How to Connect Distributor Cap on 1985 Subaru GL

The distributor cap in your 1985 Subaru GL is the round, plastic cover that each of your spark plug cables connect to in the engine compartment. The cap allows the electrical current sent from the ignition coil to pass onto the contacts within it that lead to each of the spark plugs. Continued exposure to excessive heat produced by the engine can cause the distributor cap to crack. This can cause internal damage from moisture and dirt. You can remove the old cap and reconnect a new one on the 1985 Subaru GL with a few tools.

Tools Used: Socket wrench set

Connect Distributor Cap

Raise and support the hood on your GL. Remove the negative cable from its post on your battery with a socket wrench.

Inspect each of the spark plug wires visually for markings. Each wire should have a single number, from one to six, on it. The new distributor cap should have the same single number inscribed on it below each plug terminal.

Pull the spark plug wire labeled No. 1 off the old, mounted distributor cap. Push the wire onto the terminal marked No. 1 on the new distributor cap. Continue this process with the remaining five spark plug wires. The final wire in the center of the old cap is the ignition coil wire. Pull it off the old cap but don't plug it onto the new cap yet.

Position the new distributor cap out of the way so that you can clearly see the old cap. Down on the left and right side of the cap, you should see a small metal tab that looks like the back half of the letter "C." Push outward on the top of the metal tab to pop it off the small notch on the side of the distributor cap. Disconnect the metal clip on the opposite side of the cap in the same manner.

Lift the old distributor cap off and place the new cap back down onto your GL's rotor. The notches on the sides of the cap should line up perfectly with the metal tabs. Secure the cap in place by reinstalling the two metal tabs. Lift the tab up so it sits against the cap and push inward at the center of the tab. The metal tab will pop back over the notch on the new distributor cap. Connect the second clip just as you did for the first.

Plug your GL's ignition coil wire into the plug terminal in the center of the new distributor cap. Connect and secure the terminal for the negative cable back to the battery with your socket wrench. Remove any tools that you used during the repair from the engine area. Shut the hood on your 1985 Subaru GL.

Tips & Warnings

Do not remove any spark plug wires from your GL's distributor cap when the engine is running. The resulting shock can be life-threatening.

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