How can the distributor cause damage to a freshly rebuilt engine?
According to the AERA technical committee, cracked magnets in distributors on some 1987-2002 GM engines can indeed be a problem. In some instances faulty distributors have been reinstalled after an engine rebuild and caused premature engine failure.
Distributors with cracks in this area (see Figure 1, right) produce erratic ignition timing, driveability problems, detonation and eventual engine damage. These cracks may also have contributed to the original engine failure.
Although the cracks in this photo are extreme, most cracks will not be noticeable to the naked eye. However, even very small cracks will produce spark scatter.
Do you have any suggestions for salvaging worn Cat 3046E diesels?
The AERA Technical Committee offers the following information regarding oversize cam bearings for 1993-2003 Caterpillar 3406E diesel engines. These oversize outside diameter (OD) bearings can be used when cam bores are worn.
These bearings can be installed in any cam bearing position and are available either as .010˝ (.25 mm) or .030˝ (.76 mm) oversize OD. AERA members have reported finding oversize OD bearings in some new engines. Use the chart above to determine the bearings required to salvage damaged cam bores or replace oversize OD bearings installed by CAT.
The successor to the 3406C was the 3406E. Introduced in 1994, and built through the end of 1999, the 14.6L 3406E was for owner-operators, fleets and heavy haulers who wanted performance and fuel economy with unmatched durability, according to Caterpillar.
Today, the 3406E is used as a marine propulsion engine for midwater trawlers, purse seiners, crew and supply boats, ferries and tow boats where locks, sandbars and curves dictate frequent slowing and engine load and speed are constant with some cycling.