Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

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Brodieroni82
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Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

Post by Brodieroni82 » Thu May 02, 2019 11:34 pm

Alright y’all, 8 months ago I bought an 84’ Tercel 4wd. Had the motor professionally rebuilt (it was leaking oil from everywhere) and replaced almost everything attached to the motor (carb, distributor, alternator, radiator) tucker has run beautifully for 1500 miles.

So...this morning I hop in, fire her up, same as I have for 3 months. Brief high idle and we’re off. I get 2 blocks around the corner and shift into 3 and the motor cuts out. I pull over, pump the pedal 3 times and turn it over 3 times. There’s power, starter runs just doesn’t get going. I’ve got to get to work so I bail, grab the wife’s rig and head to work. All day I’m thinking fuel delivery, fuel pump relay? Fuel pump? Where to look first. My homies coming over in the am and I could use some help on where to start. I walked to it just now in hopes it was a strange fluke - the stars crossed and she was just moody this morning. Sure enough she fired up, aaaaaannnnd died again. This time died quicker and no revival.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Also, random question: how big are the fuel tanks on these things?

xirdneh
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Posts: 1966
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:38 am
My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

Post by xirdneh » Fri May 03, 2019 12:02 am

Tank may hold a bit more than 12 gallons but 12 is about all that gets pumped out.
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

xirdneh
Highest Ranking Member
Posts: 1966
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:38 am
My tercel:: 87 tercel 4x4 wagon w/reringed engine, 83 tercel 4x4 wagon w/salvaged engine and 4.1 Diff's
Location: seabeck, washington, USA

Re: Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

Post by xirdneh » Fri May 03, 2019 12:05 am

If you pour a tablespoon of gas down the throat of the carb and try starting and it fires right up then dies its a fuel delivery problem
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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Petros
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Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:31 pm
My tercel:: '84 Tercel4wd w/extensive mods
Location: Arlington WA USA

Re: Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

Post by Petros » Fri May 03, 2019 12:28 am

likely there is something simple, perhaps related to recent work that came loose.

sounds like fuel delivery but before we get ahead of ourselves, first things first:

Rule 1. Always diagnose the problem BEFORE you try and fix it! sounds obvious, but many, even experianced people (including me!) have jumped to a fix and wasted time and money only to discover that was not the problem. so put this on your bathroom mirror so you will see it every morning before you go out to your car.

Rule 2. there are essentially only two reasons it will not run (short of a catastrophic mechanical failure, but usually you will know about that): reason one; no fuel supply. Reason two; no spark (or spark at the wrong time).

usually quick test is to spray fuel or starter fluid down the carb and give it a crank. if it starts and runs breifely and dies, it means the spark is working but running out of fuel. if it will not start at all, just cranks with fuel down the carb, usually means no spark.

for no fuel supply, check for leaky or disconnected fuel lines, plugged fuel filter, sometimes cracked fuel lines up stream of the fuel pump allows it to suck air into the line rather than fuel. See if you can get a good look at the sight window on the front of the carb, if fuel level is normal than more investigation is required, but usually it will not be present if it died because of no fuel. a bad fuel pump of course could cause that too (just because it is new, does not mean it is good). simple test for fuel pump is to pull off the line to the carb, and have someone crank it while you watch. if fuel squirts out, likely the pump is okay.

if no spark, than work backwards from spark plug: pull a spark plug wire, put a metal rod or screw driver it in and hold it (or affix it) so it is near the metal part of the engine (about 1/4" away) and have someone crank it. It should have a bluish white spark jumping the gap. if it is strong, it means spark timing is off, possbly skipped timing belt, loose distributor allow timing to get way off, etc. if no spark or weak spark, you need to work your way though the components in the distributor per the FSM.

Most of the effort is finding the problem, usually the fix is fairly fast and easy. so diagnose it by systematically checking everything, one item at a time. if you start changing things out at random, you may create other problems for yourself inadvertently, so do your best to hunt down the one thing that is preventing it from running. it ran before that item failed, so there is likely only that one item keeping it from running.

though I need to point out, that very, very rarely, two items will fail at once, and you have a heck of a time hunting it down. but do not assume that.

Good luck.
'87 Tercel 4wd SR5 (current engine swap project)
'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
'92 Mazda MPV 4wd (wife's daily driver)
'85 Tercel 4wd DLX auto(daughter's daily driver)
'01 Honda Civic (other daughter's daily driver)

Brodieroni82
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:56 am

Re: Engine cutout suddenly - rebuilt motor and carb

Post by Brodieroni82 » Fri May 31, 2019 10:20 pm

Thanks Petros!

Followed your direction, diagnosed a faulty fuel pump. Found a Japanese made oem replacement from Halsey import parts just down the way from me in ne Portland, came with a 2 year warrantee. $65.

Car runs way better than it did before! I’m guessing it was faulty out of the box. My fuel economy is 25% improved. Also better power and stronger start.

Thanks for the help!

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