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  1. #1
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    Default Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    I've been having some issues with my Jeep at idle. A couple months back I installed some large hood vents on my XJ and they let in a lot of water. I've been having some issues every time it rains and they seem to be getting worse. I did a little research and it looks like other people have had issues with their distributor when water gets in. Mine has never been replaced and my Jeep has over 200K miles on it (purchased with with 88K). Safe to say that its about time that I did this anyway even if it isn't at the root of my problems. I've decided to replace my distributor cap and rotor but I'm not sure what's involved. Is it as simple as un-bolting the old cap, pulling the rotor, putting in the new rotor, and bolting up the new cap?


    Also, I want to keep out any future water so I plan to use ample amounts of dielectric grease. Obviously I'll use it for the plug wire connections but any suggestions for where else I should apply the grease?

    The cap and rotor are from the same kit Mudderoy gave away in a separate thread. You can see it here

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    As far as I know its just simple as unbolting a rebolting in place. I may be wrong, I have a 90 an a 93 my 90 is that simple but I have yet to do the 93. The 91's an up may be different. Again I may be wrong but I do believe its a simple unbolt an rebolt type deal.
    A year an a half ago if some one would have told me my jeep would take months to build, several thousands of dollars, never ever be done always be evolving, it will break an I will have to rebuild it time an time again, some times I will be broke for weeks because of it, I'll be taking the risk of rolling it an totaling it will out wheeling, an it will become more then a hobby I would have probably second guessed myself... but I'm glad no one told me all that...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    phillips acrewdriver and 10 minutes time. I would get the good distributor cap and rotor and keep your wires straight.(easy to mix up)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    Any advice on where I need to grease the new cap and/or rotor?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    Mudderoy has some information on proper positioning of the cam sensor. Better PM him for the link on this. It needs to be in the right position for the ECM to figure things out properly.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    Per your advice I sent a PM to Mudderoy. He said it's just a simple swap. I did see some things on other forums and sporadically around the internet about positioning of cam sensors and oil pump and all that is involved to insure that they line up but I think those steps are only necessary if you are replacing the entire distributor but not necessary for a rotor and cap swap.

    I'm not going to be switching out these parts until later tonight so if anyone else has any input I would welcome it. I could still use some advice as to dielectric grease application when it comes to the rotor. With the hood vents I have on the Jeep I'd like to cross every T and dot every I when it comes to water / weather proofing. Thanks in advance!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    Somehow I got the impression you were changing out the whole dizzy. Yeah, the cap swap is easy. Just take one wire off and put on the new cap at at time.
    230 hp 4.3L Chevy
    Built 4L60E with manual lockout
    Atlas 4 speed
    Griffin radiator
    On board air
    Warn 9.5ti on custom bumper
    7.5" RE front and bastard pack rear on custom long arms
    30 gal gas tank
    lockers
    And a bunch of other stuff

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    It's a simple swap, pull the cap, leave the wires connected, pull the rotor and replace it should fit into a notch on the distributor shaft. you can put a small bead of clear silicone around the base of the cap to keep it dry, also put some over the cap screws, remove one plug wire at a time from the old cap to the new cap dab a little dielectric grease on the inside of the wire boot and a little silicone on the out side. good luck.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    and don;t forget to label your wires to make sure you put them back where they belong to
    "if yer not larnin sumptin new everday, check yer pulse."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    As a update on this issue core issue... I replaced the plug wires and distributor cap and after a couple rainy days I think I can safely say (knock on wood) that the problem is fixed. I think the cause is as follows.
    The metal connect that attaches to the spark plug broke off at the 45 degree bend in the spark plug wire on a couple of the wires. The wires functioned fine when dry but with the addition of the some water and the age of the wires (100K miles) it became easier for the spark to arc to the engine block than it was for the spark to travel through to the spark plug. In addition, I found a healthy amount of corrosion on the terminals inside the distributor cap (I think it was the Jeeps original dist. cap).

    So liquid exacerbated the issues of: The aged plug wires, breaks in the wires, and corrosion on the distributor cap. Nonetheless, problem solves. Thanks for everyone's input and advise.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    Quote Originally Posted by steph74 View Post
    and don;t forget to label your wires to make sure you put them back where they belong to
    What do you label yours with?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    I'd also spend the little extra and get the cap and rotor with the brass coating. It won't corrode like the cheaper one.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Replacing my distributor cap and rotor

    The wires I used came pre-labeled and cut to approximately the right length (super convenient).

    PolarXJ,
    I did end up getting a rotor and Distributor cap with the brass terminals. In addition to your advice, the internet at larger seems to agree that brass is the only way to go.

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