How to Replace a Toyota Distributor Cap
The distributor cap on a Toyota is the plastic cap on top of the distributor where the spark plug wires connect. A small plastic rotor spins inside the distributor cap, firing each spark plug as it rotates. A cracked or damaged distributor can cause poor engine performance, so you should replace it immediately. If you are replacing the distributor cap as part of an engine tuneup, you must replace the rotor as well.
- Moderately Easy
- Wrench set
- Masking tape
- Phillips screwdriver
Open the hood of your Toyota, and disconnect the ground cable from the negative battery terminal by using a wrench to loosen the retaining bolt. Then pull the clamp off the terminal.
Label and remove the spark plug wires from the distributor cap, using masking tape and a marker.
Remove the distributor cap from the distributor. There will be two retaining pins on each side of the distributor cap. Using a Phillips screwdriver, depress each retain pin and rotate it one-half of a turn. Then lift the distributor cap off the distributor.
Remove the rotor from the distributor. Using the Phillips screwdriver pull out the two screws that connect the rotor to the distributor; then lift the rotor off the distributor shaft and remove it from the Toyota.
Set the rotor into position on the distributor shaft. It will seat on the distributor shaft in only one direction. Reinstall the two screws that secure the rotor to the distributor shaft.
Set the distributor cap onto the distributor. Use a Phillips screwdriver to reconnect the retaining pins on the cap to the distributor body.
Follow the labels you made during disassembly to reconnect the spark plug wires to the distributor.
Reconnect the ground cable to the negative battery terminal. Slide the clamp over the terminal, and tighten the retaining bolt.