41317 distributor mini-rebuild in place

Hi everyone,
I have just done a mini-rebuild of my 41317 distributor on my very early 3500S and as there is not a lot of reference to this distributor on this forum, I thought I'd share a couple of tricks I learnt while doing it.
I was toying with the idea of fitting a Mallory Unilite, but funds are tight at the moment...
Firstly I needed a new vacuum unit as the activating rod would move slightly if there was really a strong vacuum, but would immediately return to its start point, even if the vacuum was maintained, meaning I had a leak.

I could not find the correct 54421054 unit anywhere, but the part (605198) 54419667 fits and has the same grading of 5-17-8. I needed to shorten and bend the top bracket and re-drill a hole to fix it to the distributor body, but that took all of five minutes.
This unit was fitted to the 41336 35D distributor, which was used on the series 1 Triumph Stag. The replacement vacuum unit today is listed as UKC1674 and is also used on a number of Land Rover V8s.
If anyone gets stuck this might work, but I do not have a grading for the UKC1674.

The next repair involved the points base plate:

In the photo you can see the bronze bush that pivots the base plate around the axe when the vacuum unit draws the base plate anticlockwise. There is a pin on the underside of the points base plate that drops into the end of the vacuum unit activating rod (first picture).
As the points are screwed to the base plate, if there is any wear in the axe/bush then the wear distance will be added to the points gap.
The axe is 1/4", or 6.35mm and I could easily fit a 6.5mm drill bit in the bush.
No wonder my points gap kept on changing!
A quick search on Ebay turned up a company selling oil impregnated bronze bushes for around £3.00 each or £10 for ten.
I bought ten 1/4"" ID flanged bushes that were 6mm long.

I used two 1/4" sockets in a vice to simply drive the old bush out of the base-plate.
The OD of the new bush was 9.59mm, larger than the original by a fraction, so I drilled the base plate out to 9.5mm, creating an interference fit when pressed in.
As 6mm was the shortest bush length, I filled down the protruding length below the nylon feet on the backside of the base plate.

This eliminated all the play and I could now set the points and dwell up.
The car runs much better with these two quick repairs, the second costing next to nothing.
Also, I could do these repairs without removing the distributor from the car.
Result! Time for a beer!

(Hope this helps)


Nice work Philippe. Incidentally I have just bought vacuum units for two different Rover distributors. They came from an American company- British Vacuum Units, They went to quite a lot of trouble to make sure that they supplied the correct units, and because I bought two, offered a nice discount.
Yes, you are right, British Vacuum Units have a great site and seem very knowledgeable but had no listing for the part I required.
Unfortunately all the car parts I get from the US seem to be sent by super expensive air transport, and when you add the cost of customs' duty it all gets a bit prohibitive.
I was happy to find a quick cheap fix!
Good day Gents.
I am picking up this thread and hope that someone can provide some advice. My distributor is poorly , this after letting inexperienced hands/fingers at it (mine) coupled. Bottom line is that does any one have any good/bad reports about Distributor Doctor . Reconditioned Lucas distributors, rebuilt Lucas distributors, recurved Lucas distributors from Distributor Doctor or has anyone good contacts for someone who can carry out repairs etc. This for UK only. Any trustworthy contacts would be appreciated . I will not bore you with what went wrong but ...... Its a Lucas type 35D8 and I think it has Lumenation Elec ignition, but since it was my late brothers car I have not investigated it much. Thanks. Stuart


Active Member
I have had my Land Rover distributer rebuilt by Distributer Doctor about 3 yrs. ago and still very pleased with the result.
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Thanks Guys. good to know.
His web site looks good and he seems to be the old fashioned type of professional.
Have a good Christmas and all the very best for the New Year.
Good day Gents.
I wonder if someone can assist with info.
My Distributor seems to be unlike other Lucas type 35D8.
My unit doesn’t have the floppy end piece that possibly assists the location into the Oil pump drive.
Would this be correct or has something fallen of when I removed it !!!
It’s out of a 3500S 1975 engine.
When I look at pictures then I see that most have this arrangement but maybe this was for the later V8's.?