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  1. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    My 87 fifth avenue was running fine 2 week ago.

    Today I popped the hood to pour a little gas in the carb since it hasn't run in 2 weeks.
    I didn't want to run the battery down trying to drag fuel into the carb.

    Started up -- kinda hung up in the high gear a little too long... probably dirt or rust since its rained every day for 6 days now.

    DEAD MISS... (exhaust sounds bad and the engine is shakin like its in an earthquake)

    There were acorn parts on top of the engine and there was copper showing through on one wire over on the driver side block (where the pack rat ate wires before).

    I have two new glue traps in there now.

    How do I diagnose the dead miss?
    Is that a check all the spark plug wires or is that a distributor thing?
    I definitely know what those items are as well as the brake booster .... but I'm pretty sure the brake booster isn't involved in this.

    Going to go read my manual this evening, but I thought I'd ask what I should be looking for to help diagnose the problem.
     
  2. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    With all the rain you could have a wet distributor, pull the cap and see if the bottom of the cap is wet.
     
  3. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    If it was running fine previously, the first guess would be one of the plug wires is bad, or arcing to ground. If you have some form of insulated plug wire pliers, you can pull the wires off the plugs one at a time to locate which cylinder is misfiring. If not, I'd suggest pull one, start the car and if it runs rougher than before, shut it off, put that wire back on and move to the next one, lather, rinse, repeat. Once you've found the offending cylinder, try swapping the plug wires around from one cylinder to the other, both at the cap and the plug obviously. Then try the same procedure on those two cylinders. if the miss moves,,,,,,,,,you need new plug wires. If it doesn't, try swapping plugs from one cyl to the other and repeat.

    One thing you can also try is run the engine at night, with no lights on. Look to see if you have a fireworks show under the hood from plug wires leaking voltage to ground, or one another.

    With all the rain you've had, check the inside of the dist. cap for moisture. In fact, do that first before messing with the plug wires. If it's wet, dry it out and try again. Usually a wet cap won't cause a dead miss but will make the car run really bad, if at all. Like Oldiron said but he posted while I was typing and beat me to the line, lol.


    Hopefully the problem will be solved. HIGHLY doubt it's a mechanical problem, like a burnt valve or broken rocker since this all happened while the car was sitting.
     
  4. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    Open your air filter house, and see what's packed in there lol. I'm thinking the air-bleeds are plugged, or water in the gas.
     
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  5. 4speedjim

    4speedjim Well-Known Member

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    Bare wire? Really?! That would be my first stop! Water in cap too? Possible, but first Id take care of the bare wiring, judicious use of poison and remove every sign of infestation. That could lead to something as serious as a car/house/barn destroying fire. Almost lost my plow truck this fall. Tbi RC, mice crossed fuel pump harness and it lit up the second I popped the battery cable on. I like to use a big shop vac, or use the coin op car wash vac to remove nests and mess. I have sprayed the insides of dist. (under the cap and through the bottom) with WD-40 if you find water under the cap or as preventative. Worked well. I would fix all the bare wires and any open circuits before I started anything else. Make sure you dont smell burning plastic or see sparks when you hook the battery cable up.
     
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  6. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    After a heavy rain, both of my cars act run bad because of water moisture.
    After engine heats up and evaporate the moisture, they are fine.

    Also, having hood open on a sunny day can also fix that problem, generally.

    Bare wires though – that can be a problem or is the problem.
    Need to wire car and plug it into your cattle fence, when not in use.

    I agree, when underhood area is damp (after rain or heavy fog), you can normally open hood in a dark area (or night) and look for voltage arcing. There shouldn’t be any to begin with – but it does happen and is neat to watch.

    Note: don’t place bare body parts, like fingers, close to the arcing area (when car is running) – or others might be able to see your skeleton when you light up like a 40,000 volt light bulb.
    BudW
     
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  7. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    Went out at night.
    Had my husband sit in the chrysler and start it.
    No blue arcs.

    No miss. Runs just fine.

    good grief he thinks I'm crazy already with all these cars and golf carts
    Now he's gonna believe I'm just making things up.

    So either, my fondling all the vacuum lines cleared up the problem
    OR
    leaving the hood up all afternoon dried something out
    OR
    the very act of taking the distributor cap off and wiping the inside to be sure it was clean and dry did this.

    I told him he was just a better driver than I am. lol
     
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  8. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    here ya go!
    the very act of taking the distributor cap off and wiping the inside to be sure it was clean and dry did this.
     
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  9. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    .............and now you don't need to fondle any more hoses, at least the vacuum kind ;)
     
  10. Justwondering

    Justwondering Well-Known Member

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    lol ...
    my husband will be greatly pleased to know that..
    you're a character..
    JW
     
  11. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    Someone has to be a character, lol. I can only imagine the things I've been called before, when I was out of ear shot.:p
     
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