Opel Corsa B 1993–2000 Service and Repair Manual: Distributor - removal and refitting


1. Pull off the spark plug leads, after marking them to ensure correct refitment, and remove the spark plugs.

2. Undo the distributor cap retaining screws, lift off the cap and place it to one side.

3. With the transmission in gear and the handbrake released, pull the car forward until, with a finger over the plug hole, compression can be felt in No 1 cylinder (the cylinder nearest the crankshaft pulley). Continue moving the car forwards until the notch on the crankshaft pulley is in line with the raised mark on the timing cover (see illustration).

The distributor rotor arm should now be pointing to the notch on the rim on the distributor body.

Contact breaker ignition system
Ignition timing marks (arrowed) in alignment

4. Disconnect the distributor low tension lead at the harness connector and detach the vacuum advance pipe from the distributor vacuum unit.

5. Undo the distributor clamp retaining bolt, lift off the clamp plate and withdraw the distributor from its location.


6. Before refitting the distributor, check that the engine has not been inadvertently turned whilst the distributor was removed; if it has, return it to the original position, as described in paragraph 3.

7. As the distributor is refitted, the distributor shaft will rotate anti-clockwise slightly due to the meshing action of the skew gears on the distributor shaft and camshaft. To ensure that the distributor shaft is in the correct position after fitting, ie with the rotor arm pointing towards the notch in the rim of the distributor body, set the shaft so that the rotor arm is pointing towards the low tension lead grommet in the side of the distributor body (see illustration), prior to fitting. As the skew gears mesh, the shaft will turn back to the correct position.

Contact breaker ignition system
Distributor rotor position prior to refitting

  1. LT lead grommet
  2. No1 reference mark

8. It is also necessary to position the oil pump driveshaft so that it engages with the slot in the distributor shaft as the distributor is inserted. The shaft should be positioned so that it is at approximately 90º to the crankshaft centreline (see illustration).

Contact breaker ignition system
Correct position of oil pump driveshaft prior to fitting distributor

9. Make sure that the O-ring seal is in position at the base of the distributor and, with the shafts set as previously described, insert the distributor into its location. It may take two or three attempts to engage the oil pump driveshaft, and finish with the rotor arm pointing to the notch. If necessary move the distributor shaft very slightly one way or the other, until the correct position is achieved.

10. With the distributor in place, turn the distributor body clockwise a few degrees so that the contact breaker points are closed, and then slowly turn it anti-clockwise until they just open with the rotor arm once more pointing towards the notch in the distributor body rim. Hold the distributor in this position and refit the clamp plate and clamp bolt.

Tighten the bolt securely.

11. Reconnect the low tension lead and the vacuum advance pipe. Refit the spark plugs, distributor cap and leads.

12. Refer to Section 8 and adjust the ignition timing.

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    See also:

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