Missing a cylinder - please help me figure why - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Missing a cylinder - please help me figure why

I need your collective expertise to figure out why I lost a cylinder when I was on the track this weekend (NJMP Moe HPDE).
302 Explorer short block – stock internals. AFR 165 heads. 1:1.7 Crane roller rockers. Stock EFI with SCT chip. FMS Cobra intake.

This is what I have checked so far:
At the track I tried the following
  • Measuring the temperature on the exhaust headers, it appears that Cylinder 8 does not fire. It stays cool, while the other 7 warms up.
  • Tried swapping ignition wires (on distributor and plugs)
  • Took valve cover off to inspect rockers/springs/push rods – all appear fine (although I did not measure total lift)
  • Swapped injector w. Cylinder 7-8
  • Checked that there is spark in Cylinder 8 plug.

When I got home
  • Measured compression on 6, 7 and 8 and they are all in the 200-210 PSI range
  • Swapped different injector in 8.

All of this with the same result. Sounds like it is not firing on all cylinders and engine is vibrating, and exhaust on Cyl 8 stays cold.

Now I am scratching my head – what to try next?


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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:00 PM
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I would check the wire to the injector on the #8 cyl.
You can move the #8 wire to the #7 cyl and see if the miss moves.
If you have not, put a new spark plug in #8 and make sure the wire is not burned through somewhere. You can do a check in the dark, for arcing.


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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 09:19 PM
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Did you pop off the distributor cap and check the contacts all look good?

Number 8 plug dry or wet?
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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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All good suggestions - I will tinker a bit with tonight and let you know how it goes!

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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 11:22 PM
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It would help a lot if you looked at the no. 8 plug

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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 11:39 PM
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Do you have a mechanics stethoscope? If you do, try listening to the injectors one at a time to see if #8 sounds different. Should hear a click as the computer activates the injector. If you don’t check the connections and wire for injector all the way back to the computer. Hook an analyzer up to the computer and see if it tells you anything. If that all checks out good then pull the valve cover again and slowly rotate the engine and watch the valves on #8.

I am out of suggestions for now.

HTH

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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 12:45 AM
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You could disconnect the injector and put a test light across the contacts. You should get a light if a signal goes to the injector. Also check the salt/pepper plugs.

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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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Double post

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Last edited by Danish; 10-09-2019 at 01:29 AM.
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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the suggestions!

Here is what I tried tonight:

Swapped injector wire 7 and 8
Swapped plug 6 and 8
Fired it up and exhaust on 8 was cold

Checked the plug on 8 and it looked wet.

Then got a different plug wire for 8 and checked distributor cap. Tried that. Same result.

Took upper intake and valve cover off again and turned the engine to see if both valves open and they did (I guess if the pushrod was bent and valve stayed close there could still be good compression).

Very confusing.

So if I have compression and fuel, it is ignition. If Cap, wire and plug are fine. I am back to square one.
Next I think I will re-do the compression test and get a different cap for it. Also will try the stethoscope test of the injector if I can get to it (8 buried sits under the intake). Any other suggestions?

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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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Plug on 8 after running a minute



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post #11 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 04:56 AM
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Could the injector be flowing excessively or continuously due to injector or ECU Problem?
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post #12 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

Tried to put a LED w resistor in the injector plug on 8, and it flashed when cranking
Did compression test again - 200 psi
Did run it in the dark to check for "leaking" plug wires - all good
Took plug 8 out and grounded it to check for spark. There was a spark, but it did look weak - almost with a red color.

Think next move is to put another coil on it and see if the long wire to 8 is a little higher resistance for a bad coil to get through.

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post #13 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danish View Post
Update:

Tried to put a LED w resistor in the injector plug on 8, and it flashed when cranking
Did compression test again - 200 psi
Did run it in the dark to check for "leaking" plug wires - all good
Took plug 8 out and grounded it to check for spark. There was a spark, but it did look weak - almost with a red color.

Think next move is to put another coil on it and see if the long wire to 8 is a little higher resistance for a bad coil to get through.
Right there is your answer, bad plug. Just replace it and see what happens.
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post #14 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 03:31 PM
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that was my next suggestion - have you actually tried a new plug in # 8

or just swap with another hole and see if it follows
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post #15 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 06:58 AM
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What kind of plug wires to you have? I have heard of some that had a carbon core that could crack and use up spark energy trying to jump the gap.

Regards, Rick.

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post #16 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 12:04 PM
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It's not the injector, the plug is wet

change both the wire and plug. Make sure the plug gap is correct. The coil works since the other cylinders are firing.

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post #17 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Update:

Tried a different coil, distributor cap and plug wires last night. Same result.

Will go out and get new plugs today. Autolite 3924s is what AFR recommends. Will keep you updated.

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post #18 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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Is the #8 plug wet with fuel or might it be coolant. Cylinders 1,4,5 & 8 are beside the coolant crossover ports in the intake manifold and these areas most common for intake gasket failure.

Hope the new plugs fix it but, I see that you swapped plugs from a different cylinder and the problem stayed at 8, so I am doubtful.

Good Luck

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post #19 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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#8 does get wet and it smells like fuel. Good idea about the head gasket tough - if the plugs do not make a difference I will try to investigate coolant/head gasket

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post #20 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-10-2019, 10:57 PM
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A day or two ago you said this;
"Swapped injector wire 7 and 8"
Exactly what do you mean here? Just pulled the wires off the injectors and installed them on the other injector? That won't work since the injectors shoot gas at different times. It's been a long time since I worked on one of these, so I am trying to understand if you mean you swapped the entire wire, but don't the injector wires go into the harness and run all the way to the ecu?

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post #21 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 12:59 AM
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Norm mentioned the intake gasket, not a head gasket. Depending on what intake gaskets were used, you could be getting a little leakage from the water passage in the intake into the intake port. But you said it seems more like fuel so I am hoping the plugs will fix it. Check the distributor cap and rotor real good too, sometimes they crack or get corroded after some run time. Again you can swap an injector from one cylinder to another to see if the problem travels to that cylinder. Good Luck and keep us posted.

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post #22 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-11-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigS View Post
A day or two ago you said this;
"Swapped injector wire 7 and 8"
Exactly what do you mean here? Just pulled the wires off the injectors and installed them on the other injector? That won't work since the injectors shoot gas at different times. It's been a long time since I worked on one of these, so I am trying to understand if you mean you swapped the entire wire, but don't the injector wires go into the harness and run all the way to the ecu?
In early 302 port fuel injected engines, Ford used batch fired fuel injection. My understanding is, all the injectors on one side of the engine pulsed and then the other side. Injector timing would not be so critical the cylinder miss or hit would not be detectable. IMO

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post #23 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Really appreciate all the suggestions!

I got the new Autolite plugs and put a new one in cyl 8. Still same issue. I can hold my hand on the exhaust exit of #8 without it getting warm when running.

At the beginning I thought this was an interesting challenge to figure this out - now it getting a bit weird

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post #24 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railroad View Post
In early 302 port fuel injected engines, Ford used batch fired fuel injection. My understanding is, all the injectors on one side of the engine pulsed and then the other side. Injector timing would not be so critical the cylinder miss or hit would not be detectable. IMO
Yes, I believe this is correct as well.

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post #25 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.8Cobra View Post
Norm mentioned the intake gasket, not a head gasket. Depending on what intake gaskets were used, you could be getting a little leakage from the water passage in the intake into the intake port. But you said it seems more like fuel so I am hoping the plugs will fix it. Check the distributor cap and rotor real good too, sometimes they crack or get corroded after some run time. Again you can swap an injector from one cylinder to another to see if the problem travels to that cylinder. Good Luck and keep us posted.

Mike
I do have an RPM II intake that I wanted to put on as a winter upgrade - perhaps I should get that done now and get some new Felpro gaskets to eliminate that option.

I also have my old distributor and TFI module that I replaced as a preventive measure - could also try to swap that one in to see if that makes a difference.

(did try the injector swap as well as)

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post #26 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 08:47 PM
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Also, replace or swap the #8 spark plug wire too. They can go bad and cause no spark.
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post #27 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 09:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railroad View Post
In early 302 port fuel injected engines, Ford used batch fired fuel injection. My understanding is, all the injectors on one side of the engine pulsed and then the other side. Injector timing would not be so critical the cylinder miss or hit would not be detectable. IMO
OK, thanks for straightening me out. Now that you write it I do remember hearing about that system.
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post #28 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-12-2019, 09:48 PM
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If you do the intake be sure to get the steel core FelPros. Info I have saved;

The new gasket numbers for the Windsor blocks are;
1250 S-3 (port size 1.20" x 2.00")
1262 S-3 (port size 1.28" x 2.10")
1253 S-2 & 1253 S-3 (SVO/Yates head w/port size 1.35" x1.95)
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post #29 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:58 PM
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If you can truly hold your hand on #8 exhaust tube and it is not hot, it sounds like the exhaust valve is not opening. Even with a dead miss, typically the header on that cylinder will still get hot enough to burn you pretty quickly even though it will be a hundred degrees or more cooler than the rest. It won't show on a compression check because the cylinder is still sealing. You may have a bad rocker arm, pushrod, etc.

sorry - missed that you had already checked under the valve covers

Last edited by sread; 10-15-2019 at 04:44 AM.
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post #30 of 80 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 08:13 PM
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You have fuel and compression to the cylinder. That you’ve already verified. You also have spark but you said it looked weak. Thus, the problem has got to be ignition related. You’ve changed wires and plugs to no avail. That tells me the problem is high resistance between the plug and the distributor rotor. That leaves the post on the number 8 cylinder inside the distributor cap. Pull the cap and check out the number 8 post. Hopefully it’s cracked or rusted out.
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