How to Replace the Distributor in a Toyota Camry

by Editorial TeamUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wrench

  • Breaker bar

  • O-ring

  • Distributor

How to Replace the Distributor in a Toyota Camry. The Toyota Camry used distributors in its engines up to 1996. If you have engines from those years that are 2.0L, 2.2L, 2.5L and 3.0L, then your engine has a distributor. If you're handy with basic tools, then you can replace the distributor.

Trace the spark plug wires to the distributor, which is on the right side of the engine block as you face it. Unhook the cable from the negative battery terminal.

Pull off the air cleaner hose as well as all spark plug wires from the spark plugs; leave the spark plug wires connected to the distributor cap. Label them so you don't mix them up.

Mark the distributor flange's position in relation to the cylinder head. Remove the distributor hold-down bolt(s) with a wrench. Lift out the distributor assembly. Get rid of the old O-ring from the distributor housing.

Set the No. 1 piston at the Top Dead Center (TDC) mark by turning the crankshaft bolt clockwise; you'll find it in the pulley near the bottom of the engine. Use a long-handled ratchet (breaker bar) to turn the engine. The timing mark on the crankshaft pulley must line up with the 0 mark on the No. 1 indicator on the timing belt cover.

Oil lightly the new O-ring with clean engine oil and install; the O-ring will be a separate purchase from the distributor. Align the distributor with the line of the housing.

Place the distributor into the cylinder head; line up the center of the flange with the bolt hole in the cylinder head. Order part number 84170N for 2.2L or 3.0L engines from 1993 to 95 from Parts Train (see Resources); part numbers differ by manufacturers. Now align the flange with the mark you made on the cylinder head. Use a wrench and tighten the hold-down bolts lightly.

Reconnect the spark plug wires to the correct spark plugs. Also, reconnect the distributor connectors, the air cleaner hose and the negative battery cable. Connect the negative battery cable. Reset digital equipment such as radio memory and the clock. Tighten down the hold-down bolts.

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