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Thread: Distributor Replacement Removal Procedure

  1. #1
    Registered User 12sws27's Avatar
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    Distributor Replacement Removal Procedure

    I hope this is the appropriate section. I'm borrowing this from S10crewcab.com. It seems to be needed in a few of the forums with so many not dropping there dizzy in back the right way. I believe the year the S-Series started using this type dizzy was 96. I can be wrong. Maybe one of the mods/admins can edit it for better accuracy.


    Distributor Replacement Removal Procedure


    There are two procedures available to install the distributor:

    Use Installation Procedure 1 when the crankshaft has NOT been rotated from the original position.

    Use Installation Procedure 2 when any of the following components are removed:

    •The intake manifold
    •The cylinder head
    •The camshaft
    •The timing chain or sprocket
    •The complete engine .

    If the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) turns on and DTC P1345 sets after installing the distributor, this indicates an incorrectly installed distributor. Engine damage or distributor damage may occur. Use Procedure 2 in order to install the distributor

    1. Turn OFF the ignition.

    2. Remove air cleaner assembly.

    3. Remove the spark plug wires from the distributor cap.
    Twist each spark plug boot 1/2 turn.
    Pull only on the wire boot in order to remove the wire from the distributor cap.

    4. Remove the electrical connector from the base of the distributor.


    5. Remove the two screws that hold the distributor cap to the housing.

    6. Remove the distributor cap from the housing.


    7. Use a grease pencil in order to note the position of the rotor in relation to the distributor housing (1).

    8. Mark the distributor housing and the intake manifold with a grease pencil.


    9. Remove the mounting clamp hold down bolt.

    10. Remove the distributor.


    11. As the distributor is being removed from the engine, watch the rotor move in a counter-clockwise direction about 42 degrees. This will appear as slightly more than 1 clock position.

    12. Note the position of the rotor segment.

    13. Place a second mark on the base of the distributor (2). This will aid in achieving proper rotor alignment during the distributor installation.


    Installation Procedure 1


    1. If installing a new distributor assembly, place 2 marks on the new distributor housing in the same location as the 2 marks on the original housing.

    2. Remove the new distributor cap, if necessary.

    3. Align the rotor with the second mark (2).


    4. Guide the distributor into the engine.

    5. Align the hole in the distributor hold-down base over the mounting hole in the intake manifold.


    6. As the distributor is being installed, observe the rotor moving in a clockwise direction about 42 degrees.

    7. Once the distributor is completely seated, the rotor segment should be aligned with the mark on the distributor base (1).

    •If the rotor segment is not aligned with the number 1 mark, the driven gear teeth and the camshaft have meshed one or more teeth out of alignment.
    •In order to correct this condition, remove the distributor and reinstall the distributor.



    Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Clean any residual thread locking compound from the threads. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    8. Install the distributor mounting clamp bolt. Tighten Tighten the distributor clamp bolt to 25 N·m (18 lb ft).


    9. Install the distributor cap.

    10. Install two clean distributor cap screws. Tighten Tighten the screws to 2.4 N·m (21 lb in).

    11. Install the electrical connector to the distributor.

    12. Install the spark plug wires to the distributor cap.


    13. Install the ignition coil wire. Note the correct orientation of the wire boot.

    If the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) is turned ON after installing the distributor, and a DTC P1345 is found, the distributor has been installed incorrectly.

    14. Refer to installation procedure 2 if malfunction indicator lamp is turned ON after installing the distributor.


    Continued in post 2.
    Last edited by 12sws27; 08-30-2009 at 01:41 PM.
    1998 2dr Jimmy: 1998 GMC Jimmy, 4.3L V-6, 4L60E, Wynjammer S/C @6psi, Accel 300+ ign box, Taylor 8mm wires,EGR delete, CFM-Tech tb blade, Trans-Go shift kit w/vette servo, cat delete, Hooker Maxflow muffler, Zexel Torsen w/3.42s, Marine intake, 42lb/hr injectors, 255 Walbro, HPT standard, AEM UEGO W/B A/F meter.

    SOON 2 COME:Water/Meth, JBA headers & more exhaust upgrades, cal-tracs, LS1 e-fans and some stickier rear tires.

  2. #2
    Registered User 12sws27's Avatar
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    Installation Procedure 2

    Rotate the number 1 cylinder to top dead center (TDC) of the compression stroke. The engine front cover has 2 alignment tabs and the crankshaft balancer has 2 alignment marks (spaced 90 degrees apart) which are used for positioning number 1 piston at top dead center (TDC). With the piston on the compression stroke and at top dead center, the crankshaft balancer alignment mark (1) must align with the engine front cover tab (2) and the crankshaft balancer alignment mark (4) must align with the engine front cover tab (3).

    1. Rotate the crankshaft balancer clockwise until the alignment marks on the crankshaft balancer are aligned with the tabs on the engine front cover and the number 1 piston is at top dead center of the compression stroke.


    2. Align white paint mark on the bottom stem of the distributor, and the pre-drilled indent hole in the bottom of the gear (3).


    The ignition system distributor driven gear and rotor may be installed in multiple positions. In order to avoid mistakes, mark the distributor on the following components in order to ensure the same mounting position upon reassembly:

    •The distributor driven gear
    •The distributor shaft
    •The rotor holes Installing the driven gear 180 degrees out of alignment, or locating the rotor in the wrong holes, will cause a no-start condition. Premature engine wear or damage may result


    3. With the gear in this position, the rotor segment should be positioned as shown for a V6 engine (1) or V8 engine (2).

    •The alignment will not be exact.
    •If the driven gear is installed incorrectly, the dimple will be approximately 180 degrees opposite of the rotor segment when the gear is installed in the distributor.

    4. Using a long screw driver, align the oil pump drive shaft to the drive tab of the distributor.

    5. Guide the distributor into the engine. Ensure that the spark plug towers are perpendicular to the centerline of the engine.


    6. Once the distributor is fully seated, the rotor segment should be aligned with the pointer cast into the distributor base.
    There may be a 6 cast into this pointer, indicating that the distributor is to be used on a 6 cylinder engine or an 8, indicating that the distributor is to be used on a 8 cylinder engine.
    If the rotor segment does not come within a few degrees of the pointer, the gear mesh between the distributor and the camshaft may be off a tooth or more.
    If this is the case, repeat the procedure again in order to achieve proper alignment.



    Use the correct fastener in the correct location. Clean any residual thread locking compound from the threads. Use the correct tightening sequence and specifications when installing fasteners in order to avoid damage to parts and systems.

    7. Install the distributor mounting clamp bolt. Tighten Tighten the distributor clamp bolt to 25 N·m (18 lb ft).


    8. Install the distributor cap.

    9. Install two clean distributor cap screws. Tighten Tighten the screws to 2.4 N·m (21 lb in).

    10. Install the electrical connector to the distributor.

    11. Install the spark plug wires to the distributor cap.


    12. Install the ignition coil wire. Note the correct orientation of the wire boot.

    If the MIL is turned ON after installing the distributor, and a DTC P1345 is found, the distributor has been installed incorrectly.

    13. Repeat installation procedure 2 if the malfunction indicator lamp is turned ON after installing the distributor
    Last edited by 12sws27; 08-30-2009 at 01:38 PM.
    1998 2dr Jimmy: 1998 GMC Jimmy, 4.3L V-6, 4L60E, Wynjammer S/C @6psi, Accel 300+ ign box, Taylor 8mm wires,EGR delete, CFM-Tech tb blade, Trans-Go shift kit w/vette servo, cat delete, Hooker Maxflow muffler, Zexel Torsen w/3.42s, Marine intake, 42lb/hr injectors, 255 Walbro, HPT standard, AEM UEGO W/B A/F meter.

    SOON 2 COME:Water/Meth, JBA headers & more exhaust upgrades, cal-tracs, LS1 e-fans and some stickier rear tires.

  3. #3
    5.7L VORTEC 350 blazin4low's Avatar
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    very nice...this could have helped a few months ago, does the coil wire really need a 45* angle?


    i see a sticky
    http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t114/VortecBlazer/sidredo.jpg
    Tuned by EFI Alchemy
    Transmission built by Transbuilderguy on FSC!

  4. #4
    Zombie Killer 6SpeedBlazer's Avatar
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    the coil wire does need to be at a 45* angle. i have seen them not installed properly and arc to anything close that's metal.

    its mostly an issue on the astro vans because if the wire is not indexed properly it can rub the doghouse.

  5. #5
    My S-10 fleet is gone... s10blazed's Avatar
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    Is there anything more I should be concerned with if I just switch out the gear at the base of the distributor? Is there a 'key' to make sure it is positioned right?
    -Back to the only low vehicle being a 4x4.

  6. #6
    Zombie Killer 6SpeedBlazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s10blazed View Post
    Is there anything more I should be concerned with if I just switch out the gear at the base of the distributor? Is there a 'key' to make sure it is positioned right?
    drive the roll pin out then make sure the gear is indexed properly. the gear can be installed backwards since it has 13 teeth on it

  7. #7
    My S-10 fleet is gone... s10blazed's Avatar
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    I've got a few things I'd like to bring up here. Mostly concerning DTC P1345 on my 98 4x4.

    My problems started out with a very random and intermittent misfire code. I did all of the basic tune-ups to try and remedy it. (New cap, rotor, wires, plugs, coil, battery, big 3 upgrade). FYI, it still started and ran fine. Once that single misfire occurred, I could tell it chugged for a few turns but then went back to idling fine. At this point it is more of an annoyance and occurs often enough I can't get it legitimately inspected.

    So reading up I figure I better check the little gear at the base of my distributor. It seems they wear out fairly commonly. Instead, I was at Summit one day and just bought a brand spanking new distributor. When I got the old one out - the gear looked fine. Whoops.

    So I put the new distributor in. At first I did it the quick way just by marking the spots and putting it in how the old one came out. First attempt I forgot to plug in the harness. It started and ran fine, but there was an error code. I don't remember if it was the same one or not, but I plugged in the harness, cleared the code(s), and from then on I have had P1345.

    Further reading lead me to find someone with a fancy scan tool. Apparently there is a relearn procedure to get the sensors in time. I tried that with a Snap-On tool and the tool went back to the main menu every time we tried it. He has done this before and claims he never saw it do that in the past. Perhaps this needs done correctly?

    So my buddy was dead set that the distributor was in wrong. He told me to fix it then come back and he would try the procedure again. I went home and did the long way to install the distributor and ended up with the same results.

    If I turn it 1 tooth in either direction it won't run. (well, 1 tooth in one direction made it run... but not correctly by a long shot). I also tried on the opposite stroke in case I was aiming for the decompression stroke by some chance. It won't run at all 180 degrees off.

    So by trial and error I have concluded the distributor is in the right spot. I can drive it all day long with no noticeable problems. But the damn P1345 won't go away!!! It returns after being cleared immediately. Usually before the engine is fully started on it's own power.

    What are some other things I can check?

    Is there any other way to force a relearn procedure for those sensors?

    I don't recall seeing the pre-drilled indents labeled #3 in the first picture of post 2. Could this be out 180 degrees somehow?

    I might try my crankshaft sensor off my truck. That is one of the few remaining old parts in this equation. But I fear something worse will happen to my pickup if I take it off.
    -Back to the only low vehicle being a 4x4.

  8. #8
    Zombie Killer 6SpeedBlazer's Avatar
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    The distributor is installed wrong, no ifs ands or buts about it.

    P1345 is a crank cam coorelation error code.

    This means that the cam sensor (in the distributor) and the crank sensor are not within the specified allowable range. GM says the Allowable range is +/-3*.

    with a scanner you can look at cam retard in degrees. The engine has to be brough off idle for the live data stream to update.

    loosen the distributor and then rotate it in either direction until the crank and cam sensors are within the allowable range.

    late model 4.3L's had a non adjustable hold down setup, however i dont remember the change over year off the top of my head. There was one case at work where i had to open up the hold down hole to make it adjustable because i could not get it within the 3* specification.

    Quote Originally Posted by s10blazed View Post
    I've got a few things I'd like to bring up here. Mostly concerning DTC P1345 on my 98 4x4.

    My problems started out with a very random and intermittent misfire code. I did all of the basic tune-ups to try and remedy it. (New cap, rotor, wires, plugs, coil, battery, big 3 upgrade). FYI, it still started and ran fine. Once that single misfire occurred, I could tell it chugged for a few turns but then went back to idling fine. At this point it is more of an annoyance and occurs often enough I can't get it legitimately inspected.

    So reading up I figure I better check the little gear at the base of my distributor. It seems they wear out fairly commonly. Instead, I was at Summit one day and just bought a brand spanking new distributor. When I got the old one out - the gear looked fine. Whoops.

    So I put the new distributor in. At first I did it the quick way just by marking the spots and putting it in how the old one came out. First attempt I forgot to plug in the harness. It started and ran fine, but there was an error code. I don't remember if it was the same one or not, but I plugged in the harness, cleared the code(s), and from then on I have had P1345.

    Further reading lead me to find someone with a fancy scan tool. Apparently there is a relearn procedure to get the sensors in time. I tried that with a Snap-On tool and the tool went back to the main menu every time we tried it. He has done this before and claims he never saw it do that in the past. Perhaps this needs done correctly?

    So my buddy was dead set that the distributor was in wrong. He told me to fix it then come back and he would try the procedure again. I went home and did the long way to install the distributor and ended up with the same results.

    If I turn it 1 tooth in either direction it won't run. (well, 1 tooth in one direction made it run... but not correctly by a long shot). I also tried on the opposite stroke in case I was aiming for the decompression stroke by some chance. It won't run at all 180 degrees off.

    So by trial and error I have concluded the distributor is in the right spot. I can drive it all day long with no noticeable problems. But the damn P1345 won't go away!!! It returns after being cleared immediately. Usually before the engine is fully started on it's own power.

    What are some other things I can check?

    Is there any other way to force a relearn procedure for those sensors?

    I don't recall seeing the pre-drilled indents labeled #3 in the first picture of post 2. Could this be out 180 degrees somehow?

    I might try my crankshaft sensor off my truck. That is one of the few remaining old parts in this equation. But I fear something worse will happen to my pickup if I take it off.

  9. #9
    5.7L VORTEC 350 blazin4low's Avatar
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    my blazer gets the P1345 code randomly........it runs fine, but about once a month I get the code on start up, doesn't change how it runs but the light turns on
    http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t114/VortecBlazer/sidredo.jpg
    Tuned by EFI Alchemy
    Transmission built by Transbuilderguy on FSC!

  10. #10
    Zombie Killer 6SpeedBlazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazin4low View Post
    my blazer gets the P1345 code randomly........it runs fine, but about once a month I get the code on start up, doesn't change how it runs but the light turns on
    could be a lot of things. if the dist is set to the high or low side of the specification then it can randomly do it.

    but wear items like a distributor gear wearing out or a stretched timing chain can do it also.

  11. #11
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    marks right, go back to your friend and have him hook the scanner back up and go to the data stream and look at the cam retard, snap throttle to update the reading. the 4.3's should be good and seem to only go out of range when you get some wear in the distributor gear teeth, I notched a customers hold down bracket to adjust it once because there was wear and not letting it get within spec and they didnt want to fix it the right way.

    ...that or the dist. being a tooth off like said.


    89' S10 blazer 4wd: 355, 650 dp, rpm intake, comp 282 roller cam, modified vortecs, T56 Six speed, 8.8 ls rear, headers, x-pipe, spintech pro street mufflers, and......AC

    Blazer burnout video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP7iLypoDI4

  12. #12
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    LOL i think i copied everything mark said.


    89' S10 blazer 4wd: 355, 650 dp, rpm intake, comp 282 roller cam, modified vortecs, T56 Six speed, 8.8 ls rear, headers, x-pipe, spintech pro street mufflers, and......AC

    Blazer burnout video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sP7iLypoDI4

  13. #13
    Zombie Killer 6SpeedBlazer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbee View Post
    LOL i think i copied everything mark said.
    great minds think alike. :D

  14. #14
    My S-10 fleet is gone... s10blazed's Avatar
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    Well this is good and bad news.

    Good news because I have some hope to get it adjusted. Bad news because I know it is in right. I did look at the timings when I had the scan tool hooked to it. I am not sure I was looking at the right number but +1 degree was in the live stats.

    Is it possible to have a defective distributor? When I put the stock one back in I don't get the P1345 code, but the random misfire comes back within a mile usually. I've never got a random misfire with the new distributor - only P1345.
    -Back to the only low vehicle being a 4x4.

  15. #15
    My S-10 fleet is gone... s10blazed's Avatar
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    Also, I was wondering if there is anything internally on the engine that could be causing problems? How far into it would I need to tear down and check? Could the timing chain have skipped a tooth?

    Of course I should have known a free Blazer was too good to be true.
    -Back to the only low vehicle being a 4x4.

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