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Well, thought I had it fixed.....

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  • Well, thought I had it fixed.....

    ....in my thread below...another turns over but won't start....I thought I found the problem when I cleaned out my distributor cap and she started right up. Well, the next day it started right up, drove it to the store and on the way home it died again. I tried cleaning out the cap again, nope. I then bought a new cap, put that on, nope. Just cranks and cranks, only thing left would be the distributor itself, correct??? Help me if you can think of something else to try, I am about to swap the rotor out of my other festiva and put it in this one to see if that will help. I'm thinking not. Any ideas will be appreciated. Thank, Jim

  • #2
    First, check for spark again. It could be the Ign control module in the dist. is bad, but check for voltage at the coil + with the key on in case the Ign switch or fusible link has a bad connection. Also, the voltage at the coil during cranking should be very close to the battery voltage during cranking.
    When I'm good I'm very, very good and when I'm bad I'm HORRID.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by tooldude View Post
      First, check for spark again. It could be the Ign control module in the dist. is bad, but check for voltage at the coil + with the key on in case the Ign switch or fusible link has a bad connection. Also, the voltage at the coil during cranking should be very close to the battery voltage during cranking.
      Thanks for the reply. I'll try that stuff.
      Last edited by jimdigs; 05-01-2020, 04:20 PM.

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      • #4
        Well, I swaped out the fuses with the pink and green ones from my other festiva. Still no start. I rechecked compression and this engine is pretty strong 150 150 180 180. I could not swap the rotor from the 93 carb to the 88. They are different. So I have one coming today. Probably not the problem but now I'll have a pretty new ignition system, new coil, new cap, new rotor. Still accepting any type of ideas. Thanks

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        • #5
          I looked into buying an ignition control module and they cost about as much as a new entire distributor. About $150.

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          • #6
            It's looking more like the module is bad but it's not totally eliminated. Have you tried to "hot-wire" the coil, wire B+ directly to the positive connection on the distributor? If there is still no spark, that will eliminate the possibility that B+ is being interrupted anywhere in the circuit (at that moment, at least). Also, you could disconnect B+ and spray off any oil that may be on the module with electrical cleaner, as a Hail Mary I guess. I had a module fail once and I had to buy a reman distributor as I could not wait on an order. The motor ran badly on it so I knew it was the reman. I believe it had a defective module, but would still make spark. Next one was ok. I could not find out if the module had been replaced. I doubt it - $150 module replaced in a $180 reman? My advice is buy the module so that you know it's new. Keep the bad module. If you ever need to replace the distributor, you will have it if it's required with the core. If you replace the module, it has to have dielectric grease spread on the bottom against the distributor.
            When I'm good I'm very, very good and when I'm bad I'm HORRID.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tooldude View Post
              It's looking more like the module is bad but it's not totally eliminated. Have you tried to "hot-wire" the coil, wire B+ directly to the positive connection on the distributor? If there is still no spark, that will eliminate the possibility that B+ is being interrupted anywhere in the circuit (at that moment, at least). Also, you could disconnect B+ and spray off any oil that may be on the module with electrical cleaner, as a Hail Mary I guess. I had a module fail once and I had to buy a reman distributor as I could not wait on an order. The motor ran badly on it so I knew it was the reman. I believe it had a defective module, but would still make spark. Next one was ok. I could not find out if the module had been replaced. I doubt it - $150 module replaced in a $180 reman? My advice is buy the module so that you know it's new. Keep the bad module. If you ever need to replace the distributor, you will have it if it's required with the core. If you replace the module, it has to have dielectric grease spread on the bottom against the distributor.
              I wish I would of seen your post before I orderd a reman. distributor last night. I was debating between the module and the entire distributor. I can still at least try the B+ thing if I can figure out the wires. I'm still a little worried it could be a wire somewhere but I have been looking and wiggling and trying to start the car. Plus all the vacuum lines on this carburated thing. Are the wires hard to pull off on the module? They look like they are on there pretty good.

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              • #8
                I think you made the right chjoice as the repalcement distributor will eliminate both the ignition module and oil leak as possible causes. I think all that remains is the coil and the ignition wire between the coild and distributor. I think your problem is a complete lack of current. Theoretically a problem with a spark plug or wire or hose would cause the engine to run rough but not to not fire at all. The engine starts without all the emissions stuff and runs for a short time that way until the O2 sensor wams up and starts sending a signal to the computer.

                I sounds like the igntion module to me too. Intermittent stalling and no start is what people have reported here over the years. I'ts been my experience too.
                Last edited by WmWatt; 05-03-2020, 08:19 AM.
                Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by WmWatt View Post
                  I think you made the right chjoice as the repalcement distributor will eliminate both the ignition module and oil leak as possible causes. I think all that remains is the coil and the ignition wire between the coild and distributor. I think your problem is a complete lack of current. Theoretically a problem with a spark plug or wire or hose would cause the engine to run rough but not to not fire at all. The engine starts without all the emissions stuff and runs for a short time that way until the O2 sensor wams up and starts sending a signal to the computer.

                  I sounds like the igntion module to me too. Intermittent stalling and no start is what people have reported here over the years. I'ts been my experience too.
                  Thanks for the reply, it is apprecitated.

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                  • #10
                    Good point WmWatt made. I think it's a matter of philosophies. I actually debated about which way to go on that but I'm not clear on whether your oil leak is through the the distributor seal or if the oil is blowing around your engine. If you are unsure about working on the distributor, then the exchange is a much better option for you.
                    When I'm good I'm very, very good and when I'm bad I'm HORRID.

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                    • #11
                      Well I have the distributor out. Have to wait til Wed. or Thur. for the distributor to get here from rock auto. Are there any secrets on how to load the new distributor? Can I put it in wrong somehow and mess things up? I know I will probably have to set the timing, are the 88s the same as the newer models in that you have to plug into the STL, I think those are the letters? Thanks
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Well, got the new (reman) distibutor today from rock auto. Got here two days before it was supposed too.YEAH. Put her in and what do you know, the thing started. YAHOO. I need to check the timing now though, any help with that, it looks like you just clog up the two vacuum lines going to the distibutor. Then time it with a light. Is there no way to set the idle? Couldn't find it in the manual for my 88 carburated. Plus looks like no STI to ground out. Also, the stupid top tube coming out of the distributor diaphram where one of the vacuum hoses plugs into it is way small diameter wise, so that the hose does not fit onto it tight at all. It is very loose. What the heck? Glad its back running though. Took the long and wrong way around to fix this but I got there.

                        P. S. Also noticed the flange, tang on the new distributor, that goes into the camshaft was very loose and wiggled around. Hope this is normal. Has only a pin through the center of it holding it on. It rocks back and forth, seems like it would wear quick after time??
                        Last edited by jimdigs; 05-05-2020, 02:53 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Keep the old one. If the new one gives up try swaaping ignition control modules and put the old one back on. Idle speed control is whilte plastic screw on rear left of carburetor. Idle speed for checking timing is 750rpm warm engine. Need tachometer and timing light. They call it the base timing because it changes when the car is moving depending on driving conditions. Distributor has both vacuum and mechanical timing advance. Don't ask me how it works. I just know it's there from reading the manual. .
                          Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WmWatt View Post
                            Keep the old one. If the new one gives up try swaaping ignition control modules and put the old one back on. Idle speed control is whilte plastic screw on rear left of carburetor. Idle speed for checking timing is 750rpm warm engine. Need tachometer and timing light. They call it the base timing because it changes when the car is moving depending on driving conditions. Distributor has both vacuum and mechanical timing advance. Don't ask me how it works. I just know it's there from reading the manual. .
                            Thanks for the reply. I got the timing done with the light but I could never get the 750 rpm to do anything. I put my multimeter with a rpm kit on it always read around 300 which makes no sense. Also no matter how much I screwed the plastic screw in or out it would not affect anything. It idles extremely high but can't control it, its like something is sticking. Plus I had the red dashed hose on top not the bottom like you said so that may have done something?

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                            • #15
                              Have you cleaned the carburettor lately with a spray can of carb cleaner? I can't recall it that's been mentioned. A search of the internet on adjusting carburettor idle shoudl provinde more information. Also perhaps your tachometer is for an 8cyl engine? I recall reading something about mulitplying or dividing y 2 for a 4cyl engine. My tachometer has scales for both. Sorry I have so little expertise. Not a mechanic. When I unplug the top hose on the distributor to plug my vacuum guage into that hose the engine dies if I'm not quick. Once the hose is plugged it's okay. Don't know if that helps.
                              Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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