if the gear key on the distributor is sheared or broken should I be able to turn the rotor
Depending on the type of distributor it has: if the distributor is still in the engine and it has a mechanical advance mechanism, you should be able to turn the rotor about 1/8 turn and it will spring back when you release it. If there is no mechanical advance, you will not be able to turn the rotor at all while it is installed. If you remove the distributor from the vehicle, it should spin freely regardless of type. Usually, a sheared gear pin still won't let you turn the rotor with your hand while it is still installed.
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