Installing a Distributor Rotor & Cap

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Step by step instructions on how to install a distributor rotor and cap in your car with expert tips in this free auto repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Change a Distributor Cap
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Video Transcript

In this clip, we’re going to talk about the proper installation of your distributor router and the distributor cap. On this particular vehicle, the distributor router just pops right on. On some routers there will be a small retaining bolt that will go through one of the sides. If you look at the router, it has a very distinct shape on the inside ,that makes it idiot proof. It will only go on one way. Slide it right on, there you go. That’s the installation of the router. If it has a retaining bolt, a very small amount of blue Loctite, and when I say small I mean very small, just enough to cover one half of the bolt surface thread portion. Blue Loctite, not red. Blue Loctite is removable. If you use red you will never get that bolt out again. Run that bolt in, one quarter turn past snug, and you’ll be all set. The reason why I used the Loctite is if that bolt comes out…This is a very high speed rotating device, it will wreak havoc all over the inside of the distributor and the distributor cap, that can possibly destroy the whole assembly. Once you have your router on, proper installation of the cap is very necessary. Just slide it right over our ignition coil probe. As you can see here, there is a very small rubber gasket. That gasket is there to keep out moisture and air, and that ambient air contains a small portion of moisture. If that gasket's integrity has been failed, air will get inside; moisture will get inside, if you run through a mud puddle. If you live in Michigan like we do the weather is terrible most of the time. Any kind of moisture inside it will cause the vehicle to run funny or to not even start. Make sure everything is seated properly. These bolts here, I like to run down finger tight. I put all the bolts in before I tighten any of them. That ensures that all the holes are lineup for you. If you tighten one bolt down before you have all them in, that may cock your distributor and make installation of the other bolts extremely difficult. The same as the distribution rotor button, you’re going to want to put a compound on these bolts. Not to keep them from coming apart but to keep them from sticking together when you want to take them apart. You can use some of your dielectric grease or if you have it on hand you can use a compound called Anti-seize. It looks a little bit like a pasted silver, almost metallic looking. That will keep your bolts from seizing together with the aluminum housing and makes future service a lot easier for you. There you go; the distributor cap is now installed.

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