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Replacing your distributor cap and rotor (GEN3)

Posted 08-01-2002 at 12:00 AM by StyleTEG

REPLACING YOUR ROTOR AND DISTRIBUTOR CAP

Replacing your rotor and distributor cap is an easy and cheap to do. Like spark plugs, when these ignition components are worn down they can cause a drop in performance and even cause misfires and rough idle. The rotor passes current to the distributor cap tower contacts, which then goes through the wires to the spark plugs. It is easy to see why these items are important to keep in good working condition.

What is Required:
- 8mm wrench
- OEM Honda distributor cap, and rotor
- Small Flathead screwdriver
- Phillips head screwdriver

First locate your distributor. Its pretty easy to find, it is attached to the passenger side of the engine block and the spark plug wires run from it to the individual spark plugs. The distributor cap itself, is the black plastic housing that the wires plug into. Start by unplugging all of the spark plugs wires from the distributor cap. Next, use the 8mm wrench to remove the three bolts that connect the distributor cap to the distributor themselves. There are two on the top two sides of the cap, and one on the bottom middle of the cap.








Once you have those fully removed, you can pull off the cap itself exposing the rotor. The rotor is attached to the shaft of the distributor by a phillips screw. The screw is accessible from the the side of the distributor closes to the firewall. If you can not see the screw, the rotor is facing the wrong way and you may have to crank the engine a few times to get it to move. Make sure the distributor cap and wires are far away from the rotor and distributor when doing this.

It is very important to make sure you are using the correct sized screwdriver when removing this screw. It is on very tight, and is very easy to strip. Further, because of the clearance issues it is a major pain to remove once it has been stripped. Be extra careful at this point.








Once you have removed the screw, pull the rotor straight out. Open your new rotor from its package and slide it onto the distributor shaft in the same position as the old one. Replace the allen bolt, and your work with the rotor is done. Before putting on your new distributor cap, it is important to replace the gasket that goes in between the cap and the distributor. This prevents water from getting into your distributor and causing electrical problems. Use a small flat head screwdriver to pry out the old gasket, then replace it with your new one.






Once you have replaced the gasket, simply put the new distributor cap on and tighten the bolts. Be careful not to tighten them to much, as they are very fragile and break easily. Once you have the distributor cap secure simply replace the spark plug wires according in position according to this diagram and you are done!
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    following this method is the sure way to fry a coil which can/will lead to no start condition. someone please revise this so people dont have the issue i described..
    the SAFEST and best way is to remove the front driver wheel, stick a 17 or 19mm socket to crankshaft bolt and turn it counter clock wise until you see the rotor screw.
    permalink
    Posted 08-28-2011 at 10:43 PM by 20LS01 20LS01 is offline
    Updated 08-28-2011 at 10:46 PM by 20LS01
  2. Old Comment
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 20LS01 View Comment
    following this method is the sure way to fry a coil which can/will lead to no start condition. someone please revise this so people dont have the issue i described..
    the SAFEST and best way is to remove the front driver wheel, stick a 17 or 19mm socket to crankshaft bolt and turn it counter clock wise until you see the rotor screw.
    Agreed better to be safe than sorry just turn the crankshaft bolt. Even safer, you don't even need to jack the car up to turn the crankshaft bolt.

    Simply do the following,
    1. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left (to give you more space)
    2. Look in the drivers side wheel well and you'll see a hole with a bunch of flaps. Grab a 19mm socket and extensions and ONLY TURN THE CRANSKSHAFT BOLT COUNTERCLOCKWISE
    3. Turn a little and check to see if the rotor screw is visible, keep doing so until you have access to the rotor screw.

    When you're turning the crankshaft bolt you'll see all the belts/gears moving. This is normal and what you're trying to accomplish.
    permalink
    Posted 08-01-2013 at 01:28 PM by 01LSi 01LSi is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Tip:
    1) The tip of the Rotor should be facing you and parallel to the ground to access the Rotor screw (Photo 3 pointing the screw but it will not be visible in that position. Photo 4 shows the screw hole being on the back of the tip of the rotor.
    2) A hole with a bunch of flaps - the flaps might be missing. There is another bolt a bit front to it and readily visible - it is not the one. The actual one is difficult to see as it is deep inside.
    permalink
    Posted 06-28-2014 at 04:22 PM by sciconf sciconf is offline
 

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