Trouble with 4efte (it's in a tercel, but don't let that scare you) - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 09-19-2010, 07:45 PM
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Trouble with 4efte (it's in a tercel, but don't let that scare you)

First off, I don't know how much this forum relates to swaps and what not, but this is more balanced around engine problems. So anyone familiar with 4efte starlet gt engines should be able to help. I'm open to ANY suggestions.



Okay so listen to this.
I have a tercel. I've swapped in a walbro fuel pump too, so fuel pump is not my issue and I've replaced filter too. I think it's more timing related

The firing order for a 4efte is supposed to be 1342 right?
WELL, my 4e is only running on 1324... And VERY POORLY. It sounded weird, and have acceleration that was far worse than a stock geo metro...

I swapped my plugs to 1342 and I tried starting the engine and it just pops real loud. Like... unburned fuel exploding outside engine or when engine has valves open. It won't run.

Here's what I think! Might possibly, my engine be 360 degrees off? The cranks that is... Instead of on compression cycle it's on exhaust cycle?


My timing belt is on target. If the notch on the crank is at 0 degrees, and the 4e on the cam lines up with the dot on the valve cover or head, and the distributor points to #1 on the dist cap... Then everything is lined up on the timing belt.





What should I try next? Should I turn my crank 360 degrees and adjust my timing belt?

Is it a distributor timing issue? It points to cap #1 when I think everything is top dead center...

I mean the engine doesn't run at all, just pops real loud. I tried using the throttle some too - to help start it... No good.


ANY advice will help. Say anything that comes to mind.
Future thanks, even though I'll thank you again anyway...

K ready-set-go :P
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#2 Old 09-19-2010, 08:46 PM
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The timing ring on balancer can slip so pull plug #1 to confirm tdc. The distributor can't be mounted flush unless pointed the right way. The cam notch is off center to assure this. Check compression and do a leakdown test. You may get lucky and have bad wires.

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#3 Old 09-19-2010, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tercel GTS View Post
The timing ring on balancer can slip so pull plug #1 to confirm tdc. The distributor can't be mounted flush unless pointed the right way. The cam notch is off center to assure this. Check compression and do a leakdown test. You may get lucky and have bad wires.
What good is the timing ring if it can slip? You'd think they'd mount it in such a way that it'd be a reliable source for timing your engine...
Edit: This slips?


Also so this isn't TDC? With my cam pointing at this notch?

In that picture, if my engine is TDC, then my cam shouldn't be lined up at that?

And about the wires... the dist to plugs wires? They're. As well as cap and plugs.

Last edited by chriswf; 09-19-2010 at 09:10 PM.
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#4 Old 09-19-2010, 10:20 PM
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Top picture, the outter section is mounted to the center hub via a rubber insulator. After so many years plus solvents and chemicals spilled plus the heat cycles tend to make the rubber condense and shrink. This no longer provides the same tension and allows slippage.
The intake cam appears to be lined up properly, is the exhaust cam lined up properly with the intake cam?

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#5 Old 09-19-2010, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Tercel GTS View Post
Top picture, the outter section is mounted to the center hub via a rubber insulator. After so many years plus solvents and chemicals spilled plus the heat cycles tend to make the rubber condense and shrink. This no longer provides the same tension and allows slippage.
The intake cam appears to be lined up properly, is the exhaust cam lined up properly with the intake cam?

Totally unsure how to do this, but bare with me. If you describe it I can do it.
Uhm... I actually only have 1 cam on the outside (that I know of)... I was told it goes into the valve cover and spins 2 cams... I don't know.


Wait... Tercelgts from the tercel forums? And I think we spoke on youtube once too if so.
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#6 Old 09-20-2010, 07:28 AM
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Yep I'm all over the web.
Has the engine been running then suddenly stopped or what happened exactly?

can you zoom out a bit on the cam lineup pic? Hard to tell angle of cap. Normally there's a . and a | on the cap. The hole in gear aligns with | but I'll have to look manual for bottom lineup without cover.

Actually it was on Steve's noise forum.

Another question, who did your harness and isn't your car 91-94?

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Last edited by Tercel GTS; 09-20-2010 at 07:30 AM.
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#7 Old 09-20-2010, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tercel GTS View Post
Yep I'm all over the web.
Has the engine been running then suddenly stopped or what happened exactly?

can you zoom out a bit on the cam lineup pic? Hard to tell angle of cap. Normally there's a . and a | on the cap. The hole in gear aligns with | but I'll have to look manual for bottom lineup without cover.

Actually it was on Steve's noise forum.

Another question, who did your harness and isn't your car 91-94?
Its a 93. Harness was made by mudpit perfomance guy. He does a lot of dsm work.

It never ran perfectly. I let the mudpit guy do my fmic and wiring.
When I bought the engine the Dist cap was broken, so I bought one off speedvision, then I bought plugs and wires.
Sent it to get wiring done.

After wiring was done I ran the vacuum lines and capped some off like a/c control sensor and cold start.

The car still ran bad THEN it stopped. Turns out the ignitor needs to be mounted to unpainted metal cuz the bracket for the ignitor/coil is the ground.


After that it always ran poorly. Up until recently I didn't know I had the wrong firing order. I was running 1324. It still works on 1324 today. It won't work on 1342 like its suppposed to.

You or gtrevva do wiring harnesses for 300$. But my harness came cut. Basically had no wiring at all. So I figured I'd let someone local do it so I could get them fast replacement parts if needed.

Uhm... Ill try to get you the picture as soon as possible today. I don't think I can upload a pic from my phone to photobucket.

Any other questions? I check the forums several time a day. I'm pretty desperate.


Edit: Okay here's the pictures... Completely unsure of what you wanted me to take pictures of. So I took all kinds of pictures of the timing... eh heh.....













EDIT: OH YES! I forgot I pulled my spark plug, and when my cam is in THIS exact position... Cylinder 1 is on top. What valve is open at that time I have no clue lol.

I stuck a long straw down in the hole, and rotated the crankshaft with my hand and watched the straw. It's highest point is definitely when the 4e lines up with that dot shown in the pictures.

Last edited by chriswf; 09-20-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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#8 Old 09-25-2010, 07:17 AM
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Okay I got some more pictures.
On the inside of the valve cover, the cams line up two small dots with 1 big dot.
Small dots are on intake, the big dot is on exhaust.

So it looks like this ..o sort of :P

Here's the pictures.





Also is this distributor lined up badly here?



Hope this helps.
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#9 Old 09-25-2010, 08:49 PM
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Written for 5efe but same specs, http://homepage.ntlworld.com/richard...k/15L_4_CY.pdf

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#10 Old 10-01-2010, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Tercel GTS View Post
Read the whole thing. The cam stuff sort of scares me. I know it's step by step... But if it comes down to me taking off the head I'd rather just buy a new engine for the head, then try to get the valves worked.

Going to take it to someone, if it's too expensive... I might just sell it.
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#11 Old 10-01-2010, 04:03 PM
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You can do it.

There is no reason you should have to take the head off( unless you have bad sealing valves) unless your compression is bad.
Have you ever checked it?

That cant be your main problem now.

Either your cam to cam setting is wrong, cam to crank is wrong or your ignition timming is wrong, or a combination.I cant tell from the pictures ,they are to fuzzy.

Do it step by step, look at the manual tercel GTS provided.

The timming marks on the cams have to be linned up( once you do that, you can check and adjust valve clearances) , the cam to crank( once you do that, you can do a compression test even if the engine is not running to see if any more work is worth it) ,dist to cam and the timming . Its not hard if you do it one thing at a time.

When you set #1 cylinder on TDC on the compression stroke , thats the position that cylinder fires on and all the valves will be closed. You can check this by looking at the cam and seeing that the lobes of both cams are off the lifters for that cylinder.

It helps to know how the systems work together to trouble shoot problems.All engines are basicly the same. If you dont know , the web has tons of sites that give info on how engines work.( I am not trying to be patronizing , but you said you did not know which valves were closed when the piston was at TDC on the compression stroke).

Make sure your plug wires are right off the dist. and right to the plugs. Do you know which cylinder is #1? (the one closest to the timing belt), and do you know which way the rotor is turning so you can put wires in the correct order ?

If you dont have one ,then you should get a manual.

Last edited by sam333; 10-01-2010 at 09:24 PM.
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#12 Old 10-02-2010, 03:53 PM
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You can do it.

There is no reason you should have to take the head off( unless you have bad sealing valves) unless your compression is bad.
Have you ever checked it?

That cant be your main problem now.

Either your cam to cam setting is wrong, cam to crank is wrong or your ignition timming is wrong, or a combination.I cant tell from the pictures ,they are to fuzzy.

Do it step by step, look at the manual tercel GTS provided.

The timming marks on the cams have to be linned up( once you do that, you can check and adjust valve clearances) , the cam to crank( once you do that, you can do a compression test even if the engine is not running to see if any more work is worth it) ,dist to cam and the timming . Its not hard if you do it one thing at a time.

When you set #1 cylinder on TDC on the compression stroke , thats the position that cylinder fires on and all the valves will be closed. You can check this by looking at the cam and seeing that the lobes of both cams are off the lifters for that cylinder.

It helps to know how the systems work together to trouble shoot problems.All engines are basicly the same. If you dont know , the web has tons of sites that give info on how engines work.( I am not trying to be patronizing , but you said you did not know which valves were closed when the piston was at TDC on the compression stroke).

Make sure your plug wires are right off the dist. and right to the plugs. Do you know which cylinder is #1? (the one closest to the timing belt), and do you know which way the rotor is turning so you can put wires in the correct order ?

If you dont have one ,then you should get a manual.
No man I understand. And I know what cylinder 1 is, my firing order is correct.
At TDC, my dist points exactly to 1, turns counter clockwise to 3, 4, then 2... All of the wiring is set to the plugs correctly.

I know an engine sucks in air/fuel, squeezes it, ignites the mixture, then blows it out.
Is the engine's crankshaft the same whether it's on compression or exhaust stroke? I know the cams aren't, but could the lower block be off?

ALSO, the guide says line the engine cams up with the 5e hole... My engine is the 4e... I line the 4e hole instead right?
You said same specs as the 4e engine... I was just making sure.
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#13 Old 10-02-2010, 09:26 PM
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No offense was meant.

Yes the crank is the same.

GTS said the specs were the same,( if you have a 4e instead of 5e then use that),
but the basic set up is the same for all engines. The crank turns twice for every one turn of the cams. 720 to 360

First make sure the marks on the cams can lineup.

Put the timing notch on the pulley at 0 and look at your cam marks, if the are not lined up then turn the crank 360 in the direction of rotation, till the notch is lined up with 0 again.

Check your cam marks again. If they are still not lined up your cam to crank timing is wrong( timing belt).

If the cam marks and the 0 on the pulley do line up then check that the piston is really at TDC. Straw , pencil down the spark hole.

If the piston is not,then remove the lower pulley/ pulleys( not a bad idea anyway) untill you get to the crank timing gear ( that also has a notch and a 0 to line up with ) that will tell you for sure that the piston is at TDC remember what GTS said about the slipping ring. If the ring is slipping , get a new one.

If you do this, you will know for sure that your crank and cam are lined up right, and you can move on from there.

Buy a manual ,I have been working on cars since I was a kid and have always used one.

Last edited by sam333; 10-02-2010 at 09:34 PM.
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#14 Old 10-02-2010, 10:07 PM
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No offense was meant.

Yes the crank is the same.

GTS said the specs were the same,( if you have a 4e instead of 5e then use that),
but the basic set up is the same for all engines. The crank turns twice for every one turn of the cams. 720 to 360

First make sure the marks on the cams can lineup.

Put the timing notch on the pulley at 0 and look at your cam marks, if the are not lined up then turn the crank 360 in the direction of rotation, till the notch is lined up with 0 again.

Check your cam marks again. If they are still not lined up your cam to crank timing is wrong( timing belt).

If the cam marks and the 0 on the pulley do line up then check that the piston is really at TDC. Straw , pencil down the spark hole.

If the piston is not,then remove the lower pulley/ pulleys( not a bad idea anyway) untill you get to the crank timing gear ( that also has a notch and a 0 to line up with ) that will tell you for sure that the piston is at TDC remember what GTS said about the slipping ring. If the ring is slipping , get a new one.

If you do this, you will know for sure that your crank and cam are lined up right, and you can move on from there.

Buy a manual ,I have been working on cars since I was a kid and have always used one.

Hmm... I did all this before. I think I even mentioned here or somewhere else what I used to stick down there to watch the piston rise and fall. It's actually in the same post as the one where I mention the year is a 93. A straw, just like you said. It's the only thing I had long enough lol.

I'll take another look at it tomorrow just to triple check. The valve cover is still off.
The actual piston is at TDC (has been for days while I just stare at my cams clueless)
My 4e hole covers the dot where the 5e hole covers it in that guide... But my cam gear has a 4e hole and a 5e hole - if it matters.
My 2 cams meet (can't see in the pictures because yeah they're blurry) but the two dots meet perfectly together when all this is lined up.
My dist is all lined up and so are my wires.

If I have time, I'll put on my new timing belt tomorrow and look at the actual pulley gear.



1 last thing... In that guide he posted, it says do not turn your engine a certain way... And I have. I can't see how it would matter - but I just grabbed the crank pulley with my hand and spun it backwards just to line everything up 1 day... I thought it would be easier than spinning the pulley twice to get everything to line up. I didn't know it had to be directional...

Last edited by chriswf; 10-02-2010 at 10:09 PM.
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#15 Old 10-02-2010, 10:36 PM
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You always want tesion on the front of the timing belt so you always turn it( the crank pulley) clockwise.
The reason I am explianing it again in a different way is because you seem unsure if it is set up right.
The very next thing you should do, is check the valve clearance, and do a compression test.
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