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Old 12-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default Picked up a 99 with no spark.

Picked up a 99 off of Craigslist for very cheep, $1400, 86k. The car came with Elise seats, Hard Dog sport bar, VIS carbon hood, BC coil overs, and TR Motorsport wheels. The only problem is it doesn't run. The history on the car that I know of...

The owner of the car, who probably did the mods, got into some trouble with the law. His brother bailed him out of jail on a personal loan. The little brother didn't have the money to repay him so he gave up the car. The new owner of the car is 6'3" and about 400lbs. He cant really drive the car but has a friend who needs a car so he loans it to him for a few months. The cars starts to misfire and throws what he called a misfire code and a too lean code. I'm not sure how it got to it's non-running state but they bought a new crank sensor for it and it didn't fix it so they sold it, to me.

I put a cam position sensor in it with no change.

The issue I'm having is no spark. I can smell gas after a few seconds of cranking but get no zap. I have tested all of the fuses inside and outside of the engine bay. They are all good as are the relays. I can get them all to click at least. I have set the air gap with a razor blade. I have checked the fuel pump, it's good. I have read tons about the coils in 99-00 being very suspect. I haven't read much about them both going out at the same time however. I also read that other coils are not compatible with the 99-00 setup. I bought a spare 97 motor back in the summer and it came with a coil pack that I don't know anything about, good or trash. I figured it would at least give me spark if it was the coil pack that had failed on the 99. Hooked it up and tested on top of the cam cover, nothing. One thing I did notice is that the driver side coil harness plug has been damaged. Then I saw a dent in the firewall right behind the coil pack which leads be to believe the motor has been out, swapped or jacked up far enough to make contact there. The plug is damaged enough that I can see the 12v socket inside the plastic plug. Its all around crushed and corroded. Looking at the condition of the dent and the crud buildup on the plug I'd guess its been this way for awhile. Just stabbing in the dark but couldn't that arc to the coil pack bracket? Could that feed back to the ECU? I have looked up under the dash. It doesn't look out of order. I checked to see if the ECU was fully plugged in, checked the ignition plug, all connections look good without corrosion. Brand new AGM battery.

I was using the test light to check at all of the sensors last night. The cam sensor, crank sensor, IAC, EGR, fuel pump, coil packs, all get 12v to them. IAC valve hums like a *****. I did hit the test light to the center pin on the crack sensor and the fuel pump turns on and what seems to be the EGR valve clicks several times in a second or two and stops. I don't know what that means.

The head lights and tail lights all work. The dash lights do work as well. The CEL comes on and stays steady on. I need to remember to grab my code reader from the office and check and erase and check again.

I ordered a new 99 coil to use for testing. It hasn't come in yet. Any other bases I need to cover before looking for a ECU to try?

A pic of the connector.

Motor shot.

Copied from my local forum.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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Here is the coil connector (CONN-75758):
Home Shop Connectors / Harnesses Sumitomo 3 Way Plug kit for Japanese coils & sensors

If you have a scope, you can start checking cam, crank signal at the ECU and testing the igition outputs directly.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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great deal.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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Borrow an MS2 ECU from one of the other Texas guys and inspect all inputs/outputs.

I have no idea how the hell the stock ECU guys figure out their problems. Most of the time the CEL codes are completely unrelated.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #5
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Good looking out on that connector.

I found the problem....DOA new crank sensor.

Rev; I'm sure ill have you build me another MSX for this Miata next year. It's just easier.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Well Rev's way makes the most sense but if you don't have that option I guess I have a few questions.

How do you know you have no spark? Have you pulled each plug and visibly checked to see if they were firing? Is it no spark on 1,2,3, or 4...all of them? You said you're getting power... Sounds silly but plug wires? I had a similar problem with my work van dodge b2500 and it ended up being my ecu. Some rats chewed up my injector wires and I did repair those and my car did crank and start a few times after that but eventually just died. Bought a new computer off ebay and fired right up. No problems for 4 years. I guess the cranking with chewed injector wires shorted some stuff out.

It's likely not the plug wires but remember when troubleshooting don't skip any steps. Just start at the end and start going backwards. Also check the grounds.

If i were in your area i'm not sure i'd be thrilled to hook up my ecu to your car if there was something wrong with it. so keep that in mind if you borrow someone's ****. be prepared to replace it if you ruin it.

Last edited by krissetsfire; 12-28-2012 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:21 AM   #7
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Connector came out to $13.97 with a $3.00 low order fee. Gee whiz
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