Q: Distributor cap missing screw so I put a hex self tapped screw

asked by on

My distributor had been stripped, so I took it to the auto repair shop and had to have the guy self tap a screw to hold it. When I got home, I noticed that the distributor cap was missing a screw on one of the sides. So I put a hex self tapping screw on it so it would hold the distributor cap onto the distributor. When I did that my car started dying often. It would backfire and gargle at 4k-5k RPMs. I changed the spark plugs and had my friend to re-time them, plus cleaned the injectors using 100 octane gas, used sea foam, plus some Lucas. However the same problem with the backfiring at high RPMs and the car dying still persisted. It began to start and idle just fine when I pushed the distributor cap towards the passenger seat. If I let it go, then it would die. I decided to go ahead and change the spark plugs, spark plug wires, and the distributor. Now… my car will not start at all! Please give me your advice as to what I need to do to get my car in good performing condition.

You probably did not install the distributor correctly. The position of the rotor must be noted and matched to the engine block before distributor removal, otherwise the timing will not be correct. To make things right, the #1 cylinder will need to be placed at top dead center (TDC) on the compression stroke.

Do this by removing the #1 spark plug and putting your finger over the spark plug hole. Have an assistant turn the engine over by hand until you feel compression. Then align the marks on the crankshaft pulley with the zero degree mark on the timing scale mounted to the front of the engine. The engine is now at TDC. Now, turn the distributor shaft until the rotor points at the #1 plug tower on the cap. Reinstall the distributor. If you are not comfortable with this, you may want to leave this to a professional.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Distributor cap missing screw so I put a hex self tapped screw

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car keeps dying and when you try to start it back up it acts like there is no power to the starter

Hello, and thank you for writing in. When diagnosing this type of no-start, there are several things you will want to test first to make sure the basic charging system is working to supply the starter with power. When driving,...

Q: is there a spout connector on a 85 lincoln town car and if so where's the location

The spout connector is within about 6 inches from the electrical connection of the TFI module on the distributor. Pull out plug to set base timing.

Q: 2001 Chevy Blazer distributor install.. it is at top dead center and the rotor lines up with the 6 but is not seated all the way.

If you are using the marks on the harmonic balancer to find TDC, occasionally the balancer will have shifted (the rubber bond breaks) causing the timing mark to be some degrees off. Consequently, the crankshaft is not really at TDC...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.