How to Do a Distributor Replacement on a Buick Roadmaster


Replace the distributor in your Buick Roadmaster if it malfunctions or if you want to upgrade to a better distributor. You can swap out the standard distributor for a high-energy distributor (HEI). You can also substitute a points distributor if you are going to install an M.S.D. box -- M.S.D. is a multiple spark distribution system commonly found in race cars, but also increases gas mileage and starting in passenger cars and trucks.

Things You'll Need

  • Set of wrenches
  • Liquid eraser
  • Screwdriver
  • Distributor wrench
  • Torque wrench
  • Disconnect the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench, then set it aside, ensuring that it does not touch metal. Match-mark the distributor cap to the distributor base. Unplug the distributor's electrical connector.

  • Remove the distributor cap, using the screwdriver, but leave the spark plug wires attached to the cap. Mark the distributor base just below the rotor, right at the center of the rotor. Make another mark on the engine to match the mark you just made on the housing.

  • Remove the distributor hold-down bolt, using the distributor wrench. Remove the distributor from the engine.

  • Hold the old distributor next to the new distributor. Mark the new distributor in the same places that the old distributor is marked. Install the new distributor, ensuring that the marks are lined up. Install the distributor hold-down bolt and tighten it to 20 foot-pounds of torque.

  • Mark the new distributor cap in the same place as the old cap. Place the new cap onto the distributor. Hold the old cap with the wires next to the new cap. Transfer the wires one by one, ensuring that each wire goes onto the appropriate tower, based on the marks on the new and old cap, and starting with the wire above one of the marks. Plug in the distributor's electrical connector. Reattach the negative battery cable.

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