What do I change or do?

Tiny
EHANSEN1100
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-150
My Truck at first sounded like it wasnt fiering on all cylinders so I checked and cleaned my spark plugs and it sounded the same. Then I sprayed starting fluid where the air filter is and now it wont stop back firering and I cant take off cause it sounds like it will stall out so I dont dare take it out of the driveway. My grandfather said it could be timing or the distribudor cap and I checked it and it was filed with water and mud and I cleanded it out the best I could but there still some water in it so im not sure if the problum is the cap or timing
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 AT 12:25 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If you have water in the distributor cap, that is a problem. I would recommend replacing the cap and plugs and wires if you haven't for some time. Water will cause a misfire, backfire.
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 AT 12:27 AM
Tiny
EHANSEN1100
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Ok thank you but spraying starter fluid into the air filter wouldnt cause anything like that would it?
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 AT 12:37 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hay. I'm glad you got back to me. I wanted to add something and couldn't find the post. As far as the starting fluid, no you didn't cause the problem. Listen, inside the distributor cap there is a ton of electrical currents. When the rotor turns, it distributs spark to each cylinder in a specific order. If you have moisture in there, that spark can arc to any of the cylinders. As a result, the cylinders fire at the wrong time and causes a miss or a backfire. If you have mud and water in there, that has to be the problem. What I wanted to add is this. You have to make sure you put the wires back on the new distributor in the exact same locations and order. If you switch them around, you will basically have the same problem, the engine will fire the wrong cylinders. Also, make sure the inside of the distributor is clean and dry. They make products to force the drying process. Ask at the parts store. One last thought, if you are really tight on money, and I know what it feels like, you can try just replacing the cap and rotor button. You will see the rotor when you remove the distributor. Neither the cap nor the rotor are expensive. You should be able to get both for under 20 dollars. I don't know the condition of the plug wires, but if they are old, they can break down and arc if they are close to a steel grounded component. Thus, you can get a miss from that too and that is why I recommended it. As far as the plugs, if you can, replace them at this point.

However, like I said, I strongly feel the problem is the water and mud in the distributor cap. Just for the heck of it, clean and dry it out. Make sure the inside of the distributor is clean and dry and see if that changes things. I think it will. Also, check the distributor cap for cracks. The water got into it someway. A crack can also cause the backfire.

Let me know if this helps and what you find.

Joe
PS: Sorry it's so wordy. I'm trying to be as specific as possible so you know what you are dealing with.
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011 AT 1:29 AM

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