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1993 camry le I-4
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i have a 1993 camry LE I-4 automatic. today i went around a corner and it started sputtering and then it died when i tried to start it up again it would sputter then die. i replaced the fuel pump since it wasn't working and now it just turns over. it has spark and fuel pressure but it will not start. any ideas on what it might be would much appreciated. fuel is at 1/3 tank
 

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When you say it has spark, did you check all 4 ignition wires to ensure there is spark on all 4 of them?

You could check to see if the ECU threw any codes while the engine was sputtering. That information, if there, would help a lot.

How many miles has the engine run since the last timing belt change? May be possible the timing belt jumped a few teeth. You can inspect that. You can also do a cylinder compression pressure check to make sure it is at the proper level (too low evenly across all 4 cylinders would be an indication of a timing belt that jumped a few teeth).

There are many other possibilities, but I would start with these.
 

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I had a similar problem a couple of years ago on my 94 and a swapped out distributor solved the problem. (I'm guessing it was the coil inside that was the culprit, the screws were seized/stripped and I couldn't seem to remove it from the dizzy w/o damaging it, so I swapped out a whole distributor) anyhow I had spark, like you, so I argued black and blue with guys on another forum that it wasn't my coil because I was getting spark...on every spark plug, at different intervals like it should....finally one of the guys suggested that I check the COLOR of the spark, it should be a nice bright blue color, turns out mine was yellow and not strong enough to fire the car up.
Funny thing is, like you, I immediately thought it was a fuel issue (the tank was really low) and I couldn't hear my fuel pump but I later found out that the fuel pump doesn't kick in (whine) until you start cranking the car, so its possible that your old fuel pump is fine.
If you can get a spare complete distributor cheap (or someone with a similar car 92-95 willing to let you try theirs in your car) it is well worth trying.....this is a super common problem on these cars once the mileage gets high. I bought one recently on e-bay for a 96 for around $60 and it was in awesome shape with a new cap.
 

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92 Camry 5S-FE
92 Camry 5S-FE
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485 Posts
I agree with the coil idea. Mine did something very similar and that was the culprit, the internal coil. I could even get my car started if I fooled with it enough but it ran terrible and would stall if you hit the gas. Felt like the timing was off but it was the coil. You can take the distributor off and remove the coil without replacing the whole thing if your screws aren't all stripped out too. It really isn't hard to do, and if you know how to use the search on the forum, you can probably find a how-to for it. I went to the junkyard and bought a coil for 20 bucks and it worked perfect. I figure if the car in the junkyard looks like someone hit it, chances are it ran ok before it got there.
 

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Great points. It's not only "if" there is spark, but it is also the "quality" of the spark. A large, bluish white spark is normal, a weak yellow spark is not. And most of the time, it is the coil causing a week spark. And sometimes the quality of the spark changes as engine temperature changes, making it hard to know the resistance values you might check on the coil are constant or not to determine coil health. Great point here.
 
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