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Distributor replacement with pictures and tips for a V-6 by jetman
Started on: 01-01-2007 02:06 PM
Replies: 117 (9423 views)
Last post by: Patrick on 08-27-2016 05:56 PM
jetman
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Report this Post01-01-2007 02:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Distributor replacement with pictures and tips for a V-6

Itís fairly simple to replace a Fiero distributor in a V-6 engine but for the benefit of all of us, here is the procedure.

Tools needed.



Philips screwdriver, either 13MM wrench or an 8MM or 5/16-inch battery wrench, regular screwdriver, T-15 torx, dielectric grease, timing light, paper clip, 7MM nut driver, break-in lube, a drop of white paint or chalk for timing mark, 15MM distributor wrench and a 3/8 ratchet.

This is the procedure.

Pull ECM fuse.



Remove distributor cap with philips screwdriver.

Now turn the engine over until you have the rotor at a known position in relation to the distributor body to the engine. Many folks use the #1 cylinder / plug terminal position, thatís your choice. We want to install the new distributor in the exact position as the old one came out. It helps to take a picture so that there is no mistake later.



Disconnect the negative battery cable with the 13MM wrench or your 8MM battery post wrench depending on which battery connections you have.
Remove distributor wires to the ignition module.

This is a "Performance Tool" distributor clamp wrench, part number W1186, inexpensive and indespensible.


Remove the 15MM distributor hold down bolt.



Remove the ignition module. You can remove the distributor with the module attached but removal makes it easier.
Twist the distributor counter clockwise while pulling up.

Apply dielectric grease to the pick-up coil connector on new distributor. The re-manufacture doesnít do this, they evidently donít know much about corrosion on Fiero distributors! Go ahead and slather it on!



- - - continued in next post - - -


------------------
jetman
Silver 86 SE 2M6 4-speed, with
"check wallet light"

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 01-01-2007).]

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jetman
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Report this Post01-01-2007 02:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Lubricate the new distributor with break-in lube including the O-ring, I used Lucas treatment. I didn't have any official break-in lube, hopefully this will work as well.



Install new distributor with a clockwise motion. You need to get the distributor in the exact position that the old one came out so it might take a couple of tries to get it correct.



Now stop and take a look. Note the position of the old distributor, rotor and its relation to the engine and notice how the new distributor was installed almost exactly in the same orientation. The new rotor, distributor is in the same position as the old one prior to removal. This is the whole key and why I did this picture story. You do this correctly and you're home free.

Reinstall the ignition module wires, hold down bolt (snug not tight), distributor cap, negative battery cable and ECM fuse.

Start car and let it fully warm up. Turn off ignition, use a T-15 torx to remove two torx bolts holding ciggy-butt lighter cover, use a paper clip and ground out your ADL connection. In this picture I did use a 7MM and removed the entire arm rest.



Hook up your timing light to #1 plug wire, timing light power connectors to your battery and start engine.



Rotate your distributor until you have the timing set to 10 * then hook up to #4 plug wire, you want to set the timing at the average of these two readings. I'm a little chicken, I wear a glove while rotating the distributor.
Tighten the hold down bolt and button everything up.

Here is a picture of the timing mark scale mounted next to the harmonic balancer, I used a little paint so I could see it.



Go for a drive over 35 MPH so the ECM can re-learn the idle.

I took a picture of the two distributors side by side, a picture tells a thousand words, the old is on left, new is on right. Much nicer quality and I believe that you donít have to pull the distributor to replace the pick up coil. The remanufacture is 700-3703 Cardone Ignition Distributor part number 30-1633.



This little picture story actually took much longer than original replacement job did but its worth it if helps out just one of my PFF friends. Oh yeah, I was within three degrees of timing so I really did get the new distributor very close upon installation.

As usual, any comments, critiques or encouragement is appreciated.


------------------
jetman
Silver 86 SE 2M6 4-speed, with
"check wallet light"

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 01-01-2007).]

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DRA
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Report this Post01-01-2007 02:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DRAClick Here to visit DRA's HomePageClick Here to Email DRASend a Private Message to DRAEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice write up!

------------------
Don't take life too seriously -- you'll never get out if it alive.

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Formula88
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Report this Post01-01-2007 03:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.

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Report this Post01-01-2007 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Yes. That *is* a nice write up.

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kwagner
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Report this Post01-01-2007 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for kwagnerClick Here to visit kwagner's HomePageSend a Private Message to kwagnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I like that new distributor a lot, I might have to pick one up

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buddycraigg
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Report this Post01-01-2007 04:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for buddycraiggClick Here to Email buddycraiggSend a Private Message to buddycraiggEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.


and most of us still have the factory side post batterys so we need a 8mm or 5/16" wrench

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Report this Post01-01-2007 04:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NotorioSend a Private Message to NotorioEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Great write up. I didn't know you could get the special ratchet extension for the distributor bolt. Excellent - thanks.

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jetman
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Report this Post01-01-2007 06:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Formula88:

Nice write up, but I'd make one change. You don't have to pull the center arm rest to get to the ALDL port. Just take out the 2 T15 torx that hold the cigar lighter plate on and you can get to it from there.


Oh my gosh, I didn't know that it was that easy to get to, all these years, all those bolts, it was just two screws. I went back out and took a picture of that procedure too.

Curly Howard says,,,,"Thats sabatoogy!"



Ok thanks, I'll go back and make the edit and include the 8MM or 5/16-inch battery wrench too.

Oh my gosh, that's a dirty looking console, this picture looks better.

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 11-07-2010).]

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Mister
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Report this Post01-01-2007 07:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MisterSend a Private Message to MisterEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Good Job, Thanks.

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fierogt28
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Report this Post01-02-2007 12:57 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierogt28Send a Private Message to fierogt28Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Jetman, you have a PM.

BTW, good work for this procedure...useful infomation !!

fierogt28

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Paul Prince
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Report this Post01-02-2007 06:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Paul PrinceClick Here to Email Paul PrinceSend a Private Message to Paul PrinceEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Great write up. One thing I have learned is that in your picture of the two distributors, you will notice that the wires from the PU coil to the module in the remanufactured distributor are longer than stock. Be carefull when you put the cap back on so as not to pinch those wires.........Paul

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Report this Post01-02-2007 09:05 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks jetman, As always very nice post and write-up, will be very usefull when this question comes up on the forum....

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BobadooFunk
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man this thread only shows me how bad the distributor is in Betty.... how much was that? (great write up too!)

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Report this Post01-02-2007 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XanthClick Here to visit Xanth's HomePageSend a Private Message to XanthEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Very nice writeup! Thanks for taking the time

------------------
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Report this Post01-02-2007 08:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JazzManClick Here to Email JazzManSend a Private Message to JazzManEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice!

James

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Report this Post01-03-2007 02:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero-in-ParadiseClick Here to Email Fiero-in-ParadiseSend a Private Message to Fiero-in-ParadiseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Jetman...Great write-up and pictures!!! I bought a dist just like that from a local Checker, but with the holidays, haven't had time to install it yet. I have a stupid question, however. (This will be first time for me to do this.) That paperclip in the connector...do you just put it in momentarily to ground out, or do you just leave it in until you finish with the timing light procedure, then remove it?

Shucks...I bought a distributor wrench set, but not metric! Its a set of 9/16 and 1/2 I think...Hope I can return at Sears. Good-to-know info before I started this project!

The only thing different that I'll be doing in replacing the black O-ring with a Rodney's high temp dist O-ring.

Thanks again, timely info!
Tom

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jetman
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Report this Post01-04-2007 11:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero-in-Paradise:
That paperclip in the connector...do you just put it in momentarily to ground out, or do you just leave it in until you finish with the timing light procedure, then remove it?


Put the paperclip in before you turn the ignition on (same way for checking codes) and leave it in while you are adjusting the timing, turn off ignition before removing the paper clip.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Just wanted to do a little update on the distributor thread and post a couple of pictures of the timing tab with the timing marks. If I had questions and difficulties seeing the numbers on mine, Iím sure that others may have also.

This first picture I lifted from Dodgerunner, he posted such a good picture with the numbers, I just had to post it again. Thank Dodgerunner the next time you see him.



Second picture I found in a post by rubyredfiero in the archives, give rubyredfiero credit for this nice shot.



Thanks again everyone!

edit [img] tags

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 01-04-2007).]

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Fiero-in-Paradise
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Report this Post01-05-2007 04:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero-in-ParadiseClick Here to Email Fiero-in-ParadiseSend a Private Message to Fiero-in-ParadiseEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for the reply and info!! Now...just got to exchange that dang distributor wrench for a metric one.

PM sent on a slightly related question
Thanks...Tom

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TG oreiF 8891
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Report this Post01-05-2007 09:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for TG oreiF 8891Click Here to Email TG oreiF 8891Send a Private Message to TG oreiF 8891Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

Second picture I found in a post by rubyredfiero in the archives, give rubyredfiero credit for this nice shot.





Thanks so much for the write-up. I've been scared to replace mine and now I feel I can do it, you made it look easy. In this picture, what is the round tube thingy for? I've never done timing, so that part still seems a little daunting to me.

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jetman
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Report this Post01-05-2007 10:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The round thingy, from what I have read on the forum, is an obsolete adapter for some kind of timing sensor used by GM service dept. to time the car, no longer used.

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Report this Post01-05-2007 05:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Dennis LaGruaClick Here to Email Dennis LaGruaSend a Private Message to Dennis LaGruaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

The Cardone rebuilt distributor uses a superior pickup method than the GM distributor. However, I would have concerns that the ignition module that they use would hold up to the high heat that the Fiero distributor sees.

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Report this Post01-06-2007 07:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tom PiantanidaClick Here to Email Tom PiantanidaSend a Private Message to Tom PiantanidaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

One word of caution from someone who learned the hard way: The loop of wire from the pickup coil can be captured by the distributor cap. Tightening the cap crushes the wires and can - as I found out - thin the insulation to the point where you have hard starting and intermittent misfire. Just be careful.

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Tom Piantanida
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Report this Post01-06-2007 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Tom PiantanidaClick Here to Email Tom PiantanidaSend a Private Message to Tom PiantanidaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

One word of caution from someone who learned the hard way: On the "better" distributor, the loop of wire from the pickup coil can be captured by the distributor cap. Tightening the cap crushes the wires and can - as I found out - thin the insulation to the point where you have hard starting and intermittent misfire. Just be careful.

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xtn668
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Report this Post02-21-2007 03:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for xtn668Click Here to visit xtn668's HomePageSend a Private Message to xtn668Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

This is a "Performance Tool" distributor clamp wrench, part number W1186, inexpensive and indespensible.




Jetman,

Where did you buy that wrench?

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xtn668
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Report this Post02-22-2007 10:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for xtn668Click Here to visit xtn668's HomePageSend a Private Message to xtn668Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

If anyone can give me a hint to where to buy the wrench I would appreciate it. I just wanted to know if any local stores carry it, or any Performance Tools.
I found one online but I do not want to pay $10 handling fee for a $5 part if I can get it locally.

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jetman
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Report this Post02-22-2007 12:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I purchased that distributor wrench at the local Murrays Auto Parts Store. I honestly didn't think that it was all that exotic, rather an "el-cheapo" wrench, you would think that it would be widely available.

I performed a rebuild on my older distributor, lots of pictures here at my photopage, "distributor rebuild". I specifically thought ahead for everyone, I use smugmug for my photos, tons of bandwidth so download reference pictures to your hearts content.

[This message has been edited by jetman (edited 06-23-2009).]

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xtn668
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Report this Post02-22-2007 01:09 PM Click Here to See the Profile for xtn668Click Here to visit xtn668's HomePageSend a Private Message to xtn668Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks

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turboguy327
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Report this Post02-27-2007 09:38 AM Click Here to See the Profile for turboguy327Click Here to Email turboguy327Send a Private Message to turboguy327Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

i purchaseed that same wrench at advance auto for 7.99 i think it was if that helps anybody. pep boys had one too but they wanted 18.99 for it

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Report this Post03-18-2007 08:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ka4nkfClick Here to Email ka4nkfSend a Private Message to ka4nkfEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Very nice writeup thanks
Don

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alex de jorge
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Report this Post03-19-2007 06:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for alex de jorgeClick Here to Email alex de jorgeSend a Private Message to alex de jorgeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Thanks for taking the time to do the write up.

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Report this Post03-19-2007 12:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AquaHuskyClick Here to Email AquaHuskySend a Private Message to AquaHuskyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I have a wrench not unlike that one. What I have is a black oxide box end that has 2 90* bends in it. But, what my older friends from back when I was first really getting into this(They were about 50-60 years old when I was 14-15), did is they'd go buy a wrench in the size they needed from the swap meets or wherever, and heat it then put the bends in themselves.

The one I have is a 9/16ths for the old Malibu I used to have. The timing never felt right and I was always trying to fix it. I used a timing light, but at speed, it never sounded right. I found out later the vacuum and mechanical advance was rusted still. haha

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87SEV6Reborn05
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Report this Post04-24-2007 09:39 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87SEV6Reborn05Click Here to Email 87SEV6Reborn05Send a Private Message to 87SEV6Reborn05Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Ok so if I didn't get the distributor back in perfect how can I adjust it, or get the engine back in the right place to slide the distributor back in?

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Formula88
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Report this Post04-24-2007 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

 
quote
Originally posted by 87SEV6Reborn05:

Ok so if I didn't get the distributor back in perfect how can I adjust it, or get the engine back in the right place to slide the distributor back in?


1. Don't turn the engine over while the distributor is out. If you do, you'll have to find #1 TDC on the compression stroke to find your reference.

Otherwise, you can just pull the distributor out and put it back in one tooth in either direction. If you're close, chances are you're not more than 1 or 2 teeth off. From there you time it by turning the distributor before fully tightening the hold down clamp.

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Formula Owner
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Report this Post04-25-2007 10:33 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula OwnerSend a Private Message to Formula OwnerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

Nice writeup. I only have one comment to add. If you're removing & replacing the same distributor, the rubber o-ring must be replaced with a new one. Unless you just enjoy oil leaks.

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87SEV6Reborn05
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Report this Post04-25-2007 01:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87SEV6Reborn05Click Here to Email 87SEV6Reborn05Send a Private Message to 87SEV6Reborn05Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm at TDC for #1 where does the distributor need to to be pointing.
here is a diagram I have and where the distibutor is pointing. where is #1 on here or should I just plug up the #1 plug wire to this spot and go around from there with the other spark plug wires?

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87SEV6Reborn05
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Report this Post04-25-2007 01:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87SEV6Reborn05Click Here to Email 87SEV6Reborn05Send a Private Message to 87SEV6Reborn05Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

I'm at TDC for #1 where does the distributor need to to be pointing.
here is a diagram I have and where the distibutor is pointing. where is #1 on here or should I just plug up the #1 plug wire to this spot and go around from there with the other spark plug wires?

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87SEV6Reborn05
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Report this Post04-25-2007 03:05 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 87SEV6Reborn05Click Here to Email 87SEV6Reborn05Send a Private Message to 87SEV6Reborn05Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

ok this is where I'm at, I shaded the area for the cap and I'm at TDC #1 , think I need to pull up the distributor and move it a little to the left making the arrow point to what I have labeled as #1, is this correct?
This is location 1



This is location 2


Ok what diagram is correct if any?

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avengador1
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Report this Post04-25-2007 03:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for avengador1Click Here to Email avengador1Send a Private Message to avengador1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

It should be number 5 in your first picture. You can actually make it any one you want but it will confuse you and the next owner of the car as it is shown differently in the manuals. Here is a picture from one of the manuals.

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jetman
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Report this Post06-21-2007 05:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

If you have a good induction timing light, hook it up to your coil wire and you will be timing for both your #1 cylinder and your #4 cylinder at the same time. I just tried it myself and it worked like a charm. For years I've taken the difference between #1 and #4 as I set the timing, this is so much simpler.

I wish that I could remember the forum member that had suggested this idea, I really wanted to give credit where credit is due for this teriffic idea.

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