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1992 Toyota Camry DX, 5SFE, 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #21
There are a couple of resistance checks. For the Gen3 5S-FE:

5S-FE, cold (< 50C):
Primary, 0.36-0.55 ohms
Secondary: 9.0-15.4 ohms

See pic below for details.

That primary resistance is so low, it's hard for most meters to get a good read on it. But if you find it an open circuit, or zero ohms, you know something's wrong.
View attachment 293770
Alright, I know where I'm going right after work. I will check the resistance and see what I get. I have a decent multi-meter that can read pretty low, but we will see. I'd bet you that my problem lies in the coil. unless its a crank sensor or something... but I will find out one way or another! Thank you again for the information BMR, very handy! I need to get a service manual for this thing.
 

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Your engine doesn't have cam or crank position sensors, but that does jog my memory again. Your distributor does have pickup coils in the base that give the ECU that info. See pic below for inspection details. It's rarer for these to go bad than the igniton coil, so my money's on the coil.

If you do end up replacing the disty, be warned the aftermarket replacements are a real crapshoot. They're often bad right out of the box. I don't have any recommendations for a reliable brand, but just don't buy the cheapest one out there.

293771
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Your engine doesn't have cam or crank position sensors, but that does jog my memory again. Your distributor does have pickup coils in the base that give the ECU that info. See pic below for inspection details. It's rarer for these to go bad than the igniton coil, so my money's on the coil.

If you do end up replacing the disty, be warned the aftermarket replacements are a real crapshoot. They're often bad right out of the box. I don't have any recommendations for a reliable brand, but just don't buy the cheapest one out there.

View attachment 293771
Well, I have tested the coil, primary reads .44-.48 ohm, and secondary windings on the coil reads 11.4 kohms. (That's positive post to high tension terminal. The pickup coils read great, "G" reads 214 ohms. "NE" reads about 427 ohms. Air gap is .007". Still no spark. I hope it's not the ECM. But I am also thinking that it may be the ICM. I may pull one from a junkyard and give that a go... I am at a loss ?
 

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There is a free copy of the FSM online, again Google for it. If you go to a breaker see if the donor car has an original Toyota distributor as they are best. Aftermarket ones are questionable. I'm on my second aftermarket one currently after my original failed. Changing distributors in these cars is a half- a- beer job. Then you get to bust out your inductive timing light gun that has been collecting dust for decades on your shelf. At least that has been my experience. But you are narrowing your scope nicely.
 

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1992 Toyota Camry DX, 5SFE, 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited by Moderator)
Dunno if this will help w/ your diagnostics, I found the info was useful when searching for a Gen3 replacement vehicle last year -

I went through this and printed it off, I am going to use it to test the other stuff in the ignition system ?. I will however start with the process he has to make sure its not the coil, might as well be certain. I appreciate that you posted this, thank you!

There is a free copy of the FSM online, again Google for it. If you go to a breaker see if the donor car has an original Toyota distributor as they are best. Aftermarket ones are questionable. I'm on my second aftermarket one currently after my original failed. Changing distributors in these cars is a half- a- beer job. Then you get to bust out your inductive timing light gun that has been collecting dust for decades on your shelf. At least that has been my experience. But you are narrowing your scope nicely.
Thanks!

I think I'm going to a salvage yard close to my house, commonly called "The Jungle," and I will be pulling the distributor if it is Toyota original. I may pull the ICM and possibly The PCM/ECU, because why not I guess? I think I may just check to see if the car still has a PCM or ECU and note that for future reference just in case all else fails.

My CEL started flashing a code yesterday for the ICM, It was fine when i checked it before. but after cranking the engine a few times to test for spark on Cyl 1 I decided to check it again. and low and behold it flashed out code 14, ECU missing Signal from ICM.
 

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Ah, great! Getting an error code on these old OBD 1 Camrys is a rare thing, as they're so resistant to throwing one. I could tell a few stories about my '92, but I'll spare you.

Be aware that the igniter's metal housing must be grounded in order to work. So don't just plug it in and leave it dangling by the wires. I learned that while testing a spare I'd purchased on eBay.

Also, regarding the ECU: You MUST match the 10 digit parts number of your old one. A mismatched one might work in the sense that the car will run, but it'll likely throw codes related to an automatic trans, or emissions, depending on what you get. For sure they're different between a manual and automatic trans. If you have trouble finding a matching one, look on eBay. If there's more than one available, try to find one with a no-DOA warranty.
 

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1992 Toyota Camry DX, 5SFE, 5 Speed Manual
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Discussion Starter #29
Ah, great! Getting an error code on these old OBD 1 Camrys is a rare thing, as they're so resistant to throwing one. I could tell a few stories about my '92, but I'll spare you.

Be aware that the igniter's metal housing must be grounded in order to work. So don't just plug it in and leave it dangling by the wires. I learned that while testing a spare I'd purchased on eBay.

Also, regarding the ECU: You MUST match the 10 digit parts number of your old one. A mismatched one might work in the sense that the car will run, but it'll likely throw codes related to an automatic trans, or emissions, depending on what you get. For sure they're different between a manual and automatic trans. If you have trouble finding a matching one, look on eBay. If there's more than one available, try to find one with a no-DOA warranty.
Alright, that's good information! I was looking at a wire diagram for the ignition and may have confused myself... the CEL Code "14" says its missing the signal from the ICM.

Does the Electronic Dwell Meter send its signal directly to the ECU?

The way i understand it, the points on the Dwell Meter send the ECU signals, the ECU then sends a signal to the ICM, the ICM sends current for a split Second to the ignition Coil, then the ICM gets a signal back from the coil or dwell meter? and relays info back to the ECU.

I may be wrong but i have confused myself beyond belief and am just hoping that the ICM Swap helps fix my issue.
 

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Dwell meter?... You're causing me to have flashbacks to the '70's with cars with points and centrifugal timing advancers. YUCK!!!

Here's a link to a PDF which describes a few of the ignition systems Toyota has used. I believe the one used here is the "ESA" system, which starts on page 5. It actually does mention a "dwell angle control circuit" inside the igniter. ?
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Dwell meter?... You're causing me to have flashbacks to the '70's with cars with points and centrifugal timing advancers. YUCK!!!

Here's a link to a PDF which describes a few of the ignition systems Toyota has used. I believe the one used here is the "ESA" system, which starts on page 5. It actually does mention a "dwell angle control circuit" inside the igniter. ?
Glad I'm not the only one, I was having flashbacks watching my dad try and set the dwell on one of his cars when I was a kid, 'was' being used by a 24 yr old ?.
In all honesty, I just didnt know what else to call it ?
Thank you BMR, I will check out the link!
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Spark is created by the collapse of current in the coil windings. The collapse of current is the switching on/off by the ignitor, which is controlled by the ECM. Maybe you need to test for that on/off switching. No switching, no spark.
Maybe you can get a copy of the ignition circuit (ignitor side) to understand how the system switches.
^^ +1 - that always helps
The diagram had previously been posted and I went through the diagram. After studying it I corrected my confusion. I thought the distributor sent signals to the ICM and the ICM sends signals to the ECU.

However I see that the disty sends its signals to the ECM and the ECM sends signals to the ICM.

Now that my CEL Is throwing a code, 14, I know that because the ICM sends it's own signal to the ECU it's the ICM that's most likely Faulty. I'm going to grab one from a car today and see if it gets her to work.

Thank you for your replies!
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Alright, the issue is fixed, grabbed a Toyota distributor and an ICM from a car at my local scrap yard.

Changed the ICM first and still no dice.
Then pulled the distributor and used my good ignition coil checked all the clearances on the junkyard distributor, All were fine. Slapped a new o-ring seal on the junkyard disty, stabbed it in and she cranked over and started. So the old distributor had one of the pickups on the shaft were slightly scraping the pickup coils and caused it to not spark. It was also not apparent that it was a Reman until I saw the laser etching on the block side of the disty.
 

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Nicely done. And thanks for following up... so many of these threads end up trailing off to nothingness, good to hear the resolution.
 

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Discussion Starter #39 (Edited)
Nicely done. And thanks for following up... so many of these threads end up trailing off to nothingness, good to hear the resolution.
No problem, Thank you to everyone who posted on my thread your time and information has been valuable to me finding the problem and fixing it. It went from a 92 dead Camry on the side of the highway to a 92 Camry able to be driven every day again??

EDIT: I had a horrid typo in here, so I fixed it...I promise everyone's time and information was available, but my phone thought it would be funny to add butts into the equation... and those shouldn't go with any of this. ? ?
 
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