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1997 Corolla
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As you probably know, the dealership can make you a master key that can open both. Looks like the previous owner gave you only two valet keys.
No, two different keys. One for the ignition and one for the doors. Neither works in the trunk. My '93 had a Toyota key for the ignition, with the plastic head.
But on the '97, they told me that the ignition cylinder went bad and was replaced.
 

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The new cap is on there. Now, to see if these wires have to go or not...

I got another video of how it is timed, too.
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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From the Distributor side?

Mine, not only can I NOT get them to click, but a raindance is required, they do not want to come off and it is actually incredibly difficult with not much room...
Honestly I haven't replaced the spark plug wires on my Corolla in awhile. I just did them on my Datsun, did them on a 5.7l recently and they were twist and pull. I didn't remember anything special about the Corolla. I can check later today though.
 

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I forgot to look as I am traveling for work.
That's okay, my friend. I'm gonna get the new wires anyway. Probably will order on Friday. Will order a new rotor too, a Toyota one they list for the 4AFE, just to see. It somehow looks different than the 7AFE one.

If that doesn't solve it, I'm spending the $80 or so on OEM Toyota coil. Seems to be the distributor itself they want $865 !!! for. Mine says TY22 I think it same one, ....

If I had more money, I'd order the coil first, but let's try Toyota rotor and stable wires first. Distributor does not need to come out for these.

Dragonfire 10.2mm plugs because why not.
 

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I would not suggest random brand spark plug wires. Stick with NGK.
Should I keep trying to use the ones I have now, which are NGK but I'm wondering if I've broken them at the boot (having real trouble getting them to seat on the distributor points) or should I just get a new set?

 

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If the clips are snapped then the wires are on all the way. You can try some silicone grease to see if they'll push on further but they're probably all the way.
If by "snapped" you mean "pushed down enough to hear the clock noise" then.. nope, I haven't got to that point either. Somehow, this is almost impossible for me to do.

Or the wires are broken somehow.
 

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^ What I'm saying is.. I can take at least two of those four wires (the one on the top and the one to the left) and move that piece coming out of the distributor around, whether the black plastic clip is secure or almost secure or not.
 

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1997 Corolla CE
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By they way, I checked mine and the clips at the end of the wire on the distributor side do have a small locking tab. You have to lift thetab slightly then pull the wire boot to remove the wire. When installing you might not hear a click. As long as the tab is over a small little ramp it's good. There will still be some play in the wire even when installed.
 

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1997 Corolla
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Yep, a flat blade screwdriver is your friend here.
 

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So perhaps the NGKs really are better than the one that fits in like this



I think I got it looking good now. New cap, no cracks, Toyota rotor is on the way.



I took the cap off to adjust the piece you push down. I ended up using any old flat blade screwdriver to do that. I couldn't get to those parts when it was installed in the car. Maybe it wasn't Toyota, but it appears to be that I had other cars where they were ON when you pushed them down and heard a "click." They DO seem to be on there and in there pretty well, I'll double check that the other side of the wires look good, but they should. Then I'll check everything and report back.

If it is still "sluggish" and hesitating to accelerate after all that, I'm getting the $88 Toyota coil and putting it in.
 

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1997 Corolla
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I'm anxious to see if you notice a difference with the Denso coil.
 

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The rotor came yesterday, so.. now I just need to go home to see if the coil needs to be changed (again.) I will know fairly quickly.

For all those wondering, the distributor I'm putting on the OEM rotor looks like this now.

 

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Rotor came. Yesterday, actually. Very nice red and white Genuine Toyota Parts box. Note inside, said "Careful to not touch the end of the rotor" etc.

If I wake up tonight due to weird hours etc, I'll go out and put it on, maybe take one pic of it next to the old one. The test drive won't be tonight but it will be soon .
 

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Well, still not 100% on how we are running. I may be feeling hesitation from pressing the gas to acceleration. Now, I HAD THE AIR CONDITIONING ON IT IS 91 DEGREES OUTSIDE - Yes, it has been abnormally hot in NJ. I ran it briefly with no AC when it is time to straighten itself out in the garage, and it seemed fine. Throttle response is supposed to be INSTANT, right? I also haven't "floored it" yet. Makes me want to mess with timing again, though some people say the spot-on timing I have it at now is better than the advanced... 10DBTDC vs 15+DBTDC...

I might take it out once more. Its.. can the air conditioning make the speed much slower? Is a reduction in power a symptom of a failing coil?

50% chance the coil is failing, 50% chance it is not. I dont know yet. I know I got that cap as well as the distributor on TIGHT now..
 
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