If your reference to the "Toy Dog" means that I kicked you, sorry that was not my intent. I guess some of my frustration was showing. I apologize for being terse, and sarcastic.
Back to the problem.
Compression - I used a compression gauge. The type with the hose you screw into the spark plug hole. Turn the engine over a few times, using the starter, and read the pressure off the gauge. I checked #4 and #2 (4 is not working 2 is working) the pressures where about the same (within 5 pounds).
Fuel - Bench checked the injectors using another fuel pump in a bucket of gas and a 12V source. They did not leak under pressure and had a steady stream when on. The fuel pressure is within limits (according to the pressure gauge I had connected to the fuel rail). The injectors I assume are pulsing because the test light I probed the connector with was flickering and I have fuel coming out the tail pipe and pooling in the plenum and throttle body. I assume you mean air as part of the fuel and not just the gasoline vapors. I looked in the plenum and probed the intake manifold on those three 'bad' cylinders. I did not find a restriction. I disconnected the exhaust pipe at the manifold to test for a restricted air flow. No change in the way the engine behaved.
Spark - I can see spark jumping from the distributor cap to the wire (and my hand) on the #6 cylinder. I checked the resistance on the wires using an ohm meter. I also checked the PU coils resistance and output (by using the AC setting on the multimeter) they are within limits and about the same.
Timing - Cam timing is not 'perfect'. The indicated tooth on the cam pulley does not exactly align with the timing mark but it is the closest tooth to the timing mark when the crank is at TDC. Ignition timing is way off. The engine 'runs' best when the ignition is about 40 degrees advanced. The inductive timing light connected to #1 cylinder plug wire flashes when the crank timing mark is just about straight up, not by the marking on the cover. Hmm This is the only thing I know of that is out of limits, but when I retard the timing closer to the correct setting the engine gets worse.
I think this might indicate a problem with the cam timing. The timing belt I have has no markings on it and I could not follow the Alldata procedures for setting the cam timing using the belt markings. Maybe... But then why only 3 of the cylinders and not all on the same bank.
Thanks for helping me by letting me use you as a sounding board.
Sunday, December 4th, 2011 AT 10:05 PM