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1995 4.3 plug position on Dist. Cap needed

02-17-2008, 10:45 PM
Hi, I have a 1995 Safari 4.3. I just changed the cmfi spider and also replaced the rotor and cap. I know the plug firing order 165432 with 1 being the front of engine driver side and 2 cyclinder being passenger side front of engine. I do not know for sure where #1 should be plugged into the delco remy distributor cap. This cap is located at the back of the engine with the flat portion the most distal from the front of the van. In the exact middle of the flat area of dist. cap. is a place for a plug and I need to know what # should go on it in the 165432 sequence and I will be able to go clockwise and correctly install the rest of the plug wires. Your help would be appreciated.

02-17-2008, 11:51 PM
This question was asked since the van did not start the first 10 tries. However this ended up being due to decarbonization and excess drainage into the cyclinders & subsequent spark plus/gas inablility to properly ignite it. I have since with several pumps of the peddal while turning the key, proceded to force enough clean fuel in to "get it to go." I then checked my plug number after a successful drive to now give the answer. who knows I might want to come back to read my notes. cyclinder #3 drivers side middle cyclinder is connected by plug wire to the middle distributor point of the flat section of the 1995 distributor cap. and the sequence clockwise is 165432165432165432165432165432etc. Yep, I just might change my cap & wires again with multiple jobs occuring at the same time I might just want to look at this again to make sure I didn't attach the plug wires to the cap at the wrong point.

Blue Bowtie
02-18-2008, 10:27 PM
The #1 and #3 wires are reversed in position at the distributor cap. All the other wires are in the position relative to the cylinders. In other words, #2 spark plug wire is the right (passenger side) front, and should be connected to the right front terminal of the distributor cap. The #4 spark plug wire is the right center, and #6 is the right rear, connected to the rear terminal of the distributor cap on the right side. The #5 spark plug wire is the left (driver side) rear, and connects to the left rear terminal of the distributor cap. However, the #1 spark plug wire from the left front of the engine should be in the left center distributor terminal and #3 spark plug wire should connect to the left front on the distributor cap.

6 5 |
4 1 |
2 3 \/

02-20-2008, 10:58 AM
Hi Blue Bowtie, The cyclinder numbering is easy for me and probably most do it yourself repairers to comprehend since the cyclinders are usually in about the same position on 8,6,& 4 cyclinder engines we just go to the book & see the numbering sequence. However, the distributor is sometimes on engine front, back, or turned at an angle and is much more confusing to determine which wires go from the located cyclinder to a point on the distributor. Also there is no front or back inscribed on the distributor cap. Sooo I'm assuming your trying to shed more light on this area and thus I now have additional questions of the schematic drawn above... My van runs fine so I'm assuming the wires must be in the proper sequence and this is what I see when sitting in drivers seat looking at the distributor housing base there are two electrical connectors connected to the module on a flat surface and the corresponding cap is also flat at this area to match it accordingly. Midway between these two plugs is a point and above this point on the distributor cap is the point to connect a plug wire and i have the wire from cyclinder 3 connected here. (1) Is this correct? My next wires connected to cyclinders in a clockwise direction are to cyclinder 2, 1, 6, 5, 4 and then back to the original point of cyclinder 3. (2) Is this correct? This distributor cap is on a slight angle for the straight edge and thus it appears 2 points on the cap are equally most distal from the front of the van and these lead to cyclinder 4 and 3 but in your example if I'm reading it right, it appears you have 6 & 5 being the furtherest away from the front of the van . (3) Does the rotor spin in a clockwise direction firing the cyclinders and if so then in my example this would ignite cyclinders in this sequence 3,2,1,6,5,4 which is the same sequence listed in the haynes manuals as 1,6,5,4,3,2 just beginning the discussion from another point being cyclinder 3.......I am baffled by the drawing ,where would the straight side exist, what do you consider front distributor point if it's angled?, and I do not know which cyclinder you suggest to be connected at my original requested starting point which was above midway point between the two electrical connectors (straight edge) on the distributor base. Also it would appear if rotor rotation is indeed clockwise your suggested firing order would be 6,5,1,3,2,4 which I could not find as a choice on Haynes. I'm not sure what you meant by the #1 & #3 wires are reversed in position as I did not see it on my distributor cap and it seems as if this would occur the firing order would be wrong 6,5,1,3,2,4. I like to learn so please let me know if or what I'm missing, thankyou. ( We both agree drivers side cyclinders front of van to rear = 1 then 3, then cyclinder 5. Cyclinders on passenger side front to rear are 2, 4, then 6)

Blue Bowtie
02-20-2008, 08:31 PM
The engine firing order is 1-6-5-4-3-2.

The #1 cylinder is at the left front corner of the engine. The #2 cylinder is at the right front. The left bank of cylinders includes #1, #3, and #5, while the right bank of cylinders includes #2, #4, and #6.

If your engine uses the standard Delphi distributor cap with horizontal spark plug wire towers (connection terminals), the diagram shown previously is correct. The reason for this is that the distributor cap interior terminals do not directly correspond to the exterior terminals, like most older distributor caps were for about 90 years. The distributor cap has flat metal bussing connecting the appropriate internal terminal to the appropriate external terminal. These bus bars are insulated from each other by a high dielectric strength anaerobic compound. It is for this reason that many aftermarket distributor caps do not last long in these ignition systems - It seems that the aftermarket has not quite figured out how to insulate the bussing adequately to prevent insulation breakdown and flashover between terminals. Only the Delphi/Delco caps seem to last 80-100,000 miles.

That aside, that's why the spark plug wire connection sequence does not appear to follow the firing order, as would be expected with most other distributors. Connect them as shown in my previous post, and the order will be correct.

This may be helpful:

02-20-2008, 11:56 PM
Hi Blue Bowtie, unfortunately I do not think you have my safari van engine in the picture. I have a 1995 4.3l Safari that did not have that distributor cap on it. (It didn't have that newer injector either, mine has the old CMFI spider that I replaced a few days ago). My distributor cap is a Delco Remy 1995 with 6 metal tips on top in a circle (plus 1 metal tip in the middle for the plug wire to the coil)with all the plug wires plugging into the top of the distributor not the sides (horizontally) as in your picture. It looks like it use to be a lot harder to figure out where the plugs went to the distributor caps in 1995 and earlier. It looks like it would be much easier to match them up in 1996 and later models, sooo the picture didn't really help but maybe you have a 1996 or another make of GM 4.3 engine that changed the distributor cap and fuel injector earlier? But at least now I have an idea of the crossing that your distributor cap has that mine does not.

Blue Bowtie
02-24-2008, 10:26 AM
I have photos of a '95 Blazer W engine - Same cap/coil/wire arrangement.

What is the eighth digit of the vehicle VIN?

02-24-2008, 09:09 PM
1995 4.3 Liter Safari with 8th digit of Vin = W. The distributor cap is definitely not the same as the one in your picture. I'm pretty sure that safari's switched from my cap in 1995 to that version in 1996 that you are showing. Mine is older 1995 with 6 plug wires to plug in top of cap in a circle with a middle connector for a 7th plug wire going to the coil. These wires are plugged into the cap perendicular not horizontally as in your picture. I also have a cmfi and not csfi engine that appears to be in the picture, I believe in 1996 safari's went to that design.

02-27-2008, 11:11 PM
Here's a pic of my 1993 Astro's cap...if it helps.


I will admit that it's not running at the moment and I only got to drive it 6 miles before it threw a rod, so I can't even tell you what cap is on it (or if it's right). I can look at the '93 Bravada I have as an engine donor tomorrow sometime, if you want.

04-25-2008, 11:11 AM
Yes the above distributor cap of the 1993 above is very similar to the 1995 safari cap that I have. As can be seen it is much more confusing as to where the plug wires are inserted into the cap in 1995 safaris vs. newer models such as the 1996 safari. It's interesting how in 1996 & newer caps, the lines are drawn in the top indicating how the wires are crossed within the cap and thus eliminating the confusion of crossing wires around the cap as in the 1993 pic above. Thanks for the pic and differences.

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