Jump to content

Off Topic: Daughters '89 Camry 2L 4cyl won't run... help?


RoadsterRich

Recommended Posts

I took our daughters 1989 Toyota Camry, has the 4Cyl 2L engine in it, fuel injected to the shop. Everything is stock on the car. The car stalled and died on her at a red light. She got it restarted, and made it to a friends house. No problems prior to that. When I got to the car it had a pin hole in the upper radiator hose. The radiator fluid was down less than 1/2 a gallon. I replaced the radiator hose, the car was a little tough to start but did start. I got maybe a mile towards home and the car stalled. After that it ran rough and would stall when I put it in gear, nursed it about another 1/2 mile. Finally had it towed to a friends shop. The mechanic says there are no codes in the computer, there is spark and the fuel injectors are delivering fuel, as is the cold start injector. The car is hard to start, and if you can get it started it stalls as soon as it is put in gear. The mechanic has tried swapping out the AFM, and the injectors. He swears that every component tests fine, but the car just won't run.

The pin-hole hose leak was aimed at the distributor and soaked it with radiator fluid. I am of the opinion that the problem is likely with the distributor cap/coil/module. I don't have the car in front of me, but if I recall the coil is inside the distributor cap, not sure where the module is.

Is it worth my time to buy a new cap & coil (about $70) and see if this solves it? The car has been down for nearly three weeks, mechanic is frustrated, I'm frustrated, he's a friend doing this for free, he doesn't usually work on imports, you get what you pay for wink.gif

Any suggestions or ideas are greatly appreciated. The budget is tight at the moment, lots of unexpected family expenses in the last couple of months... so cheap solutions are good solutions at this point, as long as they work...

Thanks!

Rich

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rich,

This sounds to me like a classic blown head gasket to me. You might be able to confirm it by looking for coolant in the oil or by finding one or two exceptionally clean spark plugs. Also I'd go for a compression check on the car to confirm, warm <span style="font-style: italic">and</span> cold if possible.

I'd be willing to bet that there was a problem with the thermostat which caused is to just start to overheat. That likely caused a weak hose to fail as well as the head gasket. Another possiblity is that the low coolant was caused by the failing head gasket, and the pinhole was a cooincidence. Either way a temporary hydraulic lock could've been created which stalled the car. This'd also create the subsequent symptoms. In any case that'd be my first guess.

Good luck! smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a follow up... compression is good, and within 3lbs from the lowest to the highest. No water in the oil, and when it does run, no white (or any for that matter) smoke from the exhaust either.

I picked up a complete distributor for $35 at the salvage yard, on these everything is integrated in to one unit. They didn't have any distributor caps on them though, so I'll be heading over to Advance and pick up one from them. They sell one with a 'lifetime' warranty now, wonder if thats my life, the cars life, or the life of the cap?

I'll try them out tomorrow and see how it goes...

Rich

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no offshore expert but it sounds like the ignition is soaked with coolant where you could need the new distributor drop in for a quick fix, BUT you mentioned no sign of vapor at exhaust pipe so I wonder if you have a clogged converter??? Is there noticable exhaust pressure out the tail pipe? If the distributor doesn't do the fix take the converter loose at inlet, usually a clamp and asbestos o ring affair, and see if no exhaust system improves the engine breathing. Only other suspicion would be low fuel pressure due to blocked filter or in the tank fuel pump problem. Hope the distributor does it for you.

I know there is a Chrysler owners website "allpar.com" that will get you lots of help fast on "K" cars and mini vans, see if there is a Toyota equivalent out there.

Stude8

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fuel pump was one of the first things replaced, think I left that out. Will check out the exhaust pressure/convertor issue. The distributor and new cap will go in tomorrow, weekend got a bit hectic ended up with about 100 more projects than time...

Thanks for all the input... I'm sure we'll eventually get it... just frustrating getting there.

Rich

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well if you have good compression, and you have checked for spark, no wires mixed up, then try spraying some quickstart in the intake, if it trys to start, check the mass air flow sensor on the air intake if it has one or you have computer related problems/wiring problems.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had a plug wire fail on my wife's daily driver. In my case it burnt through the #2 cylinder boot and immediately began a hard miss. However,...

I was reminded of when I put a set of AC wires on our old '87 Mazda during a tune-up once. It ran for one day, and then did <span style="font-style: italic">exactly to a T</span> what Rich's car is doing. I fussed over it for a week, trying everything. I finally gave up on it and took it in to the Mazda dealer.

Within about 20 minutes, the service manager called me over. The car was angled into a darkened corner of the service area. The service manager said "Watch this!" He sprayed the wires with <span style="font-style: italic">Dow Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaner</span>, and told the mechanic in the car to fire it up. It was the Fourth of July in there, sparks everywhere from every wire!

Those wires were brand new and flawless, but they weren't up to the system. Testing the wires would've proven nothing.

He sent me home, and told me to buy better wires--no charge. smile.gif The AC's went into the trash and a set of NGK wires kept it on the road for another 5 years.

Rich, have you tried new (top quality) plug wires? If you go the new cap/rotor route, I'd throw wires at it as a matter of course. If that doesn't work, <span style="font-style: italic">then</span> I try the coil.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks to everyone who gave input on this... thought I would follow up with the results...

The fuel pump was intermmittent.

The distributor Oil seal had gone bad and the distributor cap was to an extent 'filling' with oil. Replacing this got the engine running, but with hesitation still.

The Air Flow Meter, though it tested as good, was apparently bad. Replacing it removed engine hesitation.

The car now runs better than it has in years... it's been on the road for a week and half with on problems.

Thanks again to all that offered insight.

Rich, Colleen and especially Rachel (it's her car)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...