Question about 1991 Mercury Tracer

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My 1994 tracer won't start

My wife was driving my Tracer, she said it made a ticking noise then died. I tried to start it, it just crank and cranked. I've worked on cars all my life. It sounded like the timing belt went. The belt looked fine belt I know they can slip.So I installed a new one. Still same problem. I have fire and I have fuel, I even tried starting fluid,. Still nothing. I pulled the plugs the pistons seem all right from what I can see. The timing belt did seem to go on strange. When I lined up the timing marks, the belt didn't line up, I had to move the cam or the crank just a bit to get it on. still, it should have fired and ran a little sluggish at least. By the way this a 1.9 liter motor it has 200,000 miles and had has always run good.

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  • Jamie Heppner
    Jamie Heppner May 11, 2010

    It sounds like when it died the first time that the timing skipped out 180 degrees that would stop it from firing with fuel and fire since its stroke is wrong. Do you have a manual to tell you the exact placement of the marks ?

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  • 1,498 Answers

Hi there,

Have a few questions.
You said you had fire. Is this true on all cylinders?

Is there any backfiring?

Pull the distributor cap and have someone crank it for you.
Is the rotor spinning?

Pull the plug on cylinder 1. Stuff a rag in the hole. Crank slowly until the rag pops out. The engine should be on or very close to Top Dead Center.
Which plug wire is the rotor facing (distibutor)?

I have my suspicions.
Get back to me with the results to confirm and proceed.
Mike


Posted on Dec 12, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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