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93 Suburban 350 / 5.7L distributor whine or buzz

ker1ker1 Posts: 7
edited July 2014 in Chevrolet
I have an intermittent noise like a whine coming from my distributor I believe. The best way to describe it is it sounds like the sound of a failing old mechanical speedometer - kind of a buzz/whine. I checked the play in the distributor shaft today as I was cleaning the rotor & there was very little - a little bit up/down (~1/8") & hardly any noticable side to side. This comes & goes & I can't find a common thread of ambient temp or engine temp or anything else. It's been going on now for almost a year but I have this fear of it failing & stranding me. Any ideas? Thanks.


  • I am experiencing the same thing with my 2002 GMC Sonoma (v6). It happened again a couple days ago. I put a mechanics stethoscope on various parts of the engine, and then on top of the distributor cap while it was running, and heard the noise VERY loudly. Understanding that mechanical noise can be transmitted thru the metals of the system, i am not completely certain the distributor is the problem. It could be, but i'm just not 100% certain. I'm hoping someone else with experience with this symptom will chime in and help us out. :confuse:
  • ikie1ikie1 Posts: 2
    I need help. If Ker1 would tell me what the under hood sticker says what the timing is I sure would appreciate it. Thanks.
  • ker1ker1 Posts: 7
    Timing is 0 degrees. Distributor still whines/buzzes occasionally, but not constantly. If I ever get the intake manifold resealed I'll probably replace the distributor as well.
  • hquickhquick Posts: 5
    Timing must be set with a scanner to +/- 2deg at 1000rpm+.
    Check the dizzy gear....they 'knife-edge'. This is common with these vehicles.
  • ker1ker1 Posts: 7
    Thanks hquick for the response. If dizzy gear wear/knife edge teeth are the likely cause of my problem, do you think that indicates failure in the not distant future? I always wondered if it was not a lubrication problem. Sounds like I need to pull and replace the gear or the whole distributor then.
  • hquickhquick Posts: 5
    edited March 2010
    Pull the dizzy out and inspect the gear. You'll see it straight away if that's the issue (or AN issue). Not sure if it'll cause failure...but it would get progressively worse.
    Here's what mine looked like on one side...other side looked perfect.
This discussion has been closed.