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Thread: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

  1. #1
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    Default Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Hi.

    I have a 4age Bigport installed in my 1963 cortina

    I need help as it wont start

    Previously the timing belt snapped I have replaced it and it was running pretty well

    I dont drive much as its a classic but want reliability

    12 mths ago it was driving along a 60km and just lost all power - I couldnt start it. Thought it was out of petrol but tank was full. Towed it home. Next weekend I started it and started no issue.

    Then every time I drove it it would be ok but somtimes would loose power and bog right down and stall. Id turn off and restart and would be ok

    Then last weekend wouldnt start at all. Might of left it on reds. Can be sure but battery was totally dead

    I got new battery. Would crank but nothing
    Replaced the spark plugs - they where old and black
    Replaced ignition leads
    Replaced coil
    Checked fuel pump
    Fuel pumping up to the injectors
    Checked the ecu has power and Ignition

    I didnt put the motor in and the loom is a bid odd

    Im not an expert and really struggling

    Can anyone help me on what to check.

    Andrew

  2. #2
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic jondee86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Intermittent faults are the most difficult to track down. One thing to check is the wiring at and near the distributor. Those connector plugs and wires get a lot of movement and you can get fatigue failures. So check the wires at the point where they join the plugs and where they enter the distributor looking for breaks, soft spots that could be wires broken internally, frayed or corroded wires etc. Look inside the distributor as well just in case

    Cheers... jondee86

  3. #3
    Junior Member Grease Monkey
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Are you actually testing or just replacing stuff? Without testing, you won't know if it works or not. It might be worthwhile downloading a 4age diagnostic manual to help you troubleshoot. Have you tried putting it in diagnostic's mode TE1 and E1 to see if any code's come up? (maybe useless since you replaced battery and may have wiped all codes clean)

    * Compression (may not be your problem as the car was running before) but it give some idea of health of your cylinder/rings/valve seating relative to each other
    * Fuel - quickest way is to use "start ya bastard" or some sort of fuel starter. If it doesn't start with this and your compression is ok then move to spark/timing
    * make a LED Noid light and see if your injectors are pulsing (given you have a bigport the cold start injector should be enough just to get it started)
    * Spark - see if you getting spark and the right order
    * timing - this will be hard to set if your engine is not running but try adv/retard and start it might give a few puffs/sputter (make sure you mark it position before you move anything so you know where it was originally).

    I was in a similar predicament recently and my car doesn't get driven around much either. Playing around with timing ended up getting it running again (maybe the corrosion in the CAS had some effect but moving it around freed it up) or it could just be gummed up rings. Your symptom's point to something on its way out.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Yeah. Just not sure

    I got a plug tester. I got good spark from each

    Timing could be out?

    Fuel is definitely getting to the throttle body.

    Not sure how to check the diagnostic as the ECU is custom wired in a mk1 cortina

    Could it be flooded with fuel

    The spark plugs where black when I changed

  5. #5
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic jondee86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Another sometimes cure for mysterious crank no start problems is replacing the igniter. On an early 4AGE that will be a small aluminum box that sits on top of the coil. It grounds through the outer casing so you need to check that there is a good metal to metal contact between the igniter and the bracket, and between the bracket and the chassis. If you are not having any success it would be worth tracking down another igniter to try. Worst case you end up with a spare

    Cheers... jondee86

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Hi. Even though I have good strong spark? I tested spark plugs individually.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic jondee86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    If I understand correctly, after you replaced the cambelt the engine started and ran normally. If so, cam timing, ignition timing, fuel supply and injection would all appear to be functioning normally as well. That leaves an electrical problem as being the most likely cause of the issues you are having.

    Depending to some extent on the exact version of the 4AGE you have and how it is set up, you may have one of the two different problems I have suggested. On some versions the engine control unit (ECU) will not allow the engine to run if it does not get a rpm signal from the distributor. Common cause of no rpm signal is a break in the wire near the distributor.

    Second possibility is that the ECU is not receiving an ignition fired (IGf) signal from the igniter. This signal is derived from the coil negative terminal and is designed to allow the ECU to prevent the engine running if there is no spark event detected. A safety measure to prevent fuel being injected if there is no spark occurring. Again, a broken wire or faulty connection can be the cause, or sometimes there can be a failure in

    Having said all that, the igniter itself. Having said all that, I think that these safety measures usually allow spark to occur for a couple of seconds before they stop the engine. So I would have expected that you might have had a few pops or bangs during cranking even if the engine did not continue to run.

    The 4AGE has a cold start injector mounted on the side of the intake manifold that supplies extra fuel during cranking. After extended crank no start conditions with both the cold start injector and the main injectors working, you can easily flood the engine. If your plugs were old and sooty they would most likely be wet with fuel when you pulled them out. New plugs can also get wet... you can confirm fuel in the cylinders by pulling one out after cranking to check for wet and strong fuel smell. If so, leave the plugs out overnight to let the fuel evaporate and dry the plugs by heating with a gas burner / butane torch.

    Pull the top timing cover and check that the cam timing is still good and the belt is correctly tensioned.

    Cheers... jondee86

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    What everyone else said.... just one more thing, I've only come across this twice so quite rare, Make sure the exhaust is not blocked maybe a mud wasp nest or a potato if you have kids or crazy x girlfriend.

  9. #9
    Junior Member Domestic Engineer
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    old toyota distributors use reluctor sensors that have a weak signal when old and hot, if you can try a known good dizzy.

    also worth cranking and seeing if your getting any spark, if no spark or injection its likely trigger related.
    1990 ST185 Running stock Gen 3 power, 216awhp at 15psi. 13.6 second down the quarter

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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by aus jd 2703 View Post
    old toyota distributors use reluctor sensors that have a weak signal when old and hot, if you can try a known good dizzy.

    also worth cranking and seeing if your getting any spark, if no spark or injection its likely trigger related.
    Its got good spark and new coil there is fuel coming up to fuel rail? Im just stumped. ECU has power

    - - - Updated - - -

    Timing belt looks and feels good. Marks line up etc

    - - - Updated - - -

    Timing belt looks and feels good. Marks line up etc

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    I pulled the injection plug and the loom has 3.7v on each side of the connector. So I assume thats right. Batter is brand new?

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ageCort View Post
    I pulled the injection plug and the loom has 3.7v on each side of the connector. So I assume thats right. Batter is brand new?
    How can I check that the injectors are squirting fuel??

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Have you tried a squirting a bit of fuel down the intake and cranking it over, if it fires its a fuel problem. From what you have described it's likely to be a fuel pump or contaminated fuel, blocked filter or pressure regulator. In that order. Injectors can be checked by removing the plug and connecting 12 volts to the injector, it should click. While you're at it connect a test light to the injector plug and crank over the light should flash.

  14. #14
    Junior Member Backyard Mechanic jondee86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ageCort View Post
    I pulled the injection plug and the loom has 3.7v on each side of the connector. So I assume thats right. Batter is brand new?
    The ECU switches the injectors to ground momentarily to fire them. If you want to test that they are receiving 12V when the ignition is switched ON, you need to remove ALL FOUR injector clips (plugs). Then if you test each injector individually, one pin should have 12V to chassis ground, and the other should have nothing.

    The ECU grounds via two or three brown wires that exit the engine loom on the intake side near the back of the engine. The wires all terminate to a single brass ring terminal that gets clamped to the intake manifold under a bolt that sometimes secures a plastic wiring duct. Those grounds must have a good solid metal to metal contact. You also need to have a good ground cable from the engine to the chassis and from the chassis to the battery negative terminal. That last cable can get contaminated with battery acid so check that it is not broken or very nearly broken close to the terminal.

    If you use 12V to test for injector operation, don't leave it connected. Just "dab" a test wire against a 12V source to make a momentary contact. The injectors use fuel for cooling so leaving 12V on them for a long period can cause them to overheat.

    Do you know if your engine has a MAF sensor in the intake (strange shape box with a moveable flap inside) or a MAP sensor (small black plastic thing with a thin rubber hose0 connected to the side of the intake manifold ?

    Cheers... jondee86

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help 4age wont start. Cranks but wont start

    Quote Originally Posted by jondee86 View Post
    The ECU switches the injectors to ground momentarily to fire them. If you want to test that they are receiving 12V when the ignition is switched ON, you need to remove ALL FOUR injector clips (plugs). Then if you test each injector individually, one pin should have 12V to chassis ground, and the other should have nothing.

    The ECU grounds via two or three brown wires that exit the engine loom on the intake side near the back of the engine. The wires all terminate to a single brass ring terminal that gets clamped to the intake manifold under a bolt that sometimes secures a plastic wiring duct. Those grounds must have a good solid metal to metal contact. You also need to have a good ground cable from the engine to the chassis and from the chassis to the battery negative terminal. That last cable can get contaminated with battery acid so check that it is not broken or very nearly broken close to the terminal.

    If you use 12V to test for injector operation, don't leave it connected. Just "dab" a test wire against a 12V source to make a momentary contact. The injectors use fuel for cooling so leaving 12V on them for a long period can cause them to overheat.

    Do you know if your engine has a MAF sensor in the intake (strange shape box with a moveable flap inside) or a MAP sensor (small black plastic thing with a thin rubber hose0 connected to the side of the intake manifold ?

    Cheers... jondee86
    Ok. I have 12 volts on the injector plug on one side

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