5.7 Vortec Distribution Diagram

When your vehicle won’t start, you might be having a distributor problem. This isn’t unusual as distributors are known to be problematic as this 5.7 Vortec Distribution diagram will show. Ignition coils have helped out in modern cars but older vehicles still rely on them to do just about everything.

In this post, you will find a 5.7 Vortec distribution diagram that will help you work on your distributor and figure out the problem with your vehicle.

5.7 Vortec Distribution Diagram

5.7 Vortec Distribution Diagram 01

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How Does a Distributor Work?

For those that have only driven modern vehicles, distributors might sound like a new word and that’s because modern vehicles do not come with distributors but instead they have individual coil packs that do not pose as much a problem as a distributor.

Distributors are a part of the ignition system that sends power to each spark plug which gets your vehicle started. With these distributors, the vehicle will not start.

Common 5.7 Vortec Distributor Problems

Vehicle Won’t Startup

There are tons of reasons why your vehicle won’t start up – from lack of fuel to engine issues, but the distributor cap can also be a culprit. This happens when the distributor cap gets rusted which causes the distributor to reduce the voltage that your spark plugs need to run. If you use high resistance plugs, there are chances that they are also damaged.  You will have to replace the distributor as well as the spark plugs.

Check Engine Light is On

The check engine light is designed to warn you of trouble and when it comes on, it means there is something you need to check before it becomes too late. When this happens, it would be best to check the distributor cap and inspect it thoroughly. Check for any signs of corrosion at the terminals. If the unit looks worn out or damaged, then it should be replaced.

Vehicle Shakes

If you notice that your vehicle shakes while shifting gears, this could be due to a bad distributor cap. However, the problem could also be with the engine itself. You should inspect the distributor to fix or rule out the suspicion.

To inspect the distributor cap, find the thumbscrew and remove it. Disconnect the rubber elbow and loosen the hose clamp. With all that out of the way, remove the upper intake.

The distributor cap is right behind the upper intake manifold. Now take out the screws and wires holding it together. Look inside the cap and check for corrosion. If you notice any, replace the distributor and also check that the spark plugs are in great shape.

This should fix the shuddering problem with the vehicle. Take note that some vehicles will shudder occasionally as they get older. You should only worry if this happens consistently.

Weird Noises

If you start hearing weird noises from your vehicle, then you need to inspect every part of it for anything out of place. If you find that everything is in the right place and working as it should, then you need to check the distributor cap. The cylinders can make some weird noises if they’re trying to spark and are unable to do so. This could also be due to the cylinders firing but not being able to get the right amount of electricity. Remove the distributor and check it to see if it is still working.

Distributor Cap Burn Through

A burnt distributor cap might be the most confusing problem you can encounter with your distributor. The burnt distributor cap can make your vehicle rough, however, diagnosing this problem is not always easy.

To understand this, you need to check the firing order. In the engine, you will notice several tubes going across the distributor. These send electricity to the spark plugs.

Your distributor cap has several numbers that reflect the firing order. If the electricity has trouble going through any of the tube, it will burn through the cap.

The best fix for this is to change both the distributor cap and the rotor and make sure the spark plugs are plugged in according to the order specified on the wires.

Engine Misfire

There are many reasons for engine misfire and it might be hard to figure out the actual problem. It could possibly be as a result of bad spark plugs, but you could also have a damaged distributor cap. Once again, you should inspect the distributor cap and check if the unit is damaged.


When the vehicle stalls randomly when you drive, this is a sign of an electrical problem. Since your distributor cap and rotor need to deliver enough power to get the vehicle moving, this could be due to a faulty distributor. Checking both the distributor cap and rotor is recommended. If nothing seems out of the ordinary, then you should have a certified professional take a look at the vehicle.

How to Replace Distributor Cap & Rotor

Most 5.7 Vortec Distributor problems can be fixed by replacing both the distributor cap and rotor. Even if you have only a damaged distributor cap, you should replace both the distributor cap and the rotor.

  • Pop the hood of your vehicle and remove the thumbscrew on the air intake, then unplug the rubber elbow on the PCV. Remove the hose clamp using your flathead screwdriver then remove the boot and the upper intake
  • This should expose the distributor cap. You will have to remove the bolt and wires but before that, you should mark them as you will have to plug them back in the same way they are numbered.
  • With the wires removed, you will have access to the rotor. Take note of the rotor and the direction it is facing, then remove all the screws holding it together.
  • Install the new rotor the same way you removed the former rotor and reinstall all the screws. Install the new distributor cap and screw.
  • Plug back all the wires the same way you took them off and reinstall the boot. Tighten the hose clamp and line up the air intake onto the throttle body.
  • Finally, install the PCV breather and the thumbscrew.