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no start, tried everything by ub3rduck
Started on: 02-22-2007 05:59 PM
Replies: 68
Last post by: twofatguys on 04-05-2008 02:28 AM
3800superfast
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Report this Post02-26-2007 12:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
jetman, I wondering when the distributor came out--even with it marked & measured, if it went back in wrong, Iv`e done that a 100 times, then pulled it back out gave it a 180 and the engine fired up. Good Point though, until he post on whats what...we are guessing..
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Jax184
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Report this Post02-26-2007 12:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jax184Click Here to visit Jax184's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jax184Direct Link to This Post
I'm surprised you didn't hear those 4 good cylinders trying to start the engine.
And that V4 I mentioned was started on only 2 cylinders. It was a '73 Saab Sonett with one head wrecked from a massive overheat. It got so bad that two of the spark plug electrodes appear to have melted.

I agree that the ignition timing seems like a good thing to check at this point. Grab a timing light and see what's going on.
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jetman
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Report this Post02-26-2007 12:23 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
Oh I sure did the 180* distributor error before, pulled it out and switched it around, crank the engine, no fire. I'm like WTF? Go back to the engine and there is my rotor sitting on top of my plehnum.
I hope that we get an update, hate to have another unresolved thread.
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ub3rduck
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Report this Post02-26-2007 03:06 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ub3rduckClick Here to Email ub3rduckSend a Private Message to ub3rduckDirect Link to This Post
Sorry I haven't posted in a few days I had gone up to Central Michigan University to visit some friends and ended up getting stranded on the side of the road 'cause my friend's truck died on the freeway 45 minutes from home. Man, I've been having horrible luck with cars lately.

I'll post in bullets regarding each problem people have suggested.

Timing:
As far as I know the timing is fine. We lined up the timing mark on the harmonic ballencer to the 10 BTDC on the timing marks on the engine and the rotor was pointed at plug 1. Unfortunatly I don't have a timing gun to be completely accurate but it looks almost dead on. We are almost positive the distributor was put back in correctly.

Bad Plugs/Wires:
If it was the plugs/wires then all of them would have to be bad. Yes a v6 probally won't start on 3 cylinders but if even just 1 was good then it would still at least fire that one cylinder which mine isn't. Not a single cylinder fires. I checked the spark at the plug wires and the coil wire using the grounding to the headbolt method and it seems to be getting a very weak spark. I've tried a new coil wire and it was still the same. We're planning on trying a new set of wires/plugs as soon as I get some more money.

Fuel System:
As far as it seems, the engine is getting fuel. The fuel pump does prime. When I took out a spark plug I could smell gas. When cranking you can smell gas coming out the exhaust. It has over 3/4 of a tank of gas. Lastly it does not fire at all when sprayed with starting fluid. So I would assume that if starting fluid doesn't cause it to fire then it's not getting enough/any spark.

What were gonna try next:
Right now we're thinking it's gotta be some kind of ground on something. Putting a seperate ground on the ignition coil didn't work so it's not that. The screws that bolt down the ignition control module were kinda rusty so I'm gonna try and clean those and see if I can get a better ground. Also there might be a chance that the old pickup coil we replaced blew out or fried the ignition module so we'll probally try throwing another one of those in there.

I'm also gonna check the ECM fuse, not exactly sure were that is. Obviously probally by the ECM? If someone could post a picture or something that would be great. In the meantime I'll go try some of the stuff you guys have been suggesting and look in my service manual for the ECM fuse.


I know I keep saying this over and over but thanks a ton for all the help! You guys truely are what makes this forum so awsome. Hopefully once I get this thing running I can get back to my custom fiberglass center console build. I was supposed to finish that last week but my car died on me! Got my bumper back from the painters yesterday too after a friend backed into me so I can finally have a bumper again!

------------------
'87 Fiero GT Manual
59k Miles
Exhaust, Suspension and Custom Interior

[This message has been edited by ub3rduck (edited 02-26-2007).]

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Jakesdads86gt
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Report this Post02-26-2007 03:54 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jakesdads86gtSend a Private Message to Jakesdads86gtDirect Link to This Post
Did you try a new coil wire? (edit: yeah you did - sorry missed that). How about replacing the cap and rotor? I've seen rotor burn-through that let the spark jump through to the dist shaft. You said in your first post 'misfiring and popping more than usual' leading me to wonder if the cap/rotor/wires were already in rough condition. Just trying to help, I know how frustrating that kind of problem can be.

[This message has been edited by Jakesdads86gt (edited 02-26-2007).]

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jetman
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Report this Post02-26-2007 04:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
ECM fuse is top left corner of fuse assembly, there is a little clip handle on the side that you press in to swing the assembly down. The fuse assembly is located under dash, left side drivers side near front trunk release handle. Double check all fuses.

You said that you have spark at the end of the plug wire, that means that you are indead getting spark through the entire ignition system. Thats a good thing. Remember that you can have the fat timing marks on the harmonic ballancer line up and still be at TDC #4 cylinder. Thats because the crank rotates twice for every revolution of the cam shaft, (four cycle engine). The previous owner may have had things jacked up on you so go ahead and try the diagnostics that I posted for you. This may be a simple as plug wire order being incorrect or distributor 180* out.

Were you getting any kind of fire?

 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:
My thoughts are that if you're getting spark and the engine is not firing up, try this to double check the timing. Pull the #1 plug out, trace the plug wire back to the cap, mark the distributor body and pull off the cap. Have someone crank the engine while you have your finger over the #1 plug hole, your finger should be blown off the plug hole as the rotor points to the #1 plug wire mark on your distributor.

If the timing is indead way off, you will need to pull the distributor out and reinstall it with the rotor pointing directly at #1 on distributor (the mark that you previously made) with the engine at TDC compression #1 cylinder. You know where TDC compression is because that is where your finger blows off the #1 plug hole, now "fine tune" TDC by alignning the fat timing mark on the harmonic ballancer on to the timing marks and reinstall your distributor.

Keep us posted, ok?


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ub3rduck
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Report this Post02-26-2007 04:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ub3rduckClick Here to Email ub3rduckSend a Private Message to ub3rduckDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jakesdads86gt:

Did you try a new coil wire? (edit: yeah you did - sorry missed that). How about replacing the cap and rotor? I've seen rotor burn-through that let the spark jump through to the dist shaft. You said in your first post 'misfiring and popping more than usual' leading me to wonder if the cap/rotor/wires were already in rough condition. Just trying to help, I know how frustrating that kind of problem can be.



Yea, I tried replacing the cap and rotor. As far as when I said 'misfiring and popping more than usual', I meant it was misfiring (never did before) and popping more than usual >> The exhaust tends to pop when I let off the clutch or when using the engine to slow down, kinda like on some bigger v8's with nice exhaust like on the trans-ams. The only time it popped before was when letting off the clutch or slowing down with the engine and it was a normal sounding pop. It never did it durring idle or accerlation or cruising. When it was running really rough it sounded like it was making the exhaust popping noise durring idle.

 
quote
Originally posted by jetman:

ECM fuse is top left corner of fuse assembly, there is a little clip handle on the side that you press in to swing the assembly down. The fuse assembly is located under dash, left side drivers side near front trunk release handle. Double check all fuses.

You said that you have spark at the end of the plug wire, that means that you are indead getting spark through the entire ignition system. Thats a good thing. Remember that you can have the fat timing marks on the harmonic ballancer line up and still be at TDC #4 cylinder. Thats because the crank rotates twice for every revolution of the cam shaft, (four cycle engine). The previous owner may have had things jacked up on you so go ahead and try the diagnostics that I posted for you. This may be a simple as plug wire order being incorrect or distributor 180* out.

Were you getting any kind of fire?



At first it would fire a couple times after the car had sat for a few hours without cracking. Now it doesn't fire at all, even when you let it sit for a few hours. We had a couple days last week where the temps reached upwards of 40+ F it seemed to want to fire a bit more than the days before and after when it was 10-35 F out. Now it won't fire at all.

Checked the ECM fuse and all the others; they're all good. Also checked out the ECM connectors by the firewall and everything seemed fine.

Also checked the screws the hold down the modulator and subsequently ground them because I had suspected they were possibly not grounding the modulator. I cleaned them off with a wire brush and tightened them down a bit to try and get it to 'bite' into any possible corrosion in the connection. Didn't work.

Then I checked once again to make sure that my plug wires were on correctly. The repair manuals don't clearly state exactly which post is cylinder one. The post I had cylinder one's plug on was the post the rotor pointed at when I checked the timing. Because I couldn't get a clear idea out of the book I checked the forums and found a few threads coinciding with the posts I had them on aswell as a few that said to put cylinder one one post to clockwise from the post i had it on (//www.fiero.nl/forum/Archives/Archive-000001/HTML/20020511-2-018190.html) so I tried moving all the of plugs one post clockwise just for the heck of it and it didn't work so I moved them all back.

[This message has been edited by ub3rduck (edited 02-26-2007).]

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3800superfast
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Report this Post02-28-2007 08:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
Ok, I thought it was a later post on the forum, in the manual it has the # 1 in front of the dis hold down screw, if your looking at the cap from the top and the back of the car. In other words, the manual has it more towards the back of the car==one post past the hold down screw, I found on 5 of mine, that the # 1 was back one, or counter clock wise of the dis hold down screw or towards the front of the car. Have you tried this? I know someone will chime in and say you can run them anyway you want as long as and this is true. All I`m saying is give it a try, remember the plug wires need to be switched also--along with this. The 1st time I saw the manual diagram and someone posted it , I looked at 5x 2.8`s and they where all as mentioned above===one back or counter clockwise of the dis hold down screw...Hope it works for you...
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Report this Post02-28-2007 09:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
So in other words, ub3rduck's best bet is to re-index the ignition timing.
Probably would be a good idea to clean or replace the plugs too.


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Jax184
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Report this Post02-28-2007 09:17 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jax184Click Here to visit Jax184's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jax184Direct Link to This Post
We're overlooking sensors here. Just having gas come out the injectors won't help if it's way rich or lean.
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3800superfast
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Report this Post02-28-2007 09:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
Yep we are--but he still is getting very poor spark, I can`t remember if he took out a plug to have a look, even if it where 1, 3, 5, --after cranking it..Only takes a minute. It was packed in snow--top to bottom. Map , mat, cts, will effect the way it idles, but not cause a no start or weak spark situation. I`m still wondering about the distributor being pulled out--when its cold and you get in a hurry, things get over looked sometimes. Then comes the coil to deal with... My 87gt was doing the popping, ect, ect --same as his--and the timing , plugs, dis where messed up...I`m installing a 3.2 stroker in it now so it didn`t matter--I just slammed the thing toghter when I got it , so I could move it around the yard/shop...
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Report this Post02-28-2007 09:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
Ok , Found the post,look at the bottom, the manual calls for the black dot to be # 1 ... All 5 x 2.8`s I have are one post on the dis back from what the manual says, behind or counter clock wise (one) from the dis hold down bolt or back one from the black dot...I mean 1 maybe 2 , their might be something there --but 5 of them at the same time ???
//www.fiero.nl/forum/A...060811-2-071326.html
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Report this Post02-28-2007 09:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Jax184Click Here to visit Jax184's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jax184Direct Link to This Post
Something like a bad O2 sensor, or bad TPS, etc could certainly prevent starting.
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3800superfast
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Report this Post02-28-2007 11:20 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
OK
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tjm4fun
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Report this Post02-28-2007 11:45 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tjm4funClick Here to Email tjm4funSend a Private Message to tjm4funDirect Link to This Post
I just saw this in another thread, dealing with ignition issues, the plate the module mounts on is press fit to the distributor shaft.
there can be corrosion in that joint that causes a poor ground to the module, causing weak or no spark.
the test mentioned was to clip a meter to a good ground on the block, then clip the other lead to the module screw thread where is sticks thru the bottom and crank the motor. if you see more than 0v, ie this guy saw 5v, then the module has a bad ground.
his fix was to drill a small hole thru the plate into the shaft casing at an angle and put in a small sheetmetal screw, which created a new ground path.
Maybe not your fix, but easy enough to check.

As far as the wire position on the dist, all that is important is that #1 wire is pointed at by the rotor when #1 cyl is at tdc on the compression stroke. As was pointed out, there are 3 marks on the balancer, one has a wide slot, that is the one to use. to confirm compression stroke, pull the plug and put ur finger in the hole and crank the motor around with short tics till you feel air coming out, then watch to get the mark at 0, and check the rotor position then.
also, if someone replaced the harmonic balancer, it may not have the marks in the right place, but those aftermarket ones usually only have one slot on them, and that slot is off by 60 degrees I think.
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ub3rduck
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Report this Post02-28-2007 03:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ub3rduckClick Here to Email ub3rduckSend a Private Message to ub3rduckDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 3800superfast:

Ok, I thought it was a later post on the forum, in the manual it has the # 1 in front of the dis hold down screw, if your looking at the cap from the top and the back of the car. In other words, the manual has it more towards the back of the car==one post past the hold down screw, I found on 5 of mine, that the # 1 was back one, or counter clock wise of the dis hold down screw or towards the front of the car. Have you tried this? I know someone will chime in and say you can run them anyway you want as long as and this is true. All I`m saying is give it a try, remember the plug wires need to be switched also--along with this. The 1st time I saw the manual diagram and someone posted it , I looked at 5x 2.8`s and they where all as mentioned above===one back or counter clockwise of the dis hold down screw...Hope it works for you...


I checked the plugs wires and they are in the correct position. When the timing marks are lined up the rotor points to one post past the hond-down screw, which is where I have plug one.

 
quote
Originally posted by Jax184:

Something like a bad O2 sensor, or bad TPS, etc could certainly prevent starting.


I might go get an O2 sensor just for good luck. Who knows? lol

 
quote
Originally posted by tjm4fun:

I just saw this in another thread, dealing with ignition issues, the plate the module mounts on is press fit to the distributor shaft.
there can be corrosion in that joint that causes a poor ground to the module, causing weak or no spark.
the test mentioned was to clip a meter to a good ground on the block, then clip the other lead to the module screw thread where is sticks thru the bottom and crank the motor. if you see more than 0v, ie this guy saw 5v, then the module has a bad ground.
his fix was to drill a small hole thru the plate into the shaft casing at an angle and put in a small sheetmetal screw, which created a new ground path.
Maybe not your fix, but easy enough to check.

As far as the wire position on the dist, all that is important is that #1 wire is pointed at by the rotor when #1 cyl is at tdc on the compression stroke. As was pointed out, there are 3 marks on the balancer, one has a wide slot, that is the one to use. to confirm compression stroke, pull the plug and put ur finger in the hole and crank the motor around with short tics till you feel air coming out, then watch to get the mark at 0, and check the rotor position then.
also, if someone replaced the harmonic balancer, it may not have the marks in the right place, but those aftermarket ones usually only have one slot on them, and that slot is off by 60 degrees I think.


I'll have to try this test. I've been thinking it's gotta be a ground and it would definatly make sense. I'll let you guys know how it tests.

------------------
'87 Fiero GT Manual
59k Miles
Exhaust, Suspension and Custom Interior

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jetman
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Report this Post02-28-2007 03:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
Some one please refresh my memroy, on the newer cars a bad O-2 sensor will prevent starting but on our older Fieros that require the warming up of the O-2 sensor this doesn't effect starting at all for a cold engine?

 
quote
I checked the plugs wires and they are in the correct position. When the timing marks are lined up the rotor points to one post past the hond-down screw, which is where I have plug one.
Pull the number 1 plug out and double check to see if it is on the compression stroke with the rotor at that position on the distributor. While the plug is out take good look at it, if it is fouled out, clean and re-gap it along with the other five plugs.

You already said that you had spark at the plugs right? Have gas pressure at the Von Schrader valve, you hear the fuel pump priming up and you have checked all fuses including ECM fuel pump and both injector fuses, right?

Sounds like you're down to just plugs and checking TDC #1 compression in relation to #1 dist post.

Good luck.




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Report this Post02-28-2007 03:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jax184Click Here to visit Jax184's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jax184Direct Link to This Post
Oh yes, I forgot about cold starting making the ECM ignore the O2 sensor. But the TPS, temp sensor, the air thingies, etc still play a roll in fuel delivery on a cold start.
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Report this Post02-28-2007 04:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Jax184:

Oh yes, I forgot about cold starting making the ECM ignore the O2 sensor. But the TPS, temp sensor, the air thingies, etc still play a roll in fuel delivery on a cold start.


Good point, those were under snow if I recall correctly. Wouldn't hurt to check the connections as you suggested earlier.

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Report this Post02-28-2007 07:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Doc JohnSend a Private Message to Doc JohnDirect Link to This Post
ub3rduck, when you changed the ignition module, did you use the special grease supplied with the new one to get a good ground? Your weak spark problems REALLY sound like a bad module. You may want to inspect the contact plate below the module - it can corrode if you look at it hard enough. Clean it up, apply the grease, and cross your fingers.

Good Luck!
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Report this Post02-28-2007 10:07 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tjm4funClick Here to Email tjm4funSend a Private Message to tjm4funDirect Link to This Post
hmmm my o2 post got lost. just said it's not looked at til closed loop or x time passes. car will run without an o2 sensor, just throw some codes.

the grease under the module is not there for grounding, it is there for thermal conductin of heat. it does not conduct electricity, only heat. the ground is thru the screws.
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Report this Post02-28-2007 10:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Jax184Click Here to visit Jax184's HomePageSend a Private Message to Jax184Direct Link to This Post
And a failing module usually doesn't produce a weak spark. It produces no spark or an intermittant spark.
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Report this Post03-01-2007 01:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
Corroded or wet connectors to all the sensors at this point should be looked into--as they usually are forgotten..
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Report this Post03-01-2007 09:10 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ub3rduckClick Here to Email ub3rduckSend a Private Message to ub3rduckDirect Link to This Post
Problem Solved!

Well, I decided yesterday to try changing the spark plugs like a lot of people had suggested. Before we went and got new ones we decided to see what kind of spark we can get from the current plugs. Pulled one out and grounded it to the head and cranked it. The plug just smoked, no spark. Haha, great.

Turns out when my brother decided to be a jerk and bury my car with the snowblower he had clogged up my intake. I had noticed the intake was packed full of snow when I was first working on it but after a week in the garage it had thawed. The clogged intake had caused the engine to choke out and foul out all 6 plugs. Went up to autozone and got 6 more plugs and it fired up great. (well not exactly cause i mixed up two plugs wires but that was an easy fix lol)

$150 in parts and 2 weeks without my car and my brother laughs when I told him it was all his fault.... great

I guess the moral of the story is check the cheap parts first, shoulda checked the spark with one of the spark plugs from the engine rather than a spare we had on the shelf. I guess i'm out $150...
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Report this Post03-01-2007 09:27 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
well, throw a little water in his gas tank and see how he feels

Congrats on solving it!

J.
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Report this Post03-01-2007 10:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jetmanClick Here to visit jetman's HomePageClick Here to Email jetmanSend a Private Message to jetmanDirect Link to This Post
ub3rduck, welcome to the official Fiero ignition club.

Congratulations, you've passed with flying colors!
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3800superfast
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Report this Post03-01-2007 10:43 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 3800superfastSend a Private Message to 3800superfastDirect Link to This Post
Spark plugs---hhmmm--who would have thought...
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formula400
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Report this Post03-01-2007 05:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for formula400Send a Private Message to formula400Direct Link to This Post
Water in the gas take is a nice touch but awful mean
I like the snow ball in the intake or carb
Good luck
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Report this Post04-05-2008 02:28 AM Click Here to See the Profile for twofatguysClick Here to Email twofatguysSend a Private Message to twofatguysDirect Link to This Post
ub3rduck, I want to say you did a really great job of keeping your cool through all of this. Despite several people throwing out several different solutions and none of them working you didn't give up, and you never seemed to get upset either.

Great Job man.

Brad
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