January 28, 2012 at 12:40 am #1527
Okay, my wife called me today and said that her van was missing and jerking real bad and would not hardly go over 25 MPH or so but there was no engine light on. I left work to come home and she called me on the way and said that when she got home that smoke was coming from under the van around the front and there was a funny smell. When I got home an hour later I looked everything over but did not see anything obvious so I tried to start it and let it idle, but it would barely run and seemed to be backfiring through the exhaust. I did plugs, wires, cap and rotor approx 3 months ago but I looked under cap anyway. I didn’t see anything obvious there so I checked mass air flow meter in the air intake tube and it was clean. I checked for good voltage at battery then tried to start it again. It seemed to idle better than when she got home and everything was hot and better than the first time I started it. I looked it over some more and tried to drive it down the road but it still missed pretty violently. When I came back it was just barely running and missing BAD! I had the air filter out of it and it was still back firing through the exhaust and shaking the whole exhaust system when it did. Anyone got any ideas? Fuel pump, fuel filter, distributor? Thanks for any help! Right now I have no transportation for my wife to get kids to school etc!January 30, 2012 at 2:30 am #5414
Sounds like one or two cylinders not firing. The smoke could be gas that was burned inside a hot cylinder while there was no spark. Some gas could escape into the hot catalytic converter and get burned there, causing the smell, or worse, plug up the cat. Another possibility is the MAF is not plugged in or about to die. To check it simply try to idle more than 2500 or 3000 rpm for a couple of seconds. If it cannot go more than that the MAF is most likely the issue. If it can then plug the code scanner in and get the codes.February 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm #5443
check the voltage on the maf/see id the vac line around the intake tube are broken.did u remove the dis. cap to see if theirs any oil on the shaft?February 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm #5494
i just noticed that the online firing orders from the distributor cap to the cooresponding cylinders are incorrect…March 1, 2012 at 1:58 am #5496
Villager Factory EngineerParticipant
This is a classic case of the infamous 1999 distributor issue. The usual symptoms are that it runs good till it starts to warm up, then it runs rough and maybe even quits. The timing will be jumping all over the place to. It’s the CMP sensor or the bad bearing inside or both. Replace the distributor with a new Rich Porter for $200. They are on ebay and their own site. A new one from ford or Nissan is 1300.00. I think they are called the Import Experts.
I have a loaner if you want to prove it. You would have to pay postage back and forth.
Gerry in Detroit (Ford)March 1, 2012 at 3:39 am #5503
Just change the Distributor.
Pick up one from your nearest salvage yard , wreckers, etc.
It is a classic syndrome for the 99.
It runs when it is cold and then when it gets hot it stops working from dirt covering the optics , a brown dust coming from the distributor bearing going bad .
If it seizes more complication , like breaking the timing belt or the cam shaft gear-teeth, etc.
The smell and heat under the van is from un-burned gas heating up the cat (catalytic-converter ) . If it persists it will clog up the CAT and it will need replacement too , expensive .
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