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Discussion Starter #1
Car Specs: 1985 Toyota Pickup--22re EFI--2.4liter--Manual 4 speed--165k miles (bought it in 2017 with 93k)

Oil & Gas (if it matters):
Gas (usually 87 octane, just splashed out on 92 to give the truck a treat and clean out the gunk...ironically just before this trouble started)
Oil (usually 15-40, but tried 20-50, as I heard that might slow the amount of oil I burn/leak...back to 15-40 now to see if that was causing my sluggish starts). I also give a few squeezes of Lucas ever 1k miles or so.

Problem: About a week ago the car started having a hard time starting. Engine would keep trying to turn over, but really struggle for anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds before eventually starting. When engine is nice and hot it's slightly better, but still takes a few seconds to start. Note: up until a week ago car would start immediately upon key turning, no chugging what-so-ever.

Possibly (but I doubt it) related problem: The grey smoke that normally comes out for the first few minutes in the morning, now shows up throughout the drive even 30 minutes in, not like Spy Hunter style lol, but still enough that it's noticable when I am going slow, and I am sure there on the highway as well.

Note: Once the car starts, it runs perfectly fine, no skips/jitters/chugs/revs/misfires/etc. I never lose power, it runs smooth as silk...ONCE it has started. Hopefully that helps eliminate some of the problem areas that would still occasionally rear their head while driving.

What I HAVE tried/checked:
1. Air filter is clean
2. Coolant maintains it's full level for months
3. Oil - I burn/lose about a quart every 1,000 miles. Top up as needed. Some of that is probably burning out the tailpipe (although the smoke is white and sweeter, which makes me think antifreeze) and dripping off the engine where a previous mechanic cracked the timing cover (or some bolt near there).
4. Battery - Reads 12.8v when off, and 14.3v when on. Tested good at Autozone
5. Starter - Installed (by me) 2 months ago. Tested good at Autozone
6. Alternator - finally went on me earlier this year, put that in myself. Also tested good at Autozone
7. Fuel Pressure Regulator - A mechanic friend and I were very confident that was my problem after reading some similar symptoms from a fella here on ToyNation. So I bought one and installed it, no change in symptoms.
8. Fuel Filter - had no idea if this was bad, and symptoms didn't point to it, but since I had never replaced it (have owned the rig for 4 years and 70k miles), I swapped it while the FPR was off and I had more room to play.
9. Wiring to battery - I know wiring can be a culprit often times...I have a new heavy duty ground from negative battery to engine block about a year ago. also replaced the positive terminal and cleaned and re-did anything leading off the hot, all in good shape, at least anything that touches the battery (I haven't played with any other hots or grounds)
10. Cold Start Valve - I took this off, and put the Ohm tester on it, and it read 4.8 ohms, which I hear is right around what it should read. So I think that part is good.
11. Fuel lines - for what it's worth I followed them from the tank (as close as I could get) to the engine, and they seem in good shape with no kinks or damage, and the car runs perfectly fine once it starts, so makes me think fuel can flow fine once it's started.

Things I have NOT checked:
1. Fuel pump - mostly cause it's a PITA to drop the tank, and I am doing all these repairs from these auto-part parking lots (we live in our rig full time, so no homebase, lifts/jacks/huge tool sets, etc)
2. Throttle Sensor - mechanic friend said there is a very low chance this is causing my long start issue, since the car idles and runs perfectly fine once it's started.
3...probably a bunch of things I've never heard/thought of :)

So here I am, after a full days work (which I really enjoyed to be honest)...yet, I am $120 poorer (FPR + Filter), and the car still has trouble starting. Hoping there is someone out there who can point me in the right direction.

Huge love for all the help, and if I missed anything that would help the diagnoses just ask,
Mike

p.s. If anyone is interested here are a few photos of our rig that we've been living in for the last 4 years
 

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Sailor
87 SR5 4wd
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349 Posts
I have the 1988 Toyota pickup FSM. Excluding what you have already replaced the manual for hard starting issues indicates to check: Fuel filter (what about screen inside tank), ignition coil (runs ok once started - maybe weak?), Vacuum leaks - pcv valve, egr valve, intake manifold, air intake chamber, throttle body, and air between air flow meter and throttle body.

BTW - I dropped my tank when the fuel lines on top of fuel pump assembly started to leak. It was not fun and I replaced the steel line all the way to the fuel filter with high pressure EFI flexible hose and special fuel line hose clamps. So much easier than replacing the steel line which was still available from Toyota but is a bear to reinstall without bending. I kept the original fuel line with so many twists and bends. LOL.

I have 104k on my 1987 SR5 extended cab with 22RE, 5 speed. Love that old truck. My dad bought it new.

That is about all I can offer since you already checked out fuel pressure, igniter, etc. Please let us know when you solve the issue.

Regards.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Sailor.

Since I wrote this I went to AutoZone and borrowed their fuel pressure tester. I get 0 PSI with the key in the "Off" position. 0 PSI with the key in the "On" position (I read somewhere that this model/year doesn't turn the pump on until the engine cranks, true?). With the car running I was getting 28 PSI.

A guy came over and told me I could use his shop and tools to drop the tank and replace the fuel pump. I jumped at the chance, and took me about 7 hours, but i dropped it, put in the new fuel pump, also cleaned the wiring on my fuel sending unit so now i can see how much fuel i have....yet the slow start issue persists.

It seems to me that when I stop the car the fuel pressure drops immediately and the fuel starts to flow back into the tank (if I start the car within the first minute after starting it starts up fairly quickly/normally) but if i go shopping or to eat lunch, and come back in 30 minutes or more, it takes the full 5-10 seconds to turn over. So I REEEEAAAAALLLLYYYY am thinking there is either something wrong with the "Check valve" or the Damper (if i even have that on this year's 22re).

That said, how would I go about checking each of the things you suggested:
Vacuum leaks
  • pcv valve
  • egr valve
  • intake manifold
  • air intake chamber
  • throttle body
  • air between air flow meter and throttle body

and along those same lines, do you think those various vaccum leaks would ONLY rear their head during the start? since the car runs 100% smooth under load and idle.

I have the 1988 Toyota pickup FSM. Excluding what you have already replaced the manual for hard starting issues indicates to check: Fuel filter (what about screen inside tank), ignition coil (runs ok once started - maybe weak?), Vacuum leaks - pcv valve, egr valve, intake manifold, air intake chamber, throttle body, and air between air flow meter and throttle body.

BTW - I dropped my tank when the fuel lines on top of fuel pump assembly started to leak. It was not fun and I replaced the steel line all the way to the fuel filter with high pressure EFI flexible hose and special fuel line hose clamps. So much easier than replacing the steel line which was still available from Toyota but is a bear to reinstall without bending. I kept the original fuel line with so many twists and bends. LOL.

I have 104k on my 1987 SR5 extended cab with 22RE, 5 speed. Love that old truck. My dad bought it new.

That is about all I can offer since you already checked out fuel pressure, igniter, etc. Please let us know when you solve the issue.

Regards.
 

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Sailor
87 SR5 4wd
Joined
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349 Posts
In my 88 FSM it indicates that Fuel pressure should be 38-44 psi for non turbo and 33-38 psi for turbo, both with test bypass wire and engine not running. I noticed the fuel pump diagram shows a switch in the airflow meter which enables the fuel pump circuit. Thus I believe just turning on the switch will not turn on the fuel pump. I assume there must be enough air pressure to open the air flow meter switch from cranking or running. Maybe the switch is sticking.

Most important is the FSM indicated that when turning off the fuel pump pressure must remain at 21 psi for 5 minutes. I did not see any one way valve but assume it is in the fuel pump itself which you replaced. Seems like the system is bleeding down somewhere over time and the fuel system must be replenished with gas before it starts.

What happens if you use the test bypass wire to pressurize the system then try to start the engine. Does the engine then start immediately? It would be interesting to let the truck sit for 30 minutes, bypass and energize the fuel pump the see if it starts immediately. You would then known it is bleeding down or leaking if the problem disappears. You might even be able to temporarily bypass the air flow meter switch and drive it a few days. The pump only turns on when the key is turned on so it would not be dangerous, IMO. Just don't leave the key on without the engine running! LOL. If the problem does not reoccur the cause would seem to be bleed down or leaking somewhere, but where.

I have run out of suggestions.

Best of luck. If you find the problem please be sure to let us know. I might encounter this problem some day.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any post/link I can read for how to do the "test bypass wire" trick. Did a google for my year engine and didn't find anything helpful.
 

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Sailor
87 SR5 4wd
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349 Posts
Any post/link I can read for how to do the "test bypass wire" trick. Did a google for my year engine and didn't find anything helpful.
I only have the 88 FSM instructions. Not sure if it is correct for your year truck. It indicates to use a piece of wire to connect between Fp and +B then turn on ignition to test pressure. I don't believe I can post a picture of the terminal block or pdf file. If you want to send me your email address via Toyotanation private messaging, I can send you the pdf's of the pages by printing then scanning it as jpeg and sending. I can also send a large file of about 84 meg which covers the 88 Toyota in its entirety. I have emailed the same material a few times to other Toyotanation users over the years.

Here is a youtube video on the terminal block.


I will check later for a message. I assume Toyotanation still has private messaging. Have to go do yard work now.
 

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Sailor
87 SR5 4wd
Joined
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349 Posts
I only have the 88 FSM instructions. Not sure if it is correct for your year truck. It indicates to use a piece of wire to connect between Fp and +B then turn on ignition to test pressure. I don't believe I can post a picture of the terminal block or pdf file. If you want to send me your email address via Toyotanation private messaging, I can send you the pdf's of the pages by printing then scanning it as jpeg and sending. I can also send a large file of about 84 meg which covers the 88 Toyota in its entirety. I have emailed the same material a few times to other Toyotanation users over the years.

I will check later for a message. I assume Toyotanation still has private messaging. Have to go do yard work now.
Just an update. I looked inside my test diagnostic terminal block which is located on the passenger side of engine compartment. The block is labeled Diagnostic on the cap. The terminals are identified on a label inside the cap. I have a 1987 sr5 22re manual transmission. Best of luck.
 
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