Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Distributor

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Block mounted distributor oil pump gear alignment-1597cc engines



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Fig. Fig. 2 Block mounted distributor oil pump gear alignment-1994cc engines



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Fig. Fig. 3 Alignment of the factory markings-distributor housing and drive shaft spacer



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Fig. Fig. 4 Common cylinder head mounted distributor cutaway view



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Fig. Fig. 5 Label the plug wires and remove the coil wire first



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Fig. Fig. 6 Mark the distributor location with a marker



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Fig. Fig. 7 Mark the exact position of the plug wires on the cap if the cap has no identification markings



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Fig. Fig. 8 Unclamp and remove the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 9 Place markings on the rotor and the distributor for installation purposes



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Fig. Fig. 10 Remove the rotor and set aside



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Fig. Fig. 11 Dont forget to label and disconnect the other distributor wiring



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Fig. Fig. 12 Loosen the distributor mounting bolt(s) ...



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Fig. Fig. 13 ... and carefully slide the unit out of the engine

Although the distributor can be removed from the engine no matter which cylinder is about to fire, it is a good idea to have number one cylinder at TDC before distributor removal.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Unsnap the two clips or unfasten (press down and turn clockwise) the two screws that hold on the distributor cap. Position the cap out of the way or remove the spark plug wires from the spark plugs (twist and pull on the boots), the coil wire from the coil and remove the cap and wires from the car.
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  3. Turn the engine clockwise (use a wrench on the crank pulley) until the rotor points to number one cylinder position and the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley and the timing tab (refer to ) are aligned at TDC.
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  5. Mark the distributor body to the exact place the rotor points. Matchmark both the distributor mounting flange and the engine block.
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  7. Disconnect the distributor primary wire or wiring harness. Remove the vacuum line (lines) from the advance unit. Loosen and remove the retaining nut from the mounting stud. Lift the distributor straight from the engine. The rotor may turn away slightly from your mark on the distributor body, make note of how far. When you reinstall the distributor this is the point to position the rotor.
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To install:

  1. If the engine has not been disturbed, i.e. the crankshaft was not turned, then install the distributor by placing the rotor in the same position it was in when the distributor was removed, carefully align the matchmarks and lower the distributor into the block or cylinder head. Always check the ignition timing whenever the distributor has been removed.
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  3. If the engine has been disturbed, i.e. rotated while the distributor was out, proceed as follows:
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  5. Turn the crankshaft so that the No. 1 piston is on the compression stroke and the timing marks are aligned.
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  7. Turn the distributor shaft so that the rotor points approximately 15° before the rotor position that you marked on the distributor. If you did not mark the distributor, line up the factory marks on the shaft and housing.
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  9. Insert the distributor into the engine. On block mounted distributors, if you meet resistance and slight wiggling of the rotor shaft does not help seat the distributor: the oil pump gear is probably out of alignment.
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  11. Do not force the distributor. Remove the distributor, and using a long screwdriver, turn the oil pump shaft so that it is vertical to the centerline of the crankshaft on 1597cc engines: parallel on 1994cc engines. (See illustrations).
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  13. When the distributor seats against the engine block or head, align the matchmarks and install the retaining nut. Do not tighten the retaining nut all the way, you still have to check the engine timing. Reinstall the rotor, cap, plug wires, coil lead, primary lead (or harness) and connect the vacuum hoses. Connect the negative battery cable. Start the engine, allow it to reach operating temperature and check the ignition timing (outlines in ).
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