no-start after washing engine bay

Brett Dikeman brett at
Mon Sep 5 01:23:09 EDT 2005

On Sep 4, 2005, at 11:57 PM, Huw Powell wrote:

> Well, apart from the whole "undo, clean and dielectric gel" routine  
> on all connectors... from the comment above I'd say, pop off the  
> dist. cap and look at it and the rotor.  Methinks they won't be in  
> stock condition any mmore.

There was some water in it, but that's not the shocker (har har).   
You see, I have magnecore wires.  They never go bad.  The same is not  
true for distributors and rotors.  And as I looked at the  
distributor, with thick black soot all inside, the terminals  
corroded, and the center 'button' that rides the rotor is completely  

...I realized I couldn't remember having replaced the distributor or  
rotor.  Ever.  In 8 years and 90,000 miles.  I might have done it a  
year or two after getting the car, but I'm not sure.

*slaps forehead*

Well, this explains the slightly rough idle.  And the occasional  
bucking when the engine's cold.  And the less-than-consistent  
operation under boost.  And the occasional slightly jerky driving in  
lower gears (sorta like a bad/dead O2 sensor, only 'faster'.)  I'm  
astounded the car ran at all.  This also might explain why the dyno  
numbers many months ago were slightly less than expected; 214-217whp  
peak (IA 3+).  All of which I kept meaning to look into, but never  
got around to.

So, I did remember having bought a replacement cap many years ago.   
After 2 minutes rummaging around in the attic, I hold in my hand a  
pristine 3B distributor cap.  A little work with a dremel and some 3M  
marine polish, and the rotor will be 'good enough' to not tear the  
center button on the cap to pieces before I can get a new rotor (the  
current rotor's surface looks like sandpaper, from getting blasted as  
part of a spark gap, most likely).

I wonder if my city mileage will climb out of the high 17's too? :-)

"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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