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Where is the Distributor/Cap and Rotor

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Where is the Distributor/Cap and Rotor

I'm new to the whole Jeep thing, well the whole auto maintenance thing in general to be honest. I spent a lot of time tearing apart and rebuilding F-16s for the Air Force so I'm no dummy when it comes to turning wrenches. I have a fair foothold of the workings of cars. I understand completely the purpose of the distributor, the cap and rotor and all that jazz, I have been troubleshooting a starting issue with my 2000 Jeep Cherokee (L6 4.0 liter) for a day or two, I know it is not a fuel problem and I have no spark at the plugs. However, I have been completely unable to find the damned distributor, the Chilton's manual points to it being on the right side of the engine but I have been over, under and beside the whole bay and can't find either it or the ignition control assembly. Please help!! And feel free to tease me about my lack of knowledge lol. I know what both look like, I just don't know where they are.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Looking at your engine it's on the left hand side right next to the engine. How did you determine that you have no spark? Also, generally when manuals are giving directions they are basing right and left on if you were sitting in the drivers seat.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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LOL... took me a bit to find the spark plugs also! they were hidden under the rail.. haven't found the distributor either..
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:06 PM   #4
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Easy - you don't have one. The 2000 and 2001 have a coil on plug design, so you don't have a distributor.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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I am not even sure if you have a distributor cap or if you have the coil packs. I'm not sure when they started with the coils packs. So if someone can give some input on this it would be great. Anyways, If you do have a distributor cap just fallow the plug wires from the plug and it should lead you right to it. If no distributor cap you have the coil pack.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:24 PM   #6
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I think the 2000 has a single coil pack for all cylinders but no distributor.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Correct, 2000 has the rail, no distributor. To get that off, remove 4 screws, grab the rail on both ends and wiggle it while pulling, it will take a little bit umph to remove it.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Correct, 2000 has the rail, no distributor. To get that off, remove 4 screws, grab the rail on both ends and wiggle it while pulling, it will take a little bit umph to remove it.
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..
Okay I pulled the rail and tested the spark. I used a spark plug with the ground electrode removed and put it near the engine and even just pulled one of the spark plugs from the block, stuck it back in the rail and still got no spark at all. Since there is no distributor, is there an ignition control module? or does the coil rail do the work of the distributor as well?
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:30 AM   #9
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LOL... took me a bit to find the spark plugs also! they were hidden under the rail.. haven't found the distributor either..

Actually wasn't looking for the plugs, was looking for the distributor cap and rotor, but since you have a 2001 model you may be able to help me. As I have learned through reading the responses the 2000 and 2001 models don't have distributor cap and rotor; so is there a master ignition control module? or does the ignition rail decide firing order as well?
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:31 AM   #10
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Actually wasn't looking for the plugs, was looking for the distributor cap and rotor, but since you have a 2001 model you may be able to help me. As I have learned through reading the responses the 2000 and 2001 models don't have distributor cap and rotor; so is there a master ignition control module? or does the ignition rail decide firing order as well?
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:39 AM   #11
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Ignition is controlled by the PCM.
Timing is controlled by the PCM.

The PCM relies on a signal from the Crank Position sensor and the Cam Position sensor to determone when each spark plug should fire.

Common failures on the 00-01 ign. system are:
Bad Coil(s)
Bad Cam Sensor
Bad Crank Sensor

Any of these will lead to loss of spark.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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Don't let these guy's make you feel bad most of them didn't even know the answer,and only one has the knowlegde to admit he's not sure.Best thing to do is find some f.s.m on ebay ( factory service manuals), for now get a haynes book from the auto store for help I have both to help me out.Go to this sitehttp://w ww.jeep4x4center.com/(click site) ,and down at the bottom of page under Jeep Resources scroll down to
Jeep Knowledge Base click on that and use the ONLINE REPAIR MANUAL, use the select arrows for your year, and jeep type then under category select ignition and go from there. Hope this help's you.

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Old 02-27-2012, 09:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeriousOffroad View Post
Ignition is controlled by the PCM.
Timing is controlled by the PCM.

The PCM relies on a signal from the Crank Position sensor and the Cam Position sensor to determone when each spark plug should fire.

Common failures on the 00-01 ign. system are:
Bad Coil(s)
Bad Cam Sensor
Bad Crank Sensor

Any of these will lead to loss of spark.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:46 AM   #14
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I'm not completely sure, but I think the cam sensor is mounted where the distributor usually is and I would check that first, followed closely by the crank sensor.
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:56 PM   #15
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for a new jeep owner the best investment u can make is a $25 chilton master manuel
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