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How to Install a Distributor on a Mazda 626

by Cayden Conor

You might have had to remove the distributor on the Mazda 626 if it malfunctioned, or if you replaced the engine. If you do not install the distributor properly, the vehicle will not run, or, if it does start, it will run poorly. You must install the distributor so that the timing is spot-on. The distributor distributes spark to the cylinders on the ignition stroke. If the terminals inside the distributor are worn out, it will not distribute spark properly, and the engine will misfire at best, or may not run at all. If you know the engine has not been moved off top dead center, the engine has not been rotated. If the engine has been moved, or the engine is new and you don't know, you must find top dead center before installing the distributor.

Engine Not Rotated

Step 1

Lubricate the O-ring with a small amount of clean engine oil, then install it onto the distributor. Install the distributor pursuant to the marks you made when you removed it. Ensure that the drive gear engages with the camshaft gear or the slot in the camshaft.

Step 2

Tighten the distributor hold-down bolts, using the appropriate socket. Plug in the electrical connector. Reattach the air intake hose. Install the distributor cap (the wires should still be attached, and the cap should have been marked when you took it off). Tighten the retaining bolts, using the appropriate socket.

Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Engine Rotated

Step 1

Disconnect the spark plug wire from the No. 1 cylinder spark plug, if you know the engine has been rotated, or if you bought a new or used engine and are not sure whether the engine is on top dead center. On the six-cylinder, the No. 1 cylinder is the cylinder nearest the radiator on the passenger side of the engine. On the four-cylinder engine, it is the very front-most cylinder nearest the radiator.

Step 2

Remove the spark plug. Stick your finger into the spark plug hole. Have a helper "bump" the engine over until you feel pressure on your finger. This means that the piston is coming up to top dead center. Turn the crankshaft pulley, using the appropriate socket, until the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley lines up with the timing mark on the timing cover.

Step 3

Set the rotor on the distributor so that it lines up with the No. 1 spark plug wire tower on the distributor cap. Lubricate the distributor's O-ring with clean engine oil. Install the distributor and tighten the hold-down bolts with the appropriate socket, ensuring that the drive gear engages with the camshaft gear or slot.

Connect the electrical connector and the air intake hose. Install the distributor cap and tighten the bolts, using the appropriate socket. Reinstall the spark plug in the No. 1 cylinder. Reattach the spark plug wire. Reconnect the negative battery cable.

Items you will need

  • Clean engine oil
  • Set of sockets
  • Set of wrenches

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