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I had a 96 tahoe 5.7 that gave me hell with the Distributor sparking to the wrong terminal. These Vortec engines use computer controlled timing, but still use a rotating distributor to determine which cylinder the coil's spark goes to. Twisting the distributor does not set the timing like it did for older engines, instead it just sets where the rotor is pointing relative to the cap when the computer decides to fire the coil. Aligning the rotor to the cap's electrodes at the instant of spark is called having the cap "indexed" to the rotor.
In my case the distributor was a few degrees off after an intake gasket change. The engine ran fine for a while, but was always sparking off to one side of the electrodes in in the cap due to mis-alignment. After a while, that side of each electrode became corroded, and rather spark around to the far side of the electrode, it was actually a shorter path to the clean side of the next electrode over. This resulted in stumbling and misfires.
I rotated the distributor a few degrees toward the corroded side and changed the cap and rotor. The next cap and rotor went about 10k further before acting up. I rotated towards the corroded side again, and the same cap and rotor have been running ever since.
Scribe a mark on your distributor and intake for reference and twist the distributor a few degrees towards the corroded side of the electrodes in the cap as the cap sits on the distributor. Don't forget if you take the cap off and flip it upside down, then you need to reverse the direction you twist. You want to twist the distributor cap towards the corroded side with the cap sitting in place on the distributor. This will help move the cap's electrodes closer to the center of the spark-range (as the computer jockeys the timing around, where the rotor electrode points at the instant of spark moves).
Its a plastic cap and and on its top the sparks wires get connected.A small plastic rotor spins inside the distributor cap, firing each spark plug as it rotates. If the distributor gets faulty there the engine may not perform well.in most cases it has been noticed that only replacing the cap does not helps but with cap the rotors also need to be replaced.The procedure is as follows:---1) First of all disconnect the negative battery terminal.2) Then remove the spark-plug wires .Note:-- Before removing the spark plug wires please note down how and where the wires are connected,then only remove the connections.3) Then on the distributor there will be a cap.remove that cap.the cap is connected by two pins.you will have to press the pins from each side to loosen the distributor cap.Then lift the distributor cap from the top.4)Then remove the rotor From distributor The rotor is fitted with two screws.Remove the screws and loosen the rotor.5) Then lift the rotor out from its shaft.6) To install new rotor and cap.reverse the procedure.This will help.Thanks.
The rotor spins inside the distributor cap. At the end of the rotor is a curved metal piece. At each spark plug, inside the distributor cap are metal posts that are cut out. When rotor spins inside cap a spark jumps from the rotor end to the post, to the plug wire ,to the spark plug.The space between the rotor and post in the cap where the spark jumps, is the air gap.
If the distributor cap falls down onto the rotor button then you have the wrong distributor cap and it is too big for your distributor. Run fault codes to check for accelerator position sensor fault and check MAP/MAF sensors.
First, verify all connections at distributor (both ends of each cable) are securely connected and inspect all lengths of each plug wire to make sure there are no major breaks, cuts, burns, abrasions that would be causing a short. Then, try another plug just to make sure it's not a bad spark/coil wire. If still no spark, then I would say rotor/distributor cap/distributor/ICM module (Ignition Control Module) is the problem. You can generally buy those parts seperate, or you can buy a whole distributor that typically has all combined. The ICM can usually be removed without too much difficulty and taken to an autoparts store for a test, but not always. If you go with the "piecemeal" solution, start with ICM test (if removable), then rotor cap, then move to distrubutor cap. If nothing has worked to this point, you can replace the distributor, but you have already bought everything BUT the actual distributor. It would make sense to price everything seperately versus cost of new distributor...up to you.
If you do replace the distributor, be absolutely sure to mark the position/direction the rotor cap is pointed on old one, so you can re-install the new one in exact same position. Otherwise finding TDC (top dead center) on #1 cylinder is another whole process.
Hi there;This is for a 2000 Nissan Truck Pathfinder 4WD 3.3L SFI 6cyl
Distributor Cap & Rotor - Removal & Installation
NOTE The 1996-00 3.3L engines were equipped with a distributor.
Disconnect the negative battery cable. If the distributor cap is to be replaced, mark the ignition wires for identification and remove them from the distributor cap. Remove any components necessary to access the distributor cap. Completely loosen the distributor cap mounting fasteners. Carefully remove the distributor cap, taking care not to damage the cap seal or rotor, then position the cap aside. If necessary, remove the rotor retainer. Carefully lift the rotor off the distributor shaft. NOTE Inspect the distributor cap to housing seal for damage and/or cracks. Replace if cracks are detected.
Install the rotor onto the distributor shaft and tighten the rotor mounting fastener, if equipped. Position the distributor cap seal on the distributor housing, then position the distributor cap on the housing. Install the distributor cap by tightening the mounting fasteners in a crisscross pattern. Use care to not over-tighten the fasteners. Reconnect the spark plug wires, making sure to install them exactly in the same position from which they were removed. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
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TAG OR NUMBER ALL SPARK PLUG WIRES ON THE DISTRIBUTOR CAP BEFORE REMOVING CAP. SO YOU CAN PUT PLUGS WIRES BACK IN THE ORIGINAL POSITION. WHEN ALL PLUGS WIRES ON DISTRIBUTOR CAP BEEN NUMBER.REMOVE ALL PLUG WIRES ON CAP.THEN REMOVE THE DISTRIBUTOR CAP.THEN MARK ROTOR POSITION WITH SHARPIE MARKER THEN REMOVE THE ROTOR.
Your distributor bushing is bad, causing the distributor to wobble when running. Get it checked out for repair and/or replace the distributor. Take off the cap and check the play in the shaft that the rotor is attached to first.
The rotor is somehow making direct contact with one or more distributor contacts.
Check the contacts inthe cap to see if you find any physical damage to one or more contacts caused by the rotor.
Could be rotor lead too long (file it down) or maybe the distributor shaft is bent or not seated. Remove cap and observe the distributor shaft as someone cranks the engine. Does it wobble? Can't tell? Place a stiff reference parallel to the shaft and turn engine again.