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Old 04-04-2006, 08:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Spark plug firing order?

Hey, ive recently had my uncle replace my spark plugs and im not sure if he did it right. I just read the haynes repair manual and it says you need to put the spark plugs in correct order; 1-3-4-2. The question im asking is, does firing order matter? The car still runs fine as far as I know, although the engine stumbles sometimes on accelerating. (94 corolla). Will uncorrect firing orderr dammage my car and how can I put it in the correct order?

-Matt
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The order in which you put the spark pulgs in has no effect on the order they fire.
The missfire is caused by something else, check you leads and dizzy.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Firing order is crucial! It's igniting fuel when it's not suppose to, or it's sparking nothing but air. With the wrong firing order, the minimum will be that your car will be slower (running on 2 cylinders pretty much), produce worse gas milage, and possibly long term problems like a clogged cat. It can be as bad as causing major internal damage.

However, i am curious as to why you think the firing order is incorrect? The sparkplugs itself are universal between the cylinders. You just have to make sure the spark plug wire is corresponding to the proper hole on the distributor. They are all numbered and shouldn't be a difficult thing to begin with.

Your distributor cap will have the correct numbers on it. Match that to the same number wire, then match that to your cylinder. (Cylinder 1 is the one closes to the belts, 4 is the side closest to the transmission.).
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Reread his post... I think you might be confusing firing order with something else. The order which the spark plug is inserted when being replaced does not matter.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVANT
Firing order is crucial! It's igniting fuel when it's not suppose to, or it's sparking nothing but air. With the wrong firing order, the minimum will be that your car will be slower (running on 2 cylinders pretty much), produce worse gas milage, and possibly long term problems like a clogged cat. It can be as bad as causing major internal damage.

However, i am curious as to why you think the firing order is incorrect? The sparkplugs itself are universal between the cylinders. You just have to make sure the spark plug wire is corresponding to the proper hole on the distributor. They are all numbered and shouldn't be a difficult thing to begin with.

Your distributor cap will have the correct numbers on it. Match that to the same number wire, then match that to your cylinder. (Cylinder 1 is the one closes to the belts, 4 is the side closest to the transmission.).
Ahhh, thanks for clearing it up avant. I just though it might be in the wrong firing order because I did not know the plugs were univeral and my uncle just tossed them in. I looked at the spark plugs again and it seems correct, but what else could explain the engine stumbling?
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The firing orfer refers to as the cam spins, it opens valves which allow gas to flow in, close them during the compression stoke and open the exhaust valve to exhaust the spent fuel. Then the process repeats.

Where your spark plug WIRES are attached is where "firing order" comes in. The wire needs to send voltage to the plug during the compression stoke. Too early or too late will cause backfires and all kinds of not cool stuff. It could cause hesitation upon acceleration, But YES, it can damager your engine if not corrected.

There should be a "map" in the Haynes manual, I prefer Chiltons manuals, which maps out which wire coming off of the distributor (I'm old school and most cars today don't have an actual distributor but something which performs the same function, to send current to the spark plugs.)

It's recommended to replace the spark plugs one at a time so you only have one wire off at a time. That way it's near impossible to screw up the firing order once established.

The order with which you replace the plugs does not matter, but that wire you pull off of it, does.

I'd take it to a shop and have them figure it out for you, to get you back to a known configuration.

Good Luck.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Huh, what are you guys on about?, the leads are all different lengths you can't hook them up the wrong way, and if they were in the wrong place on the dizzy the car would run like a bag of arseholes.

Clearly the leads on on correctly as it only misfires sometimes.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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And I have heard it can damage the engine, it's not good for it. Like sparking in the middle of the intake valve opening... could cause damage.
But if it's just stumbling when you acclerate try checking all the plugs then put them back just snug don't over tighten or you may strip the threads!
Were the wire and distrubuter cap replaced also? if not replace those while your at it.

If that doesn't work the list of things that can cause a stumble during accleration can get kind of large :P
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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k, ill try to replace the wires. I dont think the problem is in the firing order anymore. Thanks all.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corollapride
k, ill try to replace the wires. I dont think the problem is in the firing order anymore. Thanks all.
If they're old they could have become damaged when you handled them to replace the plugs. One way to check is to move the wires back and forth as the engine is running and see if the engine stumbles.

Did he check the gap of the plugs before installing them? Improperly gapped plugs could cause hesitation on acceleration.
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Old 04-06-2006, 12:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Did the engine also stumble before the plugs were changed? What kind of plugs did you put in?

Reason I ask is when I bought my 98 Corolla (used) it would stumble upon moderate acceleration. At first I thought it was a problem with the auto transmission, but when I forced it to stumble really bad I got a check engine light related to multiple cylinder misfire.

I spoke to a Toyota mechanic through a mutual friend and the first thing he asked is what kind of plugs were in there? I said Bosch Platinum. He said, take them out, throw them as far as you can, go to the Toyota Dealer and buy the cheap OEM plugs (NGK I think), put them in, and drive happily ever after. I did that and it absolutely fixed the problem. I too thought it could be the wires but it wasn't.
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Old 04-06-2006, 01:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Excellent advice. Besides the marketing hype, I heard no good things about those plugs.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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cheesep you probably had the wrong plugs, either that or they were really old.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I don't think age would be a factor - the plugs looked quite new and the car only had 115k on it when I bought it. I do appreciate your observation that they may have been the wrong plugs.

However . . . and I don't want to get everyone mad at me because I know spark plug choice can get very personal, but the Toyota mechanic was aware of the matter without a second thought. I don't know if he specifically targeted Bosch as bad actors or if he targeted anything but the OEM plugs as the bad actors. Notwithstanding, it fixed my problem - instantly and completely.

I hope I haven't offended anyone.
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Old 04-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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the owners manual recomends oem denso plugs or ngk plugs for the ae92 so I would think it would still be the same
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