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Old 04-02-2012, 07:42 AM
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1992 Plymouth Acclaim - Won't Start

I own a 1992 Plymouth Acclaim, 6-cylinder with 120K miles. Recently it has had some issues starting. A few weeks ago the starter would turn, but I had to jump it in order to get enough power for it to start. Bought a new battery and all seemed well.

This weekend my son was driving it and it began to have problems. It would start, but only run for a few seconds, then die. Eventually, it wouldn't start at all. His friends dad, who claims to be a mechanic, sprayed something (?) in the air cleaner and it would run a few seconds, then die. After learning how little gas he had put in it I had him put a couple of gallons in the tank. (Seems the gas gauge doesn't work well, either.) It started and ran, but he stopped to fill up and, of course, it wouldn't start again. The friend's dad said it was the fuel pump and offered to replace it for $300 (I only paid $700 for the car!) but I can still hear the fuel pump energize when I turn the key. Does that mean it is still good?

I towed the car home to check it out. The first thing I discovered was that both screws on the distributor cap were broken off so it was basically just sitting there. Replaced those and discovered that there was corrosion on two spark plug wires and the coil wire at the distributor cap connections. Pulled a couple of plugs and they had normal markings - no burning, oil, etc. I did get a little tingle while messing with the spark plug wires when my son cranked it, so I think it's getting a good spark.

The starter turns but it doesn't sound like it's getting fuel. Even though this is exactly what it did a few weeks ago, and even though my son sat there and cranked the starter for who knows how long, I didn't think to try jumping it again until this morning. So, that's the first thing I'll try.

Do the injectors need to be primed after running it completely empty or would the fuel pump take care of that? Any other suggestions of what to try or where to look?
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