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Trouble /w First Start-Up :: Fresh Rebuild (NA8)

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Trouble /w First Start-Up :: Fresh Rebuild (NA8)

 
Old 05-22-2018, 03:58 PM
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Default Trouble /w First Start-Up :: Fresh Rebuild (NA8)

Misc build details:
1994 Mazda Miata 1.8l (Pre-OBD2)
0.02" overbore DNJ (aftermarket oem replacement) pistons, rings, head gasket. New DNJ oil pump, and water pump.
oil pressure sensor was unhooked previously and I haven't got around to fixing that yet.
I added a DIY coolant reroute and currently the coolant temperature sensor is unplugged. I don't think it would cause the car not to start tho.

Car just won't fire up. It cranks but doesn't any reach form of combustion. There's a lot of work for me still to do. I just want to get it to start before moving anymore forward. If anybody can help me figure out what this problem is once and for all so I can drive my Miata MX5 again. PLEASE HELP! =)

I didn't know that I could actually read codes from a obd1 until last night. Once I get a new main fuse today, I am going to try and copy down all the codes I can get. I'm not sure if it will really help all that much though.

Disassembled&Assembled everything using [email protected]'s youtube tutorials as video reference and lots of various forums online to help answer my questions through out the process. Got everything back together and inside of the car. Go to first start it up and nothing but a clicking noise. I decided to jump the starter directly with the battery and that got it to finally crank! So I figured out that I was missing a ground (the one near the oil dipstick that grounds to chassis driver side). Once I fixed that problem, it finally was able to crank... but still no start up.

Details of every trouble shooting attempt are about as far as I've been able to go with my knowledge thus far. I describe everything I've done thus far below. Any help is highly appreciated!

Spark/ignition
I never used these spark plugs before, but I had them brand new laying around so currently these are what I'm working with:
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...6953/5531691-P

I took the #1 spark plug out and used a wire to ground the threads and hold it up in my view while I cranked the car, and it lite up nice and bright (night time, several days ago...)!

Fuel
Just yesterday I was worried I hooked the fuel lines up incorrectly so I unplugged my return hose (coming from the fuel pressure regulator) and put it into a empty bottle, cranked it some more and it filled up the bottle 1/8th full within 10 seconds. (roughly). dumped it and tried again, same result. I also notice the spark plugs are wet with fuel after cranking. (fuel injectors should be working?)
So fuel pump should be good, and fuel hoses should be hooked up right...

Timing
As for timing... I have opened it all back up 3 times so far in order to check the timing. I have it at this point so that cylinder #1 gets as close to top dead center as I can get it, while having both intake and exhaust cam gears (I&E) set 12 o-clock with the E on the intake cam gear facing the arrow-line on the back cover plate and the I on the exhaust cam gear facing the arrow-line on the back cover plate as well. There is precisely 19 teeth on the timing belt between the 12-o-clock positions of both cam gears.

I am going to open the engine back up today;after the rain calms down to check for a 4th time to make sure the cam gears are on properly. I am 99.9% that they are... I know that the first cam lobe on both of the cams needs to be facing completely in opposite directions of one another at top dead center. I am going to extra-verify this in about 1 hour from now.

But my focus has been really concerned with the sound of the cranking. It sounds like it is not cranking nearly as strong as it used to. It's fairly easy to rotate the engine by a medium to small length wrench. Definitely not any harder than it used to be that I can remember. Is it possible that the starter motor not being at full blast can prevent the engine from firing up?

The starter isn't cranking as strong/loud as it used to. So there could be a problem there, maybe involving a ground that I missed? The ground that's normally behind the intake manifold, nearby the EGR on the back of the intake manifold, I forgot where it went so I have it temporarily grounded to the lift hooks on the back of the cylinder head. Not sure if that would really cause this problem. but you never know.

It's also important to add that I did few compression tests last night and the numbers were anything but reliable.
I would get like no compression a number of times in any cylinder and then get numbers like 10-60 to nothing to 90 to 120 and then back to 0 on all the cylinders. Nothing consistant. Even added some oil in each cylinder and it was just as unreliable results.

In a final effort to deliver more power to the starter, I tried a battery out of a 2002 honda civic lx and first crank blew the main fuse. Lol so that's where I'm at, I have to run and get a new 80 A main fuse as well. Was that a bad idea or what? xD

I am going to add pictures of how the timing belt, cam gears and lobes are all oriented to cylinder #1 TDC if this rain can chill out long enough.

Any of your thoughts or knowledge is appreciated.. Highly appreciated!!!

Last edited by NASSEX; 05-22-2018 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 05-22-2018, 04:59 PM
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first cam lobes were in fact different from how they are supposed to be. Exhaust is facing directly to the right (3 o-clock) but intake was facing like 2 o-clock instead of 9 o-clock like it should be at top dead center. So I must of put my intake cam gear on wrong. Go figure. TheCarPassionChannel was rebuilding a vvt engine which doesn't have the same intake cam gear as my earlier 1.8 does. I was so sleepless at the time anyway there was no chance I was ganna get that right on my own. However still my own fault for not being more careful and precise.

I'm ganna try and run to see if I can find a 80amp main fuse at advanced auto parts in a moment. Hopefully this all fixes the problem!!!!

I have a question about TDC though because I noticed the first cylinder reaches top dead center two times every 1 time the crankshaft fully rotates. Is that normal? It would suck if I got the wrong timing belt. Lol And also my harmonic damper is SOOO old and rusty that there really isn't any visible indication on it anymore that would tell me what part of it is supposed to be facing 12 o-clock while cylinder #1 is also TDC. I am asking because there's a risk after I do this all again (5th time) lol, that I still end up 180degrees off based on what the crank pully considers as TDC along with cylinder #1.
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Old 05-22-2018, 09:22 PM
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Sounds like at first you at least had your cam pullies indexed wrong. Make sure you did not connect fuel lines backwards as well, that will cause a no start.

the keyway should point straight up at TDC, if your damper is too rusty to see marks I canít help you there.

the fact your getting spark at least confirms your CAS is working.
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:12 PM
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Thanks man, it all worked out. Got her fired up finally. It did turn out to be my cam gears being oriented wrong that was the problem the whole time. I learned some things along the way but probably not enough to make up for how long it took. who knows haha. I created this thread because this whole problem took a little over a week of non-stop attempts to resolve. Of course I figured it out right as I finally ask for help haha. Appreciates it tho! If anyone else is having a similar problem. I'll likely be able to give some guidance at this point. But YAY SHE RUNS. Now I just have to figure out a precise way to mark the harmonic pully so that I can set ignition timing correct, then adjust idle, then everything else she needs work on. =] thx again
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:18 PM
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She's running good now yaw. Got ignition timing set to where there's little to no noticeable pinging on high load (That I could easily feel/hear). And not set low enough to cause excessive backfires from delayed ignition. She's running okay now! Only problem I'm having now is the oil catch can I installed apparently had hoses that weren't flowing good enough and it caused a lot of back pressure in the crankcase for 2 weeks. Now all of the lower seals and gaskets are leaking, front main seal, oil pan gasket, even oil filter seal it self was leaking. I finally found out that it was the catch can hoses not big enough and so I just am temporarily running a breather filter on the valve cover. The oil leaking is kind of slowly getting better. It was leaking literally 1 whole QT every 100 miles. =\
I'm pretty sure it's at about 0.8qt per 100 miles now that I fixed the problem, but it doesn't fix the fact that the seals are all screwed from pressure at this point. Does anybody happen to know a method or trick to help aid this kind of scenario ? Much appreciated.

It's a fresh rebuild. And I'd hate to have to take it all back down in parts again just to replace all of the seals. I would rather hopefully find a cure to be able to just drive it this season with maybe minor leaks that I can keep up with during some good sessions. Without loosing my mind checking dipstick every single stop I make. If there's a product out there that works or a certain oil weight that can help or anything, I'd greatly appreciate the intellect.
I have plans to rebuild the engine again anyway with some different part upgrades this coming winter, but as for right now, I just want to drive this summer!
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