Replacing distributor and reset timing

  • 3.3L
  • V6
  • 2WD
  • 78,750 MILES
I am getting ready to replace my distributor and will need to reset my timing. I am pretty sure I can do this, but could you tell me step by step how to do this and also the firing order for the spark plug wires?

Thank you,
Bill H.
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Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 AT 5:25 AM

1 Reply

Hi and thanks for using 2CarPros.

Here are the directions for removal and replacement of the distributor. The attached pictures correlate with these directions.


1. Set the engine (No.1 piston) to the Top Dead Center (TDC) on the compression stroke.
2. Disconnect the battery ground cable.

Picture 1

3. Remove the distributor cap.
1 Remove the spark plug wires.
2 Remove the screws.

NOTE: Mark the spark plug wires to make sure proper position on installation.

Picture 2

4. Disconnect the ignition coil electrical connector from the bracket and disconnect the Camshaft Position (CMP) sensor electrical connector.

Picture 3

5. Remove the distributor.
Remove the bolt.

Picture 4

6. Remove the rotor. Remove the screw.


NOTE: If the crankshaft is rotated during distributor removal, rotate the crankshaft until the No.1 piston is at TDC on the compression stroke.

Picture 5

1. Install the rotor.
Install the screw.

Picture 6

2. Align the mark on the distributor shaft with the protruding mark on the distributor housing.

Picture 7

3. Install the distributor assembly.
1 Install the distributor.
2 Connect the electrical connector.
3 Connect and clip the electrical connector.
4 Install the bolt.

Picture 8

4. Confirm that the distributor rotor head is set as shown.

Picture 9

5. Install the distributor cap.
1 Position the distributor cap and connect the spark plug wires.
2 Tighten the distributor cap screws.

6. Connect the battery ground cable.

NOTE: When the battery is disconnected and reconnected, some abnormal drive symptoms may occur while the vehicle relearns its adaptive strategy. The vehicle may need to be driven 16 km (ten miles) or more to relearn the strategy.


The firing order is located in the last picture. In the picture, notice that cylinder is black. The black color correlates with cylinder 1 is located on the distributor. Additionally, at the bottom of the picture is the firing order, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


Let me know if that is what you needed or if you have other questions.

Take care,
Was this
Wednesday, February 27th, 2019 AT 8:06 PM

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