replace distributor and rotor/ 89’burban

just got my truck, and want to tune it up, changed plugs and oil change, but how do you change the cap and rotor(do you have to mess with timing?)? i’ve done some minor maintainance b4, looking for any
helpful tips. thanks in advance! swerv
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No, just get yourself a role of tape and a marker. Put a piece of tape on each wire and number them 1 - 8 then number the old cap with the same number in the same locations. Take the new cap and hold it above the old cap (still in place on the engine) and number the new cap with the same number being sure the numbers are in the exact location as the old cap. Once you are absolutely sure all the numbers correspond to the same connections remove the old cap using a long Phillips screwdriver. Remove the wires and remove the old cap. Pull the rotor straight up, it will be hard to remove (it is kind of tight) being sure to take note which orientation the metal tip is facing. The rotor and shaft are notched so it can be installed in one orientation but you can speed up reinstallation if you take note of the direction of the old one. Install the new rotor being sure it sits all the way down. Install the new cap being sure it slides into the notches on the backside of the destrib housing. It will sit flush and square, if it does not then you do not have it sitting in all of the groves around the square notch at the firewall side. Once the cap is tight (snug), reinstall the wires making sure you match up the numbers properly. Start the engine, if it is hard starting, misses or backfires you have a wire out of place.
If this happens then you have to pull the coil wire (leave it off so the engine will not start), front drivers side spark plug and stick you finger in the hold and have somebody tap the key until you feel pressure in that hold. At this point, look at the harmonic balancer and you should see a notch on the side of the balancer; it should be someplace near the timing tap. Keep tapping the key until the notch is close to the center of the tab. Remove the cap, the rotor end should be near the number 1 wire. Then move your way around the cap (clockwise) with the normal firing order of 1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2. Drivers front is #1, passenger front is #2 and it flips back and forth (drivers side, passenger side, drivers side, passengers side and so on).
The tape and number method is the long way to do the job but the most foolproof. I just lay the new cap on top of the old, take note of where the screws are and just move the wires to the new cap being sure they are in the same location. But if you haven't done this before you should try the number and tape method.
I will make one suggestion; get a good cap and rotor. I use the Borg and Warner select cap (brass inserts instead of steel) and their rotor. It is about $10 more then the cheap one but I have had the steel cap corrode on me in the past.
Since you have to sit on the radiator to do this job, the last thing you need to do is to make sure you have connected all of the vacuum lines that you may have bumped while doing this job. Almost every time I unhook the erg vacuum line and don't realize it until I get a check engine light.... So be conscience of what you step on, lean on or bump.
It's an easy job and should take you 10 mins at most.
good luck,
mark
P.S. You should not touch the timing.
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