1984 Lincoln Towncar cranks but no start

Asked by Sep 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM about the 1984 Lincoln Town Car Signature

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Hey all, ive got a 1984 Lincoln Towncar that wont start. 302/5.0 EEC IV distributor (wires
from the side, no vacuum). Yesterday she ran just fine (aside from a rough idle due to a
vacuum leak i cant find), then i ran first dry then wet compression tests followed by a
replacement of the plugs and wires. I havent messed with the timing. Wires set counter
clockwise 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. Plugs gapped at .050.

After no start i did some research; i tried the wires placed one back (5-4-2-6-3-7-8-1). I did
get her to crank AND start, but the engine ran VERRRYYY rough. I switched them back to the
normal rotation and no start.

I did some investigating, pulled the plugs after trying to start her a few time; a few of the
plugs were covered in oil/crap. My guess is from the wet test? Anyway i cleaned them all up
and put them back in, but no dice. Any advice?

10 Answers

Its a standard 5.0 btw, not the 5.0HO. Tried both wiring diagrams, no go

Here...finally..non HO

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Thats the same firing order as the HO and the 351 windsor. Regualr 302windsors and the Ford old school big blocks use 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. I have hooked up the wires under both, neither start her up. Timing jump?

Geez, I found a diagram for standard.......HO......Truck......marine (turns backwards) all different 302's but I pretty sure that's it. Listed as 1983 TC click on it to get bigger ///

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Discounting marine applications....they for whatever reason turn the opposite direction, the whole crankshaft that is, here is the other one I found

OK, well ive hooked up it 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. She still wont start. Engine sputters like its ALMOST about to catch. The pic is the normal/recommended set up. Wont start with that either

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Voltaire, I had to go out for a while. But I'm stumped man. I looked even more and found this page and this image..it's got to be one or the other. And you have done both. Did you move the distributor? I know you said didn't mess with timing..but maybe accidentally? Check which way the rotor actually is turning? http://www.ask.com/question/302-firing-order ..the image will get full screen...click on it

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the help anyway man, it does seem puzzling. I havent touched the distributor, the rotor spins counterclock.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Mike Tutty

The firing order should be on a sticker on the driver's side valve cover. Failing that, the Haynes service manual does have the correct order for that generation of 302 Windsor. I'm trying to remember the right one. I do remember that my 79 302 specified that 2 and 3 were adjacent on the cap, and same with 6 and 7. It WILL run with them reversed, but it sure won't run well, and it will eventually do damage. The other thing is always use the wire looms that come with the wire set. You need to keep the wires separated from one another, as they can jump and cause a misfire that will stop the car. Also, if your engine has a lot of miles on it, check for timing chain play. Lift the cap off, and put a socket and breaker bar on the crank shaft nut. Turn the engine and make sure the rotor in the distributor starts to turn immediately. If the engine turns more than 1/8 of a turn before the rotor moves, your timing chain is so stretched that I would suspect that is the problem. You can compensate for SOME of that by advancing the timing. Maybe enough to get the car to run. For finding the vacuum leak, start by making sure all the lines are intact and connected properly. Also make sure that all the vacuum switches are functioning properly. Once that is checked out, with the engine running, take a propane torch, unlit and turned low, and run it around the base of the carb and around the intake manifold. If the idle increases, you have found the location of a vacuum leak.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have the manual, the firing order is 1-5-4-2-6-3-7-8. What puzzles me is the orientation of the cap clips. According to the manual, the clips indicate the position of the #1 spark plug wire (i.e. immediate left is 5), which is NOT the clearly marked "1" on the cap. That leads to some confusion. However i looked online (engine bay 1984 Grand Marquis, same distributor system) and got a friend to send me a pic of his 84 TC, both check out with the set up ive got on her now, which is starting at the cap defined #1 (as she is on the picture i posted). The vacuu,m leak im referring to is a vacuum line, it melted during an overheat and now i cant find one of the ends. She would run and start no problem, but the idle isnt the same.

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