GM Storm/Spectrum 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Component Replacement

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IGNITION COIL



Conventional Spark System

See Figure 1

The coil for the conventional spark system is located under the distributor cap, inside the distributor assembly. If the coil retainers are accessible, it may be possible to remove the coil from the distributor without removing the distributor assembly. Check to see if this is possible before remove the assembly.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, remove the distributor assembly from the vehicle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the distributor cap and rotor.
  6.  
  7. Remove the dust cover, then remove the retainers and the separate the ignition coil from the distributor assembly.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the coil to the distributor, then install the retainers and the dust cover.
  2.  
  3. Install the rotor and the distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. If removed, install the distributor assembly.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable, and if the distributor was removed, adjust the ignition timing.
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Removing the ignition coil from the distributor assembly

Electronic Spark Control System

See Figure 2

The coil for the electronic spark control system is mounted externally from the distributor.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Unplug the secondary coil wire and the electrical connector from the ignition coil.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 mounting bolts and the ground strap from the coil.
  6.  
  7. Remove the coil from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the coil to the vehicle and attach the ground strap, then secure using the mounting bolts. Tighten the bolts to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the electrical connector and the secondary wire to the ignition coil.
  4.  
  5. Connect the negative battery cable.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Ignition coil mounting - electronic spark control systems

DISTRIBUTOR ASSEMBLY



See Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the wiring harness at the distributor and, if applicable, the vacuum line at the distributor vacuum advance unit.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the retaining screws, then remove the distributor cap and position aside with the spark plug wires still attached. If the cap must be completely removed from the vehicle, tag all of the secondary wires before disconnecting.
  6.  

Mark the distributor body in reference to where the rotor is pointing. Mark the distributor hold-down bracket and cylinder head for a reinstallation location point.

  1. Remove the hold-down bolt and the distributor from the cylinder head. Do not rotate the engine after the distributor has been removed. Inspect the distributor shaft O-ring and replace, if necessary.
  2.  

To install:
  1. If the engine was not rotated proceed as follows:
    1. Align the reference marks on the distributor housing to the distributor hold-down bracket.
    2.  
    3. Install the distributor into the offset slot in the camshaft, then loosely install the hold-down bolt.
    4.  
    5. Connect vacuum hoses, if applicable, and the electrical connectors to the distributor.
    6.  
    7. Install the distributor cap, then connect the battery negative cable. Check and/or adjust the ignition timing.
    8.  

  2.  
  3. If the engine was rotated while the distributor was removed, place the engine on TDC of the compression stroke to obtain the proper ignition timing.
    1. Remove the No. 1 spark plug.
    2.  
    3. Place thumb over the spark plug hole. Crank the engine slowly until compression is felt. It will be easier to have someone rotate the engine by hand, using a wrench on the crankshaft pulley.
    4.  
    5. Align the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley with the 0 degrees mark on the timing scale attached to the front of the engine. This places the engine at TDC of the compression stroke.
    6.  
    7. Turn the distributor shaft until the rotor points to the No. 1 spark plug tower on the cap.
    8.  
    9. Install the distributor into the engine. Be sure to align the distributor-to-engine block mark made earlier.
    10.  
    11. Install the No. 1 spark plug. Connect all vacuum hoses, if applicable, and electrical connectors to the distributor.
    12.  
    13. Install distributor cap, then connect the battery negative cable.
    14.  
    15. Check and/or adjust ignition timing.
    16.  

  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Loosen the retaining screws in order to remove the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 4: If possible, save time by removing the cap and positioning it aside with the secondary wires still attach 000490.



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the distributor assembly - conventional spark systems



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Fig. Fig. 6: Exploded view of the distributor assembly - electronic spark control ignition systems

CAP AND ROTOR



See Figures 7 and 8

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Tag and remove the spark plug cables from the distributor cap. For the electronic spark control systems, disconnect the ignition coil high tension wire from the distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. Loosen and remove the 2 distributor cap attaching screws.
  6.  
  7. Remove the distributor cap, taking care not to damage the rotor.
  8.  
  9. Carefully remove the rotor by pulling with a slight twist.
  10.  

To Install:
  1. Inspect the condition of the distributor cap. If the cap shows signs of cracks, broken pieces, carbon tracking, charred or eroded terminals, or a worn or damaged rotor button, replace it.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the condition of the distributor rotor. If the rotor shows signs of cracks, broken pieces, a charred or eroded tip, physical contact of the tip with the cap or insufficient spring tension, replace it.
  4.  
  5. Apply a light coating of dielectric grease to the distributor cap terminals and rotor tip.
  6.  
  7. Install the rotor by aligning the flat on the rotor and shaft. Push the rotor until it bottoms on the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Install the distributor cap and tighten the attaching screws securely.
  10.  
  11. Connect the spark plug wires as tagged during removal and, if applicable, connect the external coil wire to the distributor cap.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable.
  14.  



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Fig. Fig. 7: Carefully remove the rotor from the distributor assembly



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Fig. Fig. 8: Check the distributor cap for corrosion and clean or replace, as necessary

 
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