How to Replace the Distributor on a 1999 Escalade

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Cadillac introduced the Escalade in 1999, to respond to the Lincoln Navigator and other luxury SUVs. The Escalade came with a 5.7-liter-Vortec V-8 and the Autotrac selectable four-wheel-drive system. The distributor is located behind the intake manifold and is the heart of the ignition system, delivering a high voltage pulse to the spark plugs for only 1.5-milliseconds, which in turn allows for complete combustion of the air and fuel mixture when operating at peak efficiency.

Things You'll Need

  • Distributor wrench
  • Torx screwdriver set
  • Paint marker
  • Replacement Distributor
  • Distributor cap
  • Distributor cap screws part number 10475922
  • Scan tool
  • Torque wrench
  • Ensure the ignition switch is turned off. Mark the spark plug wires and their corresponding ports on the distributor cap using the paint marker. Remove the coil and spark plug wires by twisting the boots while pulling them from the distributor cap. Disconnect the electrical connector from the distributor. Remove and discard the distributor cap screws and remove the distributor cap.

  • Make two reference marks; one for the rotor's position to the distributor housing, and another for the distributor to the intake manifold. This will allow for installation of the replacement distributor without making adjustments. Do not crank the engine after this point or all of the reference marks will be incorrect. Remove the distributor mounting bolt and hold-down clamp with the distributor wrench. Slowly remove the distributor in a straight upward movement. The rotor will rotate counterclockwise 42 degrees. When the rotor stops moving make a third mark on the base of the distributor.

  • Transfer the marks made on the old distributor to the new one. Rotate the rotor to the second position mark on the distributor. Insert the distributor, making sure to line up the first mark with the mark on the intake manifold. As you ease the down, observe the rotor, it should rotate clockwise 42 degrees to line up with the first mark when the distributor is fully seated. If the distributor does not line up correctly, remove the distributor and repeat this step.

  • Install the distributor mounting clamp and bolt, and torque it to 18 foot-pounds. Install the distributor cap and new mounting screws, and tighten them to 21 inch-pounds. Install the electrical connector to the base of the distributor. Insert the coil and plug wires into their respective ports. Using the scan tool of a code reader, clear the codes in the PCM. Start the engine and allow it to reach operating temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Liquid paper can be used in the place of the paint marker.
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