Chrysler Front Wheel Drive Cars 4-CYL 1981-1995 Repair Information

Distributor

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 through 7

Engine Not Disturbed

Use this procedure only if the engine was not disturbed (the crankshaft wasn't rotated).

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Detach the distributor pick-up lead wire at the engine wiring harness connector (two are found on 2.2L turbocharged vehicles). Remove the two retaining screws and remove the distributor splash shield.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two distributor cap retaining screws and remove the distributor cap.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the engine crankshaft (in the direction of normal rotation-clockwise when viewing the engine from the front) until No. 1 cylinder piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke. At this point, the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley or flywheel/flex plate will line up with the TDC mark on the timing mark tab or transaxle housing and the distributor rotor will point to the high tension wire terminal for the No. 1. cylinder in the cap simultaneously. If the rotor does not line up properly, turn the engine crankshaft another 360° (one full rotation).
  8.  
  9. Matchmark the distributor rotor and the distributor housing for installation reference. Also mark the relationship between the body of the distributor and the engine block so that the distributor can be installed in a position where the ignition timing will be almost correct.
  10.  
  11. Remove the distributor hold-down bolt.
  12.  
  13. Carefully lift the distributor from the engine. The shaft will rotate slightly as the distributor is removed because of the curvature in the teeth of the drive gear. Note the angle at which the rotor sits as the shaft stops rotating and also mark it on the distributor housing also.
  14.  

To install:
  1. Before installing the distributor, rotate the rotor so that it points to the second matchmark on the distributor housing (the one made after the distributor was lifted out of the engine).
  2.  
  3. Position the distributor over the distributor hole, so that the distributor-to-engine block matchmark is aligned. Slowly insert the distributor into the engine block. If the distributor drive gear does not immediately engage with the accessory shaft, turn the rotor back and forth very slightly, keeping it as nearly aligned with the second mark as possible. Do this until it engages the drive gear, making it easy to slide the distributor into the block.
  4.  
  5. Once the distributor is seated on the block, verify that the first mark and the rotor tip are aligned. Make sure the distributor seats fully so that the gasket at its base will seal.
  6.  
  7. Install the hold-down bolt to hold the distributor in this preliminary position.
  8.  
  9. Install the distributor cap and spark plug wires. Tighten the distributor hold-down screws until snug.
  10.  
  11. Attach the ignition coil cable to the distributor.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  
  15. Adjust the ignition timing, as described in Routine Maintenance .
  16.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: After removing the cover, remove the hold-down screws and ...



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Fig. Fig. 2: ... lift the distributor cap off of the distributor housing-1986 Reliant shown



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Fig. Fig. 3: Detach the distributor pick-up lead connector from the engine wiring harness



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Fig. Fig. 4: Before removing the distributor, matchmark the rotor to the distributor housing, then ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... matchmark the distributor housing to the engine block



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and bracket, then ...



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Fig. Fig. 7: ... lift the distributor out of the engine-all 1981-87 2.2L and 2.5L engines

Engine Disturbed

Use the following procedure if the engine was cranked or the crankshaft was rotated with the distributor removed.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Detach the distributor pick-up lead wire at the engine wiring harness connector (two are found on 2.2L turbocharged vehicles). Remove the two retaining screws and remove the distributor splash shield.
  4.  
  5. Remove the two distributor cap retaining screws and remove the distributor cap.
  6.  
  7. Rotate the engine crankshaft (in the direction of normal rotation-clockwise when viewing the engine from the front) until No. 1 cylinder piston is at Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke. At this point, the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley or flywheel/flex plate will line up with the TDC mark on the timing mark tab or transaxle housing and the distributor rotor will point to the high tension wire terminal for the No. 1. cylinder in the cap simultaneously. If the rotor does not line up properly, turn the engine crankshaft another 360° (one full rotation).
  8.  
  9. Matchmark the distributor rotor and the distributor housing for installation reference. Also mark the relationship between the body of the distributor and the engine block so that the distributor can be installed in a position where the ignition timing will be almost correct.
  10.  
  11. Remove the distributor hold-down bolt.
  12.  
  13. Carefully lift the distributor from the engine. The shaft will rotate slightly as the distributor is removed because of the curvature in the teeth of the drive gear. Note the angle at which the rotor sits as the shaft stops rotating and also mark it on the distributor housing also.
  14.  

To install:

This installation procedure is for engines which have been disturbed (the crankshaft was rotated) while the distributor was removed from the engine. If this is not the case with your engine, refer to the previous procedure.

  1. Rotate the crankshaft until the No. 1 cylinder piston is at TDC on the compression stroke. This will be indicated by the 0 mark on the flywheel or crankshaft pulley aligning with the pointer on the clutch housing or engine front cover. Now, you must verify that No. 1 cylinder is at Top Dead Center firing position, and not at the top of the exhaust stroke. Do this in one of the two following ways:
    1. Remove the rocker arm cover and check the positions of No. 1 valve springs and rockers. The valves should be closed (with springs decompressed as far as possible) and the rockers should be in contact with the base circles of the cams, rather than with the cam lobes. If the camshaft is depressing either the intake or exhaust valves (remember, this only refers to the No. 1 cylinder valves), rotate the engine another 360° until the timing marks are again at Top Dead Center.
    2.  
    3. OR remove the No. 1 Cylinder spark plug and put your finger over the spark plug hole (make sure to create a good seal around the spark plug hole with your finger or thumb) as you crank the engine toward Top Dead Center. As the engine approaches TDC on the compression stroke, you will feel air being forcibly expelled from the cylinder. After this air is felt, rotate the engine so that the TDC marks are aligned. If the engine is approaching Top Dead Center of the exhaust stroke, air will not be forcibly expelled. If this latter situation is the case, turn the engine another 360°, and feel for air pressure.
    4.  

  2.  
  3. Once the engine is at TDC No. 1 firing position, position the rotor just ahead of the No. 1 cylinder terminal of the distributor cap, at the second mark made earlier, and lower the distributor into the engine. With the distributor fully seated, the rotor should be directly under the No. 1 cylinder terminal in the cap.
  4.  
  5. Install the hold-down bolt to hold the distributor in this preliminary position.
  6.  
  7. Install the distributor cap and spark plug wires. Tighten the distributor hold-down screws until snug.
  8.  
  9. Attach the ignition coil cable to the distributor.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  
  13. Adjust the ignition timing, as described in Routine Maintenance .
  14.  

 
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