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Thread: Catalytic converter glowing red hot

  1. #1
    Member jrhende6's Avatar
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    Default Catalytic converter glowing red hot

    Ok. Replaced oil pan gasket by jacking up engine way up. Took distributor out and did not mark it too. Replaced power steering pump also. Took out radiator and cleaned the crap out of it.

    Put it all back together.

    Found TDC. Put in distributor and got it started. Marked 10 degrees BTDC on harmonic balancer. Pulled SPOUT. Set timing using a timing light lined up my mark with the pointer. Checked fluids and test drove.

    Very low power. Runs but w/o acceleration. Went around block a few times and it started dying. Pulled into garage and saw some smoke. Looked underneath and the catalytic converters were glowing red!

    What have I done to my baby?

  2. #2
    Wagon Addicted Tiggie's Avatar
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    The timing is retarded too far. Advance the timing. Loosen the distributor and rotate the body clockwise. If you run out of space before things improve, you’ll need to pull the distributor up and try to get the rotor/shaft counterclockwise.
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    2 decades of DDing Box Panthers, now in a Whale VicCrownVic's Avatar
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    Reminds me of the time my fuel line inside the tank split.
    It would be 100% coincidental but, check your fuel pressure.
    I found a thread that has some info on what you're looking for fuel pressure-wise. http://www.grandmarq.net/vb/showthre...-fuel-pressure
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    Balancer might have spun. Would be worth pulling the #1 plug and sticking a screwdriver in there to verify where TDC actually is relative to the balancer. If the piston tops out and its not near TDC, you need a balancer. There is a bit of "dead zone" at the top of travel where the crank will rotate but the piston won't move. If you want to find TDC most accurately you have to see where it moves on either side and split the difference. Probably will be about 5 degrees of crank rotation where the piston isn't moving.


    also make sure you didn't get 10 ATDC instead of 10 BTDC. Most balancers have both marks. The BTDC side goes further than the ATDC side does.

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  5. #5
    Member jrhende6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    Balancer might have spun. Would be worth pulling the #1 plug and sticking a screwdriver in there to verify where TDC actually is relative to the balancer. If the piston tops out and its not near TDC, you need a balancer. There is a bit of "dead zone" at the top of travel where the crank will rotate but the piston won't move. If you want to find TDC most accurately you have to see where it moves on either side and split the difference. Probably will be about 5 degrees of crank rotation where the piston isn't moving.


    also make sure you didn't get 10 ATDC instead of 10 BTDC. Most balancers have both marks. The BTDC side goes further than the ATDC side does.
    Was careful about 10 BTDC vs 10 ATDC. It is very clear on the balancer with a zero in between. I put white paint on the 10 BTDC and could see it pretty clearly with timing light.

    The balancer being spun would just be unfortunate because that was maybe the next project. So I guess I turn the engine with breaker bar until the timing mark lines up with 10 BTDC and check with screwdriver in #1. Right?

    Reading on the Internet says the catalytic converter is red hot due to misfire. If that is related to the timing, may that mean it is far retarded and the fuel is burning during the exhaust stroke?

    PS. Thank you guys. This car may last another year.

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    Member jrhende6's Avatar
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    FIXED!!!!!!!!

    I'm a dummy. Firing order was wrong. Think I used the 5.8 vs 5.0. Running like before and timing is set to 10 BTDC w/o SPOUT and SPOUT is back in.

    Tried just guessing thinking it was spun and since I couldn't get it to improve started to look at maybe being 180 off. Googled that and everyone said it wouldn't run but came across someone else with a red hot converter who wired for 5.8 not 5.0. So it was probably running on 6 cylinders. The unburned fuel for two of the cylinders was burning in my exhaust I think.

    My timing chain is rather loose but I didn't see the timing move around. With a loose timing chain do I run the risk of it breaking and having a catastrophe? Or can I just drive around for awhile. She's not leaking fluids finally after oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, PVC valve/screen/grommet and PS pump. Broke the PS pump trying to replace the seals. Bear of a job and broke the pump putting it back together.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Loose chain will lead to misfires and random stumbles. If it's bad and starts jumping, you could bend valves if it jumps too far. And if it's up to an 87? maybe 88? (some random cars up to 88 I've heard), it could still have the plastic cam gear and that's definitely a recipe for disaster.

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  8. #8
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    yeah the chain hopping is the real danger. Otherwise random misfire, meh.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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