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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to start a new thread on this one.

Long story short, I wired the plug wires up to the distributor cap wrong when I was working on the car and couldn't figure out the correct order, thanks to the forum I eventually got the cap wired up right, but the car dies as soon as I try to start it. It will stay running if I keep my foot on the gas. The car threw this code:

FAULT: 04
PEND: 00

P0301 - 01/04
P0301 - 02/04
P0301 - 03/04
P0301 - 04/04

This appears to be a misfire on all cylinders code.

Someone suggested I have the engine 180 degrees out of whack from all the different cap/wire combinations I tried to make it work last weekend.

I cleaned all the plugs today and put them back in, and tried to start it again today. Pulled #1 plug, after a few tries and the plug is black and smells strongly of gasoline.

So my question is, if the engine is 180 degrees off, is turning the main crank with a socket and ratchet one full turn to TDC the proscribed remedy? Will this take it off the exhaust stroke and back to the intake stroke?

I hate to be a pain in the ***, but I need to figure this out this week so I can start driving it back to work instead of taking my wife's car. The car was running 100% fine before I f-ed up the wiring order.

-zen
 

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if it were 180 off, i don't think you could get it to start or run at all. if you miswired two plugs maybe it might run but it would be awfully rough and uneven.
Since Saab takes its timing signal from the dist shaft, and the shaft is mechanically driven I suspect it can't be 180 off if you haven't had the dist shaft out and even if you had it out i don't think you can put it back 180 deg out.
I suspect you have the right order but are shifted off by one hole in the dist cap. this would make your order right but your timing would be terrible. Turn the crankshaft so that the no 1 piston is at top dead center. note the location in the cap of the wire for no. 1 plug. the rotor in the dist should be pointing either to that location or 180 deg away from it.
OR here is an alternative way-take out all the plugs.reconnect them to the plug wires and ground the plugs at threaded part. with the ign on, while looking at the plugs turn the crankshaft. the no.1 plug should spark once for every two passes of tdc and the timing should be near to tdc (so also should no.4). Google saab firing order.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, I'm going to go outside and manually crank the engine to set it to TDC and figure out if I'm a hole off. Thanks!

-zen
 

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Ok, the order is 1,3,4,2.
the direction should be the same direction the rotor turns when the starter cranks the engine. given these conditions, there are only four possibilities for locations of the wires. Try all four, one has to be right
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Christ on a cracker, this gets weirder and weird.

New CEL thrown:

P0301 01/04
P0304 02/04
P0302 03/04
P0300 04/04

Misfire codes from what I gather, tried all 4 possible combos. Set for TDC and located the #1 position as either 2 o'clock or 8 o'clock when looking directly at the cap towards to distributor.

Car starts, runs like crap, dies. Throws CEL.

Any ideas? Vacuum leak? wet wiring connections? Fuel pump? bad injectors?

Plugs were cleaned and put back in. After trying to start it several times, plugs are now black and smell of gas.

Ugh.

-zen
 

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When the wind blew the cap off were the current wires attached? Is it possible that you damaged the coil wire or connector to the coil?
 

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OK, one more suggestion-find another 4 cyl saab, nat asp. in a salvage yard or a sales lot and copy it, or maybe another member will post a drawing or unambiguous description.
are you sure you have the direction right?
if the order is right, there are only four possibilities for the location of no. one. if we expand the possibilites to two directions there are only eight possibilities total. which cylinder are you ident. as no. one?
Frank may be right-there maybe another problem. if the order is very wrong, i wouldn't think it would run at all.
 

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OK, one more suggestion-find another 4 cyl saab, nat asp. in a salvage yard or a sales lot and copy it, or maybe another member will post a drawing or unambiguous description.
are you sure you have the direction right?
if the order is right, there are only four possibilities for the location of no. one. if we expand the possibilites to two directions there are only eight possibilities total. which cylinder are you ident. as no. one?
Frank may be right-there maybe another problem. if the order is very wrong, i wouldn't think it would run at all.
The picture posted is one that I made. I made it after he asked for wiring help. I went out to my car and removed the cover and traced each wire. Unless mine is wrong the drawing is accurate.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, one more suggestion-find another 4 cyl saab, nat asp. in a salvage yard or a sales lot and copy it, or maybe another member will post a drawing or unambiguous description.
are you sure you have the direction right?
if the order is right, there are only four possibilities for the location of no. one. if we expand the possibilites to two directions there are only eight possibilities total. which cylinder are you ident. as no. one?
Frank may be right-there maybe another problem. if the order is very wrong, i wouldn't think it would run at all.
I think I might have found the problem. #3 spark plug is cracked.
 

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That is considered an open circuit. Good find. Let us know how it runs. If you had run the engine at night without the cover, you might have seen some sparks between the broken parts... Ron
 

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Looks like you got your socket a little crooked on the install. Did you use a torque wrench or the "Hand Tight + 3/4 turn" listed on the NGK box?
 

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In post 5 you said you tried all four combos. put the no.1 wire in 2 oclock or 8 oclock positions. but that is only two of the possible four locations for no. one wire.??Did you try all four?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Changed the plugs, car fired right up. #3 plug was broken off at base, possibly from the miswired/backfiring episode last week.

MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO ASSISTED ME WITH ADVICE AND TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW - You're the best!

-zen
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Glad it's working now... Ron
Me too man, this was baffling me. I decided to start over with the basics and pulled each plug one at a time to inspect them again. #3 was sheared off at the base and just sitting loose in the lower half. I suspect the violent ratting of the motor when it was miswired cracked it. I was about 5000 miles away from needing to change the plugs anyway, so it's all good.

Oh yeah the IAC Valve hose has popped off too, probably when it backfired. I tore the whole top end, airbox etc. off the car trying to find the culprit. Ockham's Razor proved to be the rule of the day... I also saw I need to replace a few vacuum lines, time to order 10ft of silicone tube.
 
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