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Toyota corolla distributors

Is it possible to switch distributors on 1981 corolla. I have one that is an electronic and would like t put one in that has points.

Another place to try

Now why would you want to go backwards in technology for the old, unreliable, high maintenance point type distributor?


This is a motor in a home made tractor (jitterbug). The replacement part I need, electronic ignition module, is $345.00 plus new and I have not been able to find one at a junk yard. Someone suggested getting a distributor with points which would be easier and cheaper to maintain

Well, here’s one for a lot cheaper. And that’s just the first site I hit after putting “1981 Toyota Distributor” into my search engine.,model:Celica,year:1981),AND(universal:1))&Vi=11785+4294962850+1725&y=1981&mk=Toyota&md=Celica


I take that back! These suckers are spendy! For some reason that web site directed me to a Celica, not a Corolla.

I don’t think the engine will run unless the computer see’s a reference ignition signal from the ignition module/igniter. I’d keep looking for a used distributor.

At least it’s not your everyday driver!


Thanks for your help. I see that the distributor is for a celica. Do you think it would fit into the corolla motor I have. Would it also fit as the original distributor is an electronic one?

I think this car has the 3TC motor, which is very closely based on the 1.6 L 2TC motors used in Corollas throughout the 70’s. I think they used points all the way up to '77 or '78 or so, and I’ll bet you the distributors will swap right in.

Alternatively, here’s a link to a diagram that shows how to wire a generic MSD ignition box in the place of the stock ignition module: I don’t know if that’d be cheaper than a replacement module or not. It does also beg the question, do you know that it’s not the magnetic pickup that’s at fault?

If you go back up to that site there might be some helpful information for you there, although I recall looking there back when I had my '74 Corolla and the site seemed pretty abandoned.

EDIT: Here’s something exciting. The CSK Auto site has a: Optical Trigger Installation Kit: For Applications Where The Oe Module Has Failed And Must Be Eliminated:

That might be worth looking into.

Never heard of anyone going to points. In fact people I know who own older cars with points…the first thing they want to change the point distributor and install an electronic distributor. You’ll be far better off with a electronic ignition. Points need to be replaced and adjusted every few months.