Project Cappuccino: A Wee Bit O’ Power
Suzuki Cappuccino Ignition System
The last step in our quest for power is refurbishing and servicing our ignition system. The Cappuccino uses an electronic advance distributor system. The distributor has a hall effect sensor inside with a magnetic trigger driven by the intake camshaft. This sends a signal to the ECU which can vary the timing curve on the fly. This is similar to how an MSD distributor works. Later Cappuccinos came with coil-on plug ignition.  The distributor is one of the few parts on the Cappuccino that’s actually normal sized so it looks massive against the tiny 660cc engine.  This also makes it a pain in the ass to remove as two of the mounting bolts are obscured and can only be removed 1/6 of a turn at a time.
Suzuki Cappuccino Ignition Parts
We are replacing almost everything serviceable in the ignition system including the ignition coil, plugs, plug wires, the distributor cap, and rotor, as well as the internal seals.  A freshened ignition system will create a hotter spark and better combustion.
Suzuki Cappuccino & Geo Metro Ignition Coils
The Cappuccino ignition coil is long out of production. We did some digging and figured out that a coil from a later Geo Metro is a direct replacement. Not all year Metros are compatible (early Metros still use the large can style coil). We ordered one for a ‘98 Metro and found it to have identical mounting points, connectors, and resistance. Best of all, these can be had from any auto parts store in the US and are half the price of the used Cappuccino coils you can find online.
Suzuki Cappuccino Distributor Parts
We were hoping that the cap and rotor from a Metro would also be compatible, but they were not. Instead, we ordered a Cappuccino-specific kit from Japan that included a new cap, rotor, insulator, and o-ring. All of these are NOS Suzuki parts. These parts will allow us to refurbish our distributor to factory fresh condition. One other item to order is the gasket that seals the distributor to the back of the cylinder head. We had to order this separately (and forgot to photograph it).
Suzuki Cappuccino Distributor Rotors
The old cap on the right is filled with deposits from the arcing that occurs when the distributor spins. These deposits add resistance, reducing the power of the spark as the cap ages. Eventually, the deposits will become so bad the arc can no longer jump from cap to rotor and the car will no longer run.


    1. Thank you! I’ve been enjoying learning all about this platform and I’m glad folks enjoy what I’ve put together.

  1. Awesome. 3 cyl motors sound a lot like straight 6’s the same way the inline 5s of RS3 and TTRS sound like their 10 cyl big brothers.

  2. Duralast? Yuck. I wouldn’t count on any longevity out of that coil. Parts store brand stuff is awful quality in my experience unless something has recently changed. Looks like NGK and Delphi still supply coils for a 98 Metro for under $50. I’d go with one of those.

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