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  1. #1

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    Loss of power, misfires

    Hey guys!

    I am new to Saturns, and my 93 sw2 is actually the first one Saturn I've owned and worked on.

    So recently my wagon has developed a misfire. Giving any throttle over maybe 25% will just cause the engine to pop and backfire and not accelerate.

    Now the car had sat for a while before I bought it, probably about a year. I've changed all of the fluids and everything and plan on changing the spark plugs soon as well.

    I'm guessing the popping and misfiring is just down to a clogged fuel filter or old spark plugs, but as I'm kinda new to working on my own car and new to Saturns, I just wanted to get outside advice from people more knowledgeable on these cars to see if maybe there is something else i'm glossing over.

    I did a quick search through old forum posts, but I am at work and couldn't really check that deeply. The main thing that puts me off is there's no CEL. It's been running like this for almost a week now. I haven't really done any other mods than just changing the muffler for a slightly louder one, but like I said the popping is on throttle, so its not just the engine braking backfire and such.

    Any help is appreciated, and if this is common or something I missed in my quick search then I am sorry for the redundant post.

    Really looking forward to becoming a part of this awesome community!

  2. #2

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    Welcome! I would first check plugs and wires. I'm mot postive on first gens , but second gens usually need the coolant temp. sensor upgraded to the brass tip one. Another item to check is the catalytic converter. Make sure you are getting fuel and spark to each cylinder. Do this first pull each plug wire one at a time and see if there is any difference. You should feel it run rough. Replace it and check the next one! Good luck.

    Sent from my LG-H700 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    Common ignition issues with the first gens would be:
    1) Oil in the spark plug wells from a leaking valve cover. Replace gasket, plugs and wires.
    2) Worn spark plugs. They should be a .040 gap and not gooked up. Replace the plugs.
    3) Corrosion on the coil towers (white powder crap on the contacts). Replace the coil and wires.
    4) Wires are just old or shitty in general - replace the wires.
    5) Someone put the spark plug wires on the coils in the wrong order (usually 1-2-3-4). Reinstall the plug wires on to the coils from left to right in the order of 4-1-2-3.
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

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  5. #4

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    Thanks for the quick replies guys!

    So I ended up changing out the spark plugs with some decent NGKs and it cleaned it up a LOT.
    I did notice however that there is some old RTV/oil in the spark plug wells, not nearly enough to make me nervous though as it seems very old. Looks like the previous owner had a leaky gasket and repaired it... although the current one is leaky too, its just not leaking into the spark plug wells yet. Now it does make me curious though, as of now i'd say my engine is running almost perfectly, but I checked the plug wires and they are actually wired as 1234. I'll swap them and see if there is any improvement.

  6. #5
    6S Moderator S.Bretz's Avatar
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    1234 is no good. 4123. from left to right when you are looking at the coil packs (standing in front of the car looking towards the rear).
    -6S Resident Mechanical Forensics member #001.
    1995 SC2 Turbo 3.6L DOHC, 6sp manual, Ford 8.8 rearend running on MS3x.
    1998 F-250 5.4L triton...stock.

  7. #6

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    Yeah, my apologies LOL

    Was looking in the dark with a flashlight before i drove home from work, it was actually correct at 4123.

    But after the spark plug change and everything it's still popping under throttle, but it actually runs fine if i feather the throttle slowly to WOT. I'm thinking maybe one of the coil packs is going maybe? Well anyway, i'm probably going to get new coils and wires just to be safe.


    Thanks for all the suggestions!

  8. #7

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    Hey, so I wanted to update this thread, and even though it seems to be a pretty simple solution I figured if anyone else has this problem and was looking through the archives they'd probably want to see the solution. All in all it ended up just being my plug wires. Pretty simple but important. Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

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