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Jeep Cherokee distributor issue

Discussion in 'rec.autos.4x4' started by Paul Bramscher, Dec 14, 2004.

< Previous Thread | Next Thread >
  1. Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98
    Jeep Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining
    sound that goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but
    then placed my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there,
    which went away when the sound went away.

    Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?

    Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor
    looked ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the
    spark plugs!

    Just kidding -- of course I did.

    Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain
    where this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past,
    and did this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a
    little rusty, but not a total amateur.)

    Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in
    the distributor?

    I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save
    me $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.

    -Paul Bramscher
     
  2. Jo Bo

    Jo Bo Guest

    This can be done with a "claw foot" wrench that's basically a very short
    open end wrench that you put a long extension on and then your ratchet. They
    come in a set and are sometimes very handy. They also make a distributor
    wrench made just for that. Also before pulling the distributor make
    absolutly sure you know where the rotor is pointing and don't turn the
    engine till the new one is in. You'll also notice that the bolt fits between
    two fingers on the distributor and keeps it from turning.

    JoBo

    "Paul Bramscher" <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote in message
    news:cpllch$lod$1@lenny.tc.umn.edu...
    > Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98 Jeep
    > Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining sound that
    > goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but then placed
    > my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there, which went away
    > when the sound went away.
    >
    > Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >
    > Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor looked
    > ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the spark
    > plugs!
    >
    > Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >
    > Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    > retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    > (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain where
    > this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past, and did
    > this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a little rusty,
    > but not a total amateur.)
    >
    > Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    > brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    > way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    > Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in the
    > distributor?
    >
    > I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save me
    > $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >
    > -Paul Bramscher



     
  3. Dave

    Dave Guest

    You can pick up a distributor wrench at your local auto parts store. This is
    a box end wrench that has a bend so it will go under the dist. base and
    reach the bolt. They are pretty cheap. Around 15 dollars.
    "Paul Bramscher" <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote in message
    news:cpllch$lod$1@lenny.tc.umn.edu...
    > Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98 Jeep
    > Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining sound that
    > goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but then placed
    > my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there, which went away
    > when the sound went away.
    >
    > Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >
    > Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor looked
    > ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the spark
    > plugs!
    >
    > Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >
    > Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    > retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    > (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain where
    > this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past, and did
    > this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a little rusty,
    > but not a total amateur.)
    >
    > Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    > brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    > way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    > Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in the
    > distributor?
    >
    > I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save me
    > $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >
    > -Paul Bramscher



     
  4. Thanks for the help (both replies). Now that I recall, I did this on an
    old Dodge Diplomat when replacing the head gasket. I had the top half
    of the engine pretty cleared away and didn't have any problems getting
    at the distributor. I priced the job out at a mechanic this morning,
    doing it myself will save $150.

    The guy here (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) wants you to
    mark the direction of the rotor twice. One before you pull it (straight
    out), and again after it's done rotating as it comes out. This way, you
    rotate it to position before you put it in, it spins, then should be at
    the original mark when you re-attach the retaining bolt.

    It's been 10+ years since I did this. That sound about right? Two
    marks make it a little easier?

    Jo Bo wrote:
    > This can be done with a "claw foot" wrench that's basically a very short
    > open end wrench that you put a long extension on and then your ratchet. They
    > come in a set and are sometimes very handy. They also make a distributor
    > wrench made just for that. Also before pulling the distributor make
    > absolutly sure you know where the rotor is pointing and don't turn the
    > engine till the new one is in. You'll also notice that the bolt fits between
    > two fingers on the distributor and keeps it from turning.
    >
    > JoBo
    >
    > "Paul Bramscher" <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote in message
    > news:cpllch$lod$1@lenny.tc.umn.edu...
    >
    >>Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98 Jeep
    >>Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining sound that
    >>goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but then placed
    >>my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there, which went away
    >>when the sound went away.
    >>
    >>Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >>
    >>Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor looked
    >>ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the spark
    >>plugs!
    >>
    >>Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >>
    >>Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    >>retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    >>(http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain where
    >>this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past, and did
    >>this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a little rusty,
    >>but not a total amateur.)
    >>
    >>Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    >>brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    >>way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    >>Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in the
    >>distributor?
    >>
    >>I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save me
    >>$100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >>
    >>-Paul Bramscher

    >
    >
    >

     
  5. Sean Trost

    Sean Trost Guest

    Paul
    yes those two marks are a lifesaver as the gears are helical cut. wich
    means that the rotor will rotate as you slide it back down. You can
    forgo the second on if you want but will require trial and error to get
    the right tooth.
    Sean
    78 cj
    304
    t400
    quadracrap..er trac.


    Paul Bramscher wrote:
    > Thanks for the help (both replies). Now that I recall, I did this on an
    > old Dodge Diplomat when replacing the head gasket. I had the top half
    > of the engine pretty cleared away and didn't have any problems getting
    > at the distributor. I priced the job out at a mechanic this morning,
    > doing it myself will save $150.
    >
    > The guy here (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) wants you to
    > mark the direction of the rotor twice. One before you pull it (straight
    > out), and again after it's done rotating as it comes out. This way, you
    > rotate it to position before you put it in, it spins, then should be at
    > the original mark when you re-attach the retaining bolt.
    >
    > It's been 10+ years since I did this. That sound about right? Two
    > marks make it a little easier?
    >
    > Jo Bo wrote:
    >
    >> This can be done with a "claw foot" wrench that's basically a very
    >> short open end wrench that you put a long extension on and then your
    >> ratchet. They come in a set and are sometimes very handy. They also
    >> make a distributor wrench made just for that. Also before pulling the
    >> distributor make absolutly sure you know where the rotor is pointing
    >> and don't turn the engine till the new one is in. You'll also notice
    >> that the bolt fits between two fingers on the distributor and keeps it
    >> from turning.
    >>
    >> JoBo
    >>
    >> "Paul Bramscher" <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote in message
    >> news:cpllch$lod$1@lenny.tc.umn.edu...
    >>
    >>> Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98
    >>> Jeep Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining
    >>> sound that goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt,
    >>> but then placed my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations
    >>> there, which went away when the sound went away.
    >>>
    >>> Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >>>
    >>> Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor
    >>> looked ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of
    >>> the spark plugs!
    >>>
    >>> Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >>>
    >>> Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    >>> retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    >>> (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain
    >>> where this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the
    >>> past, and did this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago.
    >>> (I'm a little rusty, but not a total amateur.)
    >>>
    >>> Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    >>> brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with
    >>> no way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too
    >>> tall. Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt
    >>> holding in the distributor?
    >>>
    >>> I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably
    >>> save me $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >>>
    >>> -Paul Bramscher

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>


     
  6. Smart guy... Yes, two marks make the replacement *much* easier...

    On Tue, 14 Dec 2004 08:24:24 -0600, Paul Bramscher
    <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote:

    >The guy here (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) wants you to
    >mark the direction of the rotor twice. One before you pull it (straight
    >out), and again after it's done rotating as it comes out. This way, you
    >rotate it to position before you put it in, it spins, then should be at
    >the original mark when you re-attach the retaining bolt.
    >


     
  7. Common problem Paul. The dist. shaft bushings get dry and the dist. makes a
    high pitched squeal or wine. You can test it by spraying penetrating oil
    down the shaft into the bushing. This is a temp fix to confirm the problem.
    Or remove dist. remove the plug on the side of the dist.. Push grease in the
    hole, and silicone seal the hole closed. Try this before replacing the dist.


    "Paul Bramscher" <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote in message
    news:cpllch$lod$1@lenny.tc.umn.edu...
    > Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98 Jeep
    > Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining sound that
    > goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but then placed
    > my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there, which went away
    > when the sound went away.
    >
    > Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >
    > Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor looked
    > ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the spark
    > plugs!
    >
    > Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >
    > Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    > retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    > (http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain where
    > this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past, and did
    > this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a little rusty,
    > but not a total amateur.)
    >
    > Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    > brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    > way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    > Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in the
    > distributor?
    >
    > I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save me
    > $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >
    > -Paul Bramscher



     
  8. On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 21:05:38 -0600, Paul Bramscher
    <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote:

    >Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98
    >Jeep Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining
    >sound that goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but
    >then placed my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there,
    >which went away when the sound went away.
    >
    >Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    >
    >Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor
    >looked ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the
    >spark plugs!
    >
    >Just kidding -- of course I did.
    >
    >Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    >retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    >(http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain
    >where this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past,
    >and did this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a
    >little rusty, but not a total amateur.)
    >
    >Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    >brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    >way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    >Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in
    >the distributor?
    >
    >I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save
    >me $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    >
    >-Paul Bramscher

    The distributor on our (ex) 95 Wrangler went in the same way.
    I am 54 years old and cannot remember having had another distributor
    go bad. I can't even remember a friend who had a distributor go bad.

    That Dodge product was the worst vehicle we ever had. Poor mileage,
    ate manual transmissions, leaky in the rain, hard to get parts for
    (and expensive), poor handling on the highway, too many blind spots.
    The worst was that although the heater could melt the boots right off
    your feet you sit in a one layer thick, un insulated tin can and you
    can see your breath most days all winter long. Barely had enough
    power to defrost it's own windshield.

    Can't remember how I changed it but the job was done in the driveway
    since the 35 mile tow job is too expensive to suit me.

    -
    Regards
    Gordie
     
  9. Will Honea

    Will Honea Guest

    Engineers should be forced to work on some of the crap we produce!
    You probably found the right bolt - forward and toward the block from
    the distributor. I think I was able to get mine out with a wobble
    extension and a short set of 1/4 inch sockets I have, but it may have
    been one of those "get a short wrench on it and grunt" deals.

    I've have the bushings go in a couple of distributors over the years,
    but not often. Usually, the GM ones just keep getting sloppier over
    time. Anyway, once you get hold of the bolt, it attaches a hold down
    shoe. Remove the bolt and shoe, then the distributor pulls straight
    out. Thinking back, the hard part was getting that @#$% bolt back in.
    I put in in the hole in the clamp shoe then used that to get it
    positioned. PITA, for sure. At least you don't have to mess with it
    to adjust timing, but watch replacing the distributor - it's common to
    get it in one tooth off on the drive gear and the computer can't
    adjust the timing that way.

    On Sat, 15 Apr 2006 03:31:49 UTC The Nolalu Barn Owl
    <gordie@nolalu.on.ca> wrote:

    > On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 21:05:38 -0600, Paul Bramscher
    > <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote:
    >
    > >Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98
    > >Jeep Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining
    > >sound that goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but
    > >then placed my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there,
    > >which went away when the sound went away.
    > >
    > >Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    > >
    > >Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor
    > >looked ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the
    > >spark plugs!
    > >
    > >Just kidding -- of course I did.
    > >
    > >Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    > >retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    > >(http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain
    > >where this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past,
    > >and did this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a
    > >little rusty, but not a total amateur.)
    > >
    > >Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    > >brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    > >way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    > >Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in
    > >the distributor?
    > >
    > >I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save
    > >me $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    > >
    > >-Paul Bramscher

    > The distributor on our (ex) 95 Wrangler went in the same way.
    > I am 54 years old and cannot remember having had another distributor
    > go bad. I can't even remember a friend who had a distributor go bad.
    >
    > That Dodge product was the worst vehicle we ever had. Poor mileage,
    > ate manual transmissions, leaky in the rain, hard to get parts for
    > (and expensive), poor handling on the highway, too many blind spots.
    > The worst was that although the heater could melt the boots right off
    > your feet you sit in a one layer thick, un insulated tin can and you
    > can see your breath most days all winter long. Barely had enough
    > power to defrost it's own windshield.
    >
    > Can't remember how I changed it but the job was done in the driveway
    > since the 35 mile tow job is too expensive to suit me.
    >
    > -
    > Regards
    > Gordie



    --
    Will Honea
     
  10. Mike Romain

    Mike Romain Guest

    Bud you are answering a post from 2004. If he didn't get the bolt off
    by now......

    Mike
    86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00
    88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
    Canadian Off Road Trips Photos: Non members can still view!
    Jan/06 http://www.imagestation.com/album/pictures.html?id=2115147590
    (More Off Road album links at bottom of the view page)

    The Nolalu Barn Owl wrote:
    >
    > On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 21:05:38 -0600, Paul Bramscher
    > <brams007_nospam@tc.umn.edu> wrote:
    >
    > >Winter's finally hit us here in Minnesota. When I go to start my '98
    > >Jeep Cherokee (4.0 liter, 100K miles) there's a high pitched wining
    > >sound that goes away in 2-3 minutes. I first assumed it was a belt, but
    > >then placed my hand on the distributor cap. I felt vibrations there,
    > >which went away when the sound went away.
    > >
    > >Does this sound like the distributor is starting to go?
    > >
    > >Tonight I took the distributor cap off the Jeep. The cap and rotor
    > >looked ok. Then I realized that I didn't take note of the order of the
    > >spark plugs!
    > >
    > >Just kidding -- of course I did.
    > >
    > >Here's the problem. In order to take out the whole distributor the
    > >retaining bolt needs to come out. I found a good reference here
    > >(http://members.cox.net/wilsond/distributor/) but he doesn't explain
    > >where this bolt is. I've done a fair amount of auto work in the past,
    > >and did this on a '79 straight-6 Dodge about a decade ago. (I'm a
    > >little rusty, but not a total amateur.)
    > >
    > >Anyway, I believe I see the retainer bolt but -- aren't engineers
    > >brilliant? -- the bolt sits mostly under the distributor itself, with no
    > >way to really get a wrench in there, and my sockets are all too tall.
    > >Anyone have a suggestion on how to get at the friggin' bolt holding in
    > >the distributor?
    > >
    > >I'm willing to buy a new tool, since doing this job will probably save
    > >me $100. Just can't figure out what will do the trick. Thanks.
    > >
    > >-Paul Bramscher

    > The distributor on our (ex) 95 Wrangler went in the same way.
    > I am 54 years old and cannot remember having had another distributor
    > go bad. I can't even remember a friend who had a distributor go bad.
    >
    > That Dodge product was the worst vehicle we ever had. Poor mileage,
    > ate manual transmissions, leaky in the rain, hard to get parts for
    > (and expensive), poor handling on the highway, too many blind spots.
    > The worst was that although the heater could melt the boots right off
    > your feet you sit in a one layer thick, un insulated tin can and you
    > can see your breath most days all winter long. Barely had enough
    > power to defrost it's own windshield.
    >
    > Can't remember how I changed it but the job was done in the driveway
    > since the 35 mile tow job is too expensive to suit me.
    >
    > -
    > Regards
    > Gordie

     
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