Finding Spark Plug Routing Wires

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Need to fix or change a distributor cap on your car or truck? Learn how to find the spark plug routing wires to your distributor cap in this free auto repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Change a Distributor Cap
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Video Transcript

Hi! My name is Nathan McCullough. In this clip, we’re going to identify the routing of your spark plug wires. First, in order to do that, you have to identify the layout of your engine. You view an engine from the power output side, where the transmission would be. The transmission is located here in the back. That makes this the front of the engine. Just stand behind it. The left bank will be on your left hand and the right bank will be on your right hand. Once you have the layout of the motor established, you have to identify which cylinder head is the farthest forward towards the front of the motor. It happens to be the right bank. The right bank will be what is labeled the odd bank and will contain number 1, 3, and 5 cylinders. This is cylinder 1, this is cylinder 3, and this is cylinder 5. The even bank will be located in the other cylinder head. This will be number 2, number 4, and number 6. Now that you have located number 1, just follow the wire around the engine. I like to pop them off like so. This one happens to loop under the distributor cap, but if you wiggle the wire you can see which one it is. It happens to be this one down here. Once that has been established, you can then relate the locations of the cylinders and their wires to their appropriate locations on the distributor cap itself. The easiest way, once that has been identified, is to simply draw a picture. Here is a drawing that I have made ahead of time. Once it has been established and labeled the wires need to be replaced in their appropriate positions. The wire from number 1, needs to ran around the engine and plugged back into the number one spot. The same thing for every wire on the engine. If they are misplaced per se, you switch 2 and 4, neither of those cylinders will function anymore. They will be what you call a dead cylinder, causing bad misfire.

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