GM Full Size Vans 1967-1986 Repair Guide

Distributor

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1967-74 Models

See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a six cylinder point type distributor

  1. Remove the distributor cap and position it out of the way.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the primary coil wire (the thin wire) and the vacuum advance hose.
  4.  
  5. Scribe a mark on the distributor body and the engine block showing their relationship. Mark the distributor housing to show the direction in which the rotor is pointing. Note the positioning of the vacuum advance unit.
  6.  
  7. Remove the hold-down bolt and clamp and remove the distributor.
  8.  

To install the distributor with the engine undisturbed:

  1. Reinsert the distributor into its opening, aligning the previously made marks on the housing and the engine block.
  2.  
  3. The rotor may have to be turned either way a slight amount before inserting the distributor to align the rotor-to-housing marks.
  4.  
  5. Install the retaining clamp and bolt. Install the distributor cap, primary wire, and the vacuum hose.
  6.  
  7. Start the engine and check the ignition timing.
  8.  

To install the distributor with the engine disturbed (the engine was turned while the distributor was out) or to install a new distributor:

  1. Turn the engine to bring the No. 1 piston to the top of its compression stroke. This may be determined by covering the No. 1 spark plug hole with your thumb and slowly turning the engine over. When the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley aligns with the 0 on the timing scale and your thumb is pushed out by compression, No. 1 piston is at top dead center (TDC). If you don't feel compression, you've got No. 6 at TDC.
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor to the engine block so that the vacuum advance unit points in the correct direction.
  4.  
  5. Turn the rotor so that it will point to the No. 1 terminal in the cap. Some distributors have a punch mark on the gear facing the same way as the rotor tip.
  6.  
  7. Install the distributor into the engine block. It may be necessary to turn the rotor a little in either direction in order to engage the gears.
  8.  
  9. Tap the starter switch a few times to ensure that the oil pump shaft is mated to the distributor shaft.
  10.  
  11. Bring the engine to No. 1 TDC again and check to see that the rotor is indeed pointing toward the No. 1 terminal of the cap.
  12.  
  13. After correct positioning is assured, turn the distributor housing so that the points are just opening. Tighten the retaining clamp.
  14.  
  15. Install the cap and primary wire. Check the ignition timing. Install the vacuum hose.
  16.  

1975-86 Models

See Figures 2 through 6



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Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of V8 point type distributor



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 4: If necessary, remove the rotor



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Fig. Fig. 5: Using a distributor wrench, unfasten the hold-down bolt and clamp



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the distributor from the engine

  1. Disconnect the wiring harness connectors at the side of the distributor cap.
  2.  
  3. Remove the distributor cap and set it aside.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the vacuum advance line.
  6.  
  7. Scribe a mark on the engine in line with the rotor and note the approximate position of the vacuum advance unit in relation to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Remove the distributor hold-down clamp and nut.
  10.  
  11. Lift the distributor from the engine.
  12.  
  13. Installation is the same as for the standard (1967-74) distributor.
  14.  

 
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