Spout connector question... If that's what you call it???

Toddstang LX

New Member
May 7, 2008
I'm having issues with my car running with the spout connector plugged in (that's what my mustang buddys call it) it's a little grey plastic connector with 2 prongs inside that you connect beside the distributor on the wiring harness. You remove this when adjusting the timing and then put it back in. WELL... I was at the store the other day and I went to crank my car and it just turned over and sputtered....over and over I cranked it and it would just "fart" a bit but not crank. My good friend who has had MANY stangs in his day came to my rescue and quickly noticed that my distributor had come loose and my timing was off. He pulled the spout connector and re-adjusted my timing... Then when he put the connector back in place the car shut off!

I went to the junk yard and got 100 of them out of all kinds of fords...they all have the same part number and some even came out of mustangs, but no matter what I do...my car either won't crank at all, or if it cranks it refuses to run right with this little connector in place.

My questions are:

Is this bad news?...

What is the spout connector for?...

How can I figure out what has went wrong to cause my car to act like this??..

Can I just leave it out?...

If I do will it cause any damage to the car?
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The "spout" allows the computer to make adjustments to the cars timing.

Without the "spout" you are locked into whatever your base timing is set to.

Your car will likely be significantly down on power without the spout in and may have drivability problems under load and at wide open throttle.

I'd say you have some other issues that are the root of this problem.

The "spout" is just a jumper that connects the two pins, it really can't go bad. I mean you could use a wire with clips and it would do the same thing. I'd say the "spout" is fine and you need to look elsewhere for the problem.
Did actually check the timing with a timing light or did you just get it close (by ear)?

Actually...me and a friend tried to check our timing with a timing light and both our underdrive pulleys were too rusted to see any marks at all! :eek:

Is this a common problem?... How are you supposed to check the timing if it's too rusted to see the mark?
You clean it, scrape it, and use something to highlight the marks (liquid paper works).

As always, Joel is right-on. :nice: FWIW if you're clumsy like me, a silver sharpie marker works pretty nicely too.

And the balancer is what you need to clean up, not the pulley. If your balancer has lost it's marks due to rust (the outer layer flakes off), you could apply timing tape but there can be a large degree of user-error involved in doing this (no pun intended). If a balancer looks like that, I'd simply recommend getting a new one.

I would definitely get it timed before tinkering with a whole lot else. You don't want to introduce a lot of other variables till the already known ones are no longer variables.

Good luck.
I'm taking a wild guess here, but I'm thinking your timing is so far off that when the Sprout is connected the computer is making the timing even further out. It may then be so far out that the engine will not run. Make sure you re-time the car.

I agree with gears. With the base timing way off and the spout plugged in, the computer still thinks its at factory base timing and adjusts the timing based on operating conditions. This could put your timing way out of whack and cause the engine not to run. Be sure to set the base timing with a timing light before starting to troubleshoot anything else. If the problem persists, then you can start trying to diagnose other issues.