4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank... (2024)

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #1

A few weeks back the engine got really hot because the seawater pump had gone out and I didn't realize it. Regardless when I went to shut it off, it was dieseling, meaning I turned off the key and the engine kept on running. I couldn't figure out what was going on, it ran for over a minute after the key was off. In a panic I went back there and disconnected the battery, no luck, disconnected all spark plug wires at the distributor, still no luck. It eventually died on its own.

All that said, now that I've replaced the impellar on the pump I hooked the plug wires back up in what I thought was the 165432 firing order going clockwise from #1 being on the right hand side of the cap. I tried a couple different ways, ie clockwise and counter clockwise, but the thing just won't crank now. At one point in jacking around with the wires it cranked and barely idled with a miss, but I can't remember what that was. Now, it turns over and then binds up a little as if a cylinder is firing out of order, then turns over, then binds up.

Can someone show me a diagram or some pictures of your distributor cap and labeled wires? I'm pretty automotively sabby, but I don't know why this thing isn't firing up.

The intake is labled 1-6-5-4-3-2 on it. Again I started on the right hand side of the cap with #1 and went clockwise with 6-5-4-3-2 around the cap.

Don S

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
62,321
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #2

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

You first need to find #1 TDC on the compression stroke, here is how you do that.

Remove all the spark plugs. This makes the engine easier to turn, and if using a remote start button keeps the engine from kicking back when you are trying to make very small movements.

The Merc OEM service manual suggests you put your finger over #1 spark plug hole and turn the engine until you feel compression building in the cylinder. In real life, that can become almost impossible to do and turn the engine at the same time. What I have found that works very well is to use the hose from your compression tester so. Then just put your thumb over the end of the hose to feel the compression. It?s a lot easier to reach.

Now, bump the starter over with a remote start button or turn the engine by hand until you feel compression building on the #1 cylinder. Once you feel compression building, you no longer have to feel for the compression. Now you need to watch the timing mark on the vibration damper and the timing tab. Continue turning the engine in the same direction until the timing marks line up on 0? TDC.
You now have #1 piston at TDC on the compression stroke.

At this point, if your distributor is in the engine, remove the cap and look at where the rotor is pointing. That is where #1 spark plug wire should be located.

The firing order is 1-6-5-4-3-2 and the rotor turns clockwise.

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #3

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

I don't see a specific timing pointer that points to the balancer on the motor. Should it line up with a bolt or something? Where does it normally point when piston is at TDC? I'm used to fords, on a ford its on the passenger side a couple inches from the center of the motor.

Don S

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
62,321
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #4

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank... (3)

Attachments

  • Untitled8.jpg

    25.5 KB · Views: 17

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #5

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

Don, thanks for posting that diagram. My engine doesn't have that timing pointer. It has the mark on the balancer, but not a pointer like that. Best I could do was see it pointed towards a bolt in that general area. When I felt the compression on the cylinder, I looked and the pointer was at the back of the distrubutor, so I started there. That wasn't right, still backfiring.

So I tried to rotate the wires over 1 spot counter clockwise on the distributor. Still no luck.

They wouldn't reach around to go any further around, so I moved the opposite direction and started rotating them clockwise on the distributor. I finally got it around to where #1 plug was on the port/bow side and wired it up there. She fired right up. Good news is there doesn't appear to be any problems from the overheat engine wise. I do see a trickle of water seeping out the rubber boot on the port side down pipe for the exhaust. I tried tightening her up, but still a slight trickle. Gonna look at that more later. For now at least I know she runs. Next thing is to decide whether I tackle pulling the motor up and tightening/inspecting the inside/outside mounts for the stern drive. The outdrive is a little loose on the transom and it looks like it needs to be tightened up a bit. Its taking in some water around the outdrive into the bilge.

According to the dealer and Chris Craft when we bought it, the hull/transom is all composite, not wood. So it shouldn't be a rotted transom. Fear is that some hard impacts with the outdrive with U.U.F.O (underwater, unidentified, foreign objects) may have taken its toll and cracked the transom. All I see externally is a lot of what appears to be stress cracks in the gel coat around the bottom of the stern drive and around the bilge drain hole. I've got a post with pictures about that in the hull repair forum.

Thanks for yall's help!

Don S

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
62,321
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #6

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

Take a picture of the front area of your engine (shown in my picture). Then we can see what you see.

According to the dealer and Chris Craft when we bought it, the hull/transom is all composite, not wood. So it shouldn't be a rotted transom.

What does that have to do with your firing order ??????????

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #7

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

Don S said:

Take a picture of the front area of your engine (shown in my picture). Then we can see what you see.

What does that have to do with your firing order ??????????

Nothing LOL. I was commenting because the next thing I have to fix is the leak around the transom and outdrive. The outdrive appears to be a little loose on the transom. I can pick up on the drive a little and see it pull away from the transom a little bit and if someone looks inside while you pick up on it, you can see the plate on the inside that the outdrive is bolted to move a little as well. So I'm thinking either the bolts have stretched or loosened up over time so its not a good seal anymore.

Here's a shot of the front of engine on the port side of balancer. Looks like its time for a new alternator belt LOL.

4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank... (6)

Don S

Honorary Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
62,321
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #8

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

I have no idea what happened to your timing mark, but it's sure missing. Is it the OEM engine or perhaps an automotive replacement.

PS: You might want to start a new thread with your other problem. With a firing order title, not many are going to be expecting to give reasons for a leak.

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 16, 2011
  • #9

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

Thanks Don. I already started a thread in hull repair forum. Was just sharing my next undertaking.

We bought the boat new in 1997. I have done all work on the boat and its all original. Only repairs I have done has been new seawater impellar, new trim pump motor, new water circulation pump, and new power steering pump.

C

Capn G

Cadet
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
28
  • Jul 18, 2011
  • #10

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

On the 4.3, the rotor is "pointing" at the #1 cylinder (front, right standing in the boat looking at the engine) when it's TDC. You'll need to have compression build-up at the same time.

W

White90GT

Petty Officer 2nd Class
Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
161
  • Jul 19, 2011
  • #11

Re: 4.3L Firing order? Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank

Thanks G. Thats what I found as well whenever I finally got the wires on there and it ran.

You must log in or register to reply here.

4.3L Firing order?  Pulled all wires without marking, now I can't get it to crank... (2024)

FAQs

What are the symptoms of an incorrect firing order? ›

Then the Engine Knocking or Pinging, Running with the wrong firing order may lead to irregular combustion, potentially causing knocking or pinging. This can put extra stress on the connecting rods, pistons, and bearings.

What happens if spark plug wires are in wrong order? ›

However, if the plugs are installed in a different order, it is possible that the cylinder sequence will be incorrect. This will result in the engine running very poorly, if at all. It is possible that the engine will run with spark plug wires not connected, but it will run very poorly and be hard to start.

Can spark plug wires cause rough idle? ›

The most obvious sign of faulty spark plug wires is your vehicle just feels a little 'off. ' It would probably start slowly with reduced gas mileage but could progress to no acceleration. Faulty spark plug wires or spark plug misfires can also cause problems starting your engine, a rough idle, and loss of power.

What happens if spark plug wires are crossed? ›

And in the worst-case scenario, if you put all the wires on wrong and then cranked the engine for a long time, you could have created an explosion in the crankcase, which could have blown out a crankshaft seal.

How does firing order affect an engine? ›

Four-stroke engines must also time the valve openings relative to the firing order, as the valves do not open and close on every stroke. Firing order affects the vibration, sound and evenness of power output from the engine and heavily influences crankshaft design.

What two factors will determine the firing order of an engine? ›

The firing order is determined by the engine's configuration and the arrangement of its cylinders. By following a precise firing order, the engine can optimise power delivery, minimise vibrations, and maintain balance within the system.

What will happen if you place the spark plug wires out of original order? ›

What is even more imperative than matching cable length is that you do not mix up the order of the spark plug wires. Improper installation of these wires can result in poor combustion or misfiring of the cylinder, which will cause drivability issues and potentially severe damage to the engine.

What happens if you use the wrong spark plug gap? ›

The incorrect plug gap for your engine can contribute to a high rate of misfires, loss of power, plug fouling, poor fuel economy and accelerated plug wear. It is always best to check the gap against the manufacturer's specifications.

What happens if you wire a plug the wrong way? ›

Mistake: Wires reversed | Connecting the black hot wire to the neutral terminal of an outlet creates the potential for a lethal shock. The trouble is that you may not realize the mistake until someone gets shocked, because lights and most other plug-in devices will still work; they just won't work safely.

What are the symptoms of a bad coil pack? ›

8 Signs of a Faulty Ignition Coil
  • Your Car Guzzles Gas. ...
  • Your Car Feels Slow. ...
  • You Hear Spluttering, Coughing, and Banging Noises. ...
  • Your Car Idles Roughly and Vibrates. ...
  • Your Car Misfires and Backfires. ...
  • Your Car Stalls. ...
  • You Struggle to Start Your Car. ...
  • The Check Engine Light Is On.
Feb 3, 2023

What are the symptoms of a bad HT lead? ›

A breakdown in a HT lead can result in a weak spark as a result the engine may misfire and cause rough running. This will affect fuel consumption and consequently have a loss of power. The total failure of the main HT king lead will probably cause the vehicle not to start at all.

Can a bad PCV valve cause rough idle? ›

A PCV valve that's stuck open will allow too much air to enter the intake manifold, leading to a leaner idling fuel-air mixture. Stuck closed leads to a build up of pressure in the crank case which creates a variety of oil leaks! And this in turn can lead to a range of issues, including a rough idle.

What are the symptoms of spark plug wire crossfire? ›

One symptom of crossfire is starter “kickback”, a condition that occurs where the starter experiences sudden changes in engine cranking, creating havoc between the starter and flywheel.

Can a ground wire cause a spark? ›

Faulty ground – In a properly functioning electrical outlet, the ground protects against sudden shocks of electricity or sparks. However, if your ground is faulty or not working properly, it can cause sparking from the outlet.

Can wrong spark plug wires cause misfire? ›

Bad spark plug wires can interfere with the electrical current flowing to the engine, making it difficult for the engine to complete the combustion cycle. An incomplete combustion cycle can cause an engine to misfire, which means your car may jerk, stumble, or briefly lose power.

How do you check the firing order? ›

If your engine has a distributor ignition, you'll often find its firing order cast or stamped onto its intake manifold. You can also find it in your vehicle's manual. If neither of these yields results, you might want to do a little research to find out your engine's exact firing order.

What does changing the firing order do? ›

In some situations, changing the firing order can set the engine performance back. For example, Tri-Y headers are designed around a specific firing order to keep adjacent-firing cylinders from merging in the first Y collector. Changing to another order will likely void any benefits built into the design.

What are the factors that affect firing order? ›

These are some factors to be considered before deciding the optimum firing order of an engine.
  • Engine vibrations.
  • Engine cooling.
  • Development of back pressure.
  • Engine balancing and.
  • Even flow of power.
Nov 10, 2019

What determines the firing order? ›

This is determined by the crankshaft throw. The throw is measured as the distance between the center of the crankshaft pin and the crank's main journal. In other words, the engine firing order depends on the design of the crankshaft. So, by using a different crankshaft, we can alter the firing order.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Roderick King

Last Updated:

Views: 5247

Rating: 4 / 5 (51 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Roderick King

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: 3782 Madge Knoll, East Dudley, MA 63913

Phone: +2521695290067

Job: Customer Sales Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Embroidery, Parkour, Kitesurfing, Rock climbing, Sand art, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Roderick King, I am a cute, splendid, excited, perfect, gentle, funny, vivacious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.