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Old 05-06-2005, 11:45 AM
jotjo_99 jotjo_99 is offline
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Symptoms of a bad timing chain???

Hello all,

First Time FE owner here. How do you know if your timing chain is going bad?
My problem on initial start up lot-o-sputtering and poping through the exhaust and carb. I put the timing light on it and there is no light on the #1 cylinder. Move light pickup to #2 to see if light is working. Light works great put back on #1 no light.
This has been going on for a while so I replaced the coil,wires,plugs,rotor, change from points to pertronics, change dizzy. Here come the catch Drive truck to work 30min trip after about 10 min on the road engine smooths out and runs like a champ. Get to work leave truck running put timing light on #1 everything working great. Ohyea timing set at 10

Any thoughts would be great
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:05 PM
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Welcome to FTE!

Sounds like it needed a tune up first off. Looks like #1 was not firing initially(thus no timing light working on #1). This would also make it mis-fire out the exhaust(burning excess fuel building up in cylinders, plus backfiring back thru the carb).

If the timing chain had A LOT of slack your timing would fluctuate drastically(how steady was it when you have light on it?) Is the motor original? High mileage? If timing chain had jumped, then there is worse to come. It will soon jump too far to not run at all. Nothing to do but replace chain.

Not sure if you have any more problems, since it seems to be okay now??
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:55 PM
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Check for slop in the timing chain by rotating the engine to TDC without any hesitation, noting the distributor rotor position, and then rotating the engine by hand in the opposite direction to see how many degrees you can move the crankshaft before the rotor starts to move. I hear that 6-10 is within normal tolerance, but certainly am open to differing opinions. This number indicates how far the chain has stretched from its original tightness, when it would take very little back rotation to take up the slack.
Most engines die with their original chain... After 140-150K, depending, some engines with plastic teeth on the cam gear (quieter, doncha know) may turn into shards, and the engine will quit running. Some say a loose timing chain can skip a gear tooth, but that's a LOT of slop.
My $.02.
tom
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:17 PM
jotjo_99 jotjo_99 is offline
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Tomw

Thanks for the tip I will give that a try tonight and let everyone know what I find. Its just interesting how it will only fire one #1 after 10min of driving.
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:30 PM
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jotjo_99,
What engine are you running? It isn't that hard to get to the timing chain on most older model Fords. And it is well worth the time to change it out if it is tired (100,000+ miles). Every engine I have owned, and most of them have been Fords got a new timing chain, timing gears, water pump, belts and hoses at 100,000 miles. Ain't had to walk yet.
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Old 05-08-2005, 02:28 AM
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the 3 piece chain cost me 20.50 to do well worth it
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:10 PM
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I understand that the timing chain can cause lots of problems - but how can it cause a misfire on number one and no others? Plus the misfire goes away once the engine warms up!

Problem has to be either the cap, the wire to number 1, or the spark plug. I guess it also could be a valve problem that clears when the engine warms up.

Am I missing something?

Since you have already replaced all the electrical stuff I would run a compression test on number one, and inspect the spark plug again. It is possible the gap is incorrect, or some trash got on the electrodes.

If nothing jumped out at me, I would ground the plug and spin the engine to see if the plug fires. If there is no spark I would keep backing up the food chain until I found out why.

Just MHO, and I have been wrong before!
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:27 AM
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If you have a sticky lifter, one that holds the valve open, it would not make any ticking noise, but would cause a miss until it bled down. Do the compression test on #1 when it's cold. Then do it again after it has warmed up and is running smooth. If it changes, a lifter may be sticky.
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:16 AM
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FWIW: I had a no fire on #1 like you and it ended up being a bad (new) Autolite spark plug. Actually, a few bad Autolites. I went to the Bosch plug (3551?) and no problems yet.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:17 AM
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Bad upper bushing in the dizzy and you're using points? The dwell walks all over, and sometimes will actually misfire on only one or two cylinders and level out later on when the dizzy warms up (and expands)...
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:25 AM
jotjo_99 jotjo_99 is offline
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There is no signifigant movement side to side on either one of the dizzy I used and the first one I was using had Pertronics in it. With that being said let me display my ignoance. What should the dwell be on my 390?
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jotjo_99
Krewat
There is no signifigant movement side to side on either one of the dizzy I used and the first one I was using had Pertronics in it. With that being said let me display my ignoance. What should the dwell be on my 390?
Uh, somewhere between 24 and 31, depending on the year. Didn't notice you already tried a Pertronics...

Switch plugs with another cylinder, see if the misfire moves with it. If it does, change the plug ...

If that's not it, I'd start looking at the compression in that cylinder.

But if the timing light doesn't work on the cylinder, sounds electrical...

weird. Keep us (me) posted.
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:14 PM
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Compression on #1 is 160 I'm leaning toward electrical too. How many volts should be going in to the the coil (when running) on the + side/ coming out of the coil on - side.
Sorry for all the silly question. I don't have any books yet
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Old 05-10-2005, 12:45 PM
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If you unhook the + wire from the coil and check voltage, should be near 12V, there is an in-line resistor, but it shouldn't drop the voltage much if the circuit is open. Or, it could be as low as 8volts when connected to the coil.

Can't figure why only one cylinder...
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:31 PM
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I see you did not mention dizzy CAP. Did you replace this too??

It might have a crack in it, mis firing, and once it warms up it tends to clear up??

Just a thought...............disregard if you replaced cap.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:31 PM
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