, 03:44:20 PM »

OK, just got home and saw that my 1111499 distributor did not sell. I had one question/comment during the auction. The person said my distributor was too clean and it did not have that "old look" so he felt it must be a re-stamp. Please weigh in and let me know your opinion on rather or not this is a real 1111499 or a re-stamp. I took it in trade with the understanding it was not a re-stamp but the real deal.
Thanks,
Al in Maine
 


































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BULLITT65
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2013, 04:22:57 PM »

IMO it looks like a re-stamp. there are few things that didn't look right to me.
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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2013, 06:36:34 PM »

just got mine back from Jerry a few months ago for re-furbish ,not a but THE one for my Z ,( born with)---yours looks like a restamp ,numbers too defined versus the casting lines---just my opinion, lets see what the group says.
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jims69
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2013, 07:02:05 PM »

I don't know; the numbers do look very "crisp";  stamped deeper, and more defined than our distributor.  It is very clean; but they do clean up nicely.  It was surprising how easily our's cleaned up with a little time and dedication.   I'm not an expert on distributors; so janobyte's suggestion is a good one.   What will everyone else think.    Jim
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2013, 08:38:16 PM »

Its not a matter of definition or how crisp they look to me. If you look closely it becomes more obvious that it has been re-done. Can you trade it back to the guy for something else?
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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2013, 08:42:49 PM »


EDIT  

Im on the fence...
« Last Edit: August 31, 2013, 09:55:38 PM by cook_dw » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2013, 08:46:15 PM »

I am sure he will not take it back now. Is it simply worthless now?
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z28z11
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2013, 09:26:16 PM »

This one's hard to tell. I agree the finish is extremely bright, and looks very fresh - it could be a result of polishing after cleaning. Stamping is very deep, but the font is dead on if it's a restamp. The "4" and "9's" are correct to me as compared to my known original 499 and 497 distributors. Lathe markings are different, but I have seen these all over the map as far as spacing, depth and pattern - something you would expect out of production tooling that is frequently worn out and replaced/indexed to fresh cutting edges. Everything else appears to be what it should be, from the 355 dashpot to the point plate. It could be an overzealous/incorrect restoration (there are several that compete with Jerry, and complain about his refinishing methods as not being correct, too). Take a pair of calipers and measure the O.D. of the body at the stamping, and also measure the O.D. at the cap mounting step - you can compare that to other distributors. If it's considerably less than other examples, then you have a case for a cutdown/restamp. All I am stating is keep an open mind until you can prove it - don't be too quick to condemn it. 
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »

One more point - look at the collar where the clamp fits - same bright finish, very fresh look. If someone turned the body down to restamp it, they must have turned this area as well, which is highly unlikely IMO. Pin in the gear does not appear to have been disturbed or driven out as well - the pins and gears are pretty soft, usually they mark up when you drive the pin out to disassemble the distributor. I'll post a pic of my 499 (cleaned, but unrestored) if anyone would like to compare appearance/fonts.

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2013, 09:56:22 PM »

I think I am going to have to retract my previous statement.  Steve makes several very good points.  What was throwing me off was the stamp itself..  The polishing of the area didnt concern me.  Distributors are one of those parts that are extremely hard to decide on..

I edited my previous post to coincide..
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2013, 10:10:43 PM »

I think that is the problem ,the stamping does look too fresh as compared to the marring on the rest of the body, although it is highly polished. You can sort of tell what it looked like before tumbler time. Not to say it is not the real deal ,just that fine line between done right and over restored.  top $ = top scrutiny ( I'm bias, only one guy I trust sending my parts to, and I called him almost daily)
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Dillon14
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2013, 06:50:51 AM »

I do appreciate all of the scrutiny. I was just doing a fellow enthusiast a favor when I traded the distributor for a 1969 Chevelle Blue Dot AM/FM Stereo Radio withy MPX. The gentleman said he had been looking for a long time for a blue dot radio for his 69 Chevelle convertible. He emailed me many times and finally I agreed to do the swap. I didn't need the distributor or the radio but thought I could simply sell the distributor and get the $530 back that I had in the radio. So I did it under the assumption the that the distributor was not a re-stamp. I guess I didn't know how hard it really is to confirm that the 1111499 is the real deal. It makes me wonder how the other eBay sellers use the terms like "Guaranteed not to be a re-stamp" or "Original 1111499 distributor"??
Thanks again,
Al in Maine
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jims69
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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2013, 12:50:00 PM »

You are right,  it does make a person wonder how a distributor could be guaranteed original.   Jim
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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2013, 05:04:35 PM »

it is hard to duplicate patina. On the other hand a re-stamp these days looks a lot like a refurbished original
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2013, 10:18:22 PM »

I do have a potential make-or-break answer for this - will post tomorrow. I might have to change my earlier estimate -

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2013, 06:35:58 AM »

I will have a friend use a micrometer today on the distributor and as suggested by z28z11, I will measure the O.D. of the body at the stamping, and also measure the O.D. at the cap mounting step. Hopefully, someone can measure their original and compare numbers. This should resolve the issue for good.
Thanks again,
Al
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BillOhio
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« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2013, 10:09:16 AM »

I think it looks like it has been restamped when you look close. One picture appears like new numbers are right beside originals. Might be same numbers. Kinda odd
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« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2013, 10:29:06 AM »

These are about as close and still be clear as I can get of the stampings.

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Dillon14
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2013, 11:41:29 AM »

OK, hopefully this will put this discussion to bed once and for all. For good or for bad. I just went to my friends shop and he measured my 1111499 distributor body with his micrometer and it is, as he says, "exactly 3.806."

Now if someone out there who has a known original 1111499 distributor and not a re-stamp, will please measure theirs, we will know for sure if my distributer has been turned to remove the old numbers and then re-stamped.

I am anxiously awaiting a response.

Thanks,
Al in Maine
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z28z11
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2013, 12:13:07 PM »

I measured both my 499 original and my 467 Z originals - both measure exactly the same at 3.816" O.D. at the numbers. I need to dig my 480 out and measure it as well - 2 samples are not really enough to be a definitive check. No reason to believe the hi po units are any different from low po in construction, other than internal parts.

The step at the top of both distributors for the distributor cap measures out at 3.794" +/- .001". It's difficult to measure closer due to the short height of the step.

At least one of the closeups suggests there is no step left at the top of your 499 - that's what now leads me to think it might be a restamp. If the step is there on yours, you need to measure it as well. I haven't seen an original that did not have the step. Turning the O.D. down .010 - .012 to remove the former roll stamping would remove most of the step from the top edge of any distributor. Considering how light some of the stampings are, .012 per side would get it all and then some.

Hope this helps -

Regards,
Steve

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« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2013, 12:16:03 PM »

FWIW.... I took some measurements of original distributor bodies using a digital caliper:
* Distributor body 1112047  (2E10) modified to prime the oil and block and it measures exactly 3.803"
* One on my 67 396 1111169 (7C2) and measures exactly 3.806"
* Another 1111169 (7A3) measures exactly 3.805"

Mike
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« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2013, 12:22:48 PM »

Is there a step at the top of all of your distributors ? If so, can you get a measurement on that diameter as well ?

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2013, 12:42:32 PM »

 Good point about the step, Steve....it can be felt easily with my fingernail too.
Here is what I measured at the step just below the top
1111169 (7C2) - 3.796"
1111169 (7A3) - 3.795"
1112047 (2E10) - I believe this may be 1972 vintage - 3.796"

Mike
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Dillon14
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« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2013, 01:34:04 PM »

I absolutely can feel the step. I'm not an expert but may be one when this is over. A friend brought over his 1111487 distributor that he took out of his 1969 Camaro. He says it is absolutely original and who would re-stamp a 350/250 distributor anyways? I am going to borrow the micrometer later today and check both distributors myself. I did take a photo of both trying to show the lip. They look/feel the same to me. Here is the photo:

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« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2013, 02:23:22 PM »

only thing i notice from the pictures is the bevel on the top where the cap sits on yours shows more reveal than his original. (very little bevel on original). Not saying this means anything just an obeservation
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« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2013, 05:49:54 PM »

Two pics of my 499 and 467 unrestored distributors, showing the stepped diameter at the top. The lower picture is one of yours - you can see why I questioned the appearance of a "no step" by the pic - it looks completely smooth as compared to the last one you posted beacause of the cap being installed. By diameter of the body, and the presence of the step, I'd say it's that much closer to believeable. The last angle you show looks totally different than your first examples (even though they were great shots), due to the cap being removed.

Note one other thing - the date stamping font size is slightly smaller on both of mine as compared to the part number stamp - the "9" is different on the 499 in shape in addition to size. Just an observation, If you're wondering about the color of the stamping, it's White Out correction fluid, added for contrast. Both distributor housings had to be soaked to remove the accumulated crud of centuries and expose the numbers. Should have taken "before" pics as well -

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2013, 06:23:48 PM »

Steve,
My friend did not bring over his micrometer but I will get it tomorrow and I will measure for myself the 499 as well as the 487. Both the body and cap area. I'll post the results.
Thanks,
Al
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2013, 07:15:41 PM »

Is there a way to find the person who "restored" that 499? I would like to know his method of cleaning. If the dimensions are correct for it compared to an untouched distributor, then wouldn't the next step be how did it get so clean looking. Yes, the stampings look pristine, but how did it get that way? Is it possible to offset lathe a distributor body? That might explain the fresh looking stampings. How about some kind of template that goes around the surface. If it was offset that should give some indication that it was tampered with. IDK, it seems like a lot back and forth going on with this thing on all the websites and it would be a crying shame if the damn thing was real and got thrown out with the trash because everyone thinks it's a fake. What the heck is happening with our hobby? Seems like we are all becoming divided and have made 'Hobby' a bad word. Just my thoughts.
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« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2013, 08:13:45 PM »

I don't see why it would get thrown out even if it was a restamp. It still looks to have all the correct internal parts, I think the major difference is the price it will fetch being original vs. re-stamp. They should operate the same.
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« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2013, 08:19:04 PM »

Gary,

I'll try and find out tomorrow who actually restored the distributor.

Possibly this is a good time to come up with some type of criteria that everyone could live with so that others don't have to go through this. With the prices being asked for some of these distributors, and people willing to pay those prices, something other than "I guarantee this is not a re-stamp" should be determined. If that is to happen, it is sites like this that will need to pave the way for individuals like myself, to look to for guidance.

However, I hope we are not back to determining originality or should I say non-originality just because it looks "too good".

Al
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« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2013, 09:25:37 PM »

Al,

  Interesting string of observations you inspired. I'll say one thing - whoever restored the distributor, or whatever they did to it, did a pretty darn good job of whatever they did - it's pretty close in all the details, enough to lead you to believe it is genuine. The worst problem I see with it, outside of any of the details we have discussed, is it's just too darn nice and shiny for most people to believe it. Maybe the actual measurements will clue us to a proper decision about it's authenticity.

  As a result of this discussion, I don't think I'm going to do anything to my string of distributors (499,467, and 480's) other than a good cleaning and reassembly. I was considering sending them to Jerry, but now I'm worried about the end result of re-skinning being "too" good in appearance.

  Let us know what the thing measures at, and hopefully we're done with controversy.

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2013, 09:55:20 PM »

My take on this is what is obvious. If the body was turned on a lathe just to get the original numbers off it would be smaller in diameter. As deep as those numbers are stamped, a lot has to be removed. That is one flag. If it was offset turned, the rotor would hit the inside of the cap as it went around to all the contacts on one side, another flag. I would just get the dimensions and compare the hell out it and a normal untouched piece or like I said, some sort of template That would settle all kinds of things.

Yeah, whoever rebuilt and/or restored that 499 over did it and I agree with you Steve to leave well enough alone. With the way the high rollers restore these cars and the money they drop in them, sooner or later somebody is going to realize that somebody created a too perfect a car. How do you know what somebody put in it in money is even real. As imperfect as they were in the beginning, they need to stay that way when they get rebuilt. 
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« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2013, 08:24:13 AM »

Gary,

   100% correct. The term "over restored" is "over used" but it does describe a lot of vehicles. I'm getting to the point where "NCCAT" means more - neat, clean, correct, all there. Add "driven".

   IMO -

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2013, 12:35:53 PM »

OK, finally got the micrometer and here are the results of the two distributors. One is the 1969 (396/375) 1111499 and the other is the 1969 (350/250) 1111487. I did my very best to ensure that each time I measured I zeroed out and tried to measure is the same areas on both distributors. No BS here. What you see is what I see. They look pretty close to me. I think the difference could be the cleaning off of the crud and oxidation. What do you think?

Here is the body measurements:


Here is the area under the cap measurements:


Al
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« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2013, 01:32:36 PM »

If I interpreted your values correctly, the difference seems to be about 0.020"  (20 thousandths) between the known untampered with 487 and the suspect 499 in the area of the stamped numbers?    I think that is MORE than 'crud/dirt'.. and probably is sufficient to remove the original numbers...
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« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2013, 01:44:00 PM »

Actually that would be 3.815-3.813=0.002 and 3.800-3.797=0.003
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« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2013, 01:47:58 PM »

I really don't know much about micrometers but on the body it is the difference between 3.815 (know original) and 3.813 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .002

The cap area is 3.800 (known original) and 3.797 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .003

That seems like an incredibly close measurement to me. Could this small amount be evidence that the distributor has been turned down?

Al
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« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2013, 01:54:52 PM »

Hey Al. We must have been typing this at the same time. It seems to me your 499 is untouch in that regard. Not sure what else anyone would need against that visual. I would think at this point the question would be how did it get so clean.
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« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2013, 02:07:46 PM »

I really don't know much about micrometers but on the body it is the difference between 3.815 (know original) and 3.813 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .002

The cap area is 3.800 (known original) and 3.797 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .003

That seems like an incredibly close measurement to me. Could this small amount be evidence that the distributor has been turned down?

Al

 That cap measurement is in the range of my two original 111169's (3.795 & 3.796). Even though the numbers don't match, it's still a distributor body.

Mike
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« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2013, 02:43:34 PM »

Kind of like beating a dead horse because it sounds like the OD hasn't been worked down, but it is important to measure across the diameter right at the stamp.
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« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2013, 02:54:07 PM »

Kind of like beating a dead horse because it sounds like the OD hasn't been worked down, but it is important to measure across the diameter right at the stamp.


Yes, kind of why I was saying something about offset cutting the body only on that side of the body.
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« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2013, 03:00:31 PM »

I really don't know much about micrometers but on the body it is the difference between 3.815 (know original) and 3.813 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .002

The cap area is 3.800 (known original) and 3.797 my 1111499. That would be a difference of .003

That seems like an incredibly close measurement to me. Could this small amount be evidence that the distributor has been turned down?

Al

The numbers stamped into the body are deeper than 0.003"..  Ill be the first to admit I was wrong and it looks like the data doesnt lie.  This just goes to show that the some of these are very hard to decide if they are real or bogus.  Congrats on having a real one and I would feel confident in buying it if I was looking for one.  Also that couple of thou difference could have been from the polishing..
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« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2013, 04:16:53 PM »

I do understand the question relating to the offset cutting of the body only. Hopefully to put that to rest, here is another photo of my 1111499 with one of the caliper fingers directly on the stamping. Almost identical at 3.8125.



I feel very satisfied now, thanks to everyone's help on this forum, that I can now relist the distributor and call it an "original 1111499 and not a re-stamp"

I'd also like to thank cook dw for being the first to call it "original."

Even at 63, I still love learning about anything related to muscle cars.

Al in Maine
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« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2013, 05:56:48 PM »

Al. I'm glad this worked out. I still would be curious about who and how it was rebuilt/restored.
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« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2013, 07:54:10 PM »

Gary,

I did ask the previous owner who restored the distributor and here is what he said:

"This distributor came with a 69 Chevelle I bought.  The owner said he was going to make it an L78 car.  He said that a local speed shop in Mount Laurel,  NJ  cleaned it up and it is ready to go.  New points, condenser, rotor and cap."

Al
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« Reply #45 on: September 03, 2013, 08:24:27 PM »

Next step is Mount Laurel, N.J. Anybody close?
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« Reply #46 on: September 03, 2013, 08:31:36 PM »

maybe an hour away, but very busy. full time work and full time school.
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69 X11 Z21 L14 glide
looking for a 69 export model (KPH) speedo
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