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Many years ago when I was in the very early stages of my learning curve I decided to shim my distributor to prevent that dreaded "spark scatter" that I often read about in Chevy forums. I shimmed it to about .007" end play and then after I did some further thinking I realized shimming Chevrolet distributors accomplishes nothing. Why? The moment the engine is cranked the gear is forced upwards firmly against its thrust washer and it remains up until the engine is shut off. Which means the end play has no bearing on the ignition timing.

"Spark scatter" is actually caused worn distributor bushings and the point's failure to break precisely at the right time. By going to the pointless HEI the sideways load against the upper bushing was eliminated; allowing the bushing to last at least 50 times as long.
 
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