The distributor does have to be removed and dis-assembled in order to replace the ignition pick-up coil/stator, and if the pick-up coil/stator is faulty then the distributor should be replaced because the distributor will come with a new pick-up coil/stator and the old distributor will have to be removed anyway and in the long run it will actually save money from not having to pay a mechanic to remove and dis-assemble the distributor to replace the pick-up coil/stator, however most of the time it is the ignition module inside of the distributor that is faulty.
When the engine is at TDC
(Top Dead Center) is the ignition rotor pointing to the #1 position on the distributor housing as described below?
The engine should be set on TDC
(Top Dead Center) with the distributor cap removed, and there is a mark or notch on the distributor housing that the rotor should be pointing to when the engine is on top dead center. (Look under the distributor cap and find where the number one terminal runs under the distributor cap, and where that position on the distributor cap corresponds with the distributor housing, and it should match up to a mark or a notch on the distributor housing)
This static timing is all that matters and the computer will be able to control the timing as long as the ignition rotor is in that position when the engine is at top dead center.
If the engine is at TDC
and the ignition rotor does not point to the #1 mark on the distributor housing, then loosen the hold down bolt to the distributor and turn the distributor until the rotor is pointing to the #1 mark on the distributor and then tighten the distributor hold down bolt.