Suzuki Samurai/Sidekick/Tracker 1986-1998 Repair Guide

Distributor Cap and Rotor

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It is normally a good idea to inspect the distributor cap and rotor any time you perform a tune-up which includes checking the spark plug wires for wear, damage or excessive resistance.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1 through 7

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable for safety.
  2.  

Depending on the reason you have for removing the distributor cap, it may (in some cases) make more sense to leave the spark plug wires attached. This is handy if you are testing spark plug wires or if removal was necessary to access other components (and wire play allows you to reposition the cap out of the way).

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Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a distributor which utilizes hold-down clips to secure the cap in place-1986-88 1.3L engines



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Fig. Fig. 2: The 1989-95 1.3L engines use cap bolts (1) to hold the cap (2) on the housing (10)-note that the rotor (4) is retained by a retaining screw (3)



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Fig. Fig. 3: The distributors used on 1.6L engines also utilize screws to hold the cap on the housing, but the rotor does not use a retaining screw

  1. Tag the spark plug and ignition coil wires and the distributor cap towers for reassembly, then disconnect the wires from the cap. THIS STEP IS CRITICAL. Do not attempt to rewire the cap based only on a diagram, this too often leads to confusion and miswiring.
  2.  
  3. Disengage the two distributor cap hold-down clips or screws, depending on your specific model.
  4.  
  5. Carefully lift the distributor cap STRAIGHT up and off the distributor in order to prevent damage to the rotor blade and spring.
  6.  

Some models may be equipped with a rotor mounting screw; be sure to remove this screw before attempting to remove the rotor.

  1. If necessary, remove the rotor mounting screw (if equipped), then grasp the rotor by hand and pull upward to remove it from the distributor shaft and armature.
  2.  
  3. Inspect both the distributor cap and rotor for damage (replace, as necessary).
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: If removing the cap for replacement, label and detach all of the spark plug wires ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... otherwise, the wires can stay attached-unfasten the cap hold-down clamps ...



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Fig. Fig. 6: ... and lift the cap up and off of the distributor housing, then set it aside



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove the rotor by pulling it up and off of the distributor shaft (check for a retaining screw first)

To install:
  1. Align the locating boss on the rotor with the flat spot on the distributor shaft, then carefully seat the rotor on the distributor shaft. Make sure the rotor is fully seated, but do not force it, as plastic components often break easily. If equipped, install and tighten the rotor mounting screw snugly.
  2.  
  3. Position the distributor cap on the base and align the cap with the hold-down clips or screws holes.
  4.  
  5. Secure the cap using the hold-down clips/screws.
  6.  
  7. If applicable, connect the ignition coil lead wire to the center tower of the distributor cap; otherwise, attach the wiring harness connector to the distributor.
  8.  
  9. If removed, connect the spark plug wire leads as tagged during removal.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

INSPECTION



After removing the distributor cap and rotor, clean the components (both inside and outside of the cap) using soap and water. If compressed air is available, carefully dry the components (wearing safety goggles) or allow the parts to air dry. You can dry them with a clean, soft cloth, just don't leave any lint or moisture behind.

Once the cap and rotor have been thoroughly cleaned, check for cracks, carbon tracks, burns or other physical damage. Make sure the distributor cap's carbon button is free of damage. Check the cap terminals for dirt or corrosion. Always check the rotor blade and spring closely for damage. Replace any components where damage is found.

 
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