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HELP - car wont start


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29 replies to this topic

#1 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:56 PM

Hi all. I have an 87 GL two-wheel drive / manual / non-turbo that I need to have looked at. It won’t start. I’m a poor college student and need to have it running in the fall when school starts again (Sept. 18) it hasn’t been running for about 6 months now so iv been riding the bus but when school starts I wont be able to ride the bus to/from school so alas I need to get the ol’ subbie running again. I don’t suspect its anything too major but then again I have no idea. As I said before I’m a poor college student so I would be looking for someone who would come look at it for free. Ill probably be able to pay for parts (assuming its not something too major) I’m not completely useless mechanically but I just haven’t been able to figure out what’s wrong with her. I love this car to death. Its ugly, its loud, its clean, its my baby. Please help.:)


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#2 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:57 PM

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#3 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 02:58 PM

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#4 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:06 PM

* Stuff i forgot to include...

I parked it one day and the next morning i saw that it had been broken into and they stole my stereo and iPod. When i tried to start it it wouldnt start. I thought it might be a fuse from when they ripped out the stereo but they were all fine.

I live in Lynnwood Washington. Thats where the car is parked.

#5 pbrtcan

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:23 PM

Well, I'm in New York so I can't come help, but I am from the 206 so I'll throw you a bone.

You said the car has been sitting. Is the battery still OK? When you turn the key in the ignition does anything occur? i.e. dash lights come on or dim, engine turns over but does not start, solenoid clicks but engine doesn't turn.

When they broke in have you checked for other damage, maybe they tried to steal the car?

Get back with a report on the battery and answers for above q's.

Good luck

#6 Syonyk

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:45 PM

More info would be very useful. What *exactly* does it do when you try to start it?

Does the horn work? The ECU is on a fuse with the horn, and if that fuse is blown, the car won't run.

To make an engine run, you need fuel, you need compression, and you need spark. Generally an engine sitting won't kill compression (and if it does, you can hear it - it sounds "odd" when cranking). That leaves fuel and spark. You can pull a plug and crank the engine with the plug grounded, looking for spark. You can also throw a timing light on a wire & see if it's getting power. With fuel, you need fuel pressure & something to open the injectors.

It's probably not something terribly difficult. Give us some good info on what exactly it does/doesn't do, and we'll go from there.

-=Russ=-

#7 '86 oopsie

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 05:24 PM

i'm going to be in lynwood tommarow if you want me to look at it, just let me know ASAP so I can figure out when/where.

#8 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 10:48 PM

yes it turns over. lights come on. it just doesnt start...

#9 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 10:50 PM

i dont think it gets spark.... i pulled a plug and touched it to the engine block while my dad tried to start it. it was sunny tho... would it have to be dark / semi-dark to see the spark? does touching it to the engine block properly ground it?

#10 calebz

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 11:58 PM

Have you checked your fusible links?

You said someone jacked the stereo. Has it run since? If not, I would guess a fuse or fusible link (under the hood by the coolant tank).

Otherwise, I would normally guess something like a timing belt.

#11 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 28 August 2006 - 03:12 PM

i just "checked" the fusible links. um they look fine.... how do i tell if their bad?? :-\ :-\ :-\

i still think it would be really nice if someone could come look at it....

#12 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 05:49 PM

i just put a PAP distributor in and im still not getting spark. also my horn has never worked. ill check if its getting power or if the horn its self is broken. iv always assumed it was just a broken horn. ill check that and get back. also someone mentioned something about the ECU and the horn being on the same fuse. can anyone tell me a bit more about that? where is this fuse? how do i tell if thats whats wrong with it?

#13 calebz

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 07:53 PM


i still think it would be really nice if someone could come look at it....



Sure thing, I'll be right there ;)

#14 Turbone

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:14 PM

Sure thing, I'll be right there ;)


Well, seeing how you never showed up:D I was making a run to Tex's and he lives about 5mi away, so I took a look at it the other day.
No spark at all, so I threw my coil in, no spark there either. So I told him to get a PAP disty and try that. Again a no go. I checked all the fuses, they are good. So the only thing it could be now is the computer. Unless some other genius has any other ideas?

#15 Sister7

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:38 PM

This genious suggests trying a different ignition impulse amplifier (little transistor on the coil bracket) and checking the cleanliness of the bracket as it is a ground for said transistor. Also just assuming that you checked and the rotor was turning.

#16 Turbone

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 09:58 PM

That was the first thing I checked. Actually, I checked to see if the screw had come out. It hadnt. Tyler, take the cap off and turn the engine over, have someone else watch the rotor and make sure it turns. If not, the timing belt on that side is broken. I did take a look at the transistor to make sure the plug was good, but there was no way for me to check it.
But shouldnt there still be spark from the coil if the belts broken?

#17 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 10:42 PM

But shouldnt there still be spark from the coil if the belts broken?


No - the CAS in the disty isn't telling the ECU to fire.

But all this started after his stereo got stolen right? I say fried ECU - they will be destroyed within a few seconds if the polarity is accidentally reversed on them.

GD

#18 daeron

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 10:57 PM

not if the driver side belt is broken, i think the disty us run off the back of that camshaft. i know ive heard people say that it wont turn with the driver side belt broken. that is DEFINITELY a thing to check, as its a job within the scope of anyone who wants to try working on the car.. its a simple job if you follow procedure.

Tyler: if you want to check the ECU to see if its getting power, it has a self test.. as i understand reading the FSM, when you turn the key to on, the ECU is supposed to turn on all the idiot lights. (check engine, oil pressure, brake dash light, seat belt warning light, i think a voltage light, etc) When the key is on, the engine off, and these lights are all on (like they usually are on any car) that SHOULD be an indication that the ECU is on, powered, and ready to crank the engine. so if you have those lights, and no spark, then the ECU is at least on and TRYING to function, as i understand it. I thought i had read that in the FSM, and i tried just now to look that up to quote it.. but i couldnt.

there is a test mode for the ECU.. and if there are no check engine lights on with the vehicle running (have there been?) then when you connect the "read memory" connectors, the light on the ECU will blink like 4 to 7 times, and that number is a vehicle specification mumber (US, Canada, California, and auto or manual) as well as an all clear indicator. there should be a pair of white and a pair of green connectors that are unplugged either under your hood, right in front of the drivers windshield wiper; or inside the car, under the plastic cover below the steering column. If you find those connectors, make a post here or PM me.

i sent you a pm with my email address... find those connectors, and check your timing belt by watching the distributor turning... not that someone breaking in and stealing your stereo would snap a timing belt, but we need to confirm that the distributor is functioning...troubleshootng a problem like this is a process of ruling problems out, one at a time. so pull the cap, crank the engine, and make sure the rotor is turning. once you find those connectors, go here http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=49918
and here http://www.ultimates...ead.php?t=53831
to read up on how you can check the ECU for certain. you plug in the white ones, which are the read memory connectors.. and providing you havent had any CEL in the past, the small (red?) LED on the ECU should flash 4 or 5-7 times, telling you by that number what kind of car you have. if it does that we KNOW the ecu is powered and functional.

if you have a multimeter you can check the fusible links by testing continuity thru them... but the simplest way is to take them off, (one at a time so you put them back on in the right places) and flex the wire thru your fingers.. they should be pliable and feel strong throughout. if there is a weak point, or they feel weird, they are bad. its a fuse, it blows by melting under too much current.. and they can kinda half-burn out.. which is a reasonable possibility since someone jacked the stereo, they might have caused a short for a half a second, and half-blown the fuse (fusible link)

sorry for being such a windbag, i cant express my ideas succinctly sometimes.. but i wanna help you get your car running. its not hard :- ) and you get such a feeling of satisfaction when you do it yourself... :clap: :clap:

we can go from there once those questions are answered. good luck!

#19 calebz

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 10:59 PM

Well, seeing how you never showed up:D


Careful now. I know where you live;)

#20 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 12:54 AM

the check engine light has been on for a long time. since way before i got it almost 8 months ago.

#21 Sister7

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 01:02 AM

I have a known good coil bracket/transistor that you can borrow for diagnostic purposes. I'll be in seattle on tuesday if you'll be around mid-day.

#22 Cougar

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 01:34 AM

Fuse #5 is the one that ties to the horn and ECU along with some other things I believe.

Instead of guessing what the problem is I suggest you take some voltage readings at key points to see if voltage is getting to those points.

Check to see if voltage is getting to both sides of the coil as it should be with the key turned to 'ON'. If that is ok then check if you can see ignition pulses by placing the meter or test light on the minus side of the coil and ground while cranking the engine. You should have pulses if the CAS is ok.

To make sure there isn't a broken timing belt problem effecting the ignition just remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor turns while cranking the engine.

#23 daeron

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Posted 04 September 2006 - 01:49 AM

Fuse #5 is the one that ties to the horn and ECU along with some other things I believe.

Instead of guessing what the problem is I suggest you take some voltage readings at key points to see if voltage is getting to those points.

Check to see if voltage is getting to both sides of the coil as it should be with the key turned to 'ON'. If that is ok then check if you can see ignition pulses by placing the meter or test light on the minus side of the coil and ground while cranking the engine. You should have pulses if the CAS is ok.

To make sure there isn't a broken timing belt problem effecting the ignition just remove the distributor cap and see if the rotor turns while cranking the engine.


EXCELLENT advice, the one thing ive forgotten to suggest in any correspondence was getting a cheap multimeter, at least, if you dont have one already. if theres a harbor freight tools in your area, they have em for five bucks sometimes. not the most accurate thing, and i wouldnt trust it to give an accurate resistance reading to save my life.... BUT its fine for approximate voltage readings, or relative readings..... what i mean is, if my craftsman or fluke says i have 13.45 volts, and the harbor freight says 11.8... i believe the fluke.. but if i see 11.8 from the HF, then i know my component is powered, yanno?

#24 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 05:42 PM

Hey everyone. You have all been very helpful and I tried my best to get my car started but I just can’t figure it out... So I need a mechanic to come fix it for me. I like working on it and was really hoping I could get it fixed myself but I just don’t have time. I need this car running in a week for school and I just don’t think I can do it in time. So I was wondering if anyone knew of a mobile mechanic who could come fix it for me cheap. Maybe someone from the board? It would also be cool if whoever fixed it could, I don’t know, like show me what they are doing? So I could learn a bit more about fixing it and whatnot, I like cars, and id like to be able to work on it myself more in the future. But on the otherhand getting it fixed is by far more important at the moment. I'm fairly certain there is something wrong with the ignition system, but I’ve messed around with it so much I can’t even really tell you what iv checked and what I haven’t checked, or what I thought I fixed but ended up breaking something else in the process, so with all that said any takers?
-Tyler

I live in Lynnwood and that is where the car is.

You can contact me:
e-mail- tylermaulding@hotmail.com
cell- 206-859-8461
or PM but i perfer e-mail or a call :)


#25 Tyler_Seattle

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 07:54 PM

:burnout:




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