My 5.9 has a slight miss (more obvious at lower rpm's) .
I have replaced plugs, distributor cap and rotor. no effect. when driving at slower speeds in o/d, the transmission is very jerky. the lower the gear and higher the rpm, the better it runs. also, the check engine light shows a code for a "internal control module". what is this? where is this? are the problems all related?
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set the timing to 12 degrees advanced as it is too far retarded for speed. check for side play in the distributor shaft as it will cause missing by altering the setting of the points / ignition module clearance. Separate the ht leads with the ht spacer bars ( available from speed / spares shops.as they will cross jump and cause a miss.
When it comes time to change the plugs and wires and distributor cap do the cap and rotor first. Remove the old cap with the wires still attached. Put the new cap and rotor on the distributor and transfer the old wires one at a time. Make sure both caps are lined up in regards to mounting position on the distributor. The cap will only mount one way. When you have this done then you can do the plugs and new wires, again one at a time. This way, when you are done the van should start right up and purr like a kitten. Hope this helps.
It sounds like something is improperly installed or broken under the distributor cap. Take the cap back off and check for damaged/misaligned/broken parts or electrical connectors that are loose. If you see nothing obviously wrong, the igniter may have given up the ghost. This is part of the distributor assembly and you have to buy a complete distributor to get it. The igniter can be destroyed by improperly gapped plugs, a broken or damaged cap or rotor, etc.
The hick up could be a vacuum leak from one of the two (or both) of the hoses directly to the left and above the distributor cap. Check the hoses for tightness or just replace them if you think they are leaking air.
How about the pick up coil in the distributor? A trick we used to use back in the day was to tap the distributor housing with a hammer, key word tap. If the engine missed or stalled than the pick-up coil was replaced.
Try taking your air cleaner cover off, and rev the engine to about 3000rpm, put a clean lint free cloth or your hand over the mouth of the carburettor and the engine will die. Try to keep it going for about 10 seconds at about 1500 rpm and take the cloth away until it runs smoothly again at 3000 rpm. Air cleaner back on and see if that makes a difference. It is an effective way of clearing jets that are not too badly blocked.