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Replacing Ignition Wires, Rotor and Distributor Cap
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Ignition Wires, Rotor and Distributor Cap

Mike Holloway

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$100 to $400

Talent:

*

Tools:

10mm Socket Wrench, Wire Clippers, Flat Head Screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1972-89)

Parts Required:

New Ignition Wires, Rotor, Distributor Cap

Hot Tip:

Replace Distributor

Performance Gain:

Reduced Electrical Issues and Battery Drain

Complementary Modification:

Replace Spark Plugs

One basic tune-up procedure for just about any car on the road is the replacement of your spark plugs and spark plug wires. I recommend examining and/or replacing your spark plugs every 30,000 miles, or about once every other year. In reality, you can probably go longer than that, (most manufacturers recommend an interval of 100,000 miles) but, you never really quite know how long the plugs are going to last. A lot of factors can contribute to the plugs wearing out faster than you might expect especially as the car ages. Another part you should check is the distributor cap and rotor. In this article, we will show you how to replace your rotor, ignition wires, and distributor cap.

This article assumes that your engine has been running fine and that you are not having a timing issue. If you do not disturb the rotation or placement of the distributor itself you do not need to worry about setting the engine to top dead center and resetting the timing.

If you are only changing the ignition wires, rotor, and distributor cap it is a good idea to label the wires so you will know which goes on which.

Begin by sliding the air inlet tube away from the radiator and remove.
Figure 1

Begin by sliding the air inlet tube away from the radiator and remove.

Unscrew the air box cover and unlatch the clips around the outside of the air box as if you are replacing the air filter.
Figure 2

Unscrew the air box cover and unlatch the clips around the outside of the air box as if you are replacing the air filter.

Unscrew the left side bracket for the air box with a 10mm socket wrench.
Figure 3

Unscrew the left side bracket for the air box with a 10mm socket wrench.

Unscrew the left side bracket for the air box with a 10mm socket wrench.
Figure 4

Unscrew the left side bracket for the air box with a 10mm socket wrench.

Remove the air box.
Figure 5

Remove the air box. This will make getting to the ignition wires much easier.

Unscrew the ignition wire bracket with a 10mm socket wrench.
Figure 6

Unscrew the ignition wire bracket with a 10mm socket wrench.

Clip the cable tie freeing the ignition wires.
Figure 7

Clip the cable tie freeing the ignition wires.

Unscrew right side screw that holds the distributor cover.
Figure 8

Unscrew right side screw that holds the distributor cover. Use a large flat head screw driver, push the screw down and give it a half turn, it will pop up when released.

Unscrew left side screw that holds the distributor cover.
Figure 9

Unscrew left side screw that holds the distributor cover. Use a large flat head screw driver, push the screw down and give it a half turn, it will pop up when released.

Remove the cover.
Figure 10

Remove the cover.

With the cap off you can remove the rotor.
Figure 11

With the cap off you can remove the rotor. There is a guide key that the rotor fits into that lines it up, do not try and force the rotor on any other way than sliding it up from the guide key.

Remove the dust cover and inspect.
Figure 12

Remove the dust cover and inspect.

Inspect the dust cover for cracks.
Figure 13

Inspect the dust cover for cracks. If the dust cover shows any signs of cracks (like this one) it should be replaced.

With the rotor off, inspect for any signs of corrosion or severe wear.
Figure 14

With the rotor off, inspect for any signs of corrosion or severe wear.

Check the cap for dark and charred scorching on the inside of the cap.
Figure 15

Check the cap for dark and charred scorching on the inside of the cap. This can be signs of arcing meaning there may be a problem with the vacuum advance on the distributor. This cap looks like it needs to be replaced.

The ignition wires are now free along with the cap and can be changed.
Figure 16

The ignition wires are now free along with the cap and can be changed. Installation is the reverse of removal. Please note that if replacing the rotor you must turn the rotor clockwise. It will snap into place and be pulled down by the rotor shaft. Pay attention not to force it or the cap will crack when the ignition is engaged.

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Page last updated: Sun 12/11/2016 02:25:01 AM