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72 tii starting/misfire issues


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Hey all, 

 

I'm having a misfire that I'm hoping you can help me track down..

 

Quick backstory:

The car has been off the road for about 4 years now.  Car was solid and ran like a champ for the 4 years I owned/used it prior to that.  Mechanically it was well sorted when I parked it for severe rust issues.  While it was down, I resealed the engine, but I left the head on it as well as the distributor.  I fired it up briefly (few seconds) last year to see if my wiring was correct with no cooling system attached.  Turned over and idled quickly - great.

 

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago:

I ran the car on that old gas just to warm it up with the cooling system hooked up to see if Tstat would open.  Car idled higher due to the vacuum line not hooked up to brake booster, but the 3 or 4 times starting and idling it, it cranked up with no issues and stayed running.  When I capped my thumb over the vacuum port on the intake, the idle dropped down and stayed smooth.  

 

The following weekend, I connected that booster hose to the intake manifold and plugged the tach wire into my cluster.  The car wouldn't start - no ignition.  I then realized I plugged the wire into the ground spade of the tach rather than signal.  I plugged that into the correct spade, but in thoughts that I flooded it, we pulled the plugs to air it out and noticed cylinder 3 plug was clean compared to the rest.  Looking to my fuel system, I pulled my tank and dumped the fuel out and replaced with fresh 93 octane.  With thoughts of the old gas damaging the injectors, I had them sent out to HR to get refreshed.  Fuel pressure is up into the banjo bolt on the front of the kugel and all 8 plungers the kugel move freely.   I replaced my E28 fuel pump with a new one and popped the benched injectors into the car with the same result again.

 

While we checked spark on the plugs, my buddy said the spark was amber and weak looking, but he did hold it to the plated strut top stud (not sure if that would make a difference).  When we fired up the car again, we pulled each spark plug wire out while I was on light/consistent throttle to keep it steady and not backfire.  When pulling 1 and 2 the car stumbled, but 3 and 4 caused no difference.    

 

We're going to do a compression test to see what that yields and hopefully rule that out.  Any thoughts on where to look next? 

 

Parts:

Plastic intake runner setup - not cracked 

New black coil

Original ceramic(?) resistor

The other relays mounted to the firewall (not sure their specific names) are also original

New spark plugs - twice now first were the recommended NGKs I always used and second set now were Bosch's just to attempt to start with new plugs again

New cap

New rotor

Ignition wires from when it was parked (replaced new when I was driving it regularly) 

 

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