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Cranks but won't start after replacing spark plugs

Old 05-02-2019, 08:08 PM
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Default Cranks but won't start after replacing spark plugs

Hey guys maybe you can help me, I'm stumped here.

96 xj sport was running fine, I decided to replace spark plugs, dist cap, rotor and wires since who knows when the previous owner had done this.

Now I am a novice and this is the first car I have ever worked on. I followed the write up here, started her up and she misfired. Ok, made a mistake somewhere. Removed all the plugs and double checked the gap and had to adjust 2 of them. Checked the wires, I had mixed up the firing order. Fixed it and double and triple checked that the order was correct.

Now she won't start. After some research on the forums I thought it would be the crankshaft position sensor. Replaced that. Still the same, cranks but won't start.

So what Im wondering is, could there be something simple that I may have accidentally done, or not done, to make this happen? Could I have overlooked some step that I am unaware of? Like I said I am a beginner when it comes to working on cars. I can use tools and follow directions from the internet. Also I have a Haynes manual but it's like freakin reading Russian to me.
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:02 PM
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I would start by checking that all of the wires are firmly seated, especially the one from the coil to the distributor.
Since it was running before you started it is most likely something you touched while working on it.
Do you have spark while cranking?
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:41 PM
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I agree with the above. It seems most likely that the plug from the coil to the top, middle of the cap isn't fully seated. I've had problems with that wire not being sufficient length in a set that I had. Try using the old one just for that wire. If you do pull the plugs again for any reason when trying to troubleshoot this pour a teaspoon of gasoline into each hole, then try to start the engine.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:15 AM
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Thanks for the reply guys. All the wires are fully seated including the one to the igniton coil. I tested for spark using a screw driver and I can confirm there is a spark.

I'm trying to rule out any possibilities of me just being a dumbass, i know I was low on fuel and I filled up with a couple gallons from my gas can. When I turn the key I can here the fuel pump engage. Also when trying to start it I noticed my battery gauge was displaying lower than normal so I've put the battery on the charger.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:59 AM
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if you have spark at the plug, and fuel pump, most likely leads are in wrong order

post a pic

I always label mine either by write on them with sharpie, or a tab of masking tape

owning a V12 teaches you that
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:27 AM
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Thanks I'll post a pic when I get back home. I swear I checked the order at least 5 times! If it's that i swear I'll die hahaha
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:16 AM
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if your plug order was out it would cough and fart xj do like a crisp battery
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:17 AM
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About the V12. I saw a Jaguar that the owner had put numbered plastic snap-on clips on both ends of each wire. He said he got them at an electrical supply house. I never checked around me where to get them though.

Where did you check for spark? Is the rotor damaged? Is it even in there? Stranger things have happened. I once broke a rotor because I didn't have the cap correctly on the locator tab.

Last edited by dave1123; 05-03-2019 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 10:19 AM
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Many years ago, I changed all of the plugs at the same time in an old Chevy. When I tried to start the car, it cranked but didn't fire. I called a mechanic friend who laughed and told me that by removing all of the plugs at the same time, I had lost the seal between the rings and cylinder walls and had no compression. He told me to remove one plug at a time and squirt a teaspoon of oil in the spark plug hole. I did what he said and the Chevy fired right up!
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Sweetreet View Post
I swear I checked the order at least 5 times! If it's that i swear I'll die hahaha
if the OP doesnt get back to us = wire order hehe..would be a good result for him though

Originally Posted by dave1123 View Post
About the V12. I saw a Jaguar that the owner had put numbered plastic snap-on clips on both ends of each wire. .
pretty sure he said checked saprk at the plug..anywhere else would be senseless

I also never throw away old parts till I am sure everything is ok...those parts should be retained as emergency spares anyway

watched a few fellows working on Jag V12 nearly all day...would hardly run at all, they cleaned all the injectors,
I mentioned to them that just reversing 2 leads made my V12 run like a 2 cyl, instead of a 10. presumably the 2 switched ones were firing 180* out, but they ignored me
At the end of the day, things were still no good...I said again, have youse check the firing order!

A few mins later, I saw the head mechanic quietly swap 2 wires around, he was trying to hide it from me, of course that was the problem
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