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

Distributor

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Except Premier

See Figures 1 through 7

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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 NOT DISTURBED

Use this procedure only if the engine was not disturbed (i.e. 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.  

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 written for engines which have been disturbed (i.e. 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.  

Premier

See Figures 8 and 9

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the distributor cap retaining screws, then remove the cap with the coil and spark plug wires connected. Position the cap and wires aside.
  4.  
  5. Mark a line on the distributor housing in line with the tip of the rotor.
  6.  
  7. Make a mark on the distributor housing near the clamp and continue the mark onto the engine block in line with the distributor housing mark. Note the position of the rotor and distributor housing in relation to the surrounding engine components as reference points for installing the distributor.
  8.  
  9. Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp.
  10.  
  11. Carefully lift the distributor from the engine.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: For disturbed engines, make certain that the oil pump groove points toward the 3 o'clock position



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Fig. Fig. 9: Position the distributor rotor in the 5 o'clock position, install the distributor, and the rotor should turn to the 6 o'clock position

To install:
  1. Clean the distributor mounting area of the engine block.
  2.  
  3. Install a replacement distributor mounting gasket in the counterbore of the cylinder block.
  4.  
  5. If the engine was not rotated (not disturbed) while the distributor was removed, perform the following:
    1. Align the tip of the rotor with the mark on the distributor housing, made during removal; turn the rotor approximately 1 / 8 turn counterclockwise past the scribe mark.
    2.  

  6.  


WARNING
Assure that the distributor shaft fully engages the oil pump drive gear shaft. It may be necessary to slightly rotate the engine while applying downward hand force on the distributor body to fully engage the distributor shaft with the oil pump drive gear shaft.

    1. Slide the distributor shaft down into the engine; align the matchmark on the distributor housing with the corresponding scribe mark on the engine block.
    2.  


It may be necessary to move the rotor and shaft slightly to start the gear into mesh with the camshaft gear and to engage the oil pump drive tang, but the rotor should align with the matchmark when the distributor is fully seated on the engine block.

    1. Install the distributor hold-down clamp and bolt, but only tighten the hold-down bolt finger-tight.
    2.  

  1. If the engine was rotated (disturbed) while the distributor was removes from the engine, it will be necessary to establish timing according to the following procedure:
    1. Remove the No. 1 spark plug. Hold a finger over the spark plug hole and rotate the engine until compression pressure is felt escaping from the spark plug hole. Slowly continue rotating the engine until the timing index on the vibration damper pulley aligns with the Top Dead Center (TDC) mark (0 degrees) on the timing degree scale. Always rotate the engine clockwise-do not turn the engine backward to align the timing marks.
    2.  
    3. Using a flat-bladed screwdriver, rotate the oil pump gear so that the gear slot on the oil pump shaft is slightly past the 3 o'clock position.
    4.  
    5. With the distributor cap removed, install the distributor with the rotor tip pointing at a 5 o'clock position.
    6.  
    7. When the distributor is fully engaged in its correct location, the rotor should turn slightly to the 6 o'clock position.
    8.  
    9. Install the distributor hold-down clamp and bolt; only tighten the hold-down bolt finger-tight.
    10.  

  2.  
  3. Install the distributor cap and tighten the hold-down screws until snug.
  4.  
  5. Make sure that all of the spark plug cables are installed correctly.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  
  9. Start the engine and perform the ignition timing procedure located in Routine Maintenance .
  10.  

 
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