89 ford ltd crown Vic won't start! Help!

89 crown Vic 5.0 ltr 302. Won’t start. Battery, starter, alternator, spark plugs, fuel pump, fuel filter all good. Has major overheating problem, and jumps timing and distributor adjusts itself. What else can I check?

Jumps timing? If the timing chain has jumped, that might be a reason it wouldn’t start. Check the valve timing and make sure it’s correct. Also check compression.

Drain the oil. And if you see small bits of plastic in the drained oil, the plastic teeth on the cam gear is coming apart. This plastic debris can start to plug the oil pump pick-up screen. And the engine can start to overheat from the lack of oil.


How many miles on this car? Distributor adjusts itself? You mean the timing changes? As jesmed said, sounds like your timing chain has jumped a tooth or three…Many cars used a composite cam gear with plastic gear teeth. These teeth can shear off leaving you with a variable timing engine…

To verify, remove the distributor cap so you can watch the rotor and turn the crankshaft with a wrench, first forward and then backwards. How much crank movement before the rotor also reverses direction. Anything more than 5-8 degrees, the timing chain and gear are shot…