3.5 intrepid will back fire so hard it sounds like a shot gun going off. i pulled out the cover and timing belt was worn out serverly, i i still didnt check the crank, but the cams are still set. my real question is if the crank is off but the cam is set, would i still be able to put in a new belt and reset the crank then proble solved. it back fires so hard the air breather connections will come appart, after belt and time set and not start do have to replace senors like crank and cam. i also know about the water pump sould be changed. so remember back fire does the motor still have a chance.
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Re: 3.5 will not start just back fires serverly
Get new belt installed & all aligned as it should be & do compression test before going any further to make sure. If good compression there in all cylinders, you probably dodged ( no pun intended) a bullet. Not 100% sure whether that is an interference engine or not, but will see if I can find out. By the sounds of the backfiring description, I'd be tempted to say you still have good compression. here's to hoping. Make sure when you get it back running that you keep a close eye on oil & coolant levels for a while just in case the backfiring cause some gaskets or seals to blow. Watch for difference between cylinders when doing compression test.
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Here is a pic of a schrader valve. They all look about the same.
If there isn't much pressure, cycle the ignition without turning the engine over and try again. If it is still weak, you may need a new fuel filter. If it is strong, you may have dirty or clogged fuel injectors.
It may be spark, but I'm inclined to think it is fuel related.
Timing gear may have lost its teeth. Sounds like it has jumped a tooth or so. Common problem on 3.8 vin code 3 engine for 87. To replace it you will need a front cover gasket set,timing ger set,new design tensioner,cam thrust spring & button and magnet.
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The Code(s) should be telling the specific cylinder(s) that are misfiring. Do you know waht the code is?
Target those cylinders 1st before testing the unaffected cylinders.
The following should isolate the problem(s).
1. Spark plugs - take out-reconnect back to wires and test spark plugs for getting sparks. If none: Don't replace them yet. GO TO 2. If the spark plugs are worn, dirty them replace them.
2. Remove spark plugs form end of ignition wires and test for spark from the wire. If none: Don't replace them yet. GO TO 3.
3. Remove the wires from the coil connection and test the coil for spark for each cylinder. If none: Don't replace it yet.
4. Test each spark plug and wires this way.
5. Coil Packs normally provide fire for 2-cylinders at the same time. The two are paired across from one another.
6. Test the coil for fire, amount of fire and if there is both cyclinders firing.
Misfire and the O2 Sensor got replaced??
Good Luck and get back with me if you need additional help or if this solved the problem.