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We distribute an extensive selection of FORKLIFT DISTRIBUTOR parts for all makes and models. We ship directly from various warehouses located all over North America to provide the fastest shipping at the most affordable prices.

For immediate service, contact us TOLL-FREE at 1-800-210-8170


 Forklift Distributor

Forklift Distributors are electromechanical devices responsible for delivering or ‘distributing’ spark to the spark plugs at a precise time during ignition cycle of forklift internal combustion engine. It routes high voltage generated by the ignition coil to spark plugs in a precise firing order. The distributor is comprised of rotating arm, also known as a rotor. The rotor is present inside the distributor cap, which is located on top of distributor shaft but remains insulated from it and the vehicle’s body.


The distributor performs several functions. The foremost job is to distribute high voltage from coil to each of the respective cylinders. The task is performed by the distributor cap and rotor. The coil connected to the rotor, which spins inside of the distributor cap. While the rotor spins past a number of contact points, keeping one contact per cylinder, a high voltage pulse is produced. During this operation, the pulse is transmitted to the spark plug wire and eventually down to the spark plug placed in the targeted cylinder.  The rotor spinning past a number of contacts, while the common arrangement is one contact per cylinder, transfers electric pulses to each cylinder during one spin cycle through its spark plugs.


Previous models of forklift distributors served with breaker points has another section in its bottom half. This bottom half section is responsible for breaking the current to the coil, where the ground inside the coil is connected to the breaker points. The cam located in the centre of distributor pushes the lever connected to one of the several points. The target point is opened whenever the cam pushes the lever. This function causes the coil to lose its ground, thereby generating a high voltage pulse.


The point also performs another function of controlling the timing of spark. There may be a vacuum advance or centrifugal advance in action. These mechanisms serve the purpose of advancing engine timings with respect to the engine load or the engine speed. This is done by allowing the breaker points mounting plate to rotate and adjust the spark time associated with high engine revolutions per minute (rpm). Spark timing is a highly critical action performed in the forklifts. These timings are so highly significant to an engine performance and health that advanced models of forklift trucks tend to do away with the points.


Electronic distributors installed in various models of forklift trucks comprise of an electronic coil, a magnetic coil and a hall effect switch. Cam lobes are replaced by a trigger wheel, located on the end of the distributor shaft. Electronic pulses are produced by the pickup coil or the hall effect switch during rotation of distributor, when the reluctor wheel passes by the pickup assembly. A sensor capable of intimating exact position of pistons to engine control unit (ECU) is used instead. Opening and closing of the current to coil is then controlled by the minicomputer installed in the engine.


The time elapsed when points remain closed during each point opening is called dwell time, which is needed to create a strong magnetic field in the ignition oil of forklift distributor to deliver proper voltage to spark plugs. This timing is sensitive as lesser time will not give adequate spark and more time can result in burning of point. This is where the main advantage of electronic switches comes into play, as there are no mechanical points liable to be burnt down. Engine emissions are also improved and dwell time too remains unaffected and the collective effect is better engine performance.


The forklift distributors, whether contact type or electronic, perform a very delicate and critical job. Despite the technical advancements focusing on longevity of distributors, these electric and magnetic field operated devices tend to malfunction. Few important symptoms of a bad distributor unambiguously reveal themselves, which can be picked up to find the nature of fault. If the forklift truck shakes unexplainably, every time it is in ignition, you have a problem with your distributor. This shaking can be limited to a feeble vibration or a pronounced shaking felt in the entire body of forklift. It attributes to improper spinning of distributor resulting in adverse effects on timing and firing processes. A typical symptom of faulty distributor cap is revealed if the engine of the forklift truck is shaking while the forklift is in idle condition or is brought to a halt.


Another important indication is starting trouble faced by the forklift engine. The phenomenon gets more pronounced in areas with cold climate and a less maintained distributor. Upon ignition, a sizeable amount of heat is produced in the distributor, and if the distributor cap is cold due to low prevailing temperatures, the distributor cap might get broken. This trouble can be avoided by regular inspection of distributor caps for any signs of cracking or breakage.


Another common indication is an unmistakable high-pitched squealing noise heard when you start your forklift engine. If other parts of the forklift are seemingly doing well, hit the distributor cap. Grease and other pollutants might create some deposits inside the distributor cap, and can result in squealing noises as the air circulates in the engine. This noise should die down with the cleaning of distributor cap. However if it does not, the complete distributor might need to be changed.


Regular engine tune-up consists of replacing main distributor parts and components. The distributor parts including the cap, rotor, coil wires and plugs may need to be serviced first. In case mere servicing does not solve the problem with a forklift distributor, its parts or the whole assembly might need replacement. Recently, the distributor was updated to meet the evolving demands of the project sites. Some are now part of electric fuel injections and its performance is dependent on the engine’s computer.


Solid Lift Parts Inc. provides distributors for all makes and models of forklifts at inexpensive prices. Contact your parts specialist today to get you the right part for your specific forklift, right away!


Forklift Distributor Photos

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