No-Start and running out of time

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FranklinTheWagon
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My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:06 pm

Alright I'm pretty desperate. I'm supposed to be driving cross country this upcoming monday and my tercel is a no start. It was having a problem last week with basically now power once in the higher rpm that I posted about; couldn't go up even slight inclines and no faster than about 45 mph. Somebody recommended opening the distributor and making sure the rotor wasn't sticking. Without having any experience at all working on distributors I opened it up and the rotor had about a half an inch of play up and down. I put it back together and now It cranks and if I feather the gas it'll just barely sputter along for a couple seconds before dying. The plugs are all getting spark and the firing order is correct. I'm running out of time and I was planning to just bring it to the shop for a diagnosis on the first problem but I need it running first.
If anybody is in Flagstaff or just general Northern Arizona and could be of help I'd appreciate it immensely. Otherwise, anybody have any advice on what's wrong?

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NWMO
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by NWMO » Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:28 pm

FranklinTheWagon wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:06 pm
Alright I'm pretty desperate. I'm supposed to be driving cross country this upcoming monday and my tercel is a no start. It was having a problem last week with basically now power once in the higher rpm that I posted about; couldn't go up even slight inclines and no faster than about 45 mph. Somebody recommended opening the distributor and making sure the rotor wasn't sticking. Without having any experience at all working on distributors I opened it up and the rotor had about a half an inch of play up and down. I put it back together and now It cranks and if I feather the gas it'll just barely sputter along for a couple seconds before dying. The plugs are all getting spark and the firing order is correct. I'm running out of time and I was planning to just bring it to the shop for a diagnosis on the first problem but I need it running first.
If anybody is in Flagstaff or just general Northern Arizona and could be of help I'd appreciate it immensely. Otherwise, anybody have any advice on what's wrong?
Franklin,

By "opened it up" are you saying you removed the distributor cap and could inspect the rotor?

When you describe the half inch of play and say "up and down", I assume that is rotational play around the shaft, seems spring loaded?

Have you set timing with a timing light? was your timing advance working properly?

After my rebuild it took a few tries to get the correct tooth for timing. If you are off by a tooth one way or the other, the engine will typically run, but have problem areas and not run very well. If you have the correct position on the distributor, disconnect the vac advance and set to approximately 10 degrees BTDC. This is a little more advance than the FSM calls for, but these engines seem to prefer it.

Chris


After reading your other posts, I would try a new fuel pump. It seems a lot of the fuel pumps have problems out of the box. I will add, my car acted similarly last weekend when I was slowly driving up a pasture hill after checking my honeybees. The car chugged and then died. Wanting to check the fuel pump, I took the air breather cover off and poured some fuel right in the carb to see if it would start. What I found was the fuel was boiling away as I poured it in. I could actually hear/see the fuel bubble up due to heat. The car did start after priming and hasn't been a problem since (only a few days). I assume typical driving keeps things cool enough and pumps sufficient fuel for it not to be a problem, but lugging up a hill at very low RPM allowed the fuel pump to not keep up and cause the issue. That said, if I was going to be off-roading with slower speed and RPMs, I would fill up with premium fuel.
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"

In remembrance of my friend ARCHINSTL:

T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

FranklinTheWagon
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My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Wed Jun 05, 2019 5:14 pm

Yeah I removed the cap and the play I'm referencing is rotational. I was planning to check the timing with a light this week but I don't know of a way without it running. Also, I'd responded in my other post that the sight glass was empty. Upon looking again I realize that the glass is actually full nearly to the top. The new fuel pump is putting out just over 4 psi of pressure so it seems to be working fine.

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dlb
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by dlb » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:49 pm

The fuel level should be between the two points of the sight glass, right in the middle. It sounds like your carb is flooding. I would check the float to make sure it's still working properly, and maybe remove the jets and blow them out backwards in case some grit has got stuck in them.

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Petros
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by Petros » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:45 am

there is only two reason it will not run: no fuel (or too much fuel), or no spark (or spark timing off).

test each by spraying starting fluid down the carb and give it a crank, if it starts and runs briefly, it means fuel issue. if it makes no difference on running, could be spark.

pull spark plug wire and put a metal shaft like a big nail or crew driver into the boot and hold it about 1/4" away from ground and have someone crank it. you should get a strong bluish white spark with a "snap, snap, snap" sound. if it is weak, you may have bad module or igniter, or coil (a weak coil that is partially broken down can give you those kind of symptoms). See the FSM on how to test the coil with a volt-olm meter.

If you have strong spark your timing could be off, check your cam belt for condition and to see if it jumped a few teeth. if the belt has skipped a few teeth it means you likely need a new timing belt, and to reset the camp timing. if timing belt is correct and timed properly, than could be distributor is off timing. you can randomly try different distributor positions until it runs, than you can either us a timing light (and you can check your spark advance, it the advance is not working it will run weak). or you can keep advancing the spark timing a bit at a time, test driving it at full throttle in hard acceleration. if you get too much ping (crackling sound) from the engine, back it off a bit. the most spark advance you can run without ping is the most efficient timing setting.

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)

FranklinTheWagon
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Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 pm
My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:44 am

Alright thank you so much. I'll run through some tests and update after.

FranklinTheWagon
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My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:57 am

Okay so I tested the spark and it was there but very weak. Did some fsm tests on the coil and igniter and the only bit out of spec is the primary coil resistance at .95 ohm (Versus the spec'd 0.4-0.5)
Is that likely the problem?

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dlb
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by dlb » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:17 pm

Maybe. Do you have a spare dizzy? They're pretty easy to swap in and out if you have a known good one. Do you have a timing light though? You need one to correctly set the timing afterward.

FranklinTheWagon
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My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 3:44 pm

Unfortunately no. And there's only one junk yard tercel in the state and it's a fuel injected '88 sedan with (unless I'm mistaken) a different dizzy. I ordered a coil through NAPA that'll arrive any moment now. We'll see if that in any way helps.

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NWMO
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by NWMO » Thu Jun 06, 2019 4:59 pm

Franklin,

How have you timed the engine thus far? I've never had much luck with resistance testing a coil. Honestly, if I was going into business for myself, I might produce coils, as it seems over half of them get replaced when they are working just fine.

That said, you might double check your ground wire connection to the engine/subframe/where ever. If a wire is run to one of the starter bolts, it might try to start fine, but still not have the best connection for the ignition system. I admire your spunk, if you do get it squared away and start across country with it, you should post here and see where others are located so they can lend a hand if you find yourself in need. You would have to take the northern route through Missouri to get within 5 hrs of me, but there are others in the state closer to I-44.

Chris
Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart"

In remembrance of my friend ARCHINSTL:

T4WD augury?
"Oh, do not ask, 'What is it?' Let us go and make our visit."
T.S. Eliot - "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"

"Now and then we had a hope that, if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates."
Mark Twain

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Petros
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by Petros » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:31 pm

you set the timing by "ear", by listening to the ping or knock. you keep advancing the timing a little at a time between test runs where you accelerate hard. when you get audible ping, you back it off. an occasional ping is okay, but you want to keep the continuous crackle to a min.

The most efficient setting for the spark is the most advance you can run without getting ping.

you need some way to verify the mechanical advance is working, usually done with a timing light. if the mechanical advance is stuck, or ineffective, it will have weak acceleration and no power at higher rpms.

Usually you rotate the rotor by hand with the cap off, if it rotates smoothly, and returns all the way back, it is good. if not soak the mechanism in the base of the housing with lubricant. penetrating oil is best to get it working freely, than put something a little more durable on it.
'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)

FranklinTheWagon
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Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 pm
My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:38 pm

Well. The coil was fine. For one thing the new one was the exact same resistance reading, I threw it in anyways and no difference. I do appreciate the comment NWMO haha but the trip is looking less likely by the minute. Grounding is also good unfortunately.

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Petros
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by Petros » Fri Jun 07, 2019 2:18 am

it has to be something obvious, you just have to systematically check out each system. One you isolate the problem, the fix is usually simple.

could it be flooding? check the float level in the carb through the window. several sources of excess fuel, the AAP is damaged and allow fuel to leak into the engine through the vac line and TVSV. pull the vac line and see if there is fuel in it, if so, the AAP is ruptured. the simple fix is to cap off both ends of the vac line. you only need the AAP on cold starts, after the engine is warmed it is cut out of the fuel system. so it will run fine without it if you just allow it warm up a bit after the cold start. another cause of flooding is bad needle valve in the float bowl, if the fuel in the sight glass shows too full (level should be in the middle of the little window on the front of the carb), the top should come off the carb (watch out for the tiny parts on it) and than either clean it out, or replace it. check that the float is set properly as well.

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)

FranklinTheWagon
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Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:34 pm
My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD Wagon

Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by FranklinTheWagon » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:11 pm

Thanks Petros. I checked the AAP, no problem there. The fuel level has fluctuated between pretty much to the top of the glass and just below center. I just dropped it off at my shop for the weekend for a diagnosis. I should have some news by Monday. I'll update you all when I learn more.

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dlb
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Re: No-Start and running out of time

Post by dlb » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:50 pm

Did you check the mechanical advance on the dizzy like Petros suggested? I've run into stuck mech. advances causing weird running problems because if timed in such a way and the advance doesn't budge, the car runs mostly ok -- but eventually the advances budges and gets stuck in another position which means the car is now stuck in another timing. I have found the only way to fix this is to disassemble the dizzy (not that hard, just lots of small parts), clean out the old gummy grease, and put it back together with new grease.

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