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misfireing cylinder


drace600's Avatar
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07-26-03, 06:19 PM   #1  
drace600
misfireing cylinder

my wifes 1997 chev lumina LTZ, V6 engine. the check engine light came on today and was flashing. we drove it to an auto parts store who they hooked it up to a hand held sensor and the code it gave was cylinder one misfire. the guy said a normal tune up should fix it. new plugs and possibly wires. does that sound correct? also if I change one plug should I change them all at the same time? do they need to be gapped? and should I replace all the wires or test them and only replace the ones that need it? any thing else it could be? any help is apreciated. also My neighbor has a 1998 chevy full size van he and I are gonna put new break pads on it. he wants to use my floor jack which is a craftsman 2-1/4 ton. is that enough for that size truck or is it unsafe? also his driveway is black top and he wants to put wood under the jack stands so they dont bite into the drive way. is that safe? I think hes concerned about his drive way but also a sinking jackstand could be dangerous anyway?? thanks for any help. You guys are awesome...

 
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07-26-03, 06:58 PM   #2  
On the assumption that you have a coil pack versus distributor, and that's it's been MANY miles since the last tune up, I'd recommend replacing all the plugs and all the wires..It is possible for an injector to cause the misfire, and possibly internal damage will cause it also..But 99% of the time, it's simply time for a good tune up..
As for using the jack and jack stands..Your jack should be more than enough to lift it safely..5000 lbs is quite a bit, and you're only jacking up 1 corner of the van at a time..As for wood under the stands, sounds like a good idea to me!! In this heat, sinking into the asphalt would definately happen, and could lead to some serious damage..to you and the van...

 
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07-27-03, 06:30 AM   #3  
Most of the time it is a bad spark plug and or wire that cause the misfire, but I had a 2001 Ford F150 in the shop the other day and even after replacing the individual coil and plug (no wires) the engine still misfired. After a compression test it was determined that the cylinder was wiped out. Hope this isnt your results, but it does happen unfortunately.
Billy

 
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07-27-03, 07:45 AM   #4  
I would swap the plug and wire with a known good cylinder and see if the misfire travels to the new cylinder,if it does replace all wires and plugs if not swap injectors and retest if it follows the injector you will need an injector,if not you have a vacuum leak or compression problem.

 
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07-27-03, 07:50 AM   #5  
Joe_F
I bought the 3 ton Sears jack to be sure . LOL.

On the Lumina, throw out all the plugs and wires---if they are original, time for a change.

I agree with all other posters.

 
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07-27-03, 12:21 PM   #6  
drace600
I have to rotatate the engine?

I looked up the spark plug and plug wire procedure in the YMM lookup (chilton auto library) and the 1997 lumina LTZ is not listed. however for the 1996 lumina with the 3.1 L V6 it says to rotate the engine. this should be the same for the 1997 right? the library is closed today so i cant go there, not sure if they will even have a book on the 97 lumina LTZ looks like its not that big of a deal to ratate the engine...any thoughts??

 
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07-27-03, 12:59 PM   #7  
Joe_F
You may be able to get at the plugs from underneath.

 
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07-27-03, 04:25 PM   #8  
On some 3.1's you can remove the alternator, and reach all 3 plugs and wires through there. On the model's that have the 2 "dog bone" mounts on the front of the engine (from engine to radiator support) reomve the bolt from the "dog bone" mount on the engine end, (both mounts,) rock the engine towards you, and use the bolt to lock the "dog bone" behind the bracket it was bolted to. This usually gives enough access to get to the plugs over the top of the engine (hence the term "rotate the engine")

And yes, I beleive the proper term for the mount is upper strut mount.. LOL!

 
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07-28-03, 12:28 AM   #9  
drace600
thanks for the help

I cannot get at the plugs from underneath, maybe if I had a lift, but mseargent is right. that was an exxcelent discription. calling it a dogbone and disconnecting it from the engine side and bolting it behind the bracket it was bolted to is right on the money. i am gonna try it tommorow. see the chiltons auto library (while an exxcellent source of information) just said remove bolts on the strut mount and bolt it on to something else, cant remember exacally what they called it and didnt have a picture. I was pretty sure by looking at the car what to do but now I am cirtan.

ill change the plugs and wires and hope that fixes it.

thanks for your help.

 
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07-28-03, 05:25 AM   #10  
Joe_F
Change the wires while you are there, don't cheap out! You'll do the plugs only to find a bad wire may be the cause.

Get AC Delco wires and do the plugs. Be done with it!

 
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07-28-03, 04:24 PM   #11  
Amen to the AC Delco.. Even Napa lists (on some of these v6's and a few v8's) the "prefered" plug.. We've run into the problem of aftermarket plugs causing misfire's themselves.. Put in AC plugs, and the car'll be good to go..

 
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07-28-03, 06:14 PM   #12  
Joe_F
NOTHING like Delco plugs in a GM car. No need for the fancy ones either, whatever the owner's book recommends is fine.

If I had a buck for every time I heard "these are better spark plugs than those". LOL. Baloney.

 
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