Installing distributor for replacement?

Tiny
JAKE83B
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 120,000 MILES
I just recently replaced the cap and rotor. I am now getting spark and fuel but think that its not firing at the right time how do I install the distributor to the camshaft the correct way (did not mark when it was disassembled) only goes on one way. Do I have to find TDC on compression on cylinder #1 and have rotor on #1?
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Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 AT 8:29 PM

36 Replies

Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
I agree that the distributor only goes on one way. So, check the simple things. The first that comes to mind and happens to the best of them is the wires on the distributor being in the wrong hole. Rotation of the wires just one position off from the correct position will not allow the car to start. Check the wire positions.
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Thursday, November 20th, 2008 AT 10:08 AM
Tiny
FELIPECARBAJAL
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 HONDA CIVIC
  • 1.5L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 220,000 MILES
I took off the distributor off the car and I lost the location so now the car dose not want to start.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi and thanks for using 2CarPros. Com.

Here are the directions which explain how to reinstall the distributor. However, I noticed it does not mention that the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley must be at top dead center (TDC).

Make sure it is on TDC (see picture 1). Once that is done, then follow the directions. All remaining pictures correlate with the following directions.

____________________________

REASSEMBLY

Rotor Positioning

1. Install the rotor, then turn it so that it faces in the direction shown (toward the No. 1 cylinder).

Distributor Index Mark

2. Set the thrust washer and coupling on the shaft.
3. Check that the rotor is still pointing toward the No. 1 cylinder, then align the index mark on the housing with the index mark on the coupling.
4. Drive in the pin and secure it with the pin retainer.

INSTALLATION

Distributor Installation
1. Coat a new 0-ring with engine oil then install it.
2. Slip the distributor into position. The lugs on the end of the distributor and its mating grooves in the camshaft end are both offset to eliminate the possibility of installing the distributor 180 out of time.
3. Install the hold-down bolts and tighten temporarily.
4. Connect the two pin and eight pin connectors to the distributor.

Spark Plug Wire Cap Location

5. Connect the spark plug wires as shown.
6. Set the timing with a timing light and With Service Check Connector Jumped and engine at idle speed.
Specification: 16 2 BTDC.

7. After adjusting, tighten the hold-down bolts. Distributor hold down bolts torque: 24 Nm (17 lb-ft).

___________________________________

Let me know if this helps. Remember, you want TDC (cylinder 1) and the distributor rotor pointing at the number 1 spark plug wire on the distributor cap. Make sure you have the wires correctly placed in the cap also.

Take care,
Joe
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
DIOSMEXICA
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA CIVIC
Please Help I need to fix my car, but I need to install a new distributor, I have a Honda civic 1998. How can I do that? 8)
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
There are three bolts that hold in the distributor and they are the same ones that you use to adjust the timing. Take them out and unhook the electrical. The distributor should pull out. IF you put in a used one make sure the oring is in good shape or new.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:28 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WANKEL70
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 HONDA CIVIC
Hi,

I own a 1998 Honda Civic Vtec SOHC with 66,000 miles on it. The other day I was looking at the engine and I spotted some oil around the transmission and engine. It seems like it is leaking from the distributor.

Can the O-ring be changed with ease or do I have to take it to a mechanic. I have tools and mechanical skills.

The reason I am asking this is because I called a shop and the person told me it can't be done at home because I needed special tools to take out the distributor.

Since he said that I haven't tried to take it to avoid breaking it like he said.

Thank you,

Angel
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
This isn't all that tough. First, take some fingernail polish and make the location of the distributor. You can see where the distributor meets the head and the three bolts that hold the distributor housing in place. The distributor when loosened can be rotated to adjust the timing of the engine. I am asking you to make the position of the housing on both the head and the distributor so that you can line it up just fine to keep the timing set. OK so far?

Next using I think a #12 wrench take out the three bolts that hold the distributor housing on to the engine. You may or may not have to unhook the electrical connections. Pull the distributor housing out of the head and you should see the o ring. Don't fret about getting it in wrong and the slot only lines up one way when you go to put it back in. REMEMBER to put a coating of oil on the new o ring when you go to put it on the dist and when it is being slid back in to the head. Line up your finger polish marks put in the bolts and tighten it up. That should do it.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WANKEL70
  • MEMBER
Hi again,

Bruce, I want to thank you for your time. I bought the seal yesterday and installed it as you said. It a 1-2-3 job. I just marked, loosen the bolts, cleaned the area, put oil on the seal and closed.

I knew that it could not be the way the mechanic I called told me. ( Special tools, careful not to break whatever part he mentioned). I guess he tried to scam me.

Once again thank you very much.

Angel
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
You are welcome and that is one of the big reasons we are here!
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TESSERACT
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 129,713 MILES
If the distributor o-ring is leaking oil are you likely to remove the distributor cap to inspect it as well? Is this standard protocol under these circumstances?

Also, do most professional mechanics remove the distributor cap when removing the distributor?

Thanks for you time.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi tesseract. Welcome to the forum. Whether or not the distributor cap is removed is of little consequence. Is there a reason you are concerned? Most mechanics would take the cap off when removing the distributor so they wouldn't have to unplug the spark plug wires. That just saves time and eliminates the possiblility of mixing them up if he gets distracted.

Depending on the symptoms, there are two oil seals in the distributor. One is an o-ring on the outside of the base. If it leaks, oil will run on the outside of the engine. There is also a lip seal around the distributor shaft. Oil won't typically run out of that one, but vaporized oil can sneek past it and condense on the pickup assembly. If your pickup is of the optical type, the oil film can cause the engine to stall or not start. That is somewhat common on older Toyotas. Mitsubishi uses a similar design but has very little trouble.

Even if your car doesn't use an optical pickup assembly, the vaporized oil can condense inside the cap where it will short out the spark plug's firing voltage. That willl result in a misfire that could be intermittent. You didn't say why your distributor needed to be removed, but I can't imagine a mechanic repairing something related to it and not removing the cap to inspect it, the rotor, and the pickup assembly.

Besides the inspection, there is a gear on the end of the distributor shaft. If that gear is off by one tooth when the distributor is reinstalled, the engine won't start. Standard procedure would be to remove the cap and observe where the rotor is pointing, then making sure it is pointing the same way when it is installed again. If the mechanic is careful to not disturb that gear while the distributor is removed, it may be possible to reinstall it without removing the cap. I wouldn't trust myself, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
R RODRIGUEZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 156,635 MILES
What could be wrong in the distribuitor, that does not send spark to the plugs.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/276698_coil_test_1.jpg



https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/276698_igniter_3.jpg



Test the coil and ICM that is internally inside the distributor.

First check your basics though, fuses, loose wires, connections.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SKRUBLIFE
  • MEMBER
  • 1995 HONDA CIVIC
Okey.I have a 1995 Honda Civic with a 1.5 V-TEC in it. Here is what happened. I had it parked and moved it to the other side of the street to install new fog lights. After doing so, I got in to leave and now it won't start. WANTS TO, but just won't. I have put on a whole new destributer on it because it is not getting spark. It still is not getting any. I have checked all fuses and connections. Now I am just waisting money. I am at wits end here. I had just bought the car and only had it for less than a week. It drove fine as rain. Please help me. Thanks
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
Was this distributor used or new? Have you checked the wiring.

Do this ICM test, this will help you see if you have all the proper wiring to the ICM.


https://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/276698_igniter_4.jpg

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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SKRUBLIFE
  • MEMBER
Yes the distributer I just put on is new. And still nothing. My car is set to street race so alot of things have been taken out of the compartment to lighten up the car and the battery is in the truck (all is how I bought it) so the wirering is all a lil odd to me. Did notice two wires, one from distributer, both going into the distibuter one way or another were cut and (badly) spliced together. I am thinkin it has to be somethin stupid that would be easy to fix but I just keep missin it.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
Well then go over all the spliced and cut wires and solder and heatshrink them. You probably have a weak connection somewhere.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SKRUBLIFE
  • MEMBER
My car was taken to Cangany's Emertons today. They have worked on all of my familys cars since I can remember and are very good people. Within a few hours it is already in the shop. Just waitin till tomarrow to hopefully find out what is up. I will let ya'll know what was wrong with it. Thank you much
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
F4I_GUY
  • EXPERT
No problem, hopefully the repair bill isn't too much.
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)
Tiny
SKRUBLIFE
  • MEMBER
Won't be anymore than what I have already spent on pits and pieces lol
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Monday, January 4th, 2021 AT 12:29 PM (Merged)

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