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Chrysler Repair/Distributor Replacement: 2.5L V-6


QUESTION: I have  1996 Dodge stratus V6 2.5L and i would like to know how to replace the distributor! My car is cranking but wont start, I have changed crankshaft position sensor, spark plugs, checked fuel pump and its pressure and the fuses! I went out and got another distributer just dont know how to put it on and if it could be anything else just incase

I certainly can describe the steps in replacing the distributor but first, did you do a fault code readout of the powertrain control module's memory? If not, turn the ignition switch: "on-off-on-off-on and leave on" doing that in 5 seconds or less elapsed time. Then watch the check engine light, which remains 'on', to see it begin to flash, pause, flash, etc. Count the number of flashes before each pause. Then repeat the process to be sure of an accurate set of flash counts. The last two counts will be 5 and 5 which means 'end of code readout'. Tell me the other counts in the order of appearance and we'll see if the distributor sensor is showing up bad or not. Was there any other history about this no start situation that you didn't mention? Have you checked for the presence of spark (remove a spark plug cap, insert the tip of an insulated handle screwdriver, then hold the cap and screwdriver with the shaft about 1/4" from the engine head and have a helper crank it over while you watch to see whether a spark jumps across the gap)?
Please read the PS below.

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QUESTION: the spark plugs is fine its! i had two other mechanics look at it and they stuck a screw driver in there and it game off a weak spark so they had me change the crankshaft position sensor it the car still wont start so i changed the fuses one was blown that didnt start it so i had another mechanic look at it he said it was something in the distributor so i just said skip it and got the entire distributor so i have the distributor just dont know how to put it in i dont want another mechanic an wasting money cause in total with my entire car i paid $1100 for the car and put 3k into it and it still shit so i rather do this myself

Hi Don,
Did you try to do the fault code readout, as I described?
Which fuse did you find to be blown?
I would like to know what the engine controller has stored in its memory as that may be more relevant than replacing the distributor first. The fact that you are getting spark at all suggests the distributor sensor is working.
What else did you spend money on so far?  
I agree with not spending any more, but do that fault code readout and tell me which fuse (number and location, please) was blown.

PS Thanks for the rating/nomination, Don. About the spark situation, rather than replacing the entire distributor (which I know is costly and might be avoided) I wonder whether replacing the rotor and the distributor cap might be a better way to spend money on improving the spark.
But tell me about the fault code readout as that will tell us whether there is a problem with the electronics inside the distributor or not.
Here are the steps to remove the distributor. Once you reach it, you can remove the cap and rotor if you want to try just replacing those parts:
To remove the distributor:
remove the bolt holding the air intake resonator to the intake maifold
loosen clamps holding air cleaner cover to air cleaner housing
remove PCV make-up air hose from air inlet tube
loosen hose clamp at throttle body
remove air inlet tube, resonator and air cleaner cover
remove EGR tube
remove spark plug cable from distributor cap (note position of each wire)
loosen distributor cap hold down screws and remove cap
note position of rotor and remove rotor
you will want the rotor to be in that same position when assembled
remove 2 harness connectors from distributor
remove 2 sets of distributor hold down nuts and washers from studs
remove bolt and spark plug cable mounting bracket from top of distributor housing
remove bolt and transmission dipstick tube
carefully remove distributor

Do not rotate the engine while this is in process or you will have to establish the proper rotor position.

Assembly is basically the reverse make sure that the o-ring is in good condition or replace it

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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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