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myweestar5

Spark & Fuel but no Fire??

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Posted (edited)

Hello to all,

(SHORT VERSION!)- Can anyone please tell me why I have spark and fuel but car won't start, it doesn't seem to be getting any air suction on intake also??

(LONG VERSION)

I've been recently trying to freshen up my Starlet Turbo 4E-FTE but I've ran into problems. Just as I take a step forward I also take one backward so it's annoying me a bit. Anyhow at the moment I'm stuck trying to start it. It won't fire or even attempt to fire and I had it running only the other day and switched it off myself.

I think I should explain whats been happening with this car up until now so, basically its been lying for a couple of years, was running well when parked up, tried to start it one day and no start. After a few checks I realised the battery wasn't charging and that the fuel pump retired, so changed pump and fuel level sender as i needed a new sender anyway. After fitting used pump and sender which came shining clean from scrappy's my engine fired up after a few cranks. Happy days until, I continue on to fixing battery charging issue and fully servicing the engine, the car moved about 20ft to do so, then day by day I decided to  do another bit in my spare time, some checks, buying parts, fitting them and so on. So alternator needed repairing and I left it on axle stands to replace fan and alternator belts, change oil and oil filter.

After all that the car was starting, running and charging so all good within reason (FROM FIRST DAY OF RESTARTING THE CAR THERE HAS BEEN A STRANGE WHINNY NOISE IN ENGINE WHEN REVVED ON AND OFF AND SLIGHTLY ROUGH IDLING). I think the noise may have slightly disappeared with the oil change as I was hoping but still not fully convinced. More days/weeks went by and I was considering my spark plug options and to finish with fuel filter. Got them and went to start the car before changing the plugs and filter just to see if there was any comparison in rough idling when changed BUT, NO START!

Done few more checks and what do you know replacement Fuel pump also packed up! Within about a whole total of 1-2hours of running the replacement pump just quit? Unbelievable!! I learned a few new words at that time but just as I realised the issue I also realised I had a brand new pump bought from ebay ready to fit on, and so I did, lucky me! So after doing the slight wiring modifications needed on the new pump to fit with the Fuel level sender and refitting it, the car still won't start!! WTF?? 

The new pump is running and after doing some more checks its delivering fuel to the cylinders and all my spark plugs and leads are providing a spark. But I did notice the tips of all my plugs were a bit oily and wet looking. Cleaned them with wire brush and retried and still nothing. Put the new plugs in, and still no fire. Got a mate to check for suction on the air intake while I was cranking the eninge over and it seems there is no suction. With all the plugs connected to their leads and left sitting loosely in their cylinders I got my mate to crank the engine and a ball of fire came up from the cylinders for 1-2 seconds, so that surely tells me that the air intake is not giving air to the spark and fuel mixture in order for ignition to take place and it obviously got just enough air from the plug lead caps being loose at the top of the cylinders. I've removed the breather box and top mount intercooler and from the bit I could see there was no blockage in the air duct but maybe there's some obstruction further in??  

Maybe I'm wrong but I think this has to be the problem-no air, but can someone please tell me why or whats causing this? Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for all or any help/suggestions!

Edited by myweestar5

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Hello mate,

Im not an expert but according to what you are saying, the air suction when you are starting the engine come from a bypass pipe from the wax stat i dont know if this can go wrong or blocked. Secondly i would consider checking all the wiring for the sensors and specially the igniter and also swap the ecu with someone around just to check and eliminate doubts. These are the only things i can think of if you have fuel and spark.

Correct me if i am wrong anyone.

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Do the basics. Compression test. Timing. Did you touch the distributor? Got the correct plugs? Disconnected grounds or lose plugs (mapsensor??) 

Maybe just a piece of cloth you had blocking the intake got sucked in the intake?

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Posted (edited)

 

On 5/1/2019 at 10:14 AM, Nafeez2125 said:

Hello mate,

Im not an expert but according to what you are saying, the air suction when you are starting the engine come from a bypass pipe from the wax stat i dont know if this can go wrong or blocked. Secondly i would consider checking all the wiring for the sensors and specially the igniter and also swap the ecu with someone around just to check and eliminate doubts. These are the only things i can think of if you have fuel and spark.

Correct me if i am wrong anyone.

Nafeez2125 thanks for your reply pal. I had the top mount intercooler off a number of times due to accessing the plugs and had been checking it at those points to for vacuum while cranking the engine and it may have got blocked somehow. I was considering the ECU but hoping for a sensor or wiring problem instead. I have to check the wiring if all else fails but there's nothing looking obvious at the moment.

Edited by myweestar5

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On 5/2/2019 at 12:14 AM, maerijn said:

Do the basics. Compression test. Timing. Did you touch the distributor? Got the correct plugs? Disconnected grounds or lose plugs (mapsensor??) 

Maybe just a piece of cloth you had blocking the intake got sucked in the intake?

Maerijin pal you might have hit the nail on the head. I have been wondering in the beginning if I had an intake blockage and silly as it sounds I forgot to fully check the intake after all and you've made me think about a rag cloth I had that I don't know where I last had it. I am half afraid of trying to remove the intake duct as it looks very tight for accessing the bolts. I have had the distributor of a couple times wondering if it was causing the  starting issue but all plugs are sparking and the distributor looked reasonably clean I think. 

I have done a compression test. Results below. (First time doing it.)


Following info found on here and online I tested the cylinders for compression. My results with dry test were as follows. Starting from cylinder nearest drivers side or brake fluid reservoir and finishing with opposite side cylinder these are my results.

DRY TEST
1st cylinder tested
Can't get higher than 8 bar/115psi on first tested cylinder after 30 cranks of engine. After 5 cranks the second cylinder tested read 10 bar then after 30 cranks 150psi maxed. After 5 cranks the 3rd cylinder tested read just over 6 bar, then after 30 cranks it was maxed at 7 bar/100psi. After 5 cranks on 4th cylinder tested it read just over 3 bar and under 50 psi, then after 30 cranks it maxed at 4bar.

WET TEST On the 4th cylinder tested after a small amount of engine oil added approx 15-20ml it reads just under 9bar/124psi after 5 cranks. After 5 cranks the 3rd cylinder tested read 205psi/ over 14bar. After 5 cranks the 2nd cylinder tested read over 12bar at 180psi. just before wet testing the 1st cylinder I dry tested it again and after 30 cranks could only get 50 psi. Then with the wet test it reads 6bar or 85psi after 5 cranks.

So D for DRY TEST and W for WET TEST:

D on 1st tested cylinder 115psi
W on 1st tested cylinder 85psi

D on 2nd tested cylinder 150psi
W on 2nd tested cylinder 180psi

D on 3rd tested cylinder 100psi
W on 3rd tested cylinder 205psi

D on 4th tested cylinder 58psi
W on 4th tested cylinder 124psi

I haven't done this before but from what I've been learning this is bad news. Can someone confirm this?
Even if I need to do an engine change, would this cause it to suddenly stop starting?

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As you mentioned your spark plugs were wet-looking I suspect the headgasket failed.

These differences in compression will not be good for your engine in the long run even if it was running well

If you feel like you are mechanically inclined enough I would replace the headgasket instead of doing an engine change

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14 hours ago, maerijn said:

As you mentioned your spark plugs were wet-looking I suspect the headgasket failed.

These differences in compression will not be good for your engine in the long run even if it was running well

If you feel like you are mechanically inclined enough I would replace the headgasket instead of doing an engine change

Yeah the plugs tips seemed wetter than I expected with either fuel or oil but I'm now thinking its fuel more than oil as I've had them out a good few times now and thinking  about it more, would that not be the case if fuel was being injected but the cylinders weren't firing?

I haven't done a head gasket before. If the head gasket was gone should I not have lost water level from radiator? Would there be water in the oil or oil in the water to confirm?

Since my previous post I decided to try starting the car morning after testing the compression just to see if the drops of oil helped with compression if that was causing my non start issue. Believe  it or not it actually tried to fire up a few times. It half fired a few times so maybe the oil from test helped with compression to give it a kick. It then faded away from firing.

I don't think I had throttle all way to floor for previous test and thought I d do it again and re check if the oil drops in cylinders helped.

This is 2nd test.

DRY TEST After 6 cranks 1st cylinder 145psi. 2nd cylinder 108psi. 3rd cylinder 180psi. 4th cylinder 150psi but dropping pressure maybe the compression tester release valve wasn't properly sealed. Released it and retested 4th cylinder at 156psi with pressure holding its reading this time.

WET TEST After 6 cranks 1st Cylinder 230psi. 2nd cylinder 180psi. 3rd cylinder 245psi. 4th cylinder 195psi.

I then quickly popped the spark plugs back in and reconnected everything so I could try starting the engine to see if the drops of oil I added to the cylinders made a difference. Once again it went to half fire a few times after some cranking but as my battery was weak getting weak it seemed a bit hopeless. I put the booster on it which then helped. It did half fire a few times more and kind of kicked back so that's some kind of result at least. It then seemed to fade away like the oil in the cylinders had passed on down and was no longer sealing any gaps.

What can I take from this? Is it that i have worn cylinder walls or pistons or rings? Should the car start though? Is there something else preventing it from starting?

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5 hours ago, akyakapotter said:

Check the timing on your cam belt may have jumped a tooth 

Hi akyakapotter, thanks for your reply.

Is this a big job? I have a weird feeling it's related to the cam shaft as since restarting the engine after it lay up for a long time there came this strange whine noise when revved up to high rpm's on and off. It seemed to disappear when left to idle. By use similar to a stethoscope I traced the noise to around the rocker cover and I could only think of the cam shaft as all pulleys and belts seemed good and had recently changed belts. I changed oil and oil filter and thought it helped the noise quieten down but its not long since then that this non start issue occurred. 

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3 hours ago, maerijn said:

Hows your ignition timing set?

I'm not sure, how is this done? I think I saw it mentioned somewhere where you rotate the distributor cap to set it as a quick fix but I don't recall any adjustment on it when I had it off. Could I have offset it by mistake if there is some adjustment on it I wasn't aware of?

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On 5/5/2019 at 12:47 AM, myweestar5 said:

I'm not sure, how is this done? I think I saw it mentioned somewhere where you rotate the distributor cap to set it as a quick fix but I don't recall any adjustment on it when I had it off. Could I have offset it by mistake if there is some adjustment on it I wasn't aware of?

The way to do it is to loosen the 2 bolts which hold the distributor assy and rotate the entire thing.

If you have it set about halfway it will be roughly correct, but the way to perfect it is to use a timing light

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On 5/6/2019 at 7:52 PM, maerijn said:

The way to do it is to loosen the 2 bolts which hold the distributor assy and rotate the entire thing.

If you have it set about halfway it will be roughly correct, but the way to perfect it is to use a timing light

Thanks maerijn, I had a look at the distributor and I now see the adjustment slot and it looks centred and I didn't have that off I only removed the cap and replaced it.

I want to check all the easiest things first before taking on the bigger task of checking the timing ect just in case something else goes wrong along the way. 

I have noticed I have a remaining DTC(diagnostic trouble code) for the Map Sensor that wont clear itself. It wasn't there before until I disconnected the plug for it and cranked the engine over but I've had the battery disconnected overnight for charging purposes so I expected the code to clear. But code 31 for Map Sensor still remains. I've bench tested it following a video found online but the problem is I don't have any specs chart to compare my results with so I'm guessing its working until I find another Map sensor to test from a running engine. I will furter check its wiring if I can.

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On 5/8/2019 at 11:41 PM, myweestar5 said:

Thanks maerijn, I had a look at the distributor and I now see the adjustment slot and it looks centred and I didn't have that off I only removed the cap and replaced it.

I want to check all the easiest things first before taking on the bigger task of checking the timing ect just in case something else goes wrong along the way. 

I have noticed I have a remaining DTC(diagnostic trouble code) for the Map Sensor that wont clear itself. It wasn't there before until I disconnected the plug for it and cranked the engine over but I've had the battery disconnected overnight for charging purposes so I expected the code to clear. But code 31 for Map Sensor still remains. I've bench tested it following a video found online but the problem is I don't have any specs chart to compare my results with so I'm guessing its working until I find another Map sensor to test from a running engine. I will furter check its wiring if I can.

Maybe check if your MAP sensor has a bad ground or broken vacuum hose?

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On 5/10/2019 at 11:43 AM, maerijn said:

Maybe check if your MAP sensor has a bad ground or broken vacuum hose?

I've been a bit busy the past few days but I've tested the vacuum hoses with a vacuum tester and their all holding the pressure well. 

Since then I've been told by someone that worked in Toyota that a bad map sensor wont stop it from starting only stops it from taking the boot which I was kind if expecting but wasn't sure.

I will still check its wiring just in case if there's a problem with it and the ECU wont allow starting, that's probably not the case considering  the above but I'm just guessing here and covering all tracks I can.

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Ive checked the map sensor wiring and it seems ok, plus since putting a battery booster on the code for it cleared so maybe the ECU would only clear it if the car was running and alternator putting a higher voltage into battery. 

I did order a used Map sensor though beforehand just to rule it out and I've swapped it and no difference. I have read online that map sensor can cause non starting issues but I've also found no mention of that elsewhere online and just other symptoms instead so I was with you on getting that checked maerijn but also half expecting someone to say it doesn't cause non start.

So I'm now starting to check the timing belt and it looks fiddly with all the room for your hands. I've followed guides I found and have battery disconnected, spark plugs removed, the auxillary belts off, engine jacked, engine mount removed but Ive read somewhere that I need to get the engine mount bracket off and it looks very awkward. Does anyone  know if it needs to be removed?

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On 5/10/2019 at 11:43 AM, maerijn said:

Maybe check if your MAP sensor has a bad ground or broken vacuum hose?

Ive checked the map sensor wiring and it seems ok, plus since putting a battery booster on the code for it cleared so maybe the ECU would only clear it if the car was running and alternator putting a higher voltage into battery. 

I did order a used Map sensor though beforehand just to rule it out and I've swapped it and no difference. I have read online that map sensor can cause non starting issues but I've also found no mention of that elsewhere online and just other symptoms instead so I was with you on getting that checked maerijn but also half expecting someone to say it doesn't cause non start.

So I'm now starting to check the timing belt and it looks fiddly with all the room for your hands. I've followed guides I found and have battery disconnected, spark plugs removed, the auxillary belts off, engine jacked, engine mount removed but Ive read somewhere that I need to get the engine mount bracket off and it looks very awkward. Does anyone  know if it needs to be removed?

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If you have spark and fuel on each cylinder it can only be a couple of things.

- Timing, are you 360 out so you are firing on exhaust stroke not compression stroke? If you have fuel and spark but its on the exhaust phase it will not start. Again, this will not be obvious with a timing light as the crank rotates twice for one engine cycle. By the sounds of your first topic and it firing back through the intake its probably this.

Take the covers off, check the crank and oil pump timing marks for TDC, check the cam indent on the head timing mark, the cam mesh gear timing marks and the distributor timing marks at the end of the cam. 

 

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7 hours ago, RobSR said:

If you have spark and fuel on each cylinder it can only be a couple of things.

- Timing, are you 360 out so you are firing on exhaust stroke not compression stroke? If you have fuel and spark but its on the exhaust phase it will not start. Again, this will not be obvious with a timing light as the crank rotates twice for one engine cycle. By the sounds of your first topic and it firing back through the intake its probably this.

Take the covers off, check the crank and oil pump timing marks for TDC, check the cam indent on the head timing mark, the cam mesh gear timing marks and the distributor timing marks at the end of the cam. 

 

Thanks for your reply RobSR,

I tend to agree there should only be a couple of things to stop it starting but I was hoping if would be something simple. You could be right about it firing on exhaust stroke, time hopefully will tell.

I've now removed the cylinder head cover and the top timing belt cover and I'm just trying now to find out which is cylinder no.1 - no.4 so I can try lining the marks up when  I find them.

Anyone know which way the cylinders are numbered?

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Cilinder numbers go from 1 to 4 starting at the timing belt side

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3 hours ago, maerijn said:

Cilinder numbers go from 1 to 4 starting at the timing belt side

Thanks so I've lined up crank shaft pulley indent to "0" on the bottom timing cover, then checked the 4E mark on the cam shafts sprocket was lined up with the dot punch mark on the cam shaft bearing cap but it wasn't.
The cam shaft valve lifters were loose on cylinder 1 and also on cylinder 4 on the shaft that the distributor runs off but on the other shaft which I believe is the intake cam shaft the valve lifters were loose on cylinder 1 and tight on cylinder 4 like it said it should be in the guide I'm following.
 
I tried rotating the crank shaft one turn to see if things lined up any better but they didn't. Even after several turns (7-8) I couldn't get the crank and cam timing marks to line up.
I've noticed that the timing belt has a nick in it and its inner edge is shredded away with its fluffy deposits built up in and around the timing cover and the pulleys/sprocket.
 
So at the moment all this suggests to me like a slippage of the belt has occurred like some here have suggested. I am going to try taking pics 2moro and upload in hope that someone here can confirm that I'm lining the correct marks just to be sure as I can see 2 dot punch type marks on the cam shaft bearing cap near the top so I'm a bit unsure. Hope to get pics up 2moro!

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Here's the pics of where I'm currently at. I hope to get back to it this eve but I'm a little confused with some tippex mark someone put on the cam pulley before and why there's 2 dot punch marks on the cam shaft bearing cap. If anyone can explain this it would be much appreciated. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2019 at 12:14 AM, maerijn said:

Do the basics. Compression test. Timing. Did you touch the distributor? Got the correct plugs? Disconnected grounds or lose plugs (mapsensor??) 

Maybe just a piece of cloth you had blocking the intake got sucked in the intake?

 

On 5/4/2019 at 6:00 PM, akyakapotter said:

Check the timing on your cam belt may have jumped a tooth 

 

On 5/15/2019 at 12:25 PM, RobSR said:

If you have spark and fuel on each cylinder it can only be a couple of things.

- Timing, are you 360 out so you are firing on exhaust stroke not compression stroke? If you have fuel and spark but its on the exhaust phase it will not start. Again, this will not be obvious with a timing light as the crank rotates twice for one engine cycle. By the sounds of your first topic and it firing back through the intake its probably this.

Take the covers off, check the crank and oil pump timing marks for TDC, check the cam indent on the head timing mark, the cam mesh gear timing marks and the distributor timing marks at the end of the cam. 

 

Judging by the above it appears you were all right in thinking it was the timing. I have no crank pulley puller so I'm going to try get one tomorrow so I dont have much hassle as most of the crank pulleys edge is already chipped away from someone else before me. Can anyone tell me which of the marks in pic number 2 I need to line up (A or C) and what the tippex mark (B) is for?

Thanks for your help so far. 

Edited by myweestar5

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