Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The spark plug Firing order for car?

OK, you have a distributor or unmarked coil pack and you just finished replacing the ignition wires or spark plugs. Now you aren't sure which wire goes to which plug. Or maybe you thought you got it right, but the car doesn't start. You could get on Fixya and ask for the firing order, but that may not be sufficient to fix ya up. For example, you may not know which position on the distributor is #1, or which way the rotor rotates, or you may not know which cylinders are which on your engine.

Here are some tips for addressing your concerns.

1. Look for stickers in the engine compartment that have this information.

2. Look on the intake manifold for numbers on the intake ports for each cylinder and also for the firing order.

3. Look online for information about your engine. AutoZone.com has most of this info for most engines under the tune-up and specifications links.

4. There are some standard cylinder numbering schemes that can help. Obviously an inline engine always numbers cylinders sequentially from front to back. For V-engines, Ford goes sequentially on the right back, then the left back. GM goes left-right-left-right, like lacing a shoe. I'm sure there are more, but I'm not trying to cover them all in this tip.

5. Finally, when the distributor doesn't have #1 marked on it, how do you get started with the wires?
If the #1 piston is at TDC (you can know this by aligning an ignition timing mark or by taking the plug out and rotating the crankshaft until you feel the piston top out), it is either completing the exhaust or the compression stroke. If you can easily peek at the camshaft timing markings, you would know right away which it is. But there's an easier way to figure it out. With the #1 spark plug out and the engine cold, put your thumb over the plug hole while someone bumps the engine with the key. When the piston is on the compression stroke, it will push your thumb off the hole. Once you know you are on the compression stroke, you can turn the engine by the crankshaft bolt until it reaches TDC as determined by the ignition timing marks or by sticking a screwdriver in the hole.
Once you are at TDC, the rotor will point to the terminal that you need to connect to cylinder #1. Then just follow the distributor rotation and firing order to complete the rest of the wire connections.


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