User Login    
 + Register
  • Main navigation


Lost Password?

Register now!
Fast Search
Slow Search
Google Ad

[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]

Installing Distributor

From Datsun 1200 Club

Datsun 1200 encyclopedia | Recent changes | Edit this page | Page history | Switch to MediaWiki mode

Printable version | Disclaimers | Privacy policy
Categories: Engine Mechanical | Engine Electrical System

How to Install a Distributor on A-series Engine

NOTE: If your distributor is already installed, see: Ignition Timing.


Distributor Removal

  1. Engage handbrake on & block the wheels
  2. Put transmission in neutral
  3. turn engine by carefully turning fan clockwise, until the timing marks line up (5 degrees BDTC). If the fan belt slips, it's too loose (tighten it!)
    724.JPGAlbum click to view
    730.jpgAlbum click to view
  4. Check to see if it is TDC or BDC. Note where on the cap the #1 plug wire is. Then remove cap. If the rotor is pointing to #1, it is TDC. If it is pointing to #4, rotate the engine another 360 degrees.
  5. Remove the vacuum advance hose, low-voltage wire
  6. Remove the timing adjust bolt (under front of distributor) then pull distributor straight up and out

Distributor Installation


Before you insert the new distributor:

  1. Clean the shaft on the new distributor of any dirt or dust
  2. Put some clean motor oil on the gear
  3. Be careful not to cut or dislodge the O-ring seal that's in the hole. Use one seal, either the one in the engine or the one of the distributor. Remove the extra seal

Note the rubber o-ring seal in the distributor bore
3519.jpgAlbum click to view


Next, insert the new distributor, carefully lowering it into the bore.

  1. keep the vacuum advance pointing toward the front of the car
  2. turn the rotor to point at the #1 terminal of the cap. This is about 2 o'clock (if Noon if the front of the car). There is a straight line on the side of the distributor body indicating the Number One position
    245.jpgAlbum click to view
    A12 distributor orientation
  3. You'll have to rotate the rotor back to about 4 O'clock before inserting it, as it will rotate around as the gears mesh. Don't worry if it takes 10 or 20 tries to get everything lined up
  4. Assuming the timing marks are still at 5 degrees BTDC, rotate housing to line up rotor:
    • For a points-type distributor, rotate the housing until it just sparks (key on, cap off)
    • For electronic ignition, line up the iron ring teeth (pickup) with the rotor (reluctor) teeth -- line it up exactly
  5. After distributor is in the engine, double check:
    • Rotor pointing at Number One wire
    • Points just beginning to open, or Electronic: teeth inside distributor lined up perfectly
    • timing marks on crankshaft lined up (5 degrees BTC)
  6. Bolt the distributor down
  7. Hook up the vacuum advance hose

Spark Timing

Finally, before you are ready to start the engine you will want to check the spark ignition timing. See Ignition Timing for the procedure. 

Retrieved from ""

This page has been accessed 36,382 times. This page was last modified 22:52, 5 November 2017. Content is available under Datsun 1200 Club.