Jeep Wrangler/YJ 1987-1995 Repair Guide

Distributor

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



2.5L Engine
1987-90 VEHICLES

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the distributor-1987-90 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 2: Positioning the oil pump shaft for distributor installation-1987-90 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 3: Positioning the distributor rotor and shaft for installation-1987-90 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 4: Rotor position with the distributor properly installed-1987-90 2.5L engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the primary lead from the terminal post at the side of the distributor.
  4.  

The wire connector will contain a special conductive grease. Do not remove it. The same grease will also be found on the metal parts of the rotor.

  1. Disconnect the vacuum line if there is one.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two distributor cap retaining hooks or screws and remove the distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. Note the position of the rotor in relation to the base. Scribe a mark on the base of the distributor and on the engine block to facilitate reinstallation. Align the marks with the direction the metal tip of the rotor is pointing.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolt that holds the distributor to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Lift the distributor assembly from the engine.
  10.  

To install, if engine was not disturbed:
  1. Insert the distributor shaft and assembly into the engine. Line up the mark on the distributor and the one on the engine with the metal tip of the rotor. Make sure that the vacuum advance diaphragm is pointed in the same direction as it was pointed originally. This will be done automatically if the marks on the engine and the distributor are line up with the rotor.
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp. Leave the screw loose enough so that you can move the distributor with heavy hand pressure.
  4.  
  5. Connect the primary wire to the distributor side of the coil. Install the distributor cap on the distributor housing. Secure the distributor cap with the spring clips or the screw type retainers, whichever is used.
  6.  
  7. Install the spark plug wires. Make sure that the wires are pressed all of the way into the top of the distributor cap and firmly onto the spark plugs.
  8.  

If the engine was turned while the distributor was removed, or if the marks were not drawn, it will be necessary to initially time the engine. Follow the procedure below.

To install, if engine was disturbed:
  1. Rotate the engine until the No.1 piston is at TDC compression.
  2.  
  3. Using a flat bladed screwdriver, in the distributor hole, rotate the oil pump gear so that the slot in the oil pump shaft is slightly past the 3:00 o'clock position, relative to the length of the engine block.
  4.  
  5. With the distributor cap removed, install the distributor with the rotor at the 5:00 o'clock position, relative to the oil pump gear shaft slot. When the distributor is completely in place, the rotor should be at the 6:00 o'clock position. If not, remove the distributor and perform the entire procedure again.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the lockbolt.
  8.  

1991-95 VEHICLES

See Figures 5 through 15



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Fig. Fig. 5: Exploded view of the distributor-1991-95 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 6: Align the oil pump gear slot-1991-95 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 7: Distributor installation-1991-95 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 8: Rotor position with the distributor properly installed-1991-95 2.5L engine



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Fig. Fig. 9: Number the wires and cap with tape for reference purposes



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Fig. Fig. 10: Disconnect the distributor primary wiring connector



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Fig. Fig. 11: Unfasten the distributor cap retaining screws



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Fig. Fig. 12: Removing the distributor cap



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Fig. Fig. 13: Scribe a mark on the distributor housing in line with the tip of the rotor



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Fig. Fig. 14: Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp



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Fig. Fig. 15: Lift the distributor straight up and out of the engine

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Unfasten the distributor cap retaining screws. Remove the distributor cap with the coil and spark plug wires attached and position them aside.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the distributor primary wiring connector.
  6.  
  7. Scribe a mark on the distributor housing in line with the tip of the rotor.
  8.  
  9. Note the position of the rotor and distributor housing in relation to the surrounding engine components as reference points for installing the distributor.
  10.  
  11. Remove the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp.
  12.  
  13. Lift the distributor straight up and out of the engine.
  14.  

To install, if engine was not disturbed:
  1. Clean the distributor mounting area of the cylinder block.
  2.  
  3. Install a new distributor mounting gasket.
  4.  

There is a fork on the distributor housing where the housing seats against the engine block. The slot in the fork aligns with the distributor hold-down bolt hole in the engine block. The distributor is correctly installed when the rotor is correctly positioned. This is the slot in the fork aligned with the hold-down bolt hole in the cylinder block. Because of the fork in the distributor housing initial ignition timing is not adjustable (the distributor cannot be rotated).

  1. If the engine was not rotated while the distributor was removed, perform the following:
    1. Position the distributor shaft in the cylinder block.
    2.  
    3. Align the rotor tip with the scribe mark on the distributor housing during removal.
    4.  
    5. Turn the rotor approximately 1 / 8 turn counterclockwise past the scribe mark.
    6.  

  2.  


WARNING
Make sure that the distributor shaft fully engages the oil pump drive gear shaft. It may be necessary to slightly rotate ("bump'') the engine. This is done while applying downward force on the distributor body. It should fully engage the distributor shaft with the oil pump drive gear shaft.

    1. Slide the distributor shaft down into the engine.
    2.  


It may be necessary to move the rotor and shaft (slightly) to engage the distributor shaft with the slot in the oil pump shaft. the same may have to be done to engage the distributor gear with the camshaft gear. However, the rotor should align with the scribe mark when the distributor shaft is down in place.

To install, If engine was disturbed:


Remove the No. 1 spark plug.
 
Hold a finger over the spark plug hole and rotate the engine until compression pressure is felt. Slowly continue to
 

Rotate the engine until the timing index on the vibration damper pulley aligns the Top Dead Center (TDC) mark (0 degree) on the timing degree scale.

Always rotate the engine in the direction of normal rotation. Do not turn the engine backward to align the timing marks.

  1. Using a flat blade screwdriver, rotate the oil pump gear to position the slot in the oil pump shaft slightly before the 11 O'clock position.
  2.  

With the distributor cap removed, install the distributor with the rotor located just past the 2 o'clock position.

  1. With the distributor fully engaged in its correct position, the rotor should be just past the 3 o'clock position.
  2.  
  3. Install the spark plug and cable.
  4.  


WARNING
If the distributor cap is incorrectly positioned on the distributor housing, the cap or rotor may be damaged when the engine is started.

  1. Install the distributor clamp and hold-down bolts. Torque the bolt to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor cap with the cables on the distributor housing. Ensure the cap fits securely on the rim of the
  4.  

Distributor housing

  1. Connect the distributor primary wiring connector.
  2.  

4.0L Engine

See Figures 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21



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Fig. Fig. 16: Mark the distributor housing-1991-95 4.0L engine



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Fig. Fig. 17: Align the timing marks-1991-95 4.0L engine



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Fig. Fig. 18: Align the rotor trailing edge with the scribe mark-1991-95 4.0L engine



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Fig. Fig. 19: Align the oil pump gear shaft-1991-95 4.0L engine



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Fig. Fig. 20: Distributor hold-down-1991-95 4.0L engine



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Fig. Fig. 21: Rotor alignment-1991-95 4.0L engine

The distributor contains an internal oil seal that prevents oil from entering the distributor housing. The seal is not serviceable.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. If equipped with A/C, removing the cooling fan and shroud to gain access to the vibration damper bolt.
  4.  
  5. Label and remove the high tension wires from the distributor cap.
  6.  
  7. Remove the primary lead from the terminal post at the side of the distributor.
  8.  
  9. Turn the engine clockwise, using a socket on the end of the crankshaft damper bolt, until the rotor is pointing to the No. 1 spark plug wire post and the timing mark on the damper aligns with the 0 on the timing scale; No. 1 cylinder is at TDC on the compression stroke.
  10.  

The timing mark is on the edge of the vibration damper, closest to the front engine cover.

  1. Remove the distributor cap. Scribe a mark on the base of the distributor and the engine as an installation reference. Note the position of the rotor and distributor, align the trailing edge of the rotor blade with the scribe mark on the distributor housing.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bolt for the distributor hold-down clamp.
  4.  
  5. Remove the distributor from the engine.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Using a flat bladed tool, turn the oil pump gear shaft, located in the distributor mounting hole, until the slot is slightly past the 11 o'clock position.
  2.  
  3. Install the rotor.
  4.  
  5. Without engaging the distributor gear into the cam gear, position the distributor into the hole in the engine block.
  6.  
  7. Visually line up the hold-down ear of the distributor housing with the hold-down clamp hole.
  8.  
  9. Turn the rotor to the 4 o'clock position.
  10.  
  11. Slide the distributor into the block until it seats keeping the hold-down ear aligned with the hole in the block.
  12.  

The rotor should be in the 5 o'clock position with the trailing edge of the rotor blade lined up with the No. 1 spark plug post position.

  1. Install the hold-down clamp and torque the bolt to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. Connect the distributor electrical connector.
  6.  
  7. If removed, install the cooling fan and shroud.
  8.  
  9. Connect the battery cable.
  10.  

4.2L Engine

See Figure 22



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Fig. Fig. 22: Exploded view of the distributor-1987-90 4.2L engine

  1. Remove the high-tension wires from the distributor cap terminal towers, noting their positions to assure correct reassembly. For diagrams of firing orders and distributor wiring, refer to the tune-up and troubleshooting information.
  2.  
  3. Remove the primary lead from the terminal post at the side of the distributor.
  4.  

The wire connector will contain a special conductive grease. Do not remove it. The same grease will also be found on the metal parts of the rotor.

  1. Disconnect the vacuum line if there is one.
  2.  
  3. Remove the two distributor cap retaining hooks or screws and remove the distributor cap.
  4.  
  5. Note the position of the rotor in relation to the base. Scribe a mark on the base of the distributor and on the engine block to facilitate reinstallation. Align the marks with the direction the metal tip of the rotor is pointing.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bolt that holds the distributor to the engine.
  8.  
  9. Lift the distributor assembly from the engine.
  10.  

To install, if engine was not disturbed:
  1. Insert the distributor shaft and assembly into the engine. Line up the mark on the distributor and the one on the engine with the metal tip of the rotor. Make sure that the vacuum advance diaphragm is pointed in the same direction as it was pointed originally. This will be done automatically if the marks on the engine and the distributor are line up with the rotor.
  2.  
  3. Install the distributor hold-down bolt and clamp. Leave the screw loose enough so that you can move the distributor with heavy hand pressure.
  4.  
  5. Connect the primary wire to the distributor side of the coil. Install the distributor cap on the distributor housing. Secure the distributor cap with the spring clips or the screw type retainers, whichever is used.
  6.  
  7. Install the spark plug wires. Make sure that the wires are pressed all of the way into the top of the distributor cap and firmly onto the spark plugs.
  8.  
  9. Adjust the point cam dwell and set the ignition timing. Refer to Engine Performance & Tune-Up .
  10.  

If the engine was turned while the distributor was removed, or if the marks were not drawn, it will be necessary to initially time the engine. Follow the procedure below.

To install, if engine was disturbed:
  1. If the engine has been rotated while the distributor was out, you'll have to first put the engine on No. 1 cylinder at Top Dead Center firing position. You can either remove the valve cover or No. 1 spark plug to determine engine position. Rotate the engine with a socket wrench on the nut at the center of the front pulley in the normal direction of rotation. Either feel for air being expelled forcefully through the spark plug hole or watch for the engine to rotate up to the Top Center mark without the valves moving (both valves will be closed).
  2.  
  3. Start the distributor into the engine with the matchmarks between the distributor body and the engine lined up. Turn the rotor slightly until the matchmarks on the bottom of the distributor body and the bottom of the distributor shaft near the gear are aligned.
  4.  
  5. Insert the distributor all the way into the engine. If you have trouble getting the distributor and camshaft gears to mesh, turn the rotor back and forth very slightly until the distributor can be inserted easily. If the rotor is not now lined up with the position of No. 1 plug terminal, you'll have to pull the distributor back out slightly, shift the position of the rotor appropriately, and then reinstall it.
  6.  
  7. Align the matchmarks between the distributor and engine. Install the distributor mounting bolt and tighten it finger tight. Reconnect the vacuum advance line and distributor wiring connector, and reinstall the gasket and cap. Reconnect the negative battery cable. Adjust the ignition timing as described in Engine Performance & Tune-Up . Then, tighten the distributor mounting bolt securely.
  8.  

 
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