Had a look under the distributor cap... - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-02, 04:45 AM Thread Starter
Shaken Not Stirred
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Question Had a look under the distributor cap...

88 EA S MPFI 3 spd auto

I had a look under the distributor cap today, its gonna need replaced! :(
I couldn't figure out how the distributor comes out?
Does the rotor come off, or does the whole dizzy need to come off from the block? Or should I just leave it alone?
The dizzy cap really needs replaced, so I am wondering how the rest of it is looking? This car doesnt have points does it?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-02, 05:00 AM
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OK, the distributor itself you shouldnt have to touch. The rotor button just pulls off and pushes on. There are no points in these dizzies. While your there u might aswell check your leads aswell if you havent for a while.

Phat Drift Damaged Cobalt Blue 1994 EF XR8 5 spd
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-19-02, 05:22 AM
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Warning: What you are about to read contains technobabble which may cause those of non-mechanical backgrounds to go into pyschological shock. Please seek a mechanics help if none of what I wrote made any sense to you whatsoever as it's a very complex procedure known as the EA distributor change.

There is a bolt that needs to be undone to take the distributor out, and you should be able to see it by looking down inbetween the 2nd and 3rd MPFI intake tube with a bright light. You'll need a 13mm on a very long extension to undo it.

You may want to undo the plastic and rubber intake tubes and take off the throttle body which is held on with 4 hex screws, because it will make the job much easier.

Before you remove the distributor set the mark on your harmonic balancer to TDC by rotating the engine using the starter motor relay(you will need gregories to find out how to do that) and by using a 22mm socket on the harmonic balancer nut to get it to the exact spot.

After you have done that check your distributor to make sure the rotor is pointing *near* where spark lead number 1 is. If it's pointing a different direction from it, you will need to rotate the harmonic balancer another complete turn.

Once it's at TDC, remove the distributor by lifting it straight up. Putting in the new one is a big piss around... you'll need to put it in so that the rotor is about 45 degree's clockwise of number 1 spot and then push it down a little and turn it anticlockwise until it engages. You'll have to turn the harmonic balancer with the wrench again because the distributor will only engage the oil pump at certain points. Keep turning the harmonic balancer and then playing with the distributor until it engages for a second time.

Once you have done that, remember the point that number 1 cylinder is located compared to the rotor, put the cap back on, then do the bolt and mount back up and hook everything else that you disconnected.

You will need to do a timing check with a timing light to get it perfect again.
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-02, 01:49 AM
96 EF Futura
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Distributor caps need/should be replaced at every service interval, as well as the rotor button.
the rotor button just slides off ( can be difficult in EA's ) and the new one slides straight on and can only go in one way.
To replace the cap ( DO NOT just pull all of the plug leads off )
Check and make sure you have the correct cap and that you have it the right way around......then pull one plug lead off and put it in the same place on the new cap. Continue all the way around until all of your leads are effectively on the new cap....then simply throw the old one away, clip the new one down and start her up.
The caps are consumables....they have been designed to be replaced...so dont be too worried if it looks a little worn....the dizzy itself should be fine.
No, ea's have an electronic distributor which does away with the old points system...so generally all you will have to replace is the cap ( $15 ) and the rotor button ($7) when servicing.

Lets go find that Hotdog tree I planted

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Black Steelies ( too cheap to buy proper mags )
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-02, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info!
I bougt a new distributor cap and managed to get it swapped over without any problems. I tried to get the rotor off, but it would budge with a screwdriver prsing it up, so I left it, didnt want to create any problems with it.
As I mentioned in another post in the forum, I set my idle speed to about 700 rpm, but after a about 20 seconds or so, sometimes quicker, the revs drop to about 400-500, sometimes it falls slowly, sometimes, it falls suddenly to this speed. even after adjusting the idle with the screw on the throttle body, the computer seems to readjust itself back down to 450 rpm.
It was suggested it could be the oxy sensor....what other sensor could cause this, or what other thing could cause this?
Is there any way to test the oxy sensor, or is it a case of buying a new one? I am strapped for cash, so I only want to buy something if its likely it will help.

The car seems to run ok, its just annoying having the idle keep pulling itself back down to 450.

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