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difficulty starting EL 

 

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 Post subject: difficulty starting EL
Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:38 am 
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EL Wagon. 4 litre. Year of manufacture 97.
Ex-taxi. More than 300k on odometer. Two previous owners, both vehicle fleet owners.
Running very well when purchased. Only problem was Starter motor actuator appears not to be engaging properly or ring gear worn. (This problem still to be investigated in the future)
Water pump was changed by local mechanic in Nov 07. He also degreased the engine, for the yearly rego check.
Since then, vehicle appeared hard to start (at times, and has been gradually getting worse). In retrospect should have done the WP swap myself.
Aside from the starter not engaging, the other problem/s .......
car would not start in hot weather after running, ie, engine bay warm.
1) cleaned and replaced corroded battery negative terminal, cleaned relay sockets in engine bay, RHS, near battery. This appears to have fixed the "would not start" problem. Now I don't have a problem with cranking.
2) after the above, another problem that still persists is....from a cold start, engine will not fire, needs a push on the pedal, and extra cranking. It then fires and starts very sluggishly. (Made me think that the timing was off). However, once its running, and warm, I don't appear to have any problems starting it again.
Working thru possible faults, I have
a) replaced all ignition HV leads with a new set. (in the course of which I found very high resistance on 4 and 5, in the order of megohms).
b) replaced distributor cap and rotor.
c) cleaned ignition coil and cleaned coil LV side connector with contact cleaner.
d) cleaned the modular square plug and socket which is located in the intake manifold area, the one that has a long securing bolt in the middle of it. Found what appeared to be oxidation on some of the pins. Cleaned with a toothbrush and contact cleaner. Rest assured its now CLEAN !
e) cleaned all the injector electrical connector plugs and sockets with contact cleaner.
f) cleaned the electrical connector on the Idle Speed Control.
To my earlier comment about a timing angle error. If the timing angle is out, would this not make starting hard no matter what temperature the engine is at ? Therefore, should I disregard this line of thought ?
I tried the Engine STI pin shorted to the Engine ground pin on the diagnostics connector. The engine revs up to 1500 approximately and then goes back to idle, just as some of the posts on this site say it should.
I have been using the Max-Ellery EP.F5 workshop manual, which is basically a piece of s**t in some respects, incomplete procedures and errors with electrical resistance values.
Another problem I found was that if I remove the ISC connector and try to start the engine, it sputters and won't start, yet the Max-Ellery manual says the engine should start and then idle at 450-600 (page 123).
Can someone advise me on whether what the book says is correct ? Because if it is, wow, I just might have a problem !
From reading the other posts on the site, I am planning to work my way through the other items, cleaning contacts on sensors, changing fuel filters, cleaning injectors, etc. I have been guilty of neglect.
I am also searching for my expensive timing light that I had packed away in storage after I bought a diesel truck 10 years ago. Its lying around somewhere.
Apologies for the extended post, but I wanted to provide as much detail as possible.
If anyone can give me some hints, I would be very grateful.
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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 6:40 am 
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My first thought would be coil then tfi module then BEM for your non starting issues.

Those three parts are 99% of problems of starting an EL, (rarer for an el BEM tho)

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:32 am 
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Specifically, what about the symptoms that the ISC is displaying ? As in when I pull the connector and try to start, the engine splutters and attempts to fire, but will not start. I was trawling thru ISC references on the site early in the morning and there are conflicting views of what the ISC disconnection will produce. My Max-Ellery manual says the engine should run ?? Some posts say it may not run, when the connector is disconnected.
Anyone able to clarify that, please ?

Also, you mention the TFI. If this is faulty, would it not then produce fault symptoms during running of the engine once the car starts, say like irregular idle ? The engine runs fine once it starts.
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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:40 am 
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cant help you with ya problem but i can tell you that those max ellery manuals arnt worth the paper they are printed on. some of the info in there is that far of the mark its not fukn funny.
so step 1, ditch that manual.

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:42 am 
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sounds like it has some water in the dizzy, becomes hard to start, sometimes sluggish, spray some WD40 in the dizzy and see

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:49 am 
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in my case i unplug my isc and it stalls..

also the manual states there should be a 0.75mm gap between the idle screw and stop plate.meaning that the throttle butterfly should be complely shut at idle..
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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:45 am 
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TROYMAN wrote:
in my case i unplug my isc and it stalls..

also the manual states there should be a 0.75mm gap between the idle screw and stop plate.meaning that the throttle butterfly should be complely shut at idle..


My car won't start if I unplug the ISC. It'll just splutter be on for a split second and die. Though if the car is at operating temperatures, I can unplug the ISC and it will continue to idle as long as the idle screw is in the correct position.

phong =P~

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:11 pm 
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I take it this is on LPG or is it both fuels???

 

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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:26 pm 
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For what its worth, the car will run without the isc connected if the throttle body screw is advanced enough to hold idle, then of course the tps sensor should be adjusted to read between 0.5 and 0.8 volts

But that not relevant to your car problem so i'll shut up now :)
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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Thanks to all for the replies.
Regards the Max manuals. Yeah, they are a s**t. Just ordered the factory manual set. Got tired of pissing around and they'll be useful for further fiddling. Although the Gregory's seem to be ok, looking at some of the JPG's of pages from other posts.
No water in the distributor. Cleaned distributor when I replaced Distributor cap and rotor.
Fuel is petrol only. LPG is too expensive in Alice Springs. We get ripped off. I had a HQ panel van (Yes I was once a Bogan) when back in Victoria, running on Gas only with a GasTech gas carby and it was neat but I can't see the point of converting here. Just isn't worth it.
I'm going to pursue the ISC thread for now, and I'll let you folks know how it turns out. Have to say, I'm enjoying fiddling with petrol engines again. Ran a Hilux since 98 after my HQ and never had to worry about major servicing but being an Electrical and Electronics Tech, this is starting to become fun again. I've already got monitoring projects planned for the ECU.
And having the resources of this site on hand is extremely helpful.
Once again a big thank you to all you folks.
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Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:30 pm 
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Just a thought, how about fuel pressure? I had similar problems for quite some time. I eventually changed my fuel pump out of frustration (and lack of other things to try) and would you believe that was the problem all along. Good luck

 

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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:31 am 
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Bonzer, you have started me thinking the same thing.
Did some more work today, removed the ISC mounting and used Carby cleaner on the Carby and ISC mechanical movements.
I tried to start the vehicle at about 4pm. It's been a warm day at about 35C outside and the car has been sitting in the sun all day. It took about 6 chugs for it to fire and do its usual sluggish start up.
When I say 6 chugs, I mean that I tried it 6 times with pauses between each attempt. I'm not one of those who tries to rip the s**t out of the starter motor if it wont start. I tried it gently.
This was after reading your post about fuel pressure. Now, I can hear the fuel system prime itself every time, even when I have the hard start problem. However, I have been having a think about this, trying to understand the mechanical and fuel pressure aspects of the injection cycle.
Obviously, with the first start of the day, the fuel pressure needs to build up. So I understand where you're coming from. And once the pipes are primed, it would take some time for the pressure to fall ?? Is that how it should happen ? AFAIK, there should be no other bleed-off mechanism to drop the pressure in the fuel pipes once the engine is turned off, other than the pressure differential causing a very gradual drop thru the fuel pump ?
Anyone who knows how this works, are my assumptions correct ?
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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:45 am 
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verewolf,
I would like to add this to what Krytox suggests:-
A fuel filter change should be near the top of your list, not the bottom [IMO], to quickly rule it out. Blocked fuel filters cause the symptoms your having as do blocked catalytic converters and to a lesser extent PCV valves. The fuel filter, pump, pressure regulator and injectors could all be suffering from the conditions and crap fuel you can get in the Alice [and 300k klms]. I'd suggest checking them in that order.
As soon as possible check the cat. converter, as its probably long past its use by date and if clogged will give you all your symptoms.
Cheers,
Paul

 

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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:23 am 
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Hi, after I replaced my fuel pump (and filter) I decided to pull the old pump apart. Didn`t get too far as I discovered there is a small cover near the electrical contacts. I removed that cover (it looks like a large staple and is made of stainless steel) & found a small spring holding down a ball bearing valve. The ball was "glued in" with brown "goo". I had to use a piece of fine wire to dislodge the ball & the goo. As I was cleaning the bore where the ball seated, fuel started to drip from the inlet (bottom fitting) so I figure that the "goo" was blocking full fuel flow. I still dont know if that was causing what I believe was low fuel pressure, but it fixed my starting problem. Later I spent some time cleaning the old pump & bench testing it. The pump appeared to work perfectly and was much quieter than it had been before I cleaned it. Just for the record, my car has about 350,000+ ks on it & much of those in the N.T. & Northern S.A. Bloody crook petrol at Pimba & all places north!
Hope this helps you. Bonzer

 

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Posted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 10:18 am 
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Too true Bonzer, too true!
It's a pretty safe bet that goo was causing low fuel pressure and starting problems, starvation will do that to an engine won't it?. LOL
Cheers,
Paul

 

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