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Old 09-06-2003, 10:10 AM
stevebfl stevebfl is offline
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
I have tried to only express technical opinions in this and most other posts.

Every once in a while I like to point out how cheap it would be to have a professional deal with the problem. Your in deep do-do now because you have neither the ability to test the new distributor or evaluate your current condition. I only say that because of your volunteered past results.

If you have 5 cylinders with no flow and 1 with flow you can condemn the distributer, but unless you find similar simple results with the new one you will never know.

One out of ten cars that I do diagnostics on (I only do the tough ones) busts my butt, but not the customers.

Let me tell you about one: it was a 1990 300CE (104 motor KE). I picked up the car at the customers houes and thought it might not make it in. it was raining hard. By the time I got the scope hooked up for a drive, it ran fine. Over the next few days I drove it a lot with my scope set to take a snap shop. The way the snap-shot works is I can choose the time interval...up to 30 seconds. I also can choose where my set point fits in the 30 seconds. Standard setting is I feel a problem and hit the snap-shot button. What I see then is the previous 15 seconds and the next 15 seconds from that point. Over a few days I caught misfires on three different cylinders. I tried plug wires, dist cap, coil, rotor, everything except the ignition conrtroller. I almost changed the crank sensor. I walked.....

One of my better techs that works next to me had been following the process and the car was parked next to him so he took the plugs out to see what he could see. What he saw fixed the car and it had nothing to do with the state of the plugs. What he figured out was the wrong plugs were in the motor! Never seen such a thing and its possible we put them in there. The plugs that were in the car were right for a 103 motor but not the 104 motor. They are the same heat range, same size, but they have a different seal type. One uses a washer and the other a conical seat. What this did is put the plug into the plug hole, which caused a misfire under heaviest loading conditions like high humidity and the load that comes from starting off in second gear.

I could go on for hours telling such war stories. We had many hours in that car, lots of dyno time and a bushel basket of parts. The customer is the city manager of a local town and has a city crown vic (police special) as a daily driver so the time we spent doesn't bother him. There will be no bill as it is very likely we put the wrong plugs in. (although we can find no records in the last two years... he doesn't drive the car much though).

Actually there will be a bill though as he was so happy we found it that he is going to fix that leaking head gasket.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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