How to Unlock the Distributor Capon a 1987 Oldsmobile

The distributor cap on a 1987 Oldsmobile should come off easily; however, sometimes it gets locked into place. The heat from the engine might be responsible for this. At other times, it can be due to oil making its way into the screws, gunking them up. Even dirt from the road or salt from the air can cause corrosion inside of the screws, making them difficult to turn. Don't despair. The screws on the distributor cap can still be coaxed off.

Tools Used: Screwdriver, WD-40 or Liquid Wrench, Rubber mallet

Unlock Distributor Cap

Locate the distributor cap, a 4-inch circle with spark plug wires coming out of it, on the right-hand side of the engine. Insert a screwdriver into one of the four screws on the distributor cap, which aren't exactly screws but rather a kind of spring. Push down hard on the screw spring and turn the screwdriver a full 180 degrees so that it feels like it loosened. Repeat this process with the other three screw springs on the distributor cap, making sure each screw spring clears the underside of the distributor cap. Lift the cap off. Removing it at this point should be easy; however, if it doesn't come off easily, repeat the process to find the screw springs that are still holding the cap on.

Spray each of the screw springs with WD-40 or Liquid Wrench. Use short bursts, squirting the WD-40 or Liquid Wrench with a directional straw to aim as accurately as possible. Allow the WD-40 or the Liquid Wrench to sit on the screws for several minutes before trying to loosen the screw springs again.

Place a screwdriver on each of the screws. Tap each screw spring gently with a rubber mallet, making sure to not hit too hard and to focus the hit of the mallet.

Jiggle the distributor cap back and forth to see if you loosened any of the screws. Put your hand underneath the distributor cap to confirm which screws are still holding the cap on. Press down firmly on the top of the distributor itself using the entire weight of your body. Place the screwdriver on each of the screws and push down firmly. You can even have someone else hold down the distributor cap as you try to loosen the screw spring. Push and turn firmly on each screw spring and jiggle the distributor cap at the same time.

Pry up the remaining screws with a hook or flat head screwdriver from underneath the distributor cap. Feel around until you feel the screw spring that is still connected. Insert a flat head screwdriver or a hook into the bottom of the distributor cap at the screw spring to loosen it.

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