Back fire fixed

Tonight was a very special night. For the first time I have fixed something mechanical on my camper van. As you may have read, I've had a couple of starting problems recently. The starter motor has been turning, but the van hasn't been starting. When it does start, it starts with a large back fire. 

I did the sensible thing tonight before booking the van into the garage, I delved into the engine bay myself. Everyone says these engines are easy to work with. What could go wrong?

 

I started off by looking at the distributor cap and lucky for me I struck gold straight away. If you look closely at the pictures below you can see sooty deposits at the base of the cap. This could be the reason the van hadn't been firing up. Not enough spark was getting through to the spark plugs. With some light screwdriver scrapes and a tap to empty the debris out I put it all back together. 

When I turned the key, it started. Then I tried it a second, third and fourth time. Started first time, every time, like normal.

It's an amazing feeling to fix something. And it was so simple :)