Car skipping

i have a 87 lin.v-8, when i run the car for the first 2 has a little skip that you can feel from the engine. but after aprox. 2 mi. it has no problem at all until the next time. i don"t want to change everything( sparkplugs, wires,rotor,dis.cap) because if those were the problem i think it would keep skipping or i would feel it while i"m driving all the time. i did spray with dry wire a little while ago. if things need to be changed i will, any ideas, thanks have a nice holiday to all

This is an 87 Lincoln with a 302? Have you had this car for long?


When you say “skipping”, do you mean that the engine briefly “misses” or “stumbles” or “sags” once, then recovers? Or is it doing this continuously for the first two miles? What is the “next time”? The next day (cold engine), or 2 miles further along, or after having the engine off for a short period, or…?

If it just happens once when driving off after a cold start (say, first thing in the morning), I would guess that something isn’t going right when something in the engine “changes modes” during warmup. I doubt that the thermostat has anything to do with that when it opens (or fails to open). Does this car have a computer controlled engine? If you sit a few extra minutes warming up the car, does that change when and where the “skipping” happens? Does the outside temperature have any effect? How about humidity and precipitation? Does this “skipping” happen only at a particular place in the road (e.g., a steep hill)? Once the engine is warm (continuous driving or only brief stops), does the problem go away (until the engine is cold again)?

On the other hand, if this “skipping” is frequent or continuous for the first couple of miles on a cold engine, it might well be a bad sensor or even a bad (stuck open) thermostat. Until the engine gets somewhat warm, it’s incorrectly running in a mode better suited for a warm engine. However, I would expect a gradual easing off of the problem as the engine warmed up, rather than an abrupt stop.

As I have no experience with this car, that’s about as far as I can go. Hopefully you can give some more information that will let others come up with probable causes.

Those things that you, “…don’t want to change…” are routine maintenance items. They shoulda, hada, oughta done been changed. They are all involved in making the spark which, during a particular time in the drive cycle, isn’t happening. Magic bullet? There ain’t none.

as i go for the first 2mi. it is continual. when i try to step on the gas you could feel the car kind of quivering, like your not getting proper exeleration but after the 2mi. you don"t even know there was any problem-- runs some of your questions—next day it repeats 2mi then o.k. my car has a computer brain( thats what my mechanic says) i do have remote start so i let it warm up while i scrap off ice and snow .cold in upstate n.y. is in. roades are flat–like i said 2mi. then normal. i went to autozone and bought a can of drywire & sprayed all wires to the spark plugs & dis cap & inside the dis cap maybe it will help??? will let you know. thanks for reply

thanks for reply i just was trying not to do any changes that need not be changed. i know when everything was changed. i mark everything down ----
but as i said, if that is what i have to do i will change one at a time. thanks again

To pinpoint the exact cause(s) can be done; but, if you are paying someone else to do that, you would pay more for their service than it would cost to perform the routine maintenance. Sometimes, some of the routine maintenance items have to be done earlier than scheduled. /// In the present instance, the symptoms are of the engine having a noticeable cold miss. It could be missing less noticeably when the engine is hot.// As a minimum, it’s hard to lessen the choices to less than: spark plugs, change to test; spark plug wires, change to test; distributor cap, change to test; distributor rotor, change to test; air filter, change to test; pcv valve, change to test; the etc.; change to test.