Starting fluid

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Daniel Forest, May 6, 2019.

  1. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Hi,

    Long story about my 1987 Bertone who let me down on the highway... 1.5 years ago. I'm still trying to figure out why. There is already a thread on the subject (i have to dig to find it) but I'm ready to try to start it with starting fluid. Never did that before. All the videos I found where about carb car. Where do I put the fluid in the FI system? Thottle body?
     
  2. andreav

    andreav Daily Driver

    Location:
    Croatia
    Yes, you open throttle on full position and spray inside little bit.
     
  3. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    There's a reason why all the videos you've found are about carbed cars. Nothing awful will happen if you spray starter fluid into the intake, but all you're doing is testing the fuel injection - if it fires with starter fluid but not without, you've learned that the injectors aren't doing their job.

    It's not clear from your other thread.... Have you checked the trust-but-verify stuff: compression in all four cylinders, verified the static cam timing, verified that you have spark at all four cylinders, verified the static ignition timing, verified the injectors are actually delivering fuel?
     
  4. JimD

    JimD Waiting for Godot... Moderator

    Location:
    Missouri, USA
  5. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Nothing happen with the starter fluid.

    Didn't check the compression. The car was running fine on the highway, then suddenly died during some heavy rain, like running out of fuel.

    Spark at all cylinders, but looking like fuel is not reaching the spark plugs. They are clean and didn't smell fuel.

    Timing belt is still there, in one piece. One of the only thing I haven't checked yet is if it slipped one or many teeth. That's probably my next thing to check.
     
  6. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Mine chewed the teeth off the timing belt in the area of the crank.

    However if you are getting spark, the belt is fine. The problem is in the fuel delivery. I would download the injection trouble shooting guide and work your way through it.

    Check your fuses including the inline fuse for the injection system. Then verify your combi relay is working. Use noid light to verify whether the injectors are receiving a signal to open.

    You have spark and no fuel. Compression would be nice to verify on at least one cylinder.
     
  7. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    Not necessarily - if the belt skips a few teeth you’ll still have spark, but it won’t happen at the right time to light the fire.

    Sight unseen, I was betting on a fuel delivery problem, but then the motor would have at least coughed a few times with starter fluid. Not even a peep with starter fluid? Check compression, cam timing, static ignition timing.
     
  8. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Good points. On mine I was getting a spark when I first turned the key and nothing as I turned the engine over. I marked the timing belt and was amazed that it stopped turning at the same position time after time...

    You are right, it is about verifying the basics, step by step.
     
  9. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    The engine is turning fast, nothing changed with the starter fluid. Last year, after we went thru all possibilities with my mechanics, we diagnosed a bad fi computer or combi relay. I changed both with known good units. Nothing. Timing is next, but if it's not that, I will be back to square one when I will be checking all possibilities. I maybe wrong about something... like there is fuel to the injectors, but not after (but is there enough fuel?) there is sparks, but they seems weak. (I changed rotor, distributor cap, distributor, spark plug wires and spark plugs...). Thank you Karl and Eric for the comments.
     
  10. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Some quick checks:

    With the ignition in the ON position, remove the hose to the AFM from the air filter. Push in on the flap, the fuel pump should start running. If it doesn’t then chase through that. ​

    Assuming the pump is running then using a noid light remove the electrical connector from one of the injectors and test by having someone turn the engine over, the light should pulse as the engine turns over.​

    Pull the hose off the hard fuel return line off the pressure regulator, place the hose end into a container and try turning the engine over, you should have very good flow into the container as the engine is turning. You will continue to have flow for a bit as the pressure is relieved. Make sure there is someone standing there holding the hose in the container and holding on to the container or it may get blown over by the fuel flow/pressure with fuel spewing all over.​
     
  11. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Seems we have a winner. Timing belt is off. Not a little. 180 degrees off... It seems old with some cracks, so time to change it. I'm just surprised it could have slip by that much while driving at a steady speed on the highway.

    I found one in my part stash, so next time I have a little extra time and it's not raining (car is outside, covered in the winter) I will do the t-belt change.

    I feel like working on an unknown car. I'm use to work on my 1980 street-race car where everything is clean an accessible. My 1987 is all original...in it's original juice. For the first time in 25 years I had to remove the protective shields underneath to be able to turn the crank!
     
    kmead likes this.
  12. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I seem to recall this all started as you were driving on the highway, suddenly it started running poorly? I find it difficult to imagine how the belt suddenly went 180 degrees out. One or maybe two teeth, but half of them? Was it exactly 180 degrees? Because the engine might actually run that way (poorly). Is there a chance it was always that way? Or could you have moved it while trying to find the issue and this was not the original problem? Just hard to believe it would move so much on its own. Is the tensioner intack? Please remind me of the situation when it first happened...it really does not matter but I'm very curious now.
     
  13. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    No way it jumped a full 180 degrees without shearing a tooth or the like....
    But it may have been off a lot already, and then jumped a few teeth.

    An easy mistake is use the 1300 timing marks with a 1500 can sprocket or vice versa. That leaves the motor not too far off of 180 degrees wrong and it will run if the dizzy is to set to fire #1 when you’re at the wrong mark.

    If you didn’t previously check the cam timing (surely you would have noticed cracks in the belt if you did) it may have wrong for a while.... and may or not be your problem, but is definitely something to fix before any other troubleshooting.
     
  14. EricH

    EricH Eric Hamilton Moderator

    Location:
    Durham NC, USA
    Oh, and I should add.... the crank turns two revolutions for every revolution of the cam, so the camshaft is out by exactly 180 degrees every other turn of the crank. If you are really out exactly 180 degrees, you turn the crank once and your timing marks will all align.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  15. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I'm with Eric here.

    As simple as it should be, the whole cam timing thing can get really confusing. Especially if the flywheel was mounted with the timing mark 180 out. Or the ignition timing was set at #1 instead of #4. Or the cam is out of sync with the crank (2 revolutions per each crank). Or the exhaust stroke was mistaken for the compression stroke for TDC. Or the sheetmetal timing reference pointers are out of position.

    I purchased an engine that had most of this mixed up plus a blown head gasket and it actually still ran (sort of). Took awhile to get everything sorted, especially when you're not sure what is correct and what isn't (e.g. the flywheel position). Unless you do something like pull off the cam box cover to actually see where things are relative to everything else.

    I've also found where the cam timing mark does not correctly align with the marks on the cam pulley, but seems to fall somewhere in between two of the teeth (related to the flywheel mark and everything set correctly). Not sure if that resulted from some components off other models being installed at some point, or a severely stretched T-belt, or ?? But it can add to the confusion.

    Regardless, great time to start from scratch and replace the T-belt and tensioner, adjust the valves, change any leaking gaskets/seals, reset everything by the book, do a tune up on the ignition and fuel system, service the fluids, etc.
     
  16. kmead

    kmead Old enough to know better

    Location:
    Michigan
    Mine sheared teeth off at 25 mph under light throttle, the day before I had driven 400 miles and was far from home. I went from driving to an engine that was just turning with no power and I was able to turn into a street before losing momentum.

    When it died I was a mile from my house and my wife kindly pulled me home using our Sienna minivan.

    Took me a while to parse it out. When I did, I felt like a compleat idiot...still do or it confirmed a reality I had been avoiding for years.
     
  17. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Jeff, the story was I was running 60 mph on the highway in pooring rain, then suddenly the engine died. While I was on a roll, I tried to have it start on compression, but didn't work. I gave a look at the engine to see if anything could have been just unplugged. Didn't found anything. Called the towing.

    When back home, I was Under the impression the fuel was culprit. But I found the fuel pump was working. Then we tested for spark at the plugs. They were a little weak, but there was spark. But after trying for awhile, I found the fuel didn't seem to reach the plugs...

    Since I had a lot of spares, including new parts like plugs, spark plugs wires, distributor caps and rotors, I changed a lot of them, just in case. Anyway. they were on the car when I bought it 10 years ago, so a refresh wasn't a bad idea even if it didn't solved the problem. I even bought a combo relay and I got some spare computers. No changes.

    I also tought about some non-original part (1300 cam gear on a 1500) could lead to a bad diagnosis about the timing belt. But this is a all-original 1987. The 0-5-10 degrees fingers for the crank and the pointer for the cam mark are all there and original.

    The timing belt not being properly adjust was "deleted" as a solution because we were thinking (me and my best friend who's a Professional mechanic) the engine would at least try to start sometimes.

    BTW, I know the crank make 2 rotations for one turn of the cam. I tried to rotate the crank many times without being able to see the mark on the cam Wheel. Then I set the Wheel right and the line on the crank wheel was facing near the ground.

    I will change the timing belt anyway. I will discover then if there are missing teeth, and if the car start or if it just another bad diagnosis....
    Maybe tommorow if it is not raining...

    Thanks all for the comments.
     
  18. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Sheared teeth off of the belt I assume?
     
    kmead likes this.
  19. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Hey Daniel, I suppose if the belt was really dried out and it started to lose some teeth off of it, then the wet from the rain could allow it to slip a lot more. So maybe it could go a full 180 degrees before it stopped slipping. It will be interesting to see what the belt looks like once you get a chance to remove it.
     
  20. Daniel Forest

    Daniel Forest True Classic

    Location:
    Montreal,Canada
    Teeth looks fine. (Toothed belt, I mean), but I guess a change was due... It took me 2 hours to remove, includind jacking the car and removing the Wheel. I choosed to remove the alternator instead of removing the crankshaft nut, to be able to remove the alternator belt. I may find some time to fit the new one this week-end. But strong chances are this was my problem from the beginning!
    20190516_135319.jpg
     
    JimD likes this.

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