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I'll try and take a video later no promises. The cranking sounds identical to what I had when the no start thing happened. BTW the "parts car" I have talked about many times has come back, given to me. They severely overheated the engine (because they are morons ) and blew the head gasket.
 

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Did a few quick tests. Car will 100% not start with the igniter not bolted to the bracket, no spark. It's not easy capturing spark on video not sure how useful this is. One thing I would note is the spark is orange not blue. This is the parts car it starts and runs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
It looks like the spark I'm getting now. I wasn't getting flashes like the ones in my video before. Not sure if you can see them, but they're bright. You can't see the spark directly because of the angle but I wasn't getting spark like that before I did all the grounds. I'm trying to get some help so I figure out if the injectors are activating before I pull them. Not sure if it's wise, but I've tested injectors before by hooking them directly to the battery, meaning connect the ground and the tap the other terminal to hear it click. I suppose I could get some long leads and test them while they're still in that way. I'm really starting to think I've been chasing multiple issues. I looked around the EGR and the only thing I found was the hole in the vacuum line from the TB to the blue BVSV. I repaired that. Nothing else is near it. I may try the newer of the 2 distributors and see if spark improves, but not until I'm certain about the fuel. Like I said, the plugs were much wetter before she fired up that one time.
 

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Wet plugs means fuel no spark, or fuel and spark but bad camshaft timing meaning spark at the wrong time can't see what else could cause that to happen. When I was doing the spark test in the above vid I had all the plug wires pulled, when I put them back in it took a fair bit of cranking then ran super rich for the first 15 seconds. Which is to be expected.

Do you have a timing light with an inductive pick up? That seems like the perfect way to see if there is strong spark, crank the engine see if the timing light blinks. Also why not start from the beginning, do a compression test (make sure the throttle is propped all the way open). Then do the timing light spark test. For injectors a sure way to test is jumper B+ to FP in the diag port (fuel pump runs all the time) then manually send power to each injector via a spare connector (don't push power into the wiring harness). You should smell fuel right away and possibly see mist coming out the spark plug tubes (all plugs should be removed).
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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Any thoughts about a jumped timing belt? (one or two teeth at first but now a bunch)

Especially if spark is visible but it doesn't try to start no matter what.

Flooring the pedal to start should turn the main fuel injectors off - it is for clearing a flood situation on early Toyotas.

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I believe I was flooded before it fired up. I check the valve timing everytime I reset the motor to TDC to be sure. The timing belt is due, but just barely, it's only a few hundred miles over 60k. The mark is always centered in the hole. I've also checked after cranking to make sure its actually moving when I crank it. I really feel like I'm dealing with 2 separate issues that cause the same problem. The earlier weak spark as well as improper fuel delivery. But I won't rule out the ECU, especially because of the way the problem flipped from weak spark lots of fuel to strong spark minimal fuel. I'm almost home and then I'm going to follow 71's advice and check my injectors, just to know what they're doing. Then I'll start back at the beginning. I have the inductive style timing light. Am I correct that the implication is that if the timing light picks up the signal that should indicate strong enough spark?
 

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Am I correct that the implication is that if the timing light picks up the signal that should indicate strong enough spark?
That's the implication, could be wrong though depends how sensitive the inductive pick up is. If it was me I would have swapped in another distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Ok, I checked spark with my timing light. All 4 cylinders good. Upon checking the function of the injectors I found fuel only visible in #4. When checking the other three, there is no visible fuel, but when engaged, the sound of the flow of fuel changes just like #4. Like it's trying to divert fuel where it's supposed to go, it's just not getting there. Looks like I'm pulling the fuel rail and cleaning injectors. I hope this is it and not another piece of the puzzle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Well, after a long night and into this morning, I finally got my fuel rail and injectors back in and she's all buttoned up and ready to she if she fires.

But before I do, I saw something that has me scratching my head and maybe even a lil worried. After getting all the fuel stuff reconnected, I tested the injectors and had the same result, only fuel in #4. The I promptly chewed my ass for being an idiot. I didn't rotate the motor when I checked them. So they may have been ok, but it was so nasty back there it was worth it. Now to my puzzle. It's my understanding that the firing order is 1-2-4-3. If that is true then when I tested the injectors after giving it a half turn, the next on getting fuel should have been #3. I did not. It went to #2 then #1 and #3. Oh shit, that's backwards.

Umm, ya rotate the motor clockwise, right? Why would they open in reverse order? I'm gonna try it anyway, but....I don't know, I got nothing.
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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3s-fe injectors are batch fired... They should all go at the same time. Check for 12V at each injector with key-on engine off (well, that last part is obvious...). Also note that the cold start injector might be fooling you with wet spark plugs, etc. If the weather is warm enough (say, over 40 or 50*F) it should start without it, though a bit more slowly - unplug it if you are testing the other injectors.

-Charlie
 
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
I made a jumper to test the injectors individually with fuel pump forced on. I just didn't think last night to turn the motor to get the other valves open. They all work and every cylinder is getting fuel. Had to throw my battery on the charger so it's going to be a lil bit before I can try and start it. But at this point, I know for certain I have spark and fuel. If she doesn't start now I'll probably call my scrapper to come get her. Or head back to the junkyard for an ECU.
 

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If you have proper compression, spark, air and fuel the engine will run. If it doesn't run something is wrong with one or more of the preceding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I quit. I've gone over everything and she still won't start. Got a couple pops in the beginning and then nada. Three weeks I've been trying to figure this bitch out. Time to call the scrapper before I lose my mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Well, I let it sit a couple days and went out and started cranking her. Eventually she came back to life. Unfortunately, all the original issues with lack of power and wanting to die with any but the lightest touch of throttle, all remain. Since it did start once before, I have to assume that nothing I've done had any real effect although it didn't hurt. I'm starting to suspect my TPS may be my underlying issue. Timing isn't dialing in so I'm not sure.
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
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all the original issues with lack of power and wanting to die with any but the lightest touch of throttle
It is still spark (coil) related then. Yes, I know you replaced it...

-Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
So I took your advice, Charlie, and got another coil. There were some improvements, but the main issue remains.

Improvements with second new coil:
1. Starts up easier.
2. Able to get the timing set.
3. Throttle response improved.

The throttle response prior was such that the lightest touch of throttle would increase rpms, but a normal press of the throttle would kill the motor. Now, you can press the throttle and the motor responds like you would expect. No stalling or chugging.

That being said, it will still stall and die if given more than half throttle. I am leaning toward the head gasket now for a couple reasons. First, I see fluid of some kind and bubbles at the head gasket on the exhaust manifold side. Second and much more relevant, which I hadn't mentioned before, is that prior to these issues coming up, my thermostat went out on me and while trying to get her home with a couple unruly young boys, I spiked the temp gauge a couple times well over not only the red temp line, but over the upper part of the white bracket.

I haven't seen any signs of a blown head gasket other than the fluid and bubbles I saw today. Which to be clear is at the rear corner of the head, exhaust side.

Anyone think I'm on the right track and if so, does anyone think a head gasket sealer, like blue devil, would temp fix it? I already know if it doesn't, I'm tearing this thing apart. I'm just worried that I may have warped the head and even a sealer isn't going to do anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Well Blue Devil did nothing. I tried to take another video of what my car is doing, but it died (after an hour idling for the Blue Devil) and I haven't been able to get her going again just yet. There's no way it's the coil again, unless someone can tell me how I'm frying them shortly after they go in.

My best guess at this point is that my MAF and the one from the junkyard were both bad even though they pass the resistance test. Makes the most sense to me since she runs fine, until you open the throttle. Then it starts chugging until you back off the throttle and she smoothes back out. I'm still taking ideas, but count on the next part I get being a MAF sensor.
 

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Almost no chance both your MAFs are bad. These engines 100% do not tolerate being overheated it will cook the head gasket especially cylinder 4 exhaust manifold side. My '87 parts car with the 5S has a severely blown head gasket it's so bad when I start the car exhaust gases get pushed out the radiator opening I can even smell exhaust. It still starts and runs every time although at first the idle is a bit rough. I've done a compression test it checks out but I know the HG is blown the coolant was full of oil.

Don't know what else I can tell you at this point. A sure way to check for HG failure is run compressed air into each cylinder see where it goes if the HG is cooked it will very likely push air into the radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
A lil clarification...I switched back to my original AFM after I returned the parts to the junkyard, right before getting the second new coil. I feel that the junkyard one may have been ok with the new coil. It's why I'm still leaning towards the MAF. I'm not experiencing the typical blown HG symptoms. No loss of coolant, no oil in the coolant, no coolant in the oil and no white smoke. Just the bit of seepage there at the #4, exhaust side. If a blown HG wouldn't cause my issues, then it comes down to either the MAF isn't working or the ECU is screwed up. Everything mechanical is sound, so that leaves electronics.

Nope, didn't cut any wires to the ECU, mine is on the floor behind the console.

If it wasn't EFI, I'd be ripping apart the carb and cleaning it based on what it's doing. I've already cleaned the fuel rail assembly.

I think I might open up the AFM and see what is going on internally. A replacement will be a reman anyway, so what could it hurt?
 
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