When should distributor cap and rotor be changed? - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

This would be for a 1988 Mustang GT 5.0
Is it necessary to put die electric grease on rotor?
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Old 10-23-2010, 03:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

No, dielectric is not needed. How often depends on how you use the car. On my '88 GT I inspect it every year, and usually change it every other year, which is about 10K miles. The car is usually running just fine when I change them. It is fairly inexpensive and gives me piece of mine.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

Ditto. Inspection includes checking for damage or loose terminals, crusty terminal or tip corrosion (from arcing and ozone in the cap) and any dark dust in the cap interior. The dust is carbon from the rotor contact button, and as it wears, deposits a fine dust layer on the other parts. The sparks can use this dust to jump to the wrong terminal under certain circumstances and is called carbon tracking. Note that you cannot clean the dust off, as it's nearly impossible to remove from the microscopic pores in the plastic, and carbon will remain to be an issue. If in doubt - change 'em out.

David
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Question Re: When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

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Ditto. Inspection includes checking for damage or loose terminals, crusty terminal or tip corrosion (from arcing and ozone in the cap) and any dark dust in the cap interior. The dust is carbon from the rotor contact button, and as it wears, deposits a fine dust layer on the other parts. The sparks can use this dust to jump to the wrong terminal under certain circumstances and is called carbon tracking. Note that you cannot clean the dust off, as it's nearly impossible to remove from the microscopic pores in the plastic, and carbon will remain to be an issue. If in doubt - change 'em out.

David
In the past I have put on die electric grease on rotor and this causes some type of corrosion or crust to form on rotor.
Starting up the car in the dark and looking at distributor and spark plug wires will you be able to see this carbon tracking or arching?
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Old 10-24-2010, 03:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

The carbon tracking is on the inside of the cap where you cannot see it. Sparks jumping with carbon tracks usually only occurs under load, such as WOT acceleration. Sometimes the effect is harmless if jumping to an exhausting cylinder and just feels like a miss. But if it jumps to a fireable cylinder the effect can be anything from a hesitation feeling to a blown head gasket.

David
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Old 10-24-2010, 12:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Re: When should distributor cap and rotor be changed?

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Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
The carbon tracking is on the inside of the cap where you cannot see it. Sparks jumping with carbon tracks usually only occurs under load, such as WOT acceleration. Sometimes the effect is harmless if jumping to an exhausting cylinder and just feels like a miss. But if it jumps to a fireable cylinder the effect can be anything from a hesitation feeling to a blown head gasket.

David
kinda wish I could get a new 5.0 GT or a Cadillac CTS-V but at least on these Fox 5.0's the engine is easy to work on and maintain.
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