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How to Replace the Distributor in a Dodge Caravan

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Socket with long-handled ratchet

  • Wrench

  • Distributor

How to Replace the Distributor in a Dodge Caravan. The Dodge Caravan mini-van has maintained its popularity over the past couple of decades as a family vehicle. Since the Caravan has had both distributor and distributorless systems, check to see whether you have a 3.0L engine. Replace the distributor without buying any special tools.

Facing the engine, look for the distributor on the left side of the engine block. Find the distributor by the spark plug wires leading to it and detach the negative battery cable.

Detach the electrical connector from the distributor with a screwdriver. Remove the two hold-down screws that keep the distributor cap in place and remove it.

Mark the rotor's position to line it up with the distributor housing on the intake manifold, and also mark the distributor housing position in relation to the engine.

Turn the crankshaft to Top Dead Center (TDC) with a socket with a long handle (breaker bar). The crankshaft bolt is in the center of the pulley near the bottom of the engine. This will line up the distributor rotor with the No. 1 spark plug tower in the distributor cap. Use this as a good reference for installation later.

Use a wrench to remove the distributor hold-down bolt and lift the distributor from the engine. The shaft will rotate slightly when the drive gear disengages as the distributor is removed.

Place the new Caravan distributor into the engine, aligning the marks made during removal. Get a remanufactured distributor, part number 83867E, from Parts Train; parts numbers differ, so give the model, year and engine size wherever you order.

Seat the O-ring properly on the distributor. Replace the O-ring with a new one if it is cracked or nicked, lightly oiling it first.

Install the distributor cap, screwing in the two screws. Use a wrench to tighten the hold-down bolt on the distributor. Screw the electrical connector onto the distributor and reattach the negative cable to the battery.

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