Replacing SBF Duraspark Pickup Coil


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Aug 7, 2007
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Original Poster: 85_Ranger4x4

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

Time to install: 1hr

Disclaimer: The Ranger, The Ranger Staff, nor the original poster are responsible for you doing this modification to your vehicle. By doing this modification and following this how-to you, the installer, take full responsibility if anything is damaged or messed up. If you have questions, feel free to PM the original poster or ask in the appropriate section of The Ranger forums.

Brief Explanation: Replacing the pickup coil is not as daunting as one may think. I was on the fence about it vs just getting a remain distributor and I had to really dig on the internet to find out how to do it. So here is how I did it, keep in mind this is delicate work, don't get carried away with the hammer or prybars.

Tools Needed:
- Needlenose Pliers
- Phillips Screwdriver
- Prybars
- 5/8" Spark Plug Socket
- Hammer
- 1/8" Punch

Parts Needed:
- Pickup Coil (Standard Motor Products LX204 for example)
- Reluctor in case you break it (Standard Motor Products LX206, MOTORCRAFT DT1 {#D3AZ12A099A, D4AF12A099AA)

Step One: Get the distributor cap out of the way, I pulled half the plug wires and flopped it off to one side.

Step Two: Remove the rotor and if applicable the distributor cap spacer.

Step Three: Remove the reluctor (paddle wheel looking thing)

Be careful, they can break. The distributor in the truck is pretty new, it came out easily. The old one I experimented on first wasn't so fortunate.

Watch for the spiral pin used as a key to keep the reluctor timed to the shaft.

Step Three: Remove the E clip, put somewhere very safe as it is very small and usually magnetic so it is extra ornery. Work the advance lever off the pickup, they don't always come easy so be patient.

Step Four: Remove the screw that holds the grommet to the distributor housing.

Step Five: Remove the clip that holds the pickup coil to the distributor. It is tricky in that it blends in, is hard to see and the gap is tight so it can take a bit to find the ends.

Step Five: Disconnect the harness from the distributor that runs to the Duraspark box. Work the grommet out of the housing, then work the pickup back and forth and off the distributor.

Step Six: Compare your parts and make sure you got the right one and the guy at the parts store didn't try to sneak you a TFI one.

Step Seven: Set the new pickup in place. Hook up the vacuum advance and install the E clip. Go slow and don't lose the clip, it is tiny and all but made of air... and mine was magnetic for added entertainment.

Step Eight: Install the clip that holds the pickup coil assembly in the distributor.

Step Nine: Put the grommet in its place and reinstall Phillips head screw.

Step Ten: Install the reluctor. Set it on the shaft, line up the notches in the shaft and the reluctor. Using a socket and a hammer lightly tap the reluctor into place. Be careful, you are not driving railroad spikes.

Step Eleven: Install the spiral pin. Tap it into place with the punch and hammer.

Then reconnect the ignition harness to the distributor, reinstall the rotor, cap/collar and plug wires and test run.
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