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91 Festiva no spark or fuel pump run

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  • 91 Festiva no spark or fuel pump run

    This festiva was an awesome running vehicle until I shut it off one day and then it just refused to restart. A spark tester revealed no spark. Checked coil and have power coming in. Coil itself checks out good though I did throw a spare in that also made no difference to it. I checked the cap and rotor which are fine (almost new). checked the wire from coil to distributor which was fine. Next I checked the ignition module and replaced it with a new one just to make sure. I checked for the pulse on the idm with the coil disconnected and it pulses fine. I am absolutely puzzled by not having spark when everything checks out fine.

    I then noticed that I could not hear the fuel pump run at all either so started checking that circuit. I can get the pump to run if I jump the test connector. I'm not sure how one goes about testing the fuel pump relay? I can hear it click when I jump the pump test connector. I have checked the inertia switch which appears to be fine. I am told that there is a fuse some-wheres in the circuit but am unable to find one.

    I guess that my real question is... is there any one thing that will cause the fuel pump not to run and have no spark at the same time?

  • #2
    I don't know anything about the wiring but there are three fuses on the engine compartment driver's fender and fuses under the dash by the driver's door. The connections on the ones in the engine compartment can corrode and cause problems. On the fuel injected models there is an air flow sensor in the air intake which I think can disable the fuel pump if it gets dirty and doesn't work. I've only experience with my carburetted model so am just going by what I remember reading here.
    Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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    • #3
      Yeah the three fuses are called the "fusible links" and a search will bring up much written on the subject. I don't think you'd have power to the coil if the middle MAIN wasn't making contact, but no expert here. The other important one s the EFI I think involving the MAF and stuff.

      I don't think there is an interior fuse for the fuel pump relay- and fewer people seem to be here all the time.

      That's why I'm no mechanic. Wish I had my 88 carbed back, even with only 4 gears.
      Last edited by harpon; 06-04-2019, 06:56 PM.

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      • #4
        The fuel pump does not turn on with the key like a modern vehicle but instead turns when the VAF door starts to open. If you are getting fuel to the injectors with the tester jumped then you should be fine.

        There is something inside the distributor that goes bad and causes a no spark issue but I can't remember what it is called. If you have a spare Disty laying around you could try swapping the whole thing. On a side note, how are you checking for spark at the spark plugs?
        "The White Turd" 1993 Festiva 144k miles. (Winner of FOTM November 2016)
        sigpic
        "The Rusty Banana" 1990 Yellow 5 Speed Mud Festiva (Lifted with 27" BKT Tractor Tires)(Winner of "Best Beater Award" - Madness 12 - 201

        "Papa Smurf" 1992 Blue 5 Speed Shell
        "Cracker?" (name pending) 1992 White Auto Shell (Future BP Swap)
        "Green Car..." Scrap Car that Runs?!?
        "Red Car..." Complete Scrap Car

        "El Flama Blanca" 1993 Festiva 104k miles. (Lil Brothers Car)
        https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzM...ew?usp=sharing

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks guys - all 3 of the fusible links have already been replaced - the fuel relay has already been checked - the VAF has been checked for proper operation - I wish I had a spare distributor laying around (but that still doesn't explain the no fuel issue) - it seems to me as if the computer is shutting down both the fuel and the spark at the same time - I just can't figure out why

          I was checking for spark with an old plug tester light that I know works well

          If I jumper the VAF the fuel pump should come on - right?

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          • #6
            OK. So this morning I thought to myself why not trip the VAF manualy and see if the fuel pump comes on - it does - so there is NO fuel system issue - just a SPARK issue...

            really wishing I had a spare distributor to throw at it...

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            • #7
              crazy thing thinking about the distributor possibly being bad is that if that where the case then I should not have had a pulse signal at the IDM pin when I checked it - right?

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              • #8
                Hey Redrover- one quick question as I'm experiencing a similar problem with a 91 also- How exactly did you determine or know the fuel pump is on? Gas at the rail, filter, what?

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                • #9
                  I check for spark by tying the spark plug end of one of the ignition wires to a post on the strut tower so there is about a 1/4" gap and then crank the engine and look for spark.
                  Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    That doesn't answer my question- only buries it behind your non answer, What?

                    Anyway- I just searched "distributor" on ebay and it spat back about 315 items both new and old distributors and related parts. There doesn't appear to be any separate items that could be the source of the spark you seek redrover. I'm wondering if this is confusion over the ignition module, aka "igniter" you said you've already replaced (Ive done that on mine too) which I believe is sometimes located IN the distributor in other cars- I think it was in a Dodge Van I had where it slowly failed over time. ?? Don't know, but f you need a disty- you don't have to junkyard for one,.


                    Last edited by harpon; 06-11-2019, 10:27 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Harpon - I can hear the fuel pump come on when I manually trip the VAF ( I have not bothered to put my pressure tester on it because I can hear it run) - I also have a test light that I can verify the injectors firing.

                      Looks like my only choice if I want to get this $500 vehicle back on the road is to pay $200+ for a new distributor and hope that fixes the problem (I'd hate to buy an old one off of Ebay that had the same problem) - I see that there are 3 types of distributor so now I have to figure out which one it is that I need

                      on the 91 the ignition module is separate from the distributor - the crank trigger is internal to the distributor
                      Last edited by redrover; 06-08-2019, 09:30 AM. Reason: added thoughts...

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                      • #12
                        try the forsale/wanted forum on this site for a known good used distributor
                        Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                        • #13
                          I saw new starting under $60- most used vendors are asking close to that- I'd go new, if it's the correct one.


                          Is anyone else having trouble with these smilies? There is a row or two at the bottom of my window, yet when I click on the "more" link- I get only X's. Do they wok for you or is it only my Windows 8.1 version getting further out of date?

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                          • #14
                            Plus you can return a new one if it's incorrect or defective,
                            Last edited by harpon; 06-11-2019, 10:28 AM.

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                            • #15
                              If the car has been sitting for a long time then the injectors can actually get gunked up and stuck shut. They will pulse like normal and sound like they are working but nothing comes out. Before buying anything new I would pull the fuel rail out and verify that the injectors are actually working correctly. Make sure to have some replacement o-rings ready if you pull the injector out because the old ones don't like to go back in easily and will roll.

                              Also, this sounds dumb but make sure the fuel lines aren't on backward.
                              "The White Turd" 1993 Festiva 144k miles. (Winner of FOTM November 2016)
                              sigpic
                              "The Rusty Banana" 1990 Yellow 5 Speed Mud Festiva (Lifted with 27" BKT Tractor Tires)(Winner of "Best Beater Award" - Madness 12 - 201

                              "Papa Smurf" 1992 Blue 5 Speed Shell
                              "Cracker?" (name pending) 1992 White Auto Shell (Future BP Swap)
                              "Green Car..." Scrap Car that Runs?!?
                              "Red Car..." Complete Scrap Car

                              "El Flama Blanca" 1993 Festiva 104k miles. (Lil Brothers Car)
                              https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzM...ew?usp=sharing

                              Comment

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