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I need help with my EJ swap


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37 replies to this topic

#1 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 07:27 PM

85 brat
97 EJ22
97 ECM/harness
95 intake and TB to eliminate EGR & associated vac lines

I was having issues with my 92 OBD I harness (the engine started and ran well but I was burning out fuel pump relays and the cel light never came on, still don't understand why) so I decided to start over and go 97 OBD II since I had most of the parts already.

I got it far enough to test start, fuel pump had gone out (89 SPFI fuel pump).

Again, I decided to upgrade. Installed 7psi supply pump with inline prefilter, homemade surge tank, 45psi injection pump, 10m injection filter, 5/16" 30R9 hose.

Before starting I primed the fuel and oil systems. Engine spun fine with injectors/ignitor unplugged. Fuel system shows 36psi at engine inlet, right on FSM spec.

When I plug in the injectors and ignitor the engine seems hard to turn and sputters then when it fires it pops and seems to wants to spin back. Does not want to start.

I thought timing, maybe bad CAS which were changed to OBD II style, so I replaced both the crank and cam angle sensors with spares. No effect.

I'm lost and I dont have tons of time for this. I've been getting very discouraged after working for so long and still not having my EJ swap done. If anyone could help me diagnose this and get this thing running again I'd really appreciate it.

I didn't touch any engine related wires in the harness except to remove the egr. I'm using the whole 97 leg harness, too - no brat wiring left.

pictures:

My surge tank, welded 1/8" steel
Posted Image

Looking in driver's taillight hole, yes it barely fits. I didn't realize how large the brass fittings would end up till after welding the top and bottom. I shoulda went 10" instead of 12" tall. Grey stuff is fuel tank epoxy holding fuel temp sensor in a bung plug.
Posted Image

Looking in rear driver's access hole. Cover panel still fits, no interference from bolt heads.
Posted Image

Surge tank hoses go through body behind driver's step thing.
Posted Image

10m injection filter on homemade 2"x 3/16" angle mount
Posted Image

Fuel lines under hood. I used the vent hardline from engine bay to under bed as my return to the surge tank and the original return line on main tank for low pressure return from surge tank.
Posted Image

Edited by mountaingoatgruff, 16 June 2012 - 07:34 PM.


#2 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:39 PM



#3 TajMan

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:48 PM

I'm not sure about diagnosing your specific issue,
but props for the work into the ol Brat!

I've messed with '97-'99 EJ25 cars, had an issue with a Phase I engine on Phase II electronics but got sensors coil etc swapped over to work. Not sure about your setup, more complicated with such a custom pieced-together build!

#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:06 PM

Sounds timing related.
I don't know for sure, is there any difference in cam or crank sprockets between OBD1+2 cars?
What other parts did you swap for the OBD2 swap? Intake manifold? IAC?

#5 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:37 PM

I'm not sure about diagnosing your specific issue,
but props for the work into the ol Brat!

I've messed with '97-'99 EJ25 cars, had an issue with a Phase I engine on Phase II electronics but got sensors coil etc swapped over to work. Not sure about your setup, more complicated with such a custom pieced-together build!


Thanks! I put way more into this thing than I ever should have but if my son and I get to enjoy it it'll be worth it to me.

This is not really pieced together. With my ODB1 setup I had parts from upwards of 4 different donors and it was a pieced together mess. I ditched all that.

Everything engine/engine management related is all from the same 97 Legacy donor now except the obvious fuel system add-ons, the 95 EJ22 intake & TB and the 93 Impreza intake tube.

That's part of why I'm stumped. I didn't molest the engine portion of the harness so I don't know where to start looking for bugs in the wiring. Another part of why I'm stumped is that the engine wants to spin backwards when it fires while attempting to start. I've never seen a Subaru do that. Also, the engine cranks normally with no fuel or spark but cranks slowly and erratically with everything hooked up like the starter is having a hard time.

I have verified my efi and fuel relays come on, my CEL comes on, 36psi in the fuel lines, no rag left stuffed in the TB or anything.

I hear it wanting to fire.....

Nobody has ever seen this before?

#6 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 11:46 PM

Sounds timing related.
I don't know for sure, is there any difference in cam or crank sprockets between OBD1+2 cars?
What other parts did you swap for the OBD2 swap? Intake manifold? IAC?


IDK about differences in cam/crank sprockets from OBD1 to OBD2 but the engine (including all timing parts), harness and ECM are all 97 OBD2 from the same donor car.

I put a 95 intake on it to eliminate the EGR and also used the 95 TB to have the correct non-EGR vac lines on the TB. The IACV is also 95 now that I think about it, the 97 one is still on the 97 intake in my garage.

I'm glad you asked about the IAC though because I forgot to mention I hear a ringing/humming sound from the IAC after attempting to start, key off. I unplugged things one at a time to verify its the IAC. I haven't been around a running EJ22 in literally years to know if this is normal.

#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:51 AM

I've heard the IAC make the ringing sound, I think it's normal.

The engine harness end shouldn't be any different, but I do know that the ECUs have different pinouts in 95 96 and 97. Then 97 - 98 I think was the same. You're not using a 95 ECU on a 97 harness are you? Engine end of the harness is the same, its the ECU end that's different.

Ok so you swapped the entire engine from the 97. Then swapped to a 95 intake? (Before It sounded like you just swapped OBD2 stuff onto a 92 engine.)
Did you check/replace the timing belt and idler components before putting the engine in? Lines not arrows?

Last of all... did you do a compression test yet? MY97 Ej22, unfortunately, is an interference engine. Valves will hit pistons if the timing belt breaks or is too far out of time. You can get away with being 1 or 2 teeth off, 3-4 off is probably pushing it.


BTW I do see an unplugged connector in the last pic. Looks like its for the IAC? You plugged that in right? :-p (gotta aks)

#8 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 09:34 PM

I've heard the IAC make the ringing sound, I think it's normal.

The engine harness end shouldn't be any different, but I do know that the ECUs have different pinouts in 95 96 and 97. Then 97 - 98 I think was the same. You're not using a 95 ECU on a 97 harness are you? Engine end of the harness is the same, its the ECU end that's different.


97 longblock, 97 harness, 97 ECM, 95 intake

Ok so you swapped the entire engine from the 97. Then swapped to a 95 intake? (Before It sounded like you just swapped OBD2 stuff onto a 92 engine.


Yes, I put the 97 engine into the brat then installed a 95 intake to eliminate EGR. I was originally using a 92 harness/ECM but I'm now using the 97 harness/ECM. Sorry for any confusion.

Did you check/replace the timing belt and idler components before putting the engine in? Lines not arrows? .


Yes - timing belt, idlers, tensioner, water pump, seals all replaced before swap and the engine has run fine many times since then.

Last of all... did you do a compression test yet? MY97 Ej22, unfortunately, is an interference engine. Valves will hit pistons if the timing belt breaks or is too far out of time. You can get away with being 1 or 2 teeth off, 3-4 off is probably pushing it.


Like I mentioned, the engine ran fine after the t-belt was replaced. Also the engine cranks fine without injectors or ignitor connected where I think I'd notice valve interference.

BTW I do see an unplugged connector in the last pic. Looks like its for the IAC? You plugged that in right? :-p (gotta aks)


Yeah, that's the IAC plug - disconnected on account of the ringing. It's always connected when I try to start the engine, I just undid it the one time to see where the noise was.

Thanks for your time and reply.

I am running 2 fuel pumps. The low pressure pump is run by the factory relay. The high pressure pump is run by a relay which is spliced into the power, signal and ground wires from the ECM with a separate ground. Other than this and the EGR removal the engine harness was not cut or modified at all.

I'm thinking maybe I should start checking voltage in multiple locations where I can compare against an FSM spec. I've checked grounds and even added extras. I'm still lost...

#9 Gloyale

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 11:44 AM

So the only thing that has changed from when this engine ran, mechanically speaking anyhow is the intake?




I'd guess leaking fuel injectors.

Dumping liquid fuel into the cylinders.

Engine is half way between running and hydrolocking, hence the slow spin over, and the "backwards" bucking.

#10 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:08 PM

So the only thing that has changed from when this engine ran, mechanically speaking anyhow is the intake?


I have been using the 95 intake/fuel rails & pipes/injectors all along. I went from a 92 TB to the 95 TB for the OBD2 TPS but the only significant mechanical change is the fuel system. I was using an SPFI pump but it croaked and now I have a 7psi low pressure pump, surge tank, 45psi high pressure pump.

I'd guess leaking fuel injectors.

Dumping liquid fuel into the cylinders.

Engine is half way between running and hydrolocking, hence the slow spin over, and the "backwards" bucking.


When I checked the fuel pressure it did drop pretty fast, couple few psi per second. That sould be a giveaway for leaky injector, no? I thought maybe my aftermarket pump and modified fuel system wasn't holding pressure while off and I didn't think much of it at the time.

Also, I did attempt to purge my fuel lines by disconnecting the supply hose at the engine and pumping a few priming cylces worth into my lawnmower gas jug but I could imagine some junk still getting in there and lodging in an injector.

My only arguement (just playing devil's advocate, not saying you're wrong) is that it cranks fine without injectors/ignitor connected. Seems to me the injector(s) would leak even if unplugged and I'd still get some hydrolock symptoms while cranking with injectors/ignitor unplugged but it cranks normally like that. I don't know, maybe leak alone isn't enough but leak + normal injection pulse = hydrolocking.

Thank you Gloyale for your time and input.

Now I'm wondering... Since the rigid fuel pipes mean I can't just pull the injector/rail assemblies, pressurize the lines and look at injector tips for leakage, is there an alternative driveway test?

O-rings are cheap enough that I can just swap all the injectors from the 97 intake and see if that takes care of the issue but I hate to keep throwing more money and time at it without knowing for sure.

Edited by mountaingoatgruff, 23 June 2012 - 08:46 PM.


#11 Fairtax4me

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:48 PM

Swap fuel injector wires front to back. Fuel sprays at the wrong time, fuel is ignited at TDC on the exhaust stroke, causes excess pressure in the cylinder when the intake valves open.

#12 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 07:36 PM

Swap fuel injector wires front to back. Fuel sprays at the wrong time, fuel is ignited at TDC on the exhaust stroke, causes excess pressure in the cylinder when the intake valves open.


I checked the injector wires by color against the FSM diagram and they're correct.

#13 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:26 PM

I just swapped the injectors from my 97 intake into the brat. I did reuse the o-rings just to get it done quickly, they looked like new. What a pita getting those suckers out.

It made no difference. Its really hard to tell while cranking from the driver's seat but it looks like the engine is still bucking. Either way, it cranks fine with no fuel or spark then it cranks slowly and kinda pops like a backfire when you stop cranking with fuel and spark. Tailpipe has a small amount of white smoke and reeks of gas but a bunch dumped in there from swapping injectors.

I'm on :drunk: number 8 trying not to flip out on it with my 18" adjustable wrench.....

#14 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:52 PM

Does anyone know if there's a difference in the engine connector pinout between an OBD2 95 2.2 and 97 2.2?

I am using the 95 engine harness and I'm thinking maybe some of the wires aren't in the same position between 95 and 97. Its a long shot but if nobody know's I'll try to track down a 95 wiring diagram to compare or just trace the wires and compare to the 97 diagram.

what a nightmare........

#15 Fairtax4me

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 08:58 PM

Do it anyway? (i mean swap wires not bash it with a wrench. Although that works for Red Green, maybe it's worth a shot? :-p )

Only thing I can think of, is the ECU is pulsing the wrong injectors, or is firing the wrong plugs, or the cam timing is off.
I was working on a SBC350 and got it all put back together, with new heads, new cam/lifters, intake manifold and carburetor. It would spin over fine for about half a rev, then it would slow down, kick, spin backwards and spit out of the carb. Only after doing this several times did I get a HUGE backfire out of the exhaust, then a smoke trail from between the header collector where it blew the gasket out.
Kinda surprised the cops didn't show up on that one.
Anyway, figured out after about 15 minutes of screwing around that the distributor was 180 off.

See if it'll run with the injectors unplugged, and some starting fluid sprayed in the intake. That might help narrow it down to fuel or ignition.

I literally just opened the 95 FSM right now to look at control system wiring to compare with 97. :lol:

I don't see any differences in any of the 3 connectors. Only differences are at the ECU end.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 23 June 2012 - 09:13 PM.


#16 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:48 PM

Do it anyway? (i mean swap wires not bash it with a wrench. Although that works for Red Green, maybe it's worth a shot? :-p )


Okay, what the hell. I switched connectors on 1/3 and 2/4 then cranked it. Seemed like it wanted to fire up for a sec then nothing.


Only thing I can think of, is the ECU is pulsing the wrong injectors, or is firing the wrong plugs, or the cam timing is off.
I was working on a SBC350 and got it all put back together, with new heads, new cam/lifters, intake manifold and carburetor. It would spin over fine for about half a rev, then it would slow down, kick, spin backwards and spit out of the carb. Only after doing this several times did I get a HUGE backfire out of the exhaust, then a smoke trail from between the header collector where it blew the gasket out.
Kinda surprised the cops didn't show up on that one.
Anyway, figured out after about 15 minutes of screwing around that the distributor was 180 off.


If this were a carb'ed small block it'd have been running a long, long time ago. I can't wait to be done with this thing and move on to my next project - '65 Dart GT.

See if it'll run with the injectors unplugged, and some starting fluid sprayed in the intake. That might help narrow it down to fuel or ignition.


I don't have any starting fluid, never used it...substitutes?

I did try cranking with only injectors disconnected then with only ignitor disconnected. Cranked freely both times. Only has trouble when both are plugged in.

I literally just opened the 95 FSM right now to look at control system wiring to compare with 97. :lol:

I don't see any differences in any of the 3 connectors. Only differences are at the ECU end.


Good to know, thank you for that.

#17 Dj7291993

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:42 AM

Fairtax4me mentioned the disty on the engine he was working on, have you double-checked the coil-packs to make sure both the primary and secondary sides are hooked up right? (I know you probably have, but sometimes you miss something in frustration, so I have to ask)

As for the starting fluid, it's pretty cheap, about the same price as other automotive aerosols (carb cleaner, brake cleaner, wd-40, ect.) Wal-Mart sells it. You might be able to use Carb Cleaner as a sub, but I know the starting fluid burns better, as that's its main purpose.

#18 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 02:20 PM

Fairtax4me mentioned the disty on the engine he was working on, have you double-checked the coil-packs to make sure both the primary and secondary sides are hooked up right? (I know you probably have, but sometimes you miss something in frustration, so I have to ask).


I've double and triple checked the coil but thanks for asking. I appreciate any and all constructive input.

As for the starting fluid, it's pretty cheap, about the same price as other automotive aerosols (carb cleaner, brake cleaner, wd-40, ect.) Wal-Mart sells it. You might be able to use Carb Cleaner as a sub, but I know the starting fluid burns better, as that's its main purpose.


I'm going to pick up some starting fluid this afternoon and give Fairtax's idea a try. Just waiting for my wife to get off work so she can help with the rugrats and operate the cutch and ignition switches for me.



On another note, last night I went through the engine harness wire by wire to check for proper routing and to rule out opens from broken wires/bad joints and shorts to ground or other wires. Everything is okay there. I checked resistance of injectors just to do it. I'm making a list of everything I've checked and just trying to narrow possibilities. Next up is pull the rad and check the t-belt/sprockets. Maybe eventually I'll find what's wrong by process of elimination.....:banghead:

#19 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:33 PM

I tried starting fluid last night.

I didn't think the stuff would be good for the MAF so I unplugged and removed it. I also unplugged the injectors of course.

I sprayed some starting fluid into the intake tube while my wife attempted to start it. It sounded like it wanted to run but backfired and died quickly and a bunch of starting fluid ran back out of the tube.

So I pulled the tube off then tried spraying directly into the TB while my wife cranked. The engine backfired through the intake manifold, igniting the residual starting fluid and fumes in the intake tube that I had simply unclamped and pushed aside. Sounded like a firecracker going off, ears ringing, intake tube on fire. My wife thought the can exploded in my hand and damn near soiled her breeches.

I then removed the intake tube from the engine bay entirely and tried one last time to get a clearer picture of what's happening. Residual fluid and fume explosions can be distracting. Again I sprayed into the TB as she cranked. The engine ran for a split second, backfired out the intake again and died. White smoke from intake and exhaust.

It wants to run but backfires through the intake then dies instantly.

I've searched and read quite a bit and seems this could be anything from bad plug/wires to t-belt off a bit to clogged exhaust.

My wires are brand new oem, only been run a few minutes here and there never driven with. I'll have to check the plugs.

T-belt is dead on, I lined up the marks then counted the teeth four times to be damn sure.

Exhaust is not clogged. I recently had it all opened up swapping in the OBD2 cats and everything looked good.

Any other ideas?

#20 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:12 AM

I don't have any starting fluid, never used it...substitutes?

Ether.

And yes it's EXTREMELY flammable. (pretty sure it says that on the can, but who really takes those warnings seriously?!?! )

You do NOT want spray it constantly, put a few shots in the intake, set the can off to the side then crank it over.
Sorry you had to learn that the hard way. :Flame:

So we are now down to two things. Spark timing is off, or we have a couple intake valves open when they're not supposed to be. Mechanically, this would mean bent valves or improper cam timing, which will show up on a compression test.

All different electronics because of the OBD1 - OBD2 switch seem like a good place to start putting some blame.

Just for clarification, NOTHING concerning the timing belt was changed/removed during the switch-over to OBD2 correct?

#21 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:41 PM

Ether.

And yes it's EXTREMELY flammable. (pretty sure it says that on the can, but who really takes those warnings seriously?!?! )

You do NOT want spray it constantly, put a few shots in the intake, set the can off to the side then crank it over.
Sorry you had to learn that the hard way. :Flame:


I didn't spray and crank simultaneously but probably sprayed too much. Also I guess setting the can down is a good practice.:rolleyes:

So we are now down to two things. Spark timing is off, or we have a couple intake valves open when they're not supposed to be. Mechanically, this would mean bent valves or improper cam timing, which will show up on a compression test.

All different electronics because of the OBD1 - OBD2 switch seem like a good place to start putting some blame.

Just for clarification, NOTHING concerning the timing belt was changed/removed during the switch-over to OBD2 correct?


T-belt was not touched at all during OBD2 switch. There's no reason to believe the valves are bent, before switching to OBD2 it ran well despite having no CEL or ECM fuel pump control then failed to start because the fuel pump went out maybe because of how I rigged it.

I think the problem is in the harness but I'm not sure where to look.

I used the whole Legacy harness. I deleted a/c, auto trans, power windows & locks, srs, abs, rear defog, remote mirrors, extra doors, and EGR, added M/T neutral switch, starter interlock relay, second fuel pump relay then spliced the whole Legacy harness into the Brat switches, lights etc.

I have yet to install and connect the fuel tank pressure sensor, evap solenoids and fuel temp sensor but everything else is in and connected.

#22 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

One other thing you could check is make sure the ignition coil is wired to the igniter module properly.
You have the FSM for 97? I'd start with the ignition module and fuel injectors and make SURE the wires from them are going back to the correct pins on the ECU. A simple continuity check should determine that, and you can check for shorts by checking continuity across circuits. Follow those up with the other various sensors. (perhaps the crank and cam sensor wires got mixed up?)

I've never done a swap of this nature, so I really have no clue where something might have gone wrong, except for maybe while cutting up the wire harness. If all else fails, you might try to enlist GD's expertise. I'm pretty sure he's done a few of these swaps. I think I've seen him offer to cut up harnesses for swaps before, so I'm pretty darn sure he knows what he's doing. If he doesn't know, (what he's doing that is) he deserves an Emmy. :lol:

#23 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 07:33 PM

Compression checks out okay, tested twice.

cyl 1 - 152,155
cyl 2 - 152,156
cyl 3 - 163,170
cyl 4 - 170,170

Ignition coil, ignitor, cam sensor and crank sensor wires all verified by continuity, no shorts.

I'm still completely lost with this. :horse:

#24 mountaingoatgruff

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

Still haven't given up...

Most recently I visually verified that I have spark on each plug and used a noid light to verify injectors are receiving pulse signal, both check out okay.

According to my understanding (which seems to be very little at this point) an engine needs air, fuel, correctly timed spark and compression to run.

I have

no obstructions in air intake or exhaust

fuel pressure within spec, injector resistance in spec, injector pulse visually checked by noid light on each injector, fuel in cylinders (wet plugs, unburnt fuel smell in exhaust)

spark visually checked on each plug

compression within spec on each cylinder

t-belt checked and dead on, crank and cam sensor resistance within spec

no open, shorted or mixed up wires in engine or computer side of harness except for uninstalled emissions parts like PCSV, VCSV, fuel temp sensor, etc.


Still it cranks and occasionally sputters, sometimes bucks, but never starts.

What else could possibly prevent it from running? I don't know what else to check.

Edited by mountaingoatgruff, 21 July 2012 - 06:10 PM.


#25 Fairtax4me

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 09:40 PM

Compression looks a bit low but is probably fine.

What are PCSV and VCSV?

Can you hook up a diagnostic scanner to this setup?
I kinda wonder what the ECT sensor says.
Might double check that and make sure it's plugged in all the way. Kind of a PITA to get to under the intake with all the wire harness and hoses in the way.




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