How to Install a Distributor for Your Car?

In general, the distributor plays an essential role in the ignition system of a car. Most older types of car have a mechanic distributor, whilst most latest versions often have an electronical or automatic distributor. Replacing an old distributor to the new model would help to improve the performance of your car. Thus, remember to following the below steps for changing a distributor effectively.

Remove an Old Distributor​

  • Step 1: Find the location of distributor
  • Park your car in a secure and safe area such as a garage and then find the location of the distributor. In general, it is an element with cylinder shape and thick wires which is located near the motor.

  • Step 2: Look for the timing descriptions for your car
  • In general, you need to use the timing light to arrange the schedule of your motor after installing a new distributor. To achieve this, you would need to read the timing descriptions specific to your car. These are often on a tag in the engine sections or under the hood. If not, you might also be able to look for these online or in the manual of the car.

    If you could not look for the timing descriptions in your car, then do not try to set up a new distributor. Instead it is much easier and safer to take your car to a professional expert.​

  • Step 3: Disconnect the cap of the distributor
  • In general, a distributor often has a plastic cap where the wires of ignition come out. And you need to remove this part before starting to remove a distributor.

  • Step 4: Get rid up all attached wires of the distributor.
  • You should mark the wires so that you would be able to connect them again in the same area in a new distributor before disconnecting them. In this situation, electric tape would be a good option as you could use it to attach a tag on every wire and then use the marker to make note on the tag.

    While working with any types of electric system, you always need to use safe methods. Do not disrupt the electric wires of a car when any electric current is running to the engine sections or the car is running on the road.​

  • Step 5: Mark the mounting place of the engine
  • To make the process of setting up a new distributor a bit simpler, it is a good option to mark a place on the exterior of a distributor case in which it is fixed to the motor. Select an area for which you could have a look at the equivalent place on a new distributor.

  • Step 6: Mark the location of the rotor
  • This is an important step. If the location of a rotor in a new distributor does not correspond with the location of a rotor in the old one, then the engine might not rung with the new installed distributor. Mark the interior part of the distributor case carefully to show the location of a rotor. Always remember to be accurate since the rotor in the new distributor would require to correspond with this location precisely.

  • Step 7: Get rid of old distributor
  • Remove all of the bolts which keep the distributor case to the motor. After that, pull the old distributor delicately and carefully away from the motor. Notice that it is simple to move a rotor accidentally when you get rid of the old distributor.

Set up The New Distributor

  • Step 1: Mark on the new distributor
  • To begin with, remove the new distributor from the box. Then mark the similar sign that you have made on the old distributor on this new one.

  • Step 2: Make sure the rotor is in the marked location before setting up
  • As mentioned above, the location of a rotor in a new distributor needs to correspond with the one in an old distributor precisely or the car would not be able to run.

  • Step 3: Fix the new distributor with the motor
  • Fix the new one in the same area as the old one and make sure the marked place on the distributor case aligning with the mounting area of the engine. Fasten any necessary bolts or screws to keep this new distributor in fixed place.

  • Step 4: Change the cap and reconnect the wires of the distributor
  • Connect all the wires to the new distributor based on the marks that you have made before. Make sure that you fix every wire in the proper area.

  • Step 5: Run the car
  • Check all of the connections again and try to run the car. If it would not start but seems "near", try to change the location of mount or the rotor in the range of the marked area and then start again. If the car seems less close to running, change the rotor to the opposite position. If it seems near to running, keep adjusting it a little bit in the same position.

  • Step 6: Change the timing
  • Stop the car and set a light of timing to the #1 sparking plug. Then start the car again. Change the timing by moving the distributor case a little.

  • Step 7: Drive your car for a test
  • You have done with setting up a new distributor. You could test the new distributor by driving your car and making a wide range of various accelerations. And you might see the differences in the way your car runs.

John Henry
 

I am John Henry and I have begun to work in automotive industry since the 90s, specializing in car rebuilding and repair. After nearly two decades of working in this complex section, with extensive experience in repairing, troubleshooting and maintaining thousands of cars, I started to work as an auto blogger to share my practical knowledge as well as skills with car owners all around the world through a wide range of articles in online magazine.

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