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Boggy attempts to start.

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Boggy attempts to start.

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    Boggy attempts to start.

    Well, I just recently fixed my ignition switch again and now I've got power to everything. I was feeling pretty uppity now that I could drive my car again. Insert key... turn once... 'click'... turn twice... 'click, click lights come on and cel/bat flash... mfr clicks and fuel pump humms underneath my rear seats'... nice. Feeling good... turn the third and final time... 'ree e e un dun dun.. bu bum du e e dun.. dun e e e e e dun dun dun eeer e e'. FAAAIL!

    So far, the following suspects have been voted off of the Isle of Fail:

    - Yes I have gas. Thank you.
    - Yes battery terminals are fine.
    - Fuses (probably wasn't this but I checked anyway).
    - Connections from Ignition Switch, considering I was just toying with it.
    - Fresh battery. Full charge.
    - PGM-FI Relay aka MFR. 'Nuff said.
    - Fuel pump. Primes away happily.
    - Fuel filter. ...filters my fuel.
    - Injectors. Squirts 'a plenty.
    - Compression. Tighter than.. you know.
    - Plug wires. Brand spanking new.
    - Spark plugs. Five months old and still conducting superbly.
    - Timing belt. Everything is lined up.
    - Ignition timing. Distributor hasn't budged since it was set.

    These are suspicious:

    Distributor. I opened it up and it seems fine, practically brand new. It's on tight as well, so I know the timing hasn't been botched. Looks like the previous owner had replaced it with an oem a few years back. But I am wary of it considering that all three of the screws used to hold the cap on have different heads. Ghetto as fuck . Never had any problems with it, but I am going to take it apart later today anyways.

    Ignition coil. I'm going to have to take a look at this as well. I don't know much about coils, but I can tell if it's the culprit via testing it for resistance etc.

    Things you should know:

    Before this problem, my car would start instantaneously. 2-3 revolutions was all it needed. Extremely reliable.

    The only non-maintenance related issues I have had were electrical. EG my ignition switch. When I took it apart I rebuilt it proper, cleaned all the contacts and used fresh dielectric grease. There are no pits on the connection plates.

    This problem appeared after my car was sitting in my parking lot for about two weeks. I came out to my car, and discovered the battery was dead. Wouldn't jump, so I replaced the battery. It was a fairly old blem anyways so it's time was up. The last time my car was running, it was running perfectly fine. Only the ignition switch problem.

    I tested my plugs for spark by grounding them to my towers, and the spark is yellow or so I was told by the person looking at them. All 4 have consistent spark. I'm going to test them again tonight when it's easier to see the spark.

    I attempted to start it last night, and it just cranked. Didn't feel or sound like any of the cylinders were firing at all. Then this morning I come out and give it another try for shits and giggles and it cranks for a couple seconds, then bogs, then cranks some more, then bogs some more before I let go. Pulling the starter out of the equation when it's struggling to start only leads to the motor dying again.

    No, it is not my MFR. Anyone who suggests MFR can .
    No, I do not have dead babies in my air intake. It's breathing fine.

    I'm kind of scratching my head at this one, and so far I've spent two days straight troubleshooting and shuffling through endless threads on this and other sites. Anyone have a similar problem in the past and come up with a solution? Any suggestions as to what I should be looking for?

    #2
    Update: Pictures and diagnosis of Distributor

    So I opened up the distributor and took it inside to test it. I was hoping this wouldn't be the problem, but now I'm completely unsure. Resistance test on the coil was clean. These are the losses in ohms that I came up with from testing the connections on the clips:

    Coil: 16,320
    Blue to Grn/Yel: 2190
    Yel/Grn to Grn/Yel: 3190
    All other connections (ICM) are floating around 378.


    Also, I discovered the famous Red Dust.



    The rotor can still be turned easily by hand, but there is of course a horrible grinding, meaning it will be toast soon anyways.

    I'm still unsure if the distributor is the source of my problems. Even with those losses wouldn't I still have enough spark to start it up? They don't seem too extreme to me, but I don't really know how to call this one.
    Last edited by oneoffG2; 09 Sep 2009, 20:40:53. Reason: Wroong numbers :)

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      #3
      honestly that distributor doesn't look to hot it looks as if there has been some moisture underneath the cap at some time believe it or not if there is not a good seal on the distributor cap this can cause some problems it wouldn't hurt to replace the cap and rotor especially if it hasn't been changed in a long time jus tryin to help.

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        #4
        Yeah there has definitely been moisture up in there. The bottom screw there (the top one on the picture) is heavily corroded and gunked up. I agree it's a clear sign of moisture damage, since all the moisture that gets through the seal would eventually pool up down there near that screw.

        I plan on replacing the distributor since my bearing could seize up at any moment, but it doesn't seem there is anything that would definitely point the blame at the distributor or it's components. I will clean up the contacts on the rotor and cap and see if it helps tomorrow. I'll have updates then.

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          #5
          I have a question about the way a rotor and cap communicate the spark between them. Does the surface of the post that is facing the rotor conduct the spark, and bring it through the cap into the wire? Or is the charge supposed to arc around the face and to the back or top of the post? The reason I ask, is because I am getting 0 continuity between the wire sockets on the outside of the cap, and their corresponding posts inside when I test that flat surface. This is what I am talking about:

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            #6
            .. .

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              #7
              on the rotor there is the exposed piece of metal that arcs to each of the prongs that are under neath the cap and nowhere else.the prongs and the socket are one piece in which the spark plug wire plugs into.

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                #8
                Right, I understand how all of that works, the diagram I drew up is of that interaction on the inside of the cap. I am just curious if the flat surface of the posts (prongs) facing the center of the rotor is normally conductive. Shouldn't it be? BTW: the dotted lines represent the carbonized metal protruding from the side of the rotor.

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                  #9
                  i would think so or else how would it get spark and if there is alot of carbon you should replace the cap and rotor anyway.

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                    #10
                    Yes, the flat spot should be conductive. You need a new cap and rotor. Go oem, they will last longer and work better. The distributor isn't a place you want to skimp on parts with.

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                      #11
                      Thanks. I took the liberty of taking a needle and scraping the surface, and what do you know, a big carbon 'scab' fell off of the face of the post. I cleaned the rest of them up and softened the surfaces. The rotor looks fine, it isn't badly pitted, and conducts fine as do the posts now. I'm going to toss the replacements in as soon as they come in the mail.

                      I've also taken apart my distributor to take a look at the bearing inside. It hasn't gotten bad yet at all, it still rotates smoothly but I can hear it beginning to crunch inside, and if I let it swivel on a weight it catches on a piece that has broken inside. Going to be replacing that as well.

                      Good thing all these parts are fairly cheap. Let's hope they do the trick.

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                        #12
                        Ok.

                        I've just gotten around to finishing my distributor.

                        New oil seal.
                        New bearing.
                        New rotor.
                        New cap.

                        No change. All sparks are a healthy consistent yellow/blue now, but nada.

                        So it continues..

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                          #13
                          if you've done all that that then it seems like the last step is the ecu? or maybe it is your switch still... idk

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                            #14
                            I wish it was. Everything is getting voltage, so at this point I can safely completely eliminate that. Tomorrow I am going to have to spend some more quality time with my fuel system. Can't wait.

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                              #15
                              Well I decided to test the switch anyways, since I seem to be running out of things to shake my fist at other than myself. Everything was fine except for two minor, or not, details.

                              In the first position (ACC or I): WHT/BLK (Battery B) to WHT/RED (Acc) had no continuity. Several seconds later I started getting resistances from 80k ohms and they dropped and hovered around 20-30k for a minute and stayed there.
                              In the second position (ON or II): Same problem as above with WHT/RED (Acc). Also the same problem with BLU/WHT (IG2-B), with different resistances.

                              When I took my switch back out, I found that the ball of factory solder from the BLU/WHT connection had somehow arced to the WHT/RED solder and melted together after I had reinstalled the switch.

                              Ignition Switch -> IG2-B -> Fuse #17 [7.5 AMP] -> A/C Clutch Relay -> ACC A15

                              Going to fix this and see if it somehow is the source of the problem. Up in a few.

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                                #16

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                                  #17
                                  I decided to retest my pump, lines and filter. MFR clicks, pump primes. Remove gas cap, pressure is released. Repeat, with same results. +1
                                  Prime some more, loosen service bolt on filter, fuel squirts. Leave loosened. Prime once more, more gas leaks out. +1
                                  Tighten service bolt. Remove rail from intake manifold. Set it on some rags and prime pump once. Injectors pop out of rail. +1

                                  I took a closer look at my injectors, man they are fucking disgusting.



                                  The nozzles are actually pretty clean, the shit you are seeing in there was rubbed over the nozzle from my towels.

                                  I'm going to try to use some starting fluid tomorrow morning. I've never had to resort to using it, and half of me is hoping that it doesn't work just because of how ghetto it is. I know the injectors work, not perfectly but certainly enough to get it started, and they can't all fail at the same time. We shall see.

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                                    #18
                                    Ok, just before work I sprayed some starter fluid in my intake and advanced my timing by just a smidgen more. I figured, at least I could get it to start for a couple of seconds, then I could see what is really going on.

                                    Well, first time I tried cranking and I got nothing. Tried again and held it for about 6 seconds, and just when I was about to give up, POW! Sucker starts right up, and hiccups a few times. Felt like it was running on three cylinders for a couple of seconds, then two, then three again, then hiccuped again and started running fine. I reset my ECU and timing, and tried it again but without any starter fluid. Turned like the day I bought it.

                                    I don't really know what the hell happened, it's like when someone is choking on something they stop breathing, then all of a sudden they cough it up and everything is back to normal instantly. No clue what to make of this, but I am going to replace my injectors and filter anyways, they tested fine but... fuck what else could it be? Maybe something did die in my intake manifold, who knows? I have spent days and learned about all sorts of things, except why the fuck it happened to begin with. Christ...

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