Engine 90 2.3 Cranks No Start

cturboaddict

Founding Member
I picked up this rust free 2.3 for a drag car build. I've got another project in front of it, so its build start is on the backburner at the moment.

The guy I bought it from was swapping his Calypso 5.0 parts over before having title trouble. He said he's never attempted to start it.

Anyhow, wanted to see if it would start as it spun over freely and its pretty clean for being a 90. Atleast I could move it around the yard if so.

Threw a battery in it, and the starter skipped, and slow crank.. Pulled the starter to see the gear was broken.

Checked flywheel, good.

Put a new battery in it. Cranks, but no start.

Fuel pump whines on key. Fuel pressure at rail is 34 psi when key on.

Have spark from coil. Have spark to spark plugs.

Put new spark plugs in, as the old ones were dirty and old.

Injectors have pulse via noid.

Compression is at 175 on all 4 cyl.

No codes (I know they've been erased due to the new battery), but only shows 11.

Still no start. What am I missing? Where should I go?
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
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Well your just making this more complicated!!
Spark, fuel, compression!
What more do we need, if the timing was off you would not have that strong compression.
Are you checking spark by jumping the solenoid?
I'm not familiar with 4cyl stuff, some years have duel plug/two coil stuff so....
@junkyardwarrior got anything?
 
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cturboaddict

Founding Member
Well your just making this more complicated!!
Spark, fuel, compression!
What more do we need, if the timing was off you would not have that strong compression.
Are you checking spark by jumping the solenoid?
I'm not familiar with 4cyl stuff, some years have duel plug/two coil stuff so....
@junkyardwarrior got anything?
It gets more interesting.

Found spark plug wires firing order were incorrect sequence as well. Someone had them at
3-4-2-1

But when the motor is at TDC on compression,the distributor is not pointing at #1. (Or where #1 is supposed to be) its in between two plugs.

20201129_094729.jpg



I pulled the timing belt cover off, and im not sure they are aligned correctly or not.

Distributor/oil pump gear at TDC, looks like the arrow is pointing towards the crank.
20201129_100009.jpg


Camshaft gear at TDC looks to be pointing straight down towards the crank too.
20201129_100014.jpg



If anyone can confirm the proper pulley alignment and distributor rptor location at TDC, I bet that firing order had something to do with it as well.
 
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91TwighlightGT

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If your ignition timing is off, it won't start. A lot of times they will backfire or sound like they are attempting to start, though.

I would definitely try to make sure that it was correct before going further.
 

cturboaddict

Founding Member
If your ignition timing is off, it won't start. A lot of times they will backfire or sound like they are attempting to start, though.

I would definitely try to make sure that it was correct before going further.
Yeah, From all the videos, book reading, and internet searching I've done. Either someone installed this cam belt incorrectly, or the timing belt has jumped.
I cut off the old belt and ordered a new one. I have the crank aligned where it's supposed to be, I think the pointer on the cam gear needs to point towards the oil pump/distributor gear, and the distributor gear needs to have the pointer facing #1 on the cap.

That's my best guess, because the book is wrong for the distributor.
 

cturboaddict

Founding Member
After reinstalled the new timing belt and aligning the cam gear/crank gear/distributor gear with #1, it started and runs now. Spitting some black smoke, but it runs good enough to drive it in and out of the garage, and that's what I was after.

Either the cam gear is still a tooth off, or I've got some sort of fuel issue (the black smoke). But it's sort of irrelevant due to whats going to happen to this car.
 

junkyardwarrior

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Jan 10, 2011
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just fyi

on the old efi and carb 2.3's it does not matter where you choose to place #1 on the distributor. If you install the belt and are off a little, just pick out the closest tower on the dist and call that #1. Then sequence the wires clockwise 1-3-4-2. On V8's the reluctor has one tooth that is different than the others and that is #1, so that the ecu can identify #1 cyl. 2.3's it don't matter. all that matters is that the cam is timed properly and #1 cylinder TDC fires on the compression stroke not exhaust or overlap stroke.
 
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