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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago, I changed the plugs and wires on my new to me 1987 HCi. Hell of a tight squeeze getting the plugs done, even with my skinny monkey arms.

Would like to change the cap and rotor as well, but can't see/figure out how the heck you're supposed to get at them to change them?
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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It isn't easy, even with your "skinny monkey arms". rotfl

(And yes, folks, I can say this, 'cause I've seen Mike's arms, in person. He has the perfect physique for a DIY Esprit owner...) :p



Couple of paths for access:

1. From the rear trunk wall. Remove the bolts (do not disconnect anything, just bungee it to the open hatch) and reach in from the back. (More difficult on your G car than my Stevens car, because of the battery location.)

2. Remove the starter (two big bolts and the electrical connections), and maybe the oil filter. Then you can reach in through the bottom.

Both methods work better with the air cleaner box removed.


BUT:

I'd recommend leaving everything as is, unless you are having a problem. The rotor and cap last a long time. And you don't want to get into the scenario of losing one of the distributor cap clips...) :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Atwell. Duly noted on the leave it alone unless problems part. I shall heed that advice. But the paths of access are good to know for the future.
 

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I lost one of my clips on my 45dm4 dist. cap and for some reason decided to pull the distributor in the past to attempt to remedy it, what I remember about it is wishing I didnt. I think I ended up having to mess with the timing belt and the dist. pulley til it was all said and done. I have an 88 though, and am not familiar with the setup on the 87 and older, all I can say is dont pull the distributor unless you have to.
 

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Can't speak to the 87'... but find the 88' to be a moderate job on the PITA scale. I have done it with out removing the plenum cover, but it makes things easier.

With the plenum cover off, it is easy enough to reach in from the side to deal with the clips. Plug and coil wires off, the cap just pops off and can be removed rearward just rotated enough to clear the crank case breather pipe if the TPS is disconnected and the vacuum line to the throttle jack is out of the way.

Before pulling the dist unit out, I make a note of the direction on the rotor button (dizzy - arm - whatever you might call it).

I put a shop towel under the unit as it will leak a little bit of oil as the shaft pulls free. But... loosen the clamp the rest of the way and withdraw the unit form the shaft base of the oil pump housing.

Once the unit is out of the shaft, it can be rotated, flipped, and withdrawn rearward as well. Harder to get back into place... but again with the plenum cover off you can reach in and under with the right hand and guide things. :popcorn:If you forgot the position of the rotor button... you have a 50% shot at installing the unit 180 degrees out of time. You can test for this by the car not starting as the test!

Swap plug wires around if this happens as it is far easier to do than re-time or pull the unit again...


Cameron
 

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Good write up, the one thing I would add is to keep an eye out for the dist shaft load spring as it typically falls out as you pull the dist back. There is some disagreement as to the importance of this spring but as lotus put one there and it's their engine design I always like to put one back in!


Can't speak to the 87'... but find the 88' to be a moderate job on the PITA scale. I have done it with out removing the plenum cover, but it makes things easier.

With the plenum cover off, it is easy enough to reach in from the side to deal with the clips. Plug and coil wires off, the cap just pops off and can be removed rearward just rotated enough to clear the crank case breather pipe if the TPS is disconnected and the vacuum line to the throttle jack is out of the way.

Before pulling the dist unit out, I make a note of the direction on the rotor button (dizzy - arm - whatever you might call it).

I put a shop towel under the unit as it will leak a little bit of oil as the shaft pulls free. But... loosen the clamp the rest of the way and withdraw the unit form the shaft base of the oil pump housing.

Once the unit is out of the shaft, it can be rotated, flipped, and withdrawn rearward as well. Harder to get back into place... but again with the plenum cover off you can reach in and under with the right hand and guide things. :popcorn:If you forgot the position of the rotor button... you have a 50% shot at installing the unit 180 degrees out of time. You can test for this by the car not starting as the test!

Swap plug wires around if this happens as it is far easier to do than re-time or pull the unit again...


Cameron
 

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It's great advice and insight like this that makes me wish the forum had a dedicated "How to" section.
 
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