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Thread: what to do next

  1. #1
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    what to do next

    I have an 84 2wd manual van with 285,000 and I cant get it to start. if my pops was still around he could fix it, but now I am on my own :(
    Have replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, plugs, plug wires, ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor and battery. The motor cranks but doesn't fire.
    I dont think it is the timing chain, or distributor and there is spark. The van check engine light would turn on intermittently, but turn off a few seconds later. Never was a problem. The van was driving good and hesitated a little at a red light, I turned it off and tried to restart but it never started again after that. Not sure what to do next. I am pretty sure the motor is still strong.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v...0762&saved trying my hardest to not take it to a mechanic. thanks

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    Re: what to do next

    Compression sounds good, so that rules out timing chain. If there is spark, then the only thing left is fuel. Jump the fuel pump test connector, turn the key to run, and listen for the sound of fuel flowing in the lines. If you don't hear fuel then it will be the fuel system you'll need to troubleshoot. If you do hear the fuel, then you should recheck spark. Here's a picture of the fuel pump test connector & here's how you jump it (for testing only):






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    Re: what to do next

    Quote Originally Posted by wonton jon View Post
    I have an 84 2wd manual van with 285,000 and I cant get it to start. if my pops was still around he could fix it, but now I am on my own :(
    Have replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, plugs, plug wires, ignition coil, distributor cap, rotor and battery. The motor cranks but doesn't fire.
    I dont think it is the timing chain, or distributor and there is spark. The van check engine light would turn on intermittently, but turn off a few seconds later. Never was a problem. The van was driving good and hesitated a little at a red light, I turned it off and tried to restart but it never started again after that. Not sure what to do next. I am pretty sure the motor is still strong.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v...0762&saved trying my hardest to not take it to a mechanic. thanks
    If you already replaced the fuel pump and you hear the fuel pump sound Tim described when you turn the ignition switch to the on position I would suspect vacuum leaks in the air intake system.

    Also, there IS a fuel pump switch in the Air Flow Meter. On the end where the air cleaner is attached there is a plate (like a door). If you manually open it, there should be continuity between terminals Fc and E1. (first two terminals) Continuity in any position except fully closed. The black connector has seven terminals. The two on the left end of the female connector are Fc and E1. Those are the ones. Check it with an ohmmeter.


    John

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    Re: what to do next

    The jumper wire in the connector (my previous post) will bypass the fuel pump switch in the AFM. So, if it runs with the jumper wire installed, pull it out while running. If the engine stalls, then you have a bad switch in the AFM. As far as I know that switch is not replaceable. If it's bad the entire AFM needs to be replaced. Tim

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    Re: what to do next

    Thanks guys l will keep you posted.

    Soo I was not getting fuel pressure. I decided to start with the fuel pump that I had installed 4 months prior. I took it out and checked and reinstalled it.
    Now my van is turning over differently from before. Maybe you can direct me from here. Thanks https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=666809188912
    Last edited by wonton jon; 11-04-2014 at 02:43 PM.

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    Re: what to do next


  7. #7
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    Re: what to do next

    Tim and John
    I ended up taking my van to the mechanic. He said the timing chain skipped a bunch of teeth and I should junk the van. Would it be way too gnarly to try and replace the chain and etc. What do you think about these kits? http://www.nopi.com/dsp_part_detail....vt=n&vmakeid=0
    Should I just search for a new van?

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    Re: what to do next

    Everybody has their own agenda and priorities. The vans I drive and care about were junked by somebody else before I got them (one man's junk is another man's treasure). Anything is possible, but I've never seen a van skip teeth on a timing chain before, so I'd be skeptical of that diagnosis (perhaps he just doesn't want to work on it?). If the timing chain had skipped teeth, cranking the starter would sound very different from normal (valves would be in the wrong position so there would be no compression). Do you hear the normal "pulses" when you crank the engine, or is it a steady flat sound?

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    Re: what to do next

    Quote Originally Posted by wonton jon View Post
    Tim and John
    I ended up taking my van to the mechanic. He said the timing chain skipped a bunch of teeth and I should junk the van. Would it be way too gnarly to try and replace the chain and etc. What do you think about these kits? http://www.nopi.com/dsp_part_detail....vt=n&vmakeid=0
    Should I just search for a new van?
    It's a metal chain, not a rubber belt. I think the mechanic just doesn't want to deal with the problem or (more likely) doesn't know what's wrong.

    John

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    Re: what to do next

    Quote Originally Posted by timsrv View Post
    The vans I drive and care about were junked by somebody else before I got them (one man's junk is another man's treasure).


    Amen to that! I was told by the previous owner of the 85 2wd I swapped the engine on that he had another buyer that wanted it for parts. The van is now going on its second week of driving me to work.

    Junkin' the van seems a little extreme. I agree with Tim...not sure I trust that diagnosis either. Maybe there's another vanner in the area that can be another set of eyes and ears? Hope it works out!

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    Re: what to do next

    Jon, I just watched your video from your 1st post (above), and I don't think it's a timing chain. For anybody who doesn't do their own work, one of the biggest challenges with these vans can be finding an honest mechanic that actually wants to work on it. These intimidate most mechanics and it's almost impossible to beat flat rate on anything engine related. I did an RV repair job for a well respected auto mechanic once (he owned/operated a large shop in Portland, OR) and when he saw my van he told me these were the biggest pieces of crap ever built (and I should get rid of it before it left me stranded) . I laughed and shrugged it off, but he kept going on about how terrible they were. Since I was working for him & didn't want to disagree, I simply changed the subject. Still, he is what most people consider an expert in the field and he talks to a lot of people. Based on his attitude I'm sure his techs had similar opinions.

    That was years ago, but I still think back on it at times and laugh to myself. Is the van really that different from other cars? Once you take the passenger seat and access panel off they are not all that different. The problem is most mechanics base their worth and egos on being able to break speed records with repairs. The van pisses them off because they have extra stuff to take off before they can work on them. Even back when I worked for Toyota (early 90's) I remember the other techs pointing and laughing when one of us had to work on a van. I admit they sucked when it came to beating flat rate (we were a flat rate shop), but we could still make flat rate on them..............and after all, if the customer pays for an hr, he deserves an hr. Tim

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    Re: what to do next

    Years ago, when my wife had her Lumpiac Sunturd, it would regularly not start, usually when it was cold out.
    She would come in complaining, I would go out, floor it, and crank (sometimes for a minute or two) it would stumble and complain and eventually fire up.

    I have seen way too many cars over the years that would flood easily after repeated attempts at starting, usually with short cranks like in your video.
    FI will dump huge amounts of fuel at start-up, if it does that several times in succession, a flooded condition usually ensues.

    At this point you have little to lose, if you want to try it - wide open throttle before the key goes into the ign (when the eCM see's WOT throttle when it is energized, it will cut-off fuel supply)
    IF it is flooded, it should start to stumble and try to start as your cranking, just don't let off on the key (or throttle) for a minute or so,
    If this provides no glory, it's time to go back over all the basics and verify each thing as you go, no guessing or assuming or throwing parts at it, until you find out the fault.

    The diagnosis of a jumped chain is highly suspect, and I would disregard that advice until you do a little detective work on your own.
    It would be nice to know what they did to come to that conclusion though, if they spent any time actually turning wrenches, then you'll want to recheck everything they touched. Also a good idea to recheck all of your own work, you've already realized something went wrong with the initial FP instal, so rechecking all the other things you did, would be a good plan as well.

    As Tim says, they really aren't all that different from any other vehicle, once you get your head around the access issues, for that matter, I would rather work on a TV than the wife's RAV, any day of the week.

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    Re: what to do next

    Since it's been a while since this thread started, I had forgotten some details and re-read your posts. Did you ever verify fuel pressure? Since you have spark, IMO a fuel issue is the most likely cause. How did you verify spark? You should also check for trouble codes as this might help identify an electronic issue. In thinking more about this I was also wondering why a mechanic would use that particular excuse, and it occurred to me that he might have saw a sign (but jumped to the wrong conclusion). One of the 1st things I check when troubleshooting a no-start issue is align the crank to TDC (Top Dead Center) and pull the distributor cap. With the cap off the rotor should be pointing at #1 (or 180 deg from it). After that I give the engine a short crank and verify the rotor spins with engine rotation. If all this checks out, then it's not a timing related issue. If the rotor was not in the correct position, it can only mean one or more of 3 things:

    1. Somebody tampered with it 1st

    2. Timing chain slipped or broke (unlikely on the van but very possible with other makes/models)

    3. Distributor gear and/or it's shear pin broke and/or gear slipped or is slipping on the shaft

    Perhaps your mechanic pulled the cap, saw the rotor pointing the wrong direction and simply jumped to the conclusion the timing chain slipped. Since your engine sounds normal while cranking, and the fact these timing sets are 100% steel (no nylon or other crap to break off the cam gear), I think it's safe to rule out the timing set. If it were running, but suddenly stopped (no tampering), then that only leaves the distributor gear.

    Of course this is simply speculation, but I would align to TDC and check rotor position. If it's off, pull the distributor and check the shear pin. To be honest, I think a distributor gear/shear pin issue is unlikely, but it's still worth a shot (easy to check). If your rotor was pointing in the correct position, then you can rule out all timing related issues, except maybe the 180 deg off possibility, but if the van were running up to the point of start problem, then that wouldn't be the issue. Of course now that somebody else has worked on it there's always the chance of tampering, so I'd probably just go through the procedure of realigning the distributor so this could be ruled out. If all this is too far above your capabilities, I would recommend looking for another mechanic. Tim

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    Re: what to do next

    I'm experiencing a kinda similar fuel system issue... Looking for advise.

    This is my wife's van, it's new to us (89 auto 4wd). I am her mechanic (too bad for her).

    After bringing it home, we replaced a heater hose, the hose of death, t-stat, fan clutch, rad cap, EGR valve, oil & filter, and a bunch of crispy crumbling vacuum hoses. It perred like a kitten for a test drive then stalled in the driveway and had a lot of troulbe restarting. We had been warned by the previous owner that he had had that happening every once in a while. I looked like the original 89 fuel filter was stil on there, so I went ahead and ordered a new filter and pump. I got the new filter and pump in and sent her off down the road on a test drive like on overly confident fool. She ran a couple errands, then made it home and it stalled in the driveway. Couldn't restart it at first, but eventually got it running long enough to pull into the garage. All the crazy dashlights, as it was stalling, made my worry ab the alternator. I put a battery charger on it and it told me I was only at 10% (eeek). Left it overnight. In the morning, I went to start it and it cranks away but doesn't even fire. hmmm... with that full battery, it shouldn't care if my alternator is crapping out... So I cracked open fuel line, and no fuel leaked out with the key on or even cranking.
    So here is my question:
    1. If my wife drove it for 20 minutes plus a couple stops the fuel sytem must have been working for a while right? Any sugestions on finding out where the problem is?
    2. is that enough signs to be worried about my alternator?
    Thanks for any advise!

  15. #15
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    Re: what to do next

    Check codes 1st to see if there's any clues there. If you have a code 14, then I'd guess you have a failed/failing coil or maybe an igniter. These electronics (especially the coil) can become intermittent when they fail. Even if you don't have a code stored, due to the affordable price of a new coil, I would probably just replace it (to rule it out). Tim

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