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Chevrolet/Geo Metro

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Comments

  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Thanks Zaken1.

    A friend of mine with mechanical aptitude put the new timing belt on. It ran very well for a few days, but then my current starting problem surfaced. So, I'm pretty sure the belt and timing is ok. I am going to try out the other things you suggested.

    Thanks
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    I took off a fuel line to check for fuel delivery. Standing in front of the car, the line that is in the front of the throttle body (not the one on the right side) is the one I took off. I put the end of it into a coffee can and cranked the engine. After just a few revolutions the can had a good deal of fuel in it, maybe about 1/4-1/3 of a cup or so. So I'm pretty sure that it is getting enough fuel. I suppose now that I can rule out the fuel pump and filter as being a problem.
  • shaggyman1shaggyman1 Posts: 28
    Zaken you were right on the money about the pickup coil- got another dizzy that Ohmed out correctly and sparks are flying!
    Now to get a throttle body....In checking some of the vacuum functions, I came upon the line from the TB to theEGR which is drawing NO vaccum at all, and the only way I can get it to start is to pull off another (live) line, and goose the throttle stop up to make it 'idle' at 1700 RPM (below which it dies), and if I put the vacuum line back or block it with my finger it immediately dies. I think this funky TB is absolutely the root of all my woes- explains why I could never get the TPS and idle motor to behave, the flooding at startup, the ...etc.
  • alniteralniter Posts: 8
    Hi all,

    While replacing the drivers' side mirror on my 2000 Metro base 2-dr hatchback, the pegs broke on the black plastic triangular piece that covers the mirror bolts on the inside of the car. No luck finding it online, probably because I don't know what to call it! Any clues? There's a number inside it (LH 1405353) but it hasn't helped yet.

    Cheers,
    Steve in Florida
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The EGR valve is not supposed to get vacuum while the engine is idling; so the EGR vacuum line comes from a port which is higher on the carb body than the position where the edge of the throttle valve rests at idle. (that is called ported vacuum). There are also two additional vacuum controls which should be in the line between the vacuum port and the EGR valve. The first one is called an EGR VSV (vacuum switching valve). This is an electrically actuated valve, which switches the vacuum to the EGR valve on and off, according to the throttle position, the air/fuel ratio, the coolant temperature, and the engine RPM. If the vacuum is allowed by the VSV to pass through it; it then goes through a device called an EGR BPT (exhaust back pressure transducer). The BPT restricts the vacuum to the EGR at light engine loads, so the amount of recycled exhaust gas doesn't excessively lean out the mixture;.but it then allows more vacuum to reach the EGR valve as the engine load is increased.

    If these vacuum controls were not in place; the engine would stall as soon as the EGR valve opened.

    I seriously doubt that the throttle body is defective. It is a very simple mechanical device, which rarely has problems. What I think is far more likely is that the vacuum hoses are incorrectly routed, the ISC valve may not be connected properly or may be defective, or some vacuum controls may be bypassed or missing, and/or the throttle stop, idle air bypass screw, and TPS are improperly adjusted. Also, if you still have the wrong model (automatic transmission type) of TPS on the car; I would not expect it to be able to run properly until that part was replaced.

    I also want to point out that the air temperature sensor in the air filter assembly must be plugged in to the wiring harness; even if the air filter assembly is not being used at the time. If the IAT sensor is not plugged in, the engine will run way too rich.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I don't know what that black thing is officially called; but it is something I would not expect to see online. Parts like that are typically only available from dealers; because they are such slow sellers that aftermarket sources do not want to bother with them.

    The best source for this part would be an auto wrecking yard. When I lived in Florida, there were two auto wreckers I used to use for Geo Metro parts. One was in Bradenton, and was called Pick Your Part (or something similar). The other was in Saint Cloud; called St. Cloud Auto Wreckers. I expect that this part would be the same on many different years of Metros; perhaps going as far back as 1989.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sorry I haven't gotten back sooner; the automatic message notification system seems to have quit again.

    The fact that there was 2 or 3 ounces of fuel in the can is not at all convincing. The proper way to test it is to have someone watch the end of the hose while you crank the engine. These should be a strong stream of fuel that shoots out of the hose. I would expect it to be strong enough to easily squirt a distance of 5 feet horizontally. It is the fuel PRESSURE, as well as the volume, which is important here. Since you don't have a pressure gauge, seeing how far the stream will carry horizontally is the best way to gauge the condition of the pump and filter. If it just runs out; but won't squirt a good distance; that suggests the filter is probably restricted. And that can prevent the engine from starting.
  • samcrosamcro Posts: 5
    Can someone please help me with my '91 Metro? What is the proper way to set the ignition timing? I just replaced the head gasket and although it now runs OK it is "pinging" pretty bad under a load.
  • samcrosamcro Posts: 5
    My '91 Geo Metro drivers side window just fell off the track! I put it back on but now it is very hard to roll up and down. I think the regulator might be bad. I looked online but noticed that the drivers side regulators are hard to find...any help?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Pinging can be caused by other things besides incorrect ignition timing. The most significant other causes are 1> Spark plugs which are either gapped too wide, or are too hot in heat range, or are a brand which is not suitable for this engine design. Autolite #63 plugs, gapped @ .040" are the preferred plug for the Metro. The NGKs that all the stores carry are the WORST possible choice. And some of those expensive specialty plugs are also very bad in this engine. 2> Engine thermostat defective or of too high a temperature. The stock Metro thermostat is 192 degrees F, but many Metros run better with a 180 degree thermostat. 3> Cooling system that was incorrectly filled with 100% pure coolant, instead of it being mixed 50-50 with distilled water, or the radiator having not been refilled after the engine was run a few times and the inevitable trapped air worked its way out; leaving the radiator level LOW. Too many people do not realize that; once the siphon action between the radiator and the reservoir has been interrupted (by air getting into the system); you cannot trust the coolant level in the reservior to show whether the radiator level is down. It is absolutely necessary to open the radiator cap and directly fill it there, whenever there has been air in the system. 4> If you had the head resurfaced when it was off, and they took more than .020" of material off it; the compression ratio would increase to the point that you couldn't use the stock ignition timing. It would then have to be retarded 4 to 6 degrees from the stock 6 degree BTDC setting. So the timing would end up at between 2 degrees and 0 degrees BTDC.

    The ignition timing is checked by connecting a timing light to the plug wire for # 1 cylinder (the cylinder closest to the fan belt); and disconnecting and plugging the vacuum hoses to BOTH vacuum advance diaphragms (on engines with vacuum advance distributors). Only on XFI models, and later Metro models which do not have vacuum advance; it is necessary to short the appropriate terminals in the check connector, which is located next to the firewall on the drivers side of the engine compartment, in the corner where the firewall meets the inner fender, in order to check and adjust the timing. The emission label on the underside of the hood will have the necessary instructions for this procedure.

    After applying the instructions in the above paragraph; with the engine idling at normal operating temperature, shine the timing light on the lower crankshaft pulley, and the adjacent timing scale built into the timing belt cover. The scale reads from 0 degrees BTDC (on the right edge) to 20 degrees BTDC (on the left edge). Each line on the scale indicates 2 degrees. There is a small notch in the edge of the pulley closest to the engine; which should line up with the the 6 degree BTDC mark (the third line to the left of the zero line). If the notch is not easily visible; mark it with white or yellow chalk. If the mark is not aligned with the 6 degree line; loosen the two 12mm distributor hold down bolts enough to permit the distributor to be rotated, and turn the distributor until the marks line up at the desired location. Then tighten the distributor bolts and recheck the timing.

    If the engine still pings excessively at 6 degrees advance; try retarding the timing closer to the 0 mark. It will also help if you use premium fuel.
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    The window is hard to rise because the track is worn this is the rubber channel on
    the side and top. This dries out because of weather and the smog. I found mine
    at a dealership in las vegas of all places. The Drivers side window obviously gets the
    most wear.
  • carol54carol54 Posts: 4
    Newbie here...Hi everyone.
    I bought my metro used about a year ago. Of course when the guy sold it to me it ran just great. Still does, but about half the time when I start her up she squeals real loud, enough to send all the cats in the neighborhood running! It usually stops squealing after I drive for about 2 to 10 minutes. I have had the alternator and water pump belts changed last autumn and it seemed to help for awhile. The old ones were all ground up. The engine block it seems to have a small oil leak right above the first spark plug on the left side, which I have to add oil about once a month (maybe about 1/2 qt.)
    The A/C has been taken out of the car before I got it, so that is a non-problem. Anyone have any ideas what this squealing could be?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    The squealing is caused by a slipping alternator/water pump drive belt. The alternator pulley on the Metro is a lot smaller in diameter than it is on most other cars; which leads to it requiring significantly greater belt tension. Most brands of belts will slip under that kind of use. And many cheap belts will stretch and lose tension when tightened as much as is required here. Furthermore, many backyard mechanics do not understand that the alternator and water pump bearings are designed to handle that much belt tension; so they are fearful of tightening that belt as much as it requires.

    The only satisfactory solution is to thoroughly clean the oil and debris off the pulleys, use only a Goodyear Gatorback belt; and to tighten it to the point where the slipping stops. You can expect the belt to stretch and need readjustment during the first month or so of use; but it should settle down after that. Be aware that there are THREE mounting bolts for the alternator (two on the bottom, and one on top). If someone does not tighten ALL of those bolts, the alternator will wiggle in its mounts and then will work loose.

    If the oil leak you refer to is located underneath the oil filler cap (which would be on the left side of the engine if viewed from the driver's seat) then it probably comes from not wiping the oil off the engine and the underside of the cap before putting the cap back on; and/or not tightening the oil cap adequately. If the leak is on the left side of the engine when viewed from the front; then the valve cover gasket should be removed, the engine mating surface thoroughly cleaned, and the new gasket sealed properly with gray formula RTV silicone gasket sealer before installation.
  • carol54carol54 Posts: 4
    Thank you so much, I will try that. and check the bolts are all there too! The oil leak Is on the left side and right above the spark plug, so I wasn't sure if it was the valve cover gasket, or head gasket, I was too afraid to ask. But I definately will try all that you have suggested. Thanks again.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Zaken1:

    Been working on the car. Replaced new plugs as you recommended and gapped them as you said. Replaced distributor cap & rotor, replaced plug and coil wires, replaced coil. It has a new timing belt. Took off the timing cover and checked timing marks-all line up good. Have a new battery. Getting good fuel flow-not the fuel pump or a clogged filter.

    The spark being generated is not blue/white- it's yellowish, but it's getting to the plugs.

    Checked the fuel injector for gas. It is working, but If I am correct-the injector is supposed to generate a "conical mist" of fuel flow into the throttle body. Mine squirts out fuel-it's not a mist, and I pulled one of the plugs and cranked the engine...well, fuel just squirted right out of the cylinder-pushed out by the compression. I've never seen this before.

    Well, could it be spark or fuel. Based upon this new info....what do you think.

    Thank you very much for any help you can provide.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Hi Annielulu;

    I may have said this before; but I need to mention it again: If you ever remove the lower half of the air filter assembly, do not try to start the motor unless the wiring harness plug is attached to the inlet air temperature sensor in the air filter housing. If you try to run the motor with that electrical plug disconnected; the fuel injector will put way too much fuel into the motor, and it will immediately flood.

    It sounds like you're on the right track, but from the information you provided, I still can't tell if it is spark or fuel. However, you might be able to further zero in on the situation with the following test:

    Buy an aerosol can of starting fluid. Remove the fuse for the fuel pump. Disconnect the coil wire from the distributor cap, and clip the end of the wire onto a grounded object. Remove the spark plugs and crank the engine for 15 seconds with the accelerator pedal held all the way down. Then let the engine sit with the plugs out for an hour or more. This should clear out all remaining traces of flooding.

    Reconnect the coil wire to the distributor cap. Make sure the plugs are clean and dry. If they are not clean and dry; burn off any moisture or deposits with the flame from a propane torch (which you may have to buy if you don't already have one). Reinstall the plugs in the engine and reconnect the plug wires. Do not put the fuel pump fuse back in.

    With the air filter lid off, spray starting fluid into the air horn of the throttle body for one full second; and then immediately get in the car and try to start the motor. It obviously won't run this way; but what I want to find out is if it fires at all. If it fires, the problem is most likely a bad fuel injector. If it doesn't fire at all, the problem is most likely in the ignition.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Thank you Zaken1
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Zaken1:

    OK, I sprayed starter fluid as you suggested but the car still will not start. I have replaced: plugs, plug wires, coil, rotor, cap and timing belt. Took off the valve cover to make sure the timing was correct. The engine is perfectly timed. Seems that fuel is not the answer. Thinking it is spark related.

    I am thinking that the ignition control module may be the problem. It's supposed to be on the firewall-driver's side, near the shock tower. I looked all over there. The only things I can see are the silver finned resistor, something for the fan motor, the coil itself but no ignition module. I looked on the Rock Auto site and got a picture of the module. I can't find it anywhere on the firewall. Do you know where else it may be?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    If you had read the description of the ignition control module in the Rock Auto listing for the 1993 Geo Metro LSI; you would have seen that the part in the picture was only used on Canadian models (and even then; not on all Canadian models). That's why you can't find it on your car. Sometimes it pays to read as much as is avaliable about a given item; particularly when you are in unfamiliar territory.

    The ignition module on your car is integrated with the distributor pick up coil; in a single unit which is variously called "Distributor Pole Piece Assembly" or "Distributor Ignition Pickup." Rock Auto apparently doesn't realize that those two items are really the same part, so they listed them under two separate headings. They do a lot of that.

    I'm willing to bet you that the module section of that unit is good; but the pick up coil is defective. I've never yet seen a defective Metro module; but I've repeatedly found bad pickup coils. Not that this distinction matters; since both items are replaced as a single unit. But in the later Chevy Metro models with 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder motors; they are located in separate housings.

    The ignition pickup on your car is located inside the distributor cap. It is mounted with two screws, and has a permanently attached lead wire which passes through the distributor body in a grommet which can be lifted out of its slot when the whole unit is removed.

    Since this unit is usually extremely reliable, and a new one costs about $80; I would consider it quite appropriate to get a used one from a wrecking yard. The unit in your car was used on all 1993-1997 Geo Metros with either 3 or 4 cylinder engines. It was also used on all Chevy Metros with 3 cylinder engines; from 1998-2000. But it was not used on any 4 cylinder Chevy Metros; and was not used on 3 cylinder Geo Metros before 1993.

    If you find a local wrecking yard like Pick-N-Pull, or any yard that allows small parts to be removed from distributors; you should be able to remove this part yourself, and expect to pay a tiny fraction of its new cost. Some yards that do not allow removal of small parts will still sell you a complete distributor for about half of the cost of a new ignition pickup. Just be sure the pickup has lead wires that are uninterrupted, with no other terminals on them; all the way out to the white plug on the outside of the distributor.

    The air gap between the pickup coil and the toothed trigger wheel must be adjusted when the pickup is installed. I would suggest turning the engine until the tip of one of the 3 projections on the trigger wheel (on the shaft below the rotor) is opposite the metal rib in the center of the black plastic part of the pick up unit, and measuring the gap between the tip of the projection and the pick up. It should be something like .012". If the gap is messed up; just set the new gap to.012". A clean business card can be used for this purpose, if you don't have a feeler gauge.

    If the engine then runs (don't forget to reinstall the fuel pump fuse); it would also be a good idea to recheck the timing with a timing light.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Thanks.

    I'll follow your advice.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Zaken1:

    Do you know if there is an online source where I could obtain a wiring diagram for the ignition switch for 1993 Geo Metro 3 cylinder-1 liter?
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Annielulu;

    Here are the two major online sources. I tend to prefer the first one; but obviously some people don't.

    http://www.eautorepair.net/Marketing/Default.asp

    http://www.alldata.com/downloads/pdfs/prod_sheets/ad_repair_overview.pdf

    I also want to add that it should not be necessary to have a wiring diagram unless you want to see if some parts are not connected properly. If you just intend to replace parts; they are simply plugged in to the harness, and the plugs only connect one way, so it is pretty foolproof.

    In addition, you could test parts and thus determine whether or not they really need to be replaced; if you only had a digital volt/ohmmeter ($20-$30 at Radio Shack). And that meter would quickly pay for itself in savings on parts you'd find did not need to be replaced. Without a meter; you'll pretty much be guessing about what to do. And this is where the manuals can be very helpful; because they have detailed, step by step test procedures for ALL the major parts (and nearly all of these tests require a digital voltmeter).

    I also want to mention that you can find full wiring diagrams for your car in many public libraries, where they can be photocopied for ten cents a page. The Geo factory service manual or the Mitchell Electrical systems manual are the two best sources; but even a Haynes service manual for the Metro (the entire manual which costs around $20 or so) can be bought new at many auto parts stores, and has some good diagrams (and photos) of the parts and systems you're dealing with. And many county libraries can order manuals from their central headquarters, if they don't have the one you need on hand.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Thank you Zaken1.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    I am finding it difficult to keep my responses focussed on your particular situation. I think this is because of two things; one being the length of time between posts, and the other being the lack of available diagnostic information (mostly voltage readings), which I usually rely on to draw my conclusions.

    But nevertheless, every once in a while, an idea comes to mind. I just received one of those ideas: There are really just three electrical parts on your model car which are likely to cause a weak spark: They are the coil, the ignition switch, and the distributor pick up unit.

    Although the coil has already been replaced; if the two smaller wires were incorrectly connected to the opposite terminals; the car could then become very hard to start. I'm not 100% sure of the color code; but I believe the red wire should go to the coil terminal marked "+" or "batt", with the brown wire going to the "-" or "dist" terminal. If the wires are not now connected to those terminals, it would be well worth exchanging their positions. But even if the wires are already connected to those termiinals; it still might be worth exchanging their positions. That would be a long shot; but there is no downside; it either will work, or not work.

    If this doesn't fix the starting problem, then in view of the previous problems you have had with the car continuing to run when the key was shut off; it seems almost certain that the contacts in the ignition switch, which have been sticking together and not separating when the key was turned off while the battery was low, have developed extremely high resistance (which would make the spark much weaker than normal). So I believe the likelihood of the ignition switch causing the starting problem is much greater than the likelihood of it being caused by the distributor pick up unit. I should have realized this at the time I recommended replacing the distributor pick up; but at the time, I lost sight of the problems you had been having with the ignition switch.

    Metros have a unique current sensing circuit in the computer connected across the ignition supply wiring; which will shut down the spark if someone tries to jumper across the ignition switch. Because of this anti theft feature; it is not possible to make the motor run by bypassing the ignition switch. So if you were thinking of using the information from a wiring diagram to figure out how to bypass the ignition switch; forget it: IT WILL NOT WORK. I have found this out from personal experience with my own car.

    Again, I apologize for not mentioning this sooner. But it sometimes takes me time to zero in on what is going on.

    The bottom line is that I believe you are going to have to bite the bullet and replace the $200 ignition switch. On any other vehicle; I would rebel against this outrage, and just install a generic switch or relay to replace the ignition switch. But the design of the Metro ignition system and its undefeatable computerized anti theft feature makes this option unusable here.
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Thanks:

    Do I have to get that part from Rock Auto, or can I get it here locally from Autozone, Checker Auto, etc.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    You can get it from anyone who has it; but the best quality in a local source would probably be a NAPA store. On the other hand, it my well turn out that all those switches are made by the same Japanese manufacturer; and the price difference between brands is all mark up. But my sense is that there probably will be two levels of quality available. Airtex and Standard are both top quality. Beck Arnley would also be a top quality choice. If you see a switch that is made in Taiwan or Korea, I would avoid it. Also bear in mind that the switches for manual transmission cars are different from the switches for automatic transmission cars; and Canadian and American cars take different switches.

    Also, if you don't want to, you don't have to go to the trouble of taking the steering column apart to install the new switch. Instead, you can simply plug the new switch into the harness plugs, and tie it up somewhere under the dashboard. In that instance; you would still use the current key to lock and unlock the steering wheel; but there would be a new key for the ignition switch.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Sometimes parts which only fit one brand and model of car are less expensive when bought from that brand's dealership (because the dealer has a direct relationship with the manufacturer; while parts sold in retail stores have to go through several levels of warehousing and distribution; with a price mark up at each of those levels).

    So, if you can find a Chevy dealer who has not gone out of business, and who can confirm that the correct part is either in stock or is currently available through their warehouse; you might (but not always) be able to get it for a better price.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    Hi again;

    I just had another inspiration about a way around your problem: Although it is not possible to bypass the ignition switch with a jumper, it may be possible to power the coil and the ignition system from one of the other circuits in your existing switch. The ignition switch usually has multiple independent sets of contacts in it; some are just used for accessories, and would still be in relatively good condition. They would be easily capable of supplying the required amount of power. My thought is to find an accessory circuit underneath the hood that can be tapped into; and test it on my car to see if it can substitute for the normal ignition circuit. I used to do this kind of asset reallocation all the time on old Chevys; when an ignition switch went out.

    I don't know for sure whether this will work on a Metro; but I'm willing to check it out and give you the details, if it turns out to be viable. But I first need to know whether the information would still be useful to you. So please let me know. Thanks!
  • annieluluannielulu Posts: 54
    Zaken1

    Thank you. Yes, this info on the ignition switch would be appreciated.
  • zaken1zaken1 Posts: 556
    OK: I tried it on my car, and it worked! I considered using a power source under the hood; but they all have major downsides. So I concluded that the best power source is the cigarette lighter socket. Sometimes those sockets go bad over time; so you'll need to confirm that the one in your car works. There should only be power to the lighter socket when the key is turned on. IF THE SOCKET HAS POWER WHEN THE KEY IS TURNED OFF; IT CANNOT BE USED FOR THIS PURPOSE. You can test this by inserting a cigarette lighter, or any other device that is intended to plug into the socket; and see if and when the device works. (If the lighter element is defective, this test may be misleading).

    You'll need an electrical plug which fits into the lighter socket. If you already have one which is expendable; just cut the other end of the cord off of whatever device it now goes to. You can also buy a new plug at Radio Shack. They have a plug that comes with 2 or 3 feet of wire attached to it, and nothing on the other end. That item is carried under their part # 273-1818.

    You will also need a length of stranded, 14 or 16 gauge, single conductor electrical wire; which is long enough to reach from the cigarette lighter, through the firewall, to the coil. A ten foot length should be more than adequate. Radio Shack probably sells rolls of that wire; but a good hardware store will probably sell it in bulk (so you can buy only as much as you need; rather than having to buy a whole roll). Sometimes short lengths of wire in pre-packaged rolls is shockingly expensive; compared to the cost of the same type of wire in bulk. You can also use two conductor wire, if it is more readily obtainable; and just tie both conductors together. But you CANNOT tie the wires from the plug together. Only one of those wires will work; and if you either tie those two plug wires together, or use the wrong wire from the plug, it could potentally DAMAGE parts or blow fuses. So please heed the instructions below about identifying the right wire from the plug.

    Similarly, the wire from the plug will have to be spliced to the length of wire you buy. The professional way to splice wire is to strip the insulation off the ends, solder them together, and insulate the joint with heat shrink tubing. But that requires soldering equipment, shrink tubing, and a heat gun. A less expensive, but still acceptable way to splice wire is to strip the two ends and use wire nuts to securely twist them together. Wire nuts are made to fit different wire sizes. They cost about five to fifteen cents apiece. A third way to splice wire is to use a butt splice connector. This is a double ended metal connector encased in a plastic insulating sleeve. The ends of the wires are stripped and inserted into the ends of the connector. The connector is then securely crimped onto the wire. This creates a secure, insulated joint. Butt splice connectors cost less than a dollar (at least they ought to).

    The plug for the cigarette lighter socket will have two wires coming from it. One of those wires comes from the pin in the center of the plug's nose. That is the hot wire; which is the one you should connect to the long wire you buy. The other wire from the plug comes from the contacts on the side of the plug body. That is the ground wire; which should not be connected to anything. It probably will not be apparent from looking at the plug which wire is the hot one. If you have a test light or meter; you can connect one lead from the light or meter to a known good ground, and the other lead to each of the wires from the plug in succession; while the key is on and the plug is inserted in the socket. The wire that lights the light or shows voltage on the meter is the hot wire. If you don't have a test light or a meter; the nice clerk at Radio Shack may be willing to demonstrate one of their meters by setting the meter to the resistance scale; connecting one meter lead to the pin at the center of the plug's nose, and touching the other meter lead to each of the two wires from the plug. The wire that produces a reading of continuity (zero ohms resistance) with the center pin is the hot wire. The ground wire will read infinite resistance. You should promptly tie a knot in the hot wire, or wrap a piece of tape around it; so it cannot be mistaken later.

    The best place to run the wire through the firewall is where the speedometer cable passes through the firewall, in the center of a large rubber grommet. The speedometer cable is located just to the left of, and a little lower than the brake fluid reservoir; when looking at the firewall while standing in front of the car. It is easy to poke a screwdriver through the soft grommet alongside the cable. That will open up a channel where the wire can be fed through. I recommend feeding the wire through the firewall from the engine compartment side; rather than trying to reach the grommet from underneath the dashboard. If you keep feeding the wire through the grommet; it will eventually become visible inside the car. Then you can grab it and pull in to the desired location. If this arrangement becomes a permanent part of the car, I would recommend using plastic wire ties to secure the wire so that it doesn't get tangled in feet or moving parts.

    After connecting the wire in the passenger compartment to the hot wire from the cigarette lighter plug, pull the excess length back into the engine compartment. Then run the wire over to the igniton coil and cut it to a length where it reaches easily, but isn't so long that it is awkward. Some time ago, I suggested that you try reversing the positions of the two wires on the coil. If you haven't yet put them back where they originally were; this is the time to do so. Similarly, the fuel pump fuse should now be in place. The spark plugs which previously had the gap reduced to .030" should now either be regapped to .040" or replaced with the previous set of E3 plugs.

    The new wire you have run to the coil should be connected on top of the original wire at the coil "+" terminal. The best way to do this is to connect and crimp a ring terminal to the stripped end of the new wire. However, if someone previously connected the wires backwards to the coil; adding the new wire on top of the wrong "+" wire could cause damage or blow a fuse. If you have any concern that this may have happened; one way to verify the wire positions is that if one of the original wires is heavier than the other, the heavier wire should be the "+" wire. If both wires are the same diameter, you could check the color code against a wiring diagram; or tell me which color wire goes to which terminal. Better to be safe than sorry.
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