How to Replace the Distributor in a Honda Accord

Written by ehow cars editor
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If you're planning to replace the distributor on a Honda Accord, it's really important to know the model year and engine size because Honda changed the procedure frequently. From 2003 onward, the Accord has had distributorless systems, but from 2000 to 2002, all Honda Accords had distributors. In 1999 and earlier, the Accord had both distributor and distributorless systems.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • O-ring
  • Distributor
  • Ratchet with extension

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Instructions

    Replacing Distributors on 2.2L and 2.3L Engines 2001 to 2002, 2.7L and 3.0L Engines: 1996 to 2000 models

  1. 1

    Find the distributor on the engine block; the spark plug cables lead to it. Unhook the negative cable from the battery; it will be in the front and driver's side of the engine area. Use a screwdriver to detach the connector from the distributor's side.

  2. 2

    Mark the location of each wire, then take both ignition wires off the distributor cap. Unbolt the distributor mounting bolt or bolts with a wrench, and pull the distributor out of the cylinder head. The number of bolts varies according to the year.

  3. 3

    Get the piston in the No. 1 cylinder to the Top Dead Center (TDC) spot. If it is not at TDC, the engine won't work properly after you replace the distributor.

  4. 4

    Install a lightly greased new O-ring on the end of the distributor shaft and put your new Honda Accord distributor into position. Be sure to buy a new O-ring for a snug fit. The distributor number is 83603N from Parts Train, but numbers and prices vary for different stores and manufacturers.

  5. 5

    Replace and hand-tighten the mounting bolt or bolts. Reattach the connector to the distributor and connect the ignition wire to the distributor cap.

  6. 6

    Tighten the mounting bolts with a wrench and hook up the negative battery cable.

    Replacing Distributors on 2.2L and 2.3L Engines: 1996 to 2000 models

  1. 1

    Look for the distributor on the engine block; it will have cables from the spark plugs leading to it. Note the radio code for theft protection before disconnecting the negative cable to the battery.

  2. 2

    Get to the crankshaft pulley bolt from the inner fender liner on the left. Use a socket, long extension piece and a ratchet to rotate your engine counterclockwise. The white Top Dead Center (TDC) mark on the pulley must line up with the pointer mark on the engine cover. Put a label on each ignition wire; don't remove them.

  3. 3

    Take off the distributor cap and look at the ignition rotor. Be sure it is pointing toward the distributor cap terminal for cylinder No. 1. If not, use the socket and long extension handle (breaker bar) to rotate the crankshaft one turn counterclockwise to line up the TDC mark with the pointer on the engine cover.

  4. 4

    Make a mark to line up the distributor housing and the cylinder head, as well as a mark for the rotor on the distributor housing. These must be in line when you put in the distributor.

  5. 5

    Disconnect electrical connectors on the distributor's side with a screwdriver. Take out the three distributor mounting bolts with a wrench or ratchet and lift out the distributor.

  6. 6

    Install a new, greased O-ring on the distributor shaft and put the new Honda Accord distributor in the cylinder head, making sure the marks you made line up. The O-ring and distributor are separate purchases. The distributor part number differs according to manufacturer and store, but ask for 83677N at Parts Train.

  7. 7

    Hand-tighten the mounting bolts and replace the screws in the electrical connectors on the distributor's side. Reattach the negative cable to the battery.

  8. 8

    Reset the Powertrain Control Module idle memory by starting the engine. Keep it at 3,000 rpm until the fan comes on, then idle 5 minutes. Keep accessories off and the vehicle in neutral or park. Put in the radio security code.

    Removing and Installing Distributors 1995 and Earlier

  1. 1

    Follow the cables from the spark plugs leading to the distributor on the engine block. Remove spark plug wires from distributor cap and number them for re-installation in proper order later.

  2. 2

    Put labels on and disconnect the vacuum hoses, the primary wire and the high tension wire. Label and disconnect any external wiring connectors at the distributor, using a screwdriver.

  3. 3

    Unbolt the mounting bolt or bolts with a wrench and pull the distributor out of the cylinder head. The number of bolts varies according to the model year.

  4. 4

    Install a lightly greased new O-ring on the distributor shaft. You need to buy a new one when installing a new distributor. Fit the Honda Accord distributor in place. The part number is 83674N from Parts Train, but other stores and manufacturers use different part numbers.

  5. 5

    Bolt the mounting bolts with a wrench, hand-tightening them lightly. Reattach the external wiring, hoses and spark plug wires. Tighten the distributor bolts securely.

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