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86 2.5l 4 cylinder distributor

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So I’ve been looking through forums, at new stock, and also discussing with backyard mechanics to determine if my distributor is missing components and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not? Curious if someone with a little more experience than I have can explain how this functions with such minimal components. Listed is a photo of the distributor set up for the 2.5l with tbi. Currently I am not getting fire to the plugs so I have tested the coil (it works), in the process of getting a new rotor and cap, but I’m curious if I’m missing something. 


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Hang on there. If you’re not getting spark have you tested the CPS or crank shaft position sensor that sits on top of the drivers side bell house? If it’s dirty or not outputting the proper AC voltage anymore it won’t tell to ECU that it is ok to start the ICU and send spark down the line to fire the plugs. 

But yes the 2.5L distributor does not need a lot to it to work. 

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But is it outputting the right voltage? Voltage should be more than .2VAC. If it’s not within the acceptable range of .3-.5 with .2 being the absolute bare minimum to get one by, it probably isn’t good. 

Have you cleaned the inside of the cap and cleaned the rotor too? 

now you say the coil works, are you getting spark from coil to the cap and it’s not just distributing from there or is the coil just passing a “test”?

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CPS drill mod

CPS location

Renix CPSs have to put out a strong enough signal to the ECU so that it will provide spark.

Most tests for the CPS suggest checking it for an ohms value. This is unreliable and can cause some wasted time and aggravation in your diagnosis of a no-start issue as the CPS will test good when in fact it is bad.

The problem with the ohms test is you can have the correct amount of resistance through the CPS but it isn’t generating enough voltage to trigger the ECU to provide spark.

Unplug the harness connector from the CPS. Using your voltmeter set on AC volts and probing both wires in the connector going to the CPS itself as shown in Figure 2 as Connector A, crank the engine over. It won’t start with the CPS disconnected.

You should get a reading of .5 AC volts.

If you are down in the .35 AC volts range or lower on your meter reading, you can have intermittent crank/no-start conditions from your Renix Jeep. Some NEW CPSs (from the big box parts stores) have registered only .2 AC volts while reading the proper resistance!! That’s a definite no-start condition. Best to buy your CPS from NAPA or the dealer.

Sometimes on a manual transmission equipped Renix Jeep there is an accumulation of debris on the tip of the CPS. It’s worn off clutch material and since the CPS is a magnet, the metal sticks to the tip of the CPS causing a reduced voltage signal. You MAY get by with cleaning the tip of the CPS off.

A little trick for increasing the output of your CPS is to drill out the upper mounting hole to 3/8″ from the stock 5/16″, or slot it so the CPS bracket rests on the bell housing when pushed down. Then, when mounting it, hold the CPS down as close to the flywheel as you can while tightening the bolts.

Another little tip to save tons of aggravation is to stick a bit of electrical tape to your 11mm socket and then shove the bolt in after it. This reduces the chances of dropping that special bolt into the bell housing. CPS bolt socket

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