Saturday, October 2, 2021

1983 Mazda RX-7 Distributor Cap Installation Instructions

A damaged distributor cap can prevent your RX-7's spark plugs from receiving the current they need to properly operate the engine. Although rarely replaced, the distributor cap over time may crack. This happens when the engine temperature continually exceeds the heat rating of the plastic that the cap is made from. Dirt and moisture are then able to penetrate the distributor cap. This leads to buildup on the contacts within the cap which will then inhibit the rotor's spark that it sends to the spark plugs. You can install a new distributor cap on a 1983 Mazda RX-7 right at home. With a few tools, the repair should take 35 minutes to complete.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set

Install Distributor Cap

Open the front driver's side door and pull your RX-7's hood release lever. Lift and fully support the hood.

Locate the car's battery and identify which of the two cables connected to it is the negative one. Look for a subtraction/minus symbol on top of the battery next to the cable.

Loosen the negative cable's bolt and take the cable off its battery post with a socket wrench. Position the negative cable away from its post on the battery and any other metal within the engine compartment that it could contact.

Follow the spark plug cables over to the distributor cap just below the alternator.

Hold the new distributor cap in one hand just above the old distributor cap. Orientate the new cap in your hand so that the spark plug wires line up exactly as they appear connected on the old distributor cap. One at a time, remove each of the spark plug wires and reconnect them to the new distributor cap. Move the new distributor cap to the side so that you have a clear view of the old cap.

Reach down into the engine compartment and pop off the metal securing clip on both sides of the old distributor cap with your thumb. Lift the old cap off the distributor and discard it.

Install the new distributor cap just as you removed the old cap. If you look on either side of the new cap, you will see two small notches. Both notches are what the metal securing clips latch onto to hold the cap in place. Place the new cap back into position and pop each of the metal clips back onto the sides of the new cap.

Reconnect and secure the negative cable to its post on the battery with the socket wrench. Start your RX-7's engine to ensure the repair was done correctly.

Tips & Warnings

If the old distributor cap cracked, check the gasket that the cap mounts onto for damage. If the gasket appears cracked or has dry rot, replace it as well.

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