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Old 07-13-2007, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Turbo Engine Died this AM; PLEASE HELP!

Hey Guys,

A few months ago I turbo'd my 92 miata with a car mechanic friend of mine. (Please bear in mind that the first time I picked up a wrench of any sort was about two years ago, so I am not a mechanical genius like most of you.) Before I turbo'd, I had a shop do an engine swap, change all the hoses, clutch, tranny, flywheel --basically refreshed the motor. I ran the can for a few months after that to make sure everything was fine with the engine and swap before I put the turbo and IC in. Car has been running fairly well since the install.

This morning, car started normally, but when I had almost reached my destination, the check engine light came on and I lost all power/ engine shut off; I popped it in neutral and coasted to a parking lot. I tried to start the car but it would not turn over. I let the engine cool down a bit and had someone try to start the car while I looked at the engine bay. Looks like the power is working as the alternator belt moves when the key is turned and the radio comes on/cool down fan turns on, but the engine wont start up. I checked the IC hose connections and everything looks tight.

Anyone have any suggestions what might be the problem and why the car wont start? Would this have something to do with a dead starter? Since the car was in motion when it died, I would assume that the starter had nothing to do with the problem. Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated as I am at a loss right now.

Thanks,

Ben
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:03 PM   #2
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Since you have a CEL, reading the code would be the first step. Open the diagnostic connector (under the hood, near the left shock tower) and place a jumper wire between the terminals "TEN" and ground. Then get in the car and turn the key to the RUN position. The light will flash a code at you. For instance, flash pause flash flash (long pause, then repeat) means 12. Here's a basic primer on what the codes mean: http://www.miata.net/garage/faultcodes.html

It's possible that you have a broken timing belt. Open the oil cap on top of the engine and you can see the exhaust cam. Have a friend crank over the engine while you watch the cam turn (or not turn, as the case may be).
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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The timing belt was just replaced, and it looked like it was moving appropriately when the car was cranked... could it still be broken?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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what do you mean by it wouldn't turn over? you hit the key and *nothing* ? or you hit the key and it spins and spins? if it spins, does it spin at a normal speed and sound normal?

The CEL will be telling. Read the code.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
I tried to start the car but it would not turn over
Is the car cranking?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
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what do you mean by it wouldn't turn over? you hit the key and *nothing* ? or you hit the key and it spins and spins? if it spins, does it spin at a normal speed and sound normal?

The CEL will be telling. Read the code.
The belt spins, but the engine doesn't start.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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it seems to be spinning normally too
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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Start with the basics, are you getting fuel. Are you getting spark? Check the wiring at the AFM (assuming you have one).

Might help if you describe your setup for us.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumble_b View Post
The belt spins, but the engine doesn't start.
What belt spins? The fan belt? Did you look in the cam cover (remove the oil cap and peer in) to see if the timing belt spins?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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sorry which belt in the fan belt? is it the one by the alternator? I have not had a chance to remove the oil cap as I am at work. What a crappy day.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:32 PM   #11
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There is no fan belt There is an alternator belt and a possibly a belt for AC/PS ... depending on how your car is equipped.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:33 PM   #12
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There is no fan belt There is an alternator belt and a possibly a belt for AC/PS ... depending on how your car is equipped.
I have a stripper model, no ac no power anything
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:33 PM   #13
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I'd think it was the timing belt since it was just changed. Maybe it was installed incorrectly?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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Stripper model? It comes with a pole?

Confirm that the timing belt is intact. Make sure your AFM is still plugged in. Do the easy **** first and get it out of the way.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayc72 View Post
Stripper model? It comes with a pole?

Confirm that the timing belt is intact. Make sure your AFM is still plugged in. Do the easy **** first and get it out of the way.
Sorry AFM? (noob) Is this connected to the air box? Thanks for your patience.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:52 PM   #16
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Air fuel meter (AFM) Its exactly as you described.. metal piece on the intake side.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:52 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumble_b View Post
Sorry AFM? (noob) Is this connected to the air box? Thanks for your patience.
Click the link in my signature. At the very top of that page is a picture of an AFM. (It's an RX-7 part, but the Miata one is nearly identical).

Location varies in turbocharged cars, but it's going to be between the turbo and the filter. It has a big rectangular electrical connector on the side.

However, I'd think that even in the absence of an AFM signal the engine would fire while cranking... I'm leaning towards timing belt, CAS, maybe ignitor, somewhere in this neighborhood. (it could even be something amazingly simple like a blown fuse)

Grumble, do you know what modifications have been made to your car to control the fuel and ignition timing?
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:53 PM   #18
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afm IS the airbox. It has a connector plugged into it.

You get spark without the afm plugged in, but you get no fuel.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:58 PM   #19
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Crank for a while and then pull the spark plugs. This should give you an indication of whether there is fuel or not, is the plug wet?

You can try jumping the FP/GND on the diagnostic connector to run the fuel pump.
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:59 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Click the link in my signature. At the very top of that page is a picture of an AFM. (It's an RX-7 part, but the Miata one is nearly identical).

Location varies in turbocharged cars, but it's going to be between the turbo and the filter. It has a big rectangular electrical connector on the side.

However, I'd think that even in the absence of an AFM signal the engine would fire while cranking... I'm leaning towards timing belt, CAS, maybe ignitor, somewhere in this neighborhood. (it could even be something amazingly simple like a blown fuse)

Grumble, do you know what modifications have been made to your car to control the fuel and ignition timing?
I also have an RX7 air box. I have fuel injectors from a 1.8 which I have sent to witch hunter for refurbishment. I have a vortek air fuel pressure regulator. Basically a Greddy kit...
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