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Username Post: Is this timing or something else        (Topic#350649)
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
04-16-18 10:44 AM - Post#2731169    

Recently while driving my 77 vette I encountered a couple of issues that I am not sure if they are a timing problem or if there is another possible issue. I have not yet had the time to go to get my timing light to check.

While driving, the car developed what initially felt and sounded like a misfire. Because the plug wires are heavily shrouded I have not been able to see if the plug wires are arching between them.

Since I was driving at the time that this occurred, I noticed that the car was still able to maintain speed although it seemed to have to work a little more. I continued to drive the car until I arrived at home approximately 50 miles since the misfire developed. At the same time of the misfire starting, I noticed a ticking noise similar to the lifters in my 55.

Since getting the car home, I have started it a couple of times to listen to see if I notice anything else. This car has true dual exhaust without catalytic convertors. It also does not have a crossover pipe. The engine is a base model 350. I have noticed that the exhaust on the drivers side is noticeably cooler on the left side than the right side. I don't know the actual temperature, but I can feel the difference against the back side of my hand. The misfire seems to have also caused a backfire through the carb.

This car has approx 167,000 miles and the engine has not been opened up to the best of my knowledge. I have the maintenance records from the original owner and after work today I will be looking back to see if the timing chain has ever been replaced.

Where should I be looking to find a solution to this misfire condition?

Thanks,
Kael



 




TAT_2 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 35219
TAT_2
Age: 65
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
04-16-18 04:06 PM - Post#2731199    
    In response to KaelFarmer

START IT UP WHENS IT REALLY DARK,YOU'LL SEE IF THERE'S A ARK FROM THE WIRES TO A GROUND. CHECK THE DISSY CAP INSIDE ALSO & THE ROTOR.

09 PONTIAC- VIBE
08 PONTIAC- G6
96 FURD F-150 SUPER CAB XLT 4X4
93 VETTE - 40TH ANIV RUBY RED LT1/6SPD/RAG TOP
NEXT ?


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PREVIOUS VETTE'S 58,68,70,76,78,85,90
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Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they will see God twice


 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
04-16-18 06:06 PM - Post#2731218    
    In response to TAT_2

That is what I was trying to do, but i will need to remove the covers from over the wires and distributor cap. I am planning to start with haveing replacement cap, rotor, wires and sparkplugs available to put in when I do take off the wire covers

Kael



 
TAT_2 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 35219
TAT_2
Age: 65
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
04-17-18 03:38 PM - Post#2731326    
    In response to KaelFarmer

HAD ANOTHER PROBLEM ONCE.WAS PUTTLIN A AM/FM RADIO/CASETTE PLAYER IN HELEN'S FAIRMOUNT. KEPT HEARING A POPPIN/ STATIC NOISE ON IT.WAS A BAD FACTORY CRIMP ON A SET OF WIRES I ALSO JUST INSTALLED.SO EVERY TIME THAT CYL MISS FIRED I COULD HEAR IT THRU THE RADIO.

09 PONTIAC- VIBE
08 PONTIAC- G6
96 FURD F-150 SUPER CAB XLT 4X4
93 VETTE - 40TH ANIV RUBY RED LT1/6SPD/RAG TOP
NEXT ?


*****
PREVIOUS VETTE'S 58,68,70,76,78,85,90
*****


Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they will see God twice


 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
04-18-18 02:48 PM - Post#2731456    
    In response to TAT_2

Aren't electrical issues fun to deal with????

At least I hope that this is an electrical issue. I obtained the car last fall after it had not been driven for approx 8-9 years. I had a local shop look it over to fix what needed to be done so it could be roadworthy. I was told to take it for a shakedown run. Needless to say, the mechanic was quite surprised when I told him that I needed to schedule another oil change after a long weekend. I think the mechanic thought a shakedown run was 50 - 100 miles not 3200.

Now, back to my issue. This issue was a sudden occurrence with no indication of a potential problem. I had driven the car approximately 350 miles and was on my way home from an out of town trip. While driving at about 45-50 mph, the misfire suddenly started and continued the remainder of the drive home which was about 50 miles.

Kael



 
TAT_2 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 35219
TAT_2
Age: 65
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
04-19-18 03:19 PM - Post#2731587    
    In response to KaelFarmer

YA KNOW THE PROBLEM IS ON THE L-BANK SO FAR,SO IF YA HAVE 1 OF THEM LASER HEAT TEMP READERS,I BOUGHT 1 A COUPLE YEARS BACK,YOU CAN TAKE A READING OFF THE EXHAUST MANIFOLD AT EACH CYL YOU CAN NARROW IT DOWN.ONCE YA ELIMINATE THE FIRING PROBLEM,THE NEXT STEP WILL BE THE MECHANICAL PART.
------------------------- ---------------
HAD A PROBLEM WITH THE 78,WOULD START 1 TIME & NOT THE NEXT OFF & ON. AFTER CHECKING A FEW THINGS I FOUND THE MECHANICAL ADVANCED WEIGHTS IN THE DISSY WERE STICKING,YOU WOULD THINK THE TIMEING CHAIN BUT IT WASN'T.
SO BASICALLY I CHECK THE EASY 1ST,THEN GO FROM THERE.

09 PONTIAC- VIBE
08 PONTIAC- G6
96 FURD F-150 SUPER CAB XLT 4X4
93 VETTE - 40TH ANIV RUBY RED LT1/6SPD/RAG TOP
NEXT ?


*****
PREVIOUS VETTE'S 58,68,70,76,78,85,90
*****


Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they will see God twice


 
junkman104 
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 1217

Age: 59
Loc: Murphy N.C.
Reg: 01-25-14
04-19-18 05:43 PM - Post#2731604    
    In response to TAT_2

I chased a skip in my C3 until I pulled the factory alum. intake off to find a crack in it. Sometimes vacuum leaks are hard to find also.



 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
04-21-18 11:37 AM - Post#2731756    
    In response to TAT_2

That is why I am asking for others to share their wisdom. I would rather know if others may know of an easy solution before I automatically jump to the hard one.

Kael



 
grumpyvette 
Senior Chevytalk Moderator -- Performance Subject Matter Expert --
Posts: 17185
grumpyvette
Age: 70
Loc: FLORIDA USA
Reg: 03-16-01
06-09-18 09:10 AM - Post#2736397    
    In response to KaelFarmer

the idea of using a ir temp gun to locate a mis-fire cylinder is valid, if you post clear color pictures of the labeled by cylinder number spark plugs it could in many cases provide valid useful related info.

IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!


 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
07-04-18 08:44 AM - Post#2738933    
    In response to grumpyvette

After much frustration, and time I think I may have found the problems. I decided to take the car to a local reputable repair facility because I had too much on my plate to deal with the car at the time. I asked them to do a minor tune up service of replacing the cap, rotor, plug wires & plugs since I did not see in the repair history when those had been done. After replacing those parts, the misfire/ dead cylinder was still there. They then completed a compression test and found one of the cylinders was indeed not reading near the others were. They removed the valve cover on the left bank and indicated that the rocker arms for the cylinder in question were not moving correctly. The intake didn't move at all and the exhaust valve barely moved. The technician assumed that the cam lobes had worn off. Because I know that the car was running fine and then suddenly stopped running fine, I did not agree with the cam lobes being gone. I picked up the car and added some gumout product to the oil to free up sticky lifters. I drove the car around town with a dead cylinder for a few days and then it began to gradually run better. Once it started to run somewhat smoothly again, I decided to drive it on the highway a few times.

I found that at operating temperature and highway speed a different misfire developed. This new misfire was very erratic and caused an immediate loss in engine power. Once this misfire developed, I could not maintain any speed above 45 mph unless I was going down hill. I managed to limp it along to the next turn off where I pulled to the side of the road. Once on the side of the road and at idle, I noticed that idle was now very rough even though it was holding a pretty steady RPM. When glancing under the hood I didn't see anything immediately noticeable so I decided that if the engine is damaged already, I was probably not going to do more damage by continuing back home. As I started to drive again, the engine shook violently between 1300-1600 RPM, then smoothed out. In this narrow RPM range, it felt as if the engine was getting ripped out of the car.
Although the vibration smoothed out, the car still lacked any power. Once at home, I parked the car for a few days. I then started after dark to see if I could see sparks anywhere. While cool, it still had a rough idle, but not as rough as it had been a few days prior when it was fully warmed up. While it was running, I saw that were significant sparks on the right side of the engine below the exhaust manifold. I noticed that the plug wire for cylinder #6 had actually come off of the plug. After returning the plug wire back onto the plug, the idle cleared up. The next day, I took the car for another test drive. After about 15 minutes at highway speed, the misfire and loss of power returned. Same violent shake at low speeds. I limped it back home again. Next day, I found the plug wire for #6 was off again. I was working at night with only the light of my phone so I couldn't see inside of the plug wire end, but I assumed it may be a loose fitting so I used a pair of pliers to compress the end to fit tighter onto the sparkplug. When I put the wire on the plug, I did not feel a distinct click as it hooked onto the plug, but I was sure that it was properly on the plug. Started the car, and the idle was relatively smooth again. Back to the highway again..... same behavior as before. Limped it home again last night and put the plug wire back on. This time when checking after dark, there were small sparks jumping between the plug wires. I also removed the plug wire for #6 to examine it a little closer to see why it kept coming off. The reason that I never felt the click as it lock in place is that this brand new plug wire did not have the metal ring in place inside of the boot. The boot was holding the wire in contact with the plug until the engine got warm and then it would fall off and send the spark to the nearest metal area.

What a PITA this has been.

Kael



 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
07-04-18 09:43 AM - Post#2738938    
    In response to KaelFarmer

I have a new set of plug wires on order. Hopefully this solves the majority of the problems. I would rather be able to drive the car instead of only looking at it in my driveway..

Kael



 
TAT_2 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 35219
TAT_2
Age: 65
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
07-04-18 02:30 PM - Post#2738956    
    In response to KaelFarmer

I decided to take the car to a local reputable repair facility.
AFTER YA GET THEM NEW WIRES ON & YA STILL HAVE THE PROBLEM,THE NEXT STEP I WOULD DO IS HOOK UP A VACUUM GAUGE,WE GOTA GO "OLD SCHOOL AGAIN"
If your initial vacuum tests produce gauge fluctuations, you have a definite indication that the problem is limited to just one or a few cylinders.

09 PONTIAC- VIBE
08 PONTIAC- G6
96 FURD F-150 SUPER CAB XLT 4X4
93 VETTE - 40TH ANIV RUBY RED LT1/6SPD/RAG TOP
NEXT ?


*****
PREVIOUS VETTE'S 58,68,70,76,78,85,90
*****


Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they will see God twice


 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
07-04-18 05:26 PM - Post#2738973    
    In response to TAT_2

The only vacuum gauge I have ever used was permanently mounted on the dash of my 55. Can I purchase a handheld unit at a local parts store or should I hit up estate sales?

Kael



 
TAT_2 
"17th Year" Silver Supporting Member, and Official CT Grim Reaper
Posts: 35219
TAT_2
Age: 65
Loc: "UNDER THE BOARDWALK"
Reg: 10-29-00
07-05-18 06:09 AM - Post#2739027    
    In response to KaelFarmer

ANY PARTS STORE SHOULD HAVE THEM,THAY ONLY RUN 20/25 $. CHECK AUTO ZONE/ADVANCED/ AMAZON & E BAY.

09 PONTIAC- VIBE
08 PONTIAC- G6
96 FURD F-150 SUPER CAB XLT 4X4
93 VETTE - 40TH ANIV RUBY RED LT1/6SPD/RAG TOP
NEXT ?


*****
PREVIOUS VETTE'S 58,68,70,76,78,85,90
*****


Blessed are the cross-eyed, for they will see God twice


 
KaelFarmer 
Senior Member
Posts: 1014
KaelFarmer
Loc: Eau Claire, WI
Reg: 03-28-02
07-05-18 05:07 PM - Post#2739102    
    In response to TAT_2

Thanks I will have to get one.



 
Mercedes 
Contributor
Posts: 106

Reg: 07-09-18
07-15-18 08:58 AM - Post#2740034    
    In response to KaelFarmer

On a vehicle of that age and mileage, I would suspect a worn camshaft. If you start having low lift then power will suffer and you can get misfires.

Under EPA regulations, you must run a catalytic converter on that car. All of us live on this planet and I am a supporter of following the law.



 




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