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Old 02-07-2005, 06:10 PM   #1
JerryHughes
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Default DIS order wrong for 8 months!

(97 Saturn SL.) Arrrrrrrg. Was I ever surprised to see that the order of my spark plug wires that connect to the coil pack was wrong! After cleaning the posts (thanks to wolfman) I wanted to make sure I put the spark plug wires back on, the way they came off. Well, for the heck of it I thought I'd double check the order in my Chilton. Was I alarmed when the order of spark plug connections to the coils was wrong. Chilton called for an order (starting from the spark plug furthest to the left, as being plug #1 and moving to the right to be----plug wire #1 to coil post #2, plug wire #2 to coil post #3, plug wire #3 to coil post #4 and plug wire #4 to coil post #1. Or 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-1. But my order was 1-1, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-2.

The car has had a slight problem of hesitating upon acceleration ever since I bought it 8 months ago. The kicker is that just after I bought the car, I changed the spark plugs and the wires but made sure that the wires went back on, the way the previous owner had them----never thinking that he may not have had the wires connected correctly. Well, even though there was this small hesitation problem, the car actually ran pretty good. (Still has a very faint hesitation and I may end up changing the crankshaft position sensor if that would help) In fact, just last Friday I checked the highway gas mileage and even though it wasn't straight freeway driving, the car still got 39.44 m.p.g. Now I'm anxious to see if that will increase.

Question is----will having the wire sequence screwed up for so long hurt the engine? As mentioned, it is running really well and in fact, I can't really tell if the random hesitation is the engine or the result of road conditions. Any thoughts and should I continue on, to change the C.P.S.? Thanks for any info.

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Old 02-07-2005, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

The spark plug order was fine. There are only 2 coil packs, not four. Basically, plug 1 and 4 get a spark at exactly the same time, and the same with 2 and 3. 1 cylinder is on the exhaust stroke.
So, no damage done, good catch though.

Oh, forgot, take the throttle body off and clean it really good. That has helped my cars in the past with hesitation. (of course check the PCV valve too!)
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Old 02-07-2005, 07:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Yup, as allen described, you just discovered a little "secret" about how the DIS and coil packs work. Now, if you had crossed between the coil packs, that'd be a TOTALLY different story .

However, it might explain your car's hesitation. The PCM uses the difference in resistance between the #1 and #4 firing to "fake" a cam position sensor signal. Just guessing here, but it might have gotten this mixed up. Has the SES light ever been on?

'Course, hesitation can have any number of other causes. Most obvious (and cheapest, easiest and most worth correcting anyway): is it on the original ECTS?
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Thanks for the info guys. I was worried that something would have been really screwed up. However, as mentioned, the car is running great. I did clean the throttle body and injectors and will again soon. I used Berryman's and that stuff did a good job. I went through two cans and that is what it took to make the car run smoothly. I'll keep that up from now on. This made the biggest performance difference of all. No, I never got an SES light. And I did change the ECTS months ago---even though I did use a "cheap" one from NAPA. All's well that ends well---so far. I don't think I will change the crankshaft position sensor after all. The more I run the car, the better it seems to run. Thanks again!

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Old 02-07-2005, 11:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Oh, one more thing. I also changed the fuel filter today so that could also really help with the hesitation problem---but I still think the biggest factor was cleaning the injectors. Thanks,

Jerry
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Hmm, I've heard third-party ECTS's aren't good, but the big thing is, you got that plastic one outta there.

Now remember, you must not reveal this DIS secret to anyone outside the Saturn Family. Anyone found to have broken the "code of silence" will be banned from SaturnFans, removed from the corporate mailing lists, and required, from then on and in perpetuity, to drive an '86 Escort with a dented passenger door.

Okay, I made that last part up.
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

NO, not a ford!!!!
At least let him drive an 82 chevette.
Dang they were pocket rockets -
I had mine up to 68 mph once...
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by alleninpa
At least let him drive an 82 chevette.
But then we'd have to get him a job delivering pizzas.

Quote:
I had mine up to 68 mph once...
Yeah, but what happened when it got to the bottom of the cliff?
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue
But then we'd have to get him a job delivering pizzas.

Yeah, but what happened when it got to the bottom of the cliff?
Hey, dont knock the vette... It was down hill with a gail force tail wind.
Motor was running at about 4500 rpm's (or at least is sounded like it)
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Actually, the "new" sensor didn't look brass to me! It sort of looked like a hard plastic but I wouldn't know. At any rate, the car's running like a---------well, like a Saturn now.

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Old 02-08-2005, 02:55 PM   #11
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

More info on sensor----The threads were brass but the tip looked plastic. Don't know if the tip was brass underneath. Oh well, it's working!

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Old 02-08-2005, 09:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryHughes
More info on sensor----The threads were brass but the tip looked plastic. Don't know if the tip was brass underneath. Oh well, it's working!
Old sensor (resin tip)
New sensor (brass tip)

Note the difference in the color of the tip (left side) and the slight difference in radius of the tip (the brass sensor is flatter).
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Thanks for the photos, razorbak. I think the "new" sensor I put in my car has the old, resin tip. I'll keep that in mind if the car starts acting up. I'll switch to the all brass tip if I need another sensor.

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Old 02-09-2005, 01:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Do the ECTS at your earliest convenience, before you need it, because eventually you will. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can take the resin one back to NAPA, and offer NOT to shove it up the counterman's nose if he promises to stop selling them, and insist that they feature the brass sensors.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: DIS order wrong for 8 months!

Well, if the ECTS goes, I doubt it is going to go all at once. So, when the car starts acting up, as mentioned, that'll be what I look at. And one other thing. The car's computer knew I changed the wires over to where they belonged because after I changed the wires where they were supposed to be, the idle went up about twice as high as it was before. I took the car for a ride and when I checked the idle again, it was back where it belonged. Can't fool those computers, huh.

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