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Old 03-25-2011, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default Car won't start, need help...please

While cranking, it sounds like the timing or ignition settings are way off. Now, details....

I just finished rebuilding my engine. I have a 97 with the original 1.8. I finally got the car back together yesterday and on first crank it started up great. I set the timing with the CAS and timing light and let it idle for probably 5-10 minutes 3 or 4 times. I drove the car yesterday evening and this morning, put about 30 miles on it and things were going very smoothly it seems. Probably about a dozen or more stops and starts, btw. All good and consistent. Today, I remembered Corky Bell's comments on the BEGI site about breaking in a freshly built or rebuilt engine so I went to the site and re-read his directions, then decided to go put them to use.

I'm driving down the interstate, doing the 3rd gear redline runs which he instructs to do. On the 3rd pull i notice a fast paced clacking noise. This is when I am at roughly 6500 rpm. I immediately back off the gas, cruise to the next exit ramp, as soon as I get on the exit ramp I shift to neutral, the car shuts off by itself, I coast off the exit ramp into a nearby parking lot, the whole time I'm just thinking, WTF.

I check for leaks, unplugged wires, loose hoses or bolts or anything out of the ordinary and can't seem to find anything. I try to start the car up, it just cranks roughly and then gives a "buck" and stops. As if the cams are not positioned properly or the ignition wires are not plugged in the correct orientation. I loosened the CAS and tried various positions to see if it would react differently but still nothing. I go home, get my lappy, go back and plug up to make sure the spark settings aren't out of whack and everything seems to be fine. Just the way I left them before I had to pull the engine out.

So, now I don't know what the f to do. The weird noise makes me think it has something to do with the oil pump for some reason. And it's hard to tell because of the stupid 'on/off' gauge that mine has. I didn't think to undo the oil send line at the turbo to make sure it was pumping while cranking. Maybe I'll try that tomorrow. I'll list my mods and procedure of work so that you guys can get an idea of where I'm coming from.

Per the rebuild:

New main and rod bearings, .25 undersized, had to have crank ground to match. Machine shop said that a machine does the work so no balancing was needed and it was ready to install.

Original rods and pistons, new piston rings. Rods and pistons checked out by machinist.

New Boundary oil pump gears, original housing with 125k on it.

Head is untouched because I rebuilt it a couple years ago. All I did was unbolt it and replace it.


Other stuff:

MSPNP w/o MAF
Absurdflow parallel TT kit, open dp
FM dual feed rail
stock injectors
stock ignition
coolant re-route

Can upload my .msq file but I've been running the base map. The thing to note is that I drove the car 30 miles and let it idle a decent bit without ever having any issues. I won't be able to diagnose the "funny noise" issue until I can get the car to start up again.

Thanks guys
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:49 AM   #2
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If it were me I think i'd run a compression check and maybe eyeball the timing belt just to make sure marks are still on.

Good luck.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:53 AM   #3
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Yea I thought about doing a compression check. The last thing I did tonight before I gave up was re-checking the timing belt/cams/crank sprocket. It all looked good.
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:11 AM   #4
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First: By the time you had let the car idle for half an hour, including 3 warm-ups, the cylinders were already broken in.

Second: Did you check the temp gauge when it went poo poo?
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Old 03-25-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
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is your timing belt still in place?
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
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First: By the time you had let the car idle for half an hour, including 3 warm-ups, the cylinders were already broken in.

Second: Did you check the temp gauge when it went poo poo?
yes I did keep a close eye on the temp gauge, since those have been the category of problems I've had in the past. I've checked the oil also and it seems to be clean.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:27 PM   #7
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is your timing belt still in place?
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:29 PM   #8
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is your timing belt still in place?
yes my timing belt is still in place. I took the valve cover off to see if I could find anything out of the ordinary... Cam gears are still in place with the 'I' and 'E' lining up correctly, and the notch on the crank sprocket is lined up as well.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:31 PM   #9
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@ Brain, timing belt tension is still normal and tight also. I really cannot find anything that seems out of place.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttmiata View Post
yes my timing belt is still in place. I took the valve cover off to see if I could find anything out of the ordinary... Cam gears are still in place with the 'I' and 'E' lining up correctly, and the notch on the crank sprocket is lined up as well.
It could be out of time on the crank.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #11
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It could be out of time on the crank.
Ok, someone tell me if I'm missing something. I've R&R'ed the timing belt on this thing many times before so I think I have it right.

If the notch on the crank sprocket is lined up, that means the crank is at TDC. If the notches on each of the cams are directly vertical, then they are also at TDC and you can put the cam gears on them at the proper alignment, then set the tension of the belt and you're good to go, right? With every notch, indicator mark, or whatever facing vertical, the entire motor is aligned at TDC.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:46 PM   #12
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The notch on the nose of the crankshaft itself will only accept the crank sprocket and pulley one way. I don't know how you could get the crankshaft off its mark.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:07 PM   #13
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Check spark. Pull off the plugs and holding the end near a ground, you should see sparks ark. Check fuel. Take the fuel lien off of the FPR and put it in a plastic water bottle and have a friend out the ignition into the on position. The fuel pump should prime and fill the plastic bottle. Then if that works maybe do the same steps to each injector to actually make sure they are cycling. Check coolant for a "milky" color and check oil for water.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttmiata View Post
Ok, someone tell me if I'm missing something. I've R&R'ed the timing belt on this thing many times before so I think I have it right.

If the notch on the crank sprocket is lined up, that means the crank is at TDC. If the notches on each of the cams are directly vertical, then they are also at TDC and you can put the cam gears on them at the proper alignment, then set the tension of the belt and you're good to go, right? With every notch, indicator mark, or whatever facing vertical, the entire motor is aligned at TDC.
You may have put the belt on with everything in time, but your description sounds like your motor is out of time. So my assumption is that the timing belt slipped at some point while driving. If the cams are still lined up, then I'd check the crank.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:23 PM   #15
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Pull the valve cover

Have someone crank the car

Make sure when the *front* of the cams spin, the *back* of them spin too...

Specifically, the intake cam

Look at the bolts on the front of the head that hold the timing plate on
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:27 PM   #16
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yeah, wouldnt be the first time the intake cam snapped.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
You may have put the belt on with everything in time, but your description sounds like your motor is out of time. So my assumption is that the timing belt slipped at some point while driving. If the cams are still lined up, then I'd check the crank.
when cams are lined up, i.e. Intake cam has the 'e' matching up with the 'e' on the alignment plate behind the cams, and the exhaust cam has the 'i' matching up with the 'i' on the alignment plate, and consequently the 'i' on the intake cam and the 'e' on the exhaust cam are facing vertical, then the notch on the crank sprocket is also aligned with the mark on the oil pump body.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
Pull the valve cover

Have someone crank the car

Make sure when the *front* of the cams spin, the *back* of them spin too...

Specifically, the intake cam

Look at the bolts on the front of the head that hold the timing plate on
oh ****, you might be on to something. Give me a little while to get to the car and try this. I've been trying to diagnose this issue by myself so I have to get someone else to help.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:39 PM   #19
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alternatively, you can put a socket onto the crank bolt and turn...or put a wrench onto the rear of the cams

The car will start and run on 3 cylinders
I imagine it will not start, but will run on 2.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:56 PM   #20
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fooger, thanks for the suggestions.
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