4.0 pick up coil replacement ? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-20-2011, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sugarloaf
Posts: 96
4.0 pick up coil replacement ?

I need to replace a cracked pick up coil on my 98 GCL 4.0. Any tricks to it, like needing to pull the distributor?

I've had my Jeep for about a month and a half, and when I went to do a tune up I had a hard time getting the distributor cap off. ( Not a good sign). I soaked the screws with PB Blaster and let it sit awhile and still broke off one of the screws on the cap. The cap was on there so long that and sized up. When I got the cap off I saw that some one had tried to pry the cap off and broke the cap and the pick up coil in the process. Until I get the chance to drill the hole out I ran a wire tie around the the part of the bolt sticking out of the bottom of the distributor, through the gap at the broken part of the pick up coil, and through the hole in the distributor cap to hod the cap on. Runs fine.

Does this make me at least an entry level Jeep guy?

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post #2 of 7 Old 12-20-2011, 06:39 PM
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,997
It sounds like you need to get a new cam position sensor and distributor cap. It also sounds like you need to get the broken off screw out of the distributor housing. You may be able to get it out with a carefully chosen drill bit and easy out with it still installed. If not, you will need to pull the distributor out and either get the screw out or replace the distributor.

In the event you need them, here are the destructions: see this post for pics

(1) Disconnect negative battery cable at battery.
(2) Disconnect coil secondary cable at coil.
(3) Remove distributor cap from distributor (2
screws). Do not remove cables from cap. Do not
remove rotor.
(4) Disconnect distributor wiring harness 3–way
connector from main engine harness.
(5) Remove cylinder number 1 spark plug.
(6) Hold a finger over the open spark plug hole.
Rotate engine at vibration dampener bolt until compression
(pressure) is felt.
(7) Slowly continue to rotate engine. Do this until
timing index mark on vibration damper pulley aligns
with top dead center (TDC) mark (0 degree) on timing
degree scale (Fig. 38). Always rotate engine in direction of normal rotation. Do not rotate engine
backward to align timing marks.
(8) Remove distributor holddown bolt and clamp.
(9) Remove distributor from engine by slowly lifting
straight up.
(10) Note that rotor will rotate slightly in a counterclockwise
direction while lifting up the distributor.
The oil pump gear will also rotate slightly in a counterclockwise
direction while lifting up the distributor.
This is due to the helical cut gears on distributor and
(11) Note removed position of rotor during distributor
removal. During installation, this will be
referred to as the Pre-position.
(12) Observe slot in oil pump gear through hole on
side of engine. It should be slightly before (counterclockwise
of) the 11 o’clock position (Fig. 39).
(13) Remove and discard old distributor-to-engine
block gasket.

(1) If engine crankshaft has been rotated after distributor
removal, cylinder number 1 must be
returned to its proper firing stroke. Refer to previous
REMOVAL Step 5 and Step 6. These steps must be
done before installing distributor.
(2) Check position of slot on oil pump gear. It
should be just slightly before (counterclockwise of)
the 11 o’clock position (Fig. 39). If not, place a flat
blade screwdriver into oil pump gear and rotate it
into proper position.
(3) Factory replacement distributors are equipped
with a plastic alignment pin already installed 36). This pin is used to temporarily hold the rotor to
the cylinder number 1 firing position during distributor
installation. If this pin is in place, proceed to
Step 8. If not, proceed to next step.
(4) If original distributor is to be reinstalled, such
as during engine overhaul, the plastic pin will not be
available. A 3/16 inch drift pin punch tool may be
substituted for the plastic pin.
(5) Remove camshaft position sensor from distributor
housing. Lift straight up.
(6) Four different alignment holes are provided on
the plastic ring (Fig. 40). Note that 2.5L and 4.0L
engines have different alignment holes (Fig.
(7) Rotate distributor shaft and install pin punch
tool through proper alignment hole in plastic ring
(Fig. 40) and into mating access hole in distributor
housing. This will prevent distributor shaft and rotor
from rotating.
(8) Clean distributor mounting hole area of engine
(9) Install new distributor-to-engine block gasket
(10) Install rotor to distributor shaft.
Pre-position distributor into engine while holding
centerline of base slot in 1 o’clock position.
Continue to engage distributor into engine. The rotor
and distributor will rotate clockwise during installation.
This is due to the helical cut gears on the distributor
and camshaft. When distributor is fully
seated to engine block, the centerline of base slot
should be aligned to clamp bolt mounting hole on
engine. The rotor should also be pointed at
5 o’clock position.
It may be necessary to rotate rotor and distributor
shaft (very slightly) to engage distributor shaft with
slot in oil pump gear. The same may have to be done
to engage distributor gear with camshaft gear.
The distributor is correctly installed when:
the rotor is pointed at 5 o’clock position.
the plastic alignment pin (or pin punch tool) is
still installed to distributor.
the number 1 cylinder piston is set at top dead
center (TDC) (compression stroke).
the centerline of the slot at base of distributor is
aligned to centerline of distributor holddown bolt
hole on engine. In this position, the holddown bolt
should easily pass through slot and into engine.
No adjustments are necessary. Proceed to next
(11) Install distributor holddown clamp and bolt.
Tighten bolt to 23 Nm (17 ft. lbs.) torque.
(12) Remove pin punch tool from distributor. Or, if
plastic alignment pin was used, remove it straight
down from bottom of distributor. Discard plastic pin.
(13) If removed, install camshaft position sensor to
distributor. Align wiring harness grommet to notch in
distributor housing.
(14) Install rotor.

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ZeeJay1997 is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 12-22-2011, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sugarloaf
Posts: 96
Thanks for the the step by step. I'm hoping to be able to drill it and use an easy out but it looks like its been in there a long time, so I don't know. I think I'll wait for warm weather to tackle this.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-22-2011, 09:00 PM
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1995 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Flint
Posts: 2,273
Once the distributor cap is off there is nothing holding camshaft position sensor(pickup coil) in you just pull it out

Always !! Keep A Firm Grip On Your Tool !!

Watch Out For The Air Hose Gone Wild!! Or Wear A Cup,: True Story

Originally Posted by rooster51 View Post
Whats the worse that can happen? Your jeeps already broke.

hdrocknroll is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 06-07-2013, 05:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Houston
Posts: 2
replacing pick up coil

read last post. Take off the distributor cap and rotor, and pull up the pick up coil, disconnected the wire from it's connector and replace. Replacing mine tomorrow. it's mind boggling that this part would cause all of the problems with my jeep that i've experienced.
jcmoore2010 is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 06-07-2013, 06:07 PM
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1997 ZJ 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,997
Welcome to the forum jcmoore. There's really nothing wrong with reviving an old post, it shows you're looking around the forum for answers...but the person you're talking to probably has it figured out by now. Just a reminder to check the dates and post input/questions accordingly.

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ZeeJay1997 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 06-08-2013, 03:55 AM
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1998 ZJ 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: florida
Posts: 7,918
Lol, at destuctions.

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Originally Posted by HighLonesome
lol...if life is as a simple as a 5.9 making you happy, I'd say go ahead and buy it on impulse. ZJs are the way of Zen. Wax on, wax off
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