98 RAV4, Does it need a new distributor cap and rotor? - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 08:32 PM
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98 RAV4, Does it need a new distributor cap and rotor?

Does 98 RAV 4 require changing distributor cap and rotor? I don't think the RAV4 manual mentions anything about it. In case I have to replace it, it seems very difficult to access the distributor cap area. Any advice appreciated.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 09:01 PM
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In the 1997 3SFE engine, they recommend changing both (Rotor and Cap) when doing a tune up. It's very simple, you just need a screw driver. Check your Hayes Manual.
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 09:33 PM
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IIRC, the 98 is when they switched from a rotor dist to a coil one. Maybe I'm wrong tho.

Check out the CarDomain for a list and pics of the mods:
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3032126
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 10:27 PM
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No Corrupt, your correct.

Are you sure that you have a 98? 98-00 RAV's all had twin-coil systems. early-97 RAV's are the ones that used the distributor.
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 11:17 PM
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I'll see if I can take a picture tomorrow. Standing facing the front bumper, I can follow the wires to right side of the engine into what looks a distributor cap. Strange that many on this website recommend changing the cap and rotor in order to improve performance and mpg, but I don't see anything about it ever being mentioned in the manual's maintenance guide. The spark plugs are twin tipped and seems like Toyota at that time was trying to increase the "tune up" interval. Still a mystery that there are so many online parts stores selling the distributor cap and rotor. Someone must be changing them even though the manual doesn't recommend it.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2008, 11:26 PM
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Again, if you have a 98, its a pretty safe bet that you dont have a distributor.

Just because the manual doesnt say to replace it, doesnt mean it shouldn't be replaced. Just like any other mechanical part, the cap and rotor of a distuributor will wear over time and increase the resistance of the ignition system, which leads to late and weak spark, which leads to incomplete burning, which means less power from the combustion, and less mileage per gallon because of it. its a vicious chain

And actually, as Mensajero said, the RAV's (early-97') that had distributors DID have a service interval in the manual for it, as this is a wearing part that WILL need to be replaced sometime in its life, no matter what.
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