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Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Smethport, pa
Posts: 15
Post any ideas

well i think i've run into an electrical problem and i need some advice on were to start. The number one cylnder doesnt seem to be firing correctly, compression checks are all clear, spark plugs checked and only the #1 plug looks like the feul mixture is too rich, the others check out fine. The car likes to backfire and i suppose its from the feul not being burned in the 1 cylinder and hitting the exaust. The timing, dwell, sparkplug gaps are all within there limits, i even shortened the gap for the plug but to no avail. plug wires, dist cap, coil, condensor, are all new. a side not when i use my lights there really dim at idle, pick up at mid rpms, and flicker at higher rpms. Any thoughts of were to look?
Old 11-07-2001, 09:13 AM
  Pelican Parts Catalog | Tech Articles | Promos & Specials    Reply With Quote #1 (permalink)
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Ellicott City, MD, USA
Posts: 99

This is a stab in the dark, it could be many things.

1. Does the injector leak? Remove the nut an washer that hold on the injector and remove the injector. Hook it back up to the wiring harness and turn on the ignition (don't turn over the starter). Is it leaking?

2. Is it getting fired at all? I used some small baby food jars from my neighbors kids (no I didn't give them back). Have someone turn the car on and watch for the pattern. You can disconnect the coil wire to prevent the engine from firing. Pattern should fan-out like a funnel, a bit bigger than the size of a sharp pencil end.

3. My favorite trick... I even missed a few places on this one and someone here reminded me of the possibility... The wires that plug into the circuit board (relay board) on the drivers side can be loose. Remove the connectors and use a razor blade on the round terminals to open up the X pattern. Don't force it too much, just a bit past the blade edge of a Stanley razor. I missed the relay to the fuel pump, so do the relays too.

4. Check the electrical connectors on the injectors. A small and thin needle nose plier or eyeglass sized screwdriver can be used to tighten the connectors.

5. Go to RadioShack or Home Depot and buy some spray contact cleaner and clean things up as you go.

6. Dirty trigger contacts? Perhaps the FI contacts inside the distributor are worn. You could take them out and inspect them (just two small machine screws). However, since you are fuel soaked at the plugs, I don't see this as the problem because you would tend to be fuel dry if the trigger points were malfunctioning.

7. Bad connection at the distributor? This is a common problem, because the FI trigger points are in the distributor and the process of fiddling with the cap, rotor, points and vacuum hose present opportunities to loosen the electrical connector on the firewall side of the distributor. Take the connector off, clean it, inspect for tight electrical connectors and reset the connector.

8. Continuity? Are the wires cooked. A digital multi-meter (DMM) can be used to test continuity (beep). Most DMM's show the resistance while testing continuity. Start with the white wires at the relay board.

Good Luck


[This message has been edited by retro74 (edited 11-07-2001).]
Old 11-07-2001, 10:38 AM
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philinjax's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Jacksonville, FL., USA
Posts: 583

Check the inside of the distributor cap for
carbon arc tracing.
If you are talking about your driving lights
dim and flickering at idle, you may have a bad voltage regulator or worse (alternator)but this is a separate issue from the wet plug.
Old 11-07-2001, 01:46 PM
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Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Gautier Ms
Posts: 1,582
Well I had this happen just the other day. My son was wiping things down and disturbed the plug wire. thats his story. Car was missing on that cylinder I could put my hand over that carb and no change. Pulled the plug wire and found he completely yanked it loose. Solid core VW wire (weak). screwed it back together all is well. That explains why his radio sounds like the motor. Ha Ha.
Old 11-07-2001, 04:25 PM
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