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Old 07-18-2015, 05:31 PM   #1
Leot3
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Default 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

Long time viewer first time poster. The past couple days my 97 sc1 has been dogging in the top of 4th and 5th gear. Driving home yesterday it gave one big shutter and service engine soon light poped up. Had it read today and P0303 or 3rd cylinder misfire. I swapped out plugs and wires. Coils are clean. After starting it i look under the hood to see the right screw holding down the valve cover sparking from under it. I'm at a complete loss. Any good ideas?

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Old 07-19-2015, 06:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

>>> Nice Symptom !

Maybe try check 'new' wires with ohmeter... sounds like electrons have easier path to cover than plug.
Plugs frequently 'short' ; never heard one 'open'.

"New" cheap wires act weird initially because the terminal ends are sometimes not contacting the wire or the 'post'....

That's why some us bought Magnecor - less time wire fussing.

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Old 07-19-2015, 06:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

It gets worse. I finished messing around with it today and now it runs like crap. The orginal studdering and hesitating it was doing at the top of 4th or 5th gear is now in every gear. Im honestly at a lose.

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Old 07-19-2015, 08:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

If it makes you feel better:
I installed a cheap wireset ... had to 're-do' the job three times -- involved application of pliers to squeeze the terminal-tubes to make contact on the coil towers.
After that they worked fine for 50/60kMi. ('97 SW2)

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Old 07-19-2015, 08:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

So as I give up on fixing it and get in it to drive down to the corner garage it starts right up. Runs great through every gear. No studdering what so ever. I stop the the auto parts store and have them read the check engine that came back up after the repair. P0300. The first one i got was p0303. As im pulling out of the parking lot. Light goes away. Car runs like a dream. Should i still be concerned? Anyone else have the first test run after plugs and wires that rough only for it to be fine? I give up even trying to understand it.

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Old 07-20-2015, 10:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

I had a po300 a few weeks ago. It turned out i needed a new ign. control
module and a coil car runs fine now.

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Old 07-20-2015, 06:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1997 Saturn SC1 sparking from valve cover?

Leo...
I think it may be good running for a while. Both new plugs and new wires can cause an unexpected/counterintuitive misfire for a little while. I think the connections are sort of "burning in" a connection path through oxide coatings on the towers/plugs.

Not really sure -- did not evidence with Magnecor wireset.

Suggest enjoy while it works, probably 20-40kMi.

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