How to Install a Distributor on a 22RE

by Cayden Conor

Toyota used the 22RE engine in several vehicles, including its pickup trucks from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s. When removing the distributor, always mark the cap to the base and the base to the engine block, so that you know the position in which to place the distributor. If you are installing a new distributor, transfer the marks from the old distributor to the new one. In the event that you did not mark the cap and distributor, you must find top dead center before you may install them.

Step 1

Remove the spark plug from the No. 1 cylinder, the cylinder closest to the front of the engine. Stick the long screwdriver in the spark plug hole and allow it to rest on the top of the piston.

Step 2

Instruct a helper to bump the engine over---just tap the key so the engine turns slightly---until you feel the screwdriver come up to the top. Once the screwdriver hits the top, it will stop moving for a couple bumps. Check the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley. The marks should be lined up.

Step 3

Remove the top timing belt cover, using the appropriate socket, just enough that you can see the timing marks on the camshaft. If the marks on the camshaft are also lined up, the No. 1 cylinder is on top dead center. If not, instruct the helper to bump the engine around again, until you feel the screwdriver come to the top. Give it a couple extra bumps to line up the timing marks.

Step 4

Install the rotor onto the distributor temporarily. Insert the distributor into the cylinder block. Once the distributor is installed, make sure the rotor is pointing to the No. 1 cylinder.

Step 5

Remove the rotor and the dust cap. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it slightly. Line up the teeth on the signal rotor with the projection on the pick-up coil, otherwise known as the signal generator. Tighten the pinch bolt to 14 foot-pounds of torque.

Step 6

Reinstall the dust cover and the rotor. Install the distributor cap. Plug in the wiring harness connectors on the distributor.

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