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My astrovan chugs, backfires, and blows black smoke through the tailpipe. Someone said maybe a timing chain could that be the problem?

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It could. One way to tell is to take a compression check. All cylinders should have 120 psi or greater and not vary more than 20 psi. A burned exhaust valve or a loose timing chain will cause your symptoms. An overly rich mixture can also do some of the things you describe.

Posted on Mar 24, 2011

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