What Is a Firing Order?
It’s no secret that the heart of any car is the engine. That’s what makes vehicles, no matter how big or small, move. Arguably, the engine is the most complicated and the most expensive part of any vehicle out there. This applies to sedans, trucks, SUVs, and crossovers. And one of the most important things in a car’s engine is, of course, its firing order. What is a firing order, you ask? Why does it matter?
Well, not to overwhelm you with engineering and technical terms, the firing order of a motor is the sequence in which each cylinder gets a spark from the spark plug wires. Now, a cylinder is a chamber/power unit that allows for fuel combustion and the generation of energy. And since the cylinders fire in a particular order, the gas (or, rather, the gas-air mixture) ignites in a pre-set order as well.
Otherwise, without a firing order, the engine will get seriously damaged or even rendered broken and out of service. That’s exactly why the firing order matters!
Now, let’s take a look at the Honda 3.5 V6 engine, also known as the J35. Its first iteration, J35A, was introduced in 1998. Nowadays, there are lots of J35 variations, with the most popular ones being J35A, J35Z, and J35Y. The HP, in turn, ranges from 210 to 310, depending on the model. But no matter how powerful the J35 engine is, activating all 6 cylinders at the same time is not a good idea, as it will lead to overheating.
That’s when the Honda 3.5 firing order comes in. It’s there to ensure every single cylinder fires at a specific time for smooth operation. Think of it as the engine’s safety protocol. For multi-cylinder engines, a strict and coordinated firing order is a must. Technically, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish, but it’s a necessary one.
Unique Firing Orders for Different Engines
A firing order in a modern-day engine is a safety measure, but that’s not the only thing it’s good for. On top of keeping the expensive motor safe, the firing order also reduces vibration, makes everything run smoother, and makes long commutes over rough terrain much more comfortable. This is true both for the driver and the passengers.
And please do remember that engines manufactured by different companies come with their own, unique firing orders. In addition, each engine variation has its own, very specific firing order. That means the Honda 3.5 J35 firing order is different from that of the HEMI 5.7, Chrysler Pentastar, or the Ford 5.4 Triton.
Honda 3.5 Firing Order
As mentioned, Honda 3.5 or J35 is a V6 engine. That indicates there are six cylinders in total, and they have to fire in a specific order. And the order goes like this: 1 – 4 – 2 – 5 – 3 – 6. Thus, cylinder number 1 fires first, followed by cylinder number 4. After that, it’s time for cylinder number 2 to fire, right before the fifth cylinder goes off. Then comes cylinder number 3’s turn.
The last cylinder that’s going to fire will be the final one in the cycle (#6).
It’s very hard to overestimate the importance of firing orders, and this applies to all the engines and cars on the market, both old and new. Each manufacturer has its own specific firing order that works best for their particular engines. The firing order differs depending on the brand and the type/variation of the engine.
Regardless of the manufacturer, the vehicle, or the engine, the purpose of a firing order is to extend the lifespan of the motor, keep vibrations to a minimum, and ensure a smooth, comfortable ride quality. Without it, the engine will overheat before long, forcing you to pay big bucks for a repair or even a complete replacement.