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'88 5kCSQ Hard Starting problem

Just thought I'd post a quick note on this one.  The 5kCSQ Wagon had been 
exhibiting some hard starting and poor idling behavior recently.  I had 
also noticed an occasional lack of power when climbing hills at lower RPMs 
(2500-3000).  The loss of power was intermittent and very short-lived ... 
until Sunday.  I was climbing a hill near my house when the engine complete-
ly lost power and would barely idle.  It died just as I crested the hill.  
I had a similar problem with a vacuum leak in the past, so that was the 
first thing I looked at, but couldn't find any deteriorated hoses.  I 
noticed that the coil wire was sticking out of the distr. cap in an unusual 
way, so I tried to reseat it ... it wouldn't snap on.  The resistor had 
broken, probably some time ago, and burned up to the point that I could 
no longer get a spark.  The insulation on the cap had gotten pretty burned, 
and all that was left in the connector area was a lot of white powder.  I 
managed to cobble everything back together to the point I got the car the 
1.5 miles remaining to get home ... WHEW!

I figured I could pull the wire off the ur-Q if nothing else was available, 
but quickly found this not to be the case ... the newer wires have a male 
connector in the cap!  I found a cap, but could not find a replacement wire, 
so I looked around to see what was available.  I took apart an old set of 
wires from the ur-Q and found that the connector crimped on the end of the 
spark plug wire that attaches it to the shroud (that goes over the spark 
plug itself) would attach to the new cap.  Before yesterday I suspected 
that the wire was connected to the spark plug shroud with a connector, but 
I never tried pulling one apart.  Fortunately the wires are copper, so I 
soldered the "new" connector on the end of the old wire and get everything 
back together.  It seems to work fine.

I had been following the thread on the MTBE in the gas, so I had been 
attributing the problem to bad gas.

Steve Buchholz