Distributor gears work hand-in-hand with the camshaft gear. Between the two, the distributor gear is the one expected to wear, fail, and require replacement. However, it would still be nice to use a gear that would last and work as long as possible. With this, aftermarket gears give three major types to choose from for the moment you feel yours needs replacement. Read further to help you pick the right distributor gear for your car and engine.
Most car manufacturers use cast iron distributor gears for stock its cars. This hard, tough, and durable material can definitely last a long time in the engine especially with a hardened outer layer. Cast iron is suitable to use with flat-tappet cam engines because of iron's ability to sustain the sharp edge of the cam on the surface. For more powerful and high-performance engines, there are stronger cast iron distributor gear varieties that can handle the demands of such an engine.
Compared to its iron counterpart, bronze has the bad reputation for being weak and quick to wear. However, this weakness becomes an advantage for a couple of reasons. Its decline in quality is easier to predict than iron, making the right time for replacement easier to anticipate. Second, bronze's softness makes it suitable to work with a friendlier steel roller cam. Ensuring that the cam is constructed properly with high-quality materials will help to extend the life of bronze gears.
This is tried and tested technology on NASCAR racers is now available for your car as well. The great thing about this type of gear is that it is applicable for any type of camshaft. Usually made of carbon ultra fiber material, it is the latest and most technologically advanced gear in the market. 300% stronger than bronze, composite gears are give you the toughest and most durable type of gear.
As a final reminder, don't just pick a gear based on the material used. Consider also the proper mesh between the camshaft gear and the distributor gear. Since these two should work in tandem, a bad connection is as useless as a worn-out gear.