Remove Distributor 1997 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
Posted by Russell Wright on November 1, 2010
There’s a distributor in there, somewhere! Start by removing your aftermarket brace, if you have one.
Remove all that air filter cover and intake stuff. One 12mm bolt and loosening a hose clamp should do the job. Oh yeah, unclip the air filter cover!
Let’s get the EGR tube out of the way. There are a couple of 8mm bolts down here.
Removing the two bolts. See my 1/4” swivel socket on my long extension?
If you remove the throttle cables, you can get to the EGR bolts more easily. There is a small tab at the bottom of the outboard cable that, if you use a small screwdriver to push the tab, it slides easily out of the bracket. Then, the 2nd on will also come out.
Now you can get to the two 8mm bolts holding upper part of the EGR tube.
Remove the throttle cable bracket by removing the two 10mm bolts.
Now you should be able to reach in and disconnect the six spark plug wires from the distributor. You may want to mark the spark plug wires to insure you put them back in the right hole in the distributor cap.
Uh oh. If you look down there you can see green stuff. I’ve been wondering where my coolant has been going. Guess I’ll be replacing come hoses, too.
Next, remove the distributor cap. One phillips screw on top you can easily see, another one on bottom you’ll have to remove by feel.
The distributor cap has been removed. Notice the position of the rotor. Mark it, take a picture of it, memorize it…don’t forget it. You want to get it in correctly and the rotor fits on a triangular post, so you can screw up 2/3 of the time if you’re not careful.
There’s a picture of the coil socket and dangling spark plug wires.
Here’s a picture showing the top of the distributor with the rotor removed (rusty thing in the middle).
Disconnect the two connectors on the distributor. There is a 2-pin connector and a 6-pin connector. This is where you need to be very aware and make sure that the locking mechanisms on both connectors are intact. My 6-pin connector’s locking mechanism was broken and I believe that is the cause of all my woes. They are released by gently squeezing to release the lock. The lock on the 6-pin connector is on the side away from you. The 2-pin connector is released by squeezing the sides.
Some more connector shots.
There’s the 6-pin with the orange seal stuck in the wrong side of the connector. The 2-pin is below.
Now the part you can’t see! There are two 12mm nuts and washers that hold the distributor in. The one in front is pretty easy to get to and loosen. The one in back is a bitch! I had to use a stubby 12mm combo wrench and it was all I could do to get enough leverage to loosen it. That one took me as long to loosen as everything else to this point. Perhaps I’m just getting old…or maybe I just have big hands. Pulling the distributor out is kind of tricky. Just be patient and you’ll be able to work it out of the tight space.
In order to get some clearance, I removed the hose in back. You can see the exposed pipe nipple that had the hose with its spring clamp. Of course at this point in time I busted the rigid vacuum hose connected on the bottom (brittle from being 13 years old) so I salvaged the ends and got some replacement hose from NAPA and fashioned a new one. That took a little heat from my heat gun in order to put a 90 degree bend on the front of the hose. When I bent it, I had a piece of wire shoved inside it to make sure it didn’t collapse when it got hot.
Here’s a close-up of the vacuum hose and clamp in the back. I took this after I repaired the 6-pin connector on the distributor. If you look under my finger you can see the electrical tape and friction tape the repair is wrapped with.
This is a picture of the 2-pin and 6-pin connectors that attach to the distributor. This is a set that have been removed from a donor car. Unfortunately, this first 6-pin connector’s locking mechanism was also broken. They get that way when they are 13 years old. I’ve released the pins on the 6-pin and pulled them out so you can see the moisture-proof seals on each connector pin. Chrysler does not provide a repair kit for this connector. Bummer!
I had to find another connector in a salvage yard and cut off the connector and splice in the new one. If you find yourself doing this, I would recommend that you cut off the original connector fairly close to the connector so you leave yourself plenty of wire to work with. It’s a tight space to work with a soldering iron.
The shop manual provides a splicing method, which is pretty much what I used for the repair.