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Engine is running on 5 cylinders

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  • Ignition: Engine is running on 5 cylinders

    When I start my engine it runs on 5 cilinders. Its a champion flat six. I found that the first cilinder is the problem. The problem is if I remove the ignition cable a little bit it runs fine. So it runs fine with the ignition cable on top of the spark plug. When I try to fix the cable it runs on 5 cilinders. I have replaced the spark plug and also the ignition wire but always the same problem.

  • #2
    Check the compression. Check for traces of oil. What's your plug gap ? Sounds like could be pumping oil on this cylinder ?? Back in the day this was a problem that was band aided by a jump spark just like what you are doing. Also a little hollow spacer with small hole was used. It fit in between the head and plug.. These were temporary measures, to avoid rebuilds First check your gap which i assume you have already done. Might open it up a little more. Sometime a little hotter plug. But run a compression test.

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    • #3
      if I remove the ignition cable a little bit it runs fine. So it runs fine with the ignition cable on top of the spark plug.
      That suggests an ignition problem. Anytime there is an ignition problem, it's usually cost-effective to replace the points, condensor, rotor, distributor cap, spark plug wires and spark plugs.

      You say you've replaced the #1 spark plug and the spark plug wire. The problem could be the distributor cap or rotor is carbon-tracking and crossfiring.

      Also, if it is a 6-volt system, the wiring is old and the insulation is leaky. Go through and clean every connection from the battery posts through to the distributor, including all grounds. It can be informative to run the car inside a dark garage at night and rev up the engine and watch for any electrical leakage.

      FWIW, the Champion wire loom which squeezes all the plug wires together is a terrible design; it only barely works because the Champion is a low-compression engine.

      jack vines
      PackardV8

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      • #4
        Check the distributor cap for a carbon track. Good luck.
        Last edited by Topper2011; 01-20-2020, 06:40 PM.

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        • #5
          Start with the Basics.... Good Compression Check, etc.

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          • #6
            Also check the intake gasket for a leak.
            HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

            Jeff


            Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



            Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

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            • #7
              Good suggestions above. Do the simple non-invasive procedures first. Upon conducting a compression test... If that first cylinder shows low compression the next step is to remove the side covers and check valve adjustment. It is possible for one to go off adjustment while others are close enough to still function. It is probably a mechanical procedure few of us perform often enough. It is hard on aging backs to stretch and bend over a fender to do the work. Always the risk of broken bolts, or stripped threads. Then, there's the risk of a leak from those pesky gaskets, sealing it back up and replacing those copper washers. Rotating the engine in proper firing sequence to check each cylinder's valve clearance, etc. It is not a job I ever look forward to, but worth the peace of mind once completed. Letting it slide too long risks burnt & cracked valves and/or damaged valve seats.
              John Clary
              Greer, SC

              SDC member since 1975

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              • #8
                Observe the running engine in the dark,watch for wayward ignition tracks.

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                • #9
                  Thank you for the information. I have replaced all the plugs and it runs fine. The next thing I will replace are the spark wires and the distributor cap.
                  Regards Jos

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                  • #10
                    Whoa!!! Sounds like the plugs and wires may have been non-resister. By holding the wire away from the plug you are introducing resistance into the circuit. Really, you guys, Compression check?, intake gasket? bad cap?. Ya'll are a lot smarter than that!! Remember - KISS And remember, just 'cause a plug looks OK and fires fine at 1 atm doesn't mean it is going to spark at 8-10 atm

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                    • #11
                      Compression test is a baseline. Rules out a lot of stuff. Part of KISS in my book. Know what you're dealing with, before you start throwing parts at it.

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                      • #12
                        It won't not fire if the compression is a bit low, but you have a point, a compression check is easily obtained info. BUT, our old cars provide us with enough to worry about without laying awake at night wondering why no. 3 is 15psi less than the others and it won't make the motor explode!

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                        • #13
                          correct, but one 35# low might. I've seen one that wouldn't idle smooth, but would run great above idle. Had washed out rings from a blown head gasket and only 60#.
                          chased it for a while. Re-Ring of the one cylinder fixed it up.

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                          • #14
                            Outstanding detective work! And you didn't spend $4k on an engine overhaul!

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