I just purchased this car a few weeks ago. On my initial test drive(s) the vehicle was always cold and didn't really exhibit the problem- stumble/loss of power on acceleration. I pulled out the distributor last week just to see what I could determine by inspection and checking with an ohm meter. On visual inspection I could find no indications of any obvious problems- looked real good! -I checked the impedance of the coil, and it was within specs -or if off just barely.
secondary resistance 11,700 Ohms (11.74 kohms)
primary resistance 1.7 ( *maybe 1.8~1.9)Ohms
( * I suspect this reading to be erroneous due to my using a pretty low-quality meter. Probably actually would've measured 2.0 ohms or greater with a quality meter.)
I took a leap of faith and ordered one off of eBay made by 'Gamma Electric' - American made and cost less than $20- I know, I know, but that is all the market would allow. Today I installed it, checked the pickup coil impedance this time (it was fine) also visually inspected further into the distributor what I could see with the coil removed- all looked good there, too, except some strange waxy buildup on the cam sensor reluctor (?)
I put the new coil in, put the distributor back in, buckled it all up... and wow am I impressed! -I could tell it was an improvement from the moment I turned the key in the ignition! It always started fine before, but this time (now) it just feels "spunkier" -and the performance is way beyond my expectations!
Test drive @ 20 miles -no hesitation, no loss of power, really good and strong acceleration from standing stop and WOT high speed pass ... just wanted to keep on accelerating, not a hint of the original problem! -Actually amazed at the ability of that tiny 1.6l motor to respond like this! -I thought the acceleration before was probably about right for an econo-box with such a small engine (that is while cold, before displaying the stumbling) but I'm pleased to report that this little car can flat out s#$t and git! -Runs like a scalded ape!
I can see that there are many possible problem areas that might arise in the distributor on these, but I'm happy to report that -even though it "ohm'ed out" okay, all it took to fix my little '94 Prizm 1.6l was $20 bucks, an afternoon, and a little faith. (Well, make that prayer and faith. -Sure can't hurt :) ) - axe_ace