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Old 03-13-2012, 11:34 PM   #1
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Default Bizarre non-start issue

Hey guys, I'm new here but not new to cars. I've already bounce this one off of my Miata buddies too and they are stumped, so any good input is much appreciated.

Cliff Notes at the bottom.

So I purchased a 93 Special Edition from a friend that she sold to me cheap for various reasons. It had been parked for 18 months and the cause of this is that it wouldn't start.

So, I've cleaned it up, changed the gas and it does run...however it requires a push start. If I go to start the car, the starter cranks with no issue but checking fuel and ignition, they get nothing while cranking. Voltage at the fuel pump and also the spark plug both get a small jump in voltage (or spark) once you stop cranking (guessing when the starter circuit closes).

So with the key in the 'on' position, the engine fires right up, runs as expected for 200k+ miles and has no problem doing a donut and smoking the dry-rotted tires

So knowing that ignition and fuel system both work while ignition in the 'on' position but not the 'start' position, I thought ignition switch. So I did a quick test while it was running. Without pushing in the clutch, clicked the ignition to start and it made the engine stutter, did it again and it died.

I thought this was surely to be the ignition switch. Ripped it out, cleaned it up and checked all the ignition points from the schematic. ALL are fine...except for the ACC position of 'B1' to 'ACC'.

So now I'm

We also have checked the Circuit Opening Relay (aka fuel pump relay) and the Main Relay.


***Cliff's Notes: Car will push start and run without issue. The car will crank but won't start. Ignition and Fuel systems seem to get no voltage while the starter is cranking.

Oh and moderators, if you think this is better suited in the ECU section, please feel free to move it.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:56 PM   #2
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I'm leaning towards bad ground...which I have heard these NA cars have problems with. Any good leads on where to start with this?

But thinking about it again, it could only be a ground issue related to the ignition switch being in 'start' because we know the car runs in the 'on' ignition position.

I'm tired and it's late...and tired up looking at schematics :lol:
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:18 AM   #3
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Well I'm now wondering if it could be getting ground through the starter/solenoid itself. It's the only thing that I can think of that would be causing the other systems not to work while in the 'start' position on the ignition switch.


P.S. once this gets solved, I can put spare, hand-me-down parts on the car...turbo, intercooler, Hydra, 440 injectos, etc

Oh and I'm fairly certain the stock rising rate fuel pressure regulator (from one of my Subies) is a direct bolt on. I'll share that when I know for certain.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:35 PM   #4
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no one?


Well thinking about it today at work. I re-thought some things and it can't be the solenoid because it won't click without the clutch switch being engaged. With the little test while running and turnging to 'on' and engine dying, I can eliminate the solenoid/starter. That pretty much leaves me the clutch switch but at this point my head is spinning.

Screw it, the car is getting a momentary button installed for firing the starter solenoid. The ricer kids will be jealous of my S2000 push start LOL
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