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Crank but no start HELP!!!


Guest CL_Reatta

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Guest CL_Reatta

My reatta isnt stating... replaced the crank sensor bout 2 years ago, along with the ICM... fuel pump runs, cranks fine. just never starts... was fine yesterday... any suggestions???

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Guest simplyconnected

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CL_Reatta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">... fuel pump runs, cranks fine. just never starts... </div></div> Do you actually HAVE fuel delivery? How about spark???

We need a lot more info than you're giving. Just because it ran yesterday, means very little. You need to skillfully and methodically troubleshoot. This problem could be as simple as connecting a lose wire, or as complicated as gobs of rust plugging your fuel line.

Do you smell raw gas after trying? If you do, start looking for spark. Help us help you.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Hey sorry... posted this while in a bit of a panic... (seems odd since ive been the one giving advice for a long time lol) ... there is fuel delivery... can smell that bad gas smell after crank and can hear the pressure in the rail... all the wires are set.... its been a long time since I worked on this car lol....gonna run to autozone to get a new coil pack.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Well... I put in the new coil pack... it now comes closer to starting... it is as if it almost completly goes, but it doesnt make it... and when im done cranking it backfires..... I wanted to get a new coil pack for it anyways so its not a big loss.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Actually as soon as I posted that last post I did that... and it started... it took about 30 seconds... but it did start... but it was running really rich

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Guest CL_Reatta

ya, disconnnected battery when I put the new coil pack on.... will try later when it gets colder again to start and see what happens

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Guest Bobby Valines

Sometimes spark plug bad wires wont let it start when its damp, get it to start open the hood at night check for sparks outside wires.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Here, I will give a list of items that are less than 2 years old so that you have an idea of what it isnt.

Spark plugs / wires

Ignition control module

Coil Pack

Crank Position sensor

Idle air control

Battery

I believe those are all the things replaced that are starting related.

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OK. Have you performed the procedure listed is section 6E chart A-3 (starts on page 6E3-A-18 of the 1989 FSM (the whole 6E section is a good one to understand if you are going to work on these cars). Is close to there in other year's manuals.

A-3 is for "Engine cranks but does not run" and is a series of steps and checks to go though in a case like yours.

Must admit I usually start by pouring about 1/2 oz of gas into the "octopus" behind the air meter & cranking to find out if it is fuel or ignition related) & when I visit the pick-a-part usually grab one or two complete late Delco ignition systems, is an easy swap.

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Guest Greg Ross

I've had two episodes something along the lines of this in 12 years. 1st time it would start and run sort of! on I guess 4 cylinders-replaced at that time the Magnavox Ignition module.

2nd time it quit on the road, following the trouble shooting logic referenced by Mr. Padgett we ended up replacing the ECM.

Could be crank sensor, could be....there's no simple answer, You have to systematically go thru the trouble shooting steps to isolate the issue. Only if your wallet is very deep do you want to start throwing parts at it!

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Just an aside here, if your crank sensor has come loose or even a little movement it can affect it. I had one that would start and then when it warmed up just a bit the crank sensor moved just a little too close and threw it off. I would venture to say that was a bit unusual, it occurred after changing Harm. Bal. and the new one was probably just a bit different than the old one. (Chinese)I ended up replacing the crank sensor. Saves money to go through the test procedures per above.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Wouldn't it seem odd though that I just replaced the crank sensor 2 years ago, that it would go bad?... I will get around to the testing this weekend... I really don't have much of a life, I either am going to school, doing work for school, or at work.

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Guest simplyconnected

Wouldn't it seem odd that both sealed beam headlights would burn out at the same time? All of the other bulbs were good.

I would say that's impossible, but it happened to me. Nothing else was wrong or broken, just the headlights. Never say, "Never."

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Guest CL_Reatta

Hmmm true... well I went out today, and it is getting spark. funny story is. When I put the tester beween the plug and the wire, and went to crank the car, it started right up. So then connected it back to normal, and it didnt start. and it didnt start every time after. But it is getting spark. Once again, spraying ether into the intake did not do anything either.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Well, I was thinking that it is possible that its a timing issue. I did not let it run for a while becuase I was not trying to start it but trying to find the problem.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CL_Reatta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Already treid that earlier this weekend... drove it around and everything... next day back to not starting again </div></div> What about immediately after you returned home and the engine was still warm? Would it start right back up? How did it run when you were driving it around? Give us details about the symptoms you are having and maybe we can help.

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Guest crazytrain2

Try disconnecting the mass air flow sensor and seeing if it will start - the backfire symptom you describe combined with the no/hard start is one of the issues I encountered when mine went bad.

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Guest CL_Reatta

When it was warmed up it did start right back up, seemed to drive fine, well like it normally does (it has 200k almost, doesnt exaclty drive the best every day). will try disconnecting the MAF either tonight or tomorrow.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Just tried cranking with the MAF disconnected, no difference at all.... if I pump the gas pedal while trying to start (rapidly while cranking) it will almost start, you hear andfeel that like exhaust movement (hard to explain) but it doesnt start

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This is where I wouldswap in a complete ignition module and coils (always keep a spare or two around) and if the didn't work, I'd hook up the ignition break out box I built, connect up an oscilloscope, and go through the diagnostics in the FSM step by step.

(Had something similar a few years ago is why the breakout box was built).

Note: if the ECM gets confused about the cam sensor (will usually set an 041) it has one out of three chances of getting the timing right.

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Guest CL_Reatta

Well, the ignition module is fairly new and the coil is brand new, so that isnt the problem. Dont know what a breakout box is, so will google that up. I havent gotten any codes from the ECM yet.

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Guest simplyconnected

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: CL_Reatta</div><div class="ubbcode-body">When I put the tester beween the plug and the wire, and went to crank the car, it started right up. So then connected it back to normal, and it didnt start.</div></div>

Ok, let me munch on this a bit:

When you ADD plug wire resistance, it starts, (and runs fine).

Hmmm... I think you hit on something, here...

Are you running platinum plugs??? What are they gapped to?

Do you have any COPPER (resistor) plugs to try???

Are your plug wires "resistance" (radio suppression) wires?

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Try this as a test. You will need an assistant and a can of WD-40.

Remove the hose from the air intake that goes to the air cleaner. Have your assistant hold the gas pedal half way to the floor and turn the ignition switch to the "start" position.

While the engine is turning, spray a few short bursts of WD-40 into the air intake manifold opening. Spray the WD-40 as a fog. Don't use the red spray tube.

Did the car start or come closer to starting?

BTW, don't assume parts are good because they were recently replaced. Especially electrical parts.

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Guest Bobby Valines

Did you try the wire dry thing yet, it sure sounds like bad spark plug wires to me. But what do I know I have only been working on cars in my back yard for 35 years. Please try so I can shut-up.

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I also lean towards wires.

Before selling my Reatta, I replaced the wires with off the shelf actual Reatta parts from a dealer. In the long run, the cool Packard labelled wires had been on the shelf so long that they were bad.

Tom T.

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