spark plug wires mixed up!


Old 05-28-05, 03:00 PM
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spark plug wires mixed up!

OK, I screwed up. I was replacing the valve cover gasket on my 85 ford ranger.(4 cylinder 2 liter) I had to pull the plug wires to get the cover off. I labeled them with masking tape but it managed to fall off in all the hubub. I put them in what I thought was the right order and tried to crank it up. No go. Tried a couple of other orders to no avail. Went to auto parts store and found the order of wires on the engine and the order on the distributor. The plugs are all in a line on my engine and they go 1234 from the front of the vehicle back. The order on the distributor is 1243. The numbers arent on my distributor so I was guessing a bit where the number 1 is located. Tried a couple of different spots. None seemed to make the vehicle run ok again.

My question is this: Does cranking the engine with the spark plug wires in the wrong location mess up the timing? How can I get the darn wires back where they should go. I hate to have the truck towed into the garage for this stupid mistake!
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Old 05-28-05, 07:20 PM
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Try 1342 at the cap, start with #1 on the cap to #1 sparkplug, then go clockwise at the cap, next is #3 then#4 and #2.
Old 05-29-05, 11:40 AM
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Thanks! But where is 1 on the cap? If this is indeed the correct order does this mean I have a 1 in 4 chance of getting it right? Only 4 tries should get it?
Old 05-29-05, 12:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Turn the motor and line up the timing mark, then look at the distributors rotor it will point at the number one plug wire.
Old 05-29-05, 12:43 PM
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Thanks! I got it. I just tried all 4 positions. I had done this earlier but I think the engine was flooded and it wouldn't start. Next job, carburetor rebuild

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