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88 manual rotates but will not start

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  • 88 manual rotates but will not start

    I don't know if it's related but my problem seemed to start after I replaced the cat and the rest of the exhaust behind it. The engine would randomly die in traffic, I just assumed I killed it as I had my earbuds in alot at the time until afew days later it quit and wouldn't start back up for several minutes/tries/gas pedal taps. Finally started and limped back home with it dying several times along the way. Havn't been able to start it since.

    I've replaced the spark plugs, wires, cap, rotor, cleaned out distributor with brake cleaner. Replaced the 3 main fusable links on the drivers side with cartridges pink green pink. Replaced ignition coil with a new MSD one, the battery is good. I don't know if I'm doing this test correctly but when I hold the wire from the ignition coil to the distributor up to the chassis and crank it I get no spark.

    What should I check next? I'm learning as I go and don't know anything about checking fuses. Daisy has served me faithfully for 7 years and this is the first time shes broke down without an obvious fix.

  • #2
    Also sometimes when I turn the key instead of trying to start I get a loud harsh noise and need to wait several seconds. Sometimes she does it 2 or more times in a row, sometimes just once. Also sometimes while driving I get an obnoxious clicking from the dashboard that seems to have gotten proggressively worse.

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    • #3
      P.S.S. I've checked the fuel pump and replaced a ripped open tube leading from the back of the carb to large fat cylinder behind and below the ignition coil.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cidalfus View Post
        I don't know if I'm doing this test correctly but when I hold the wire from the ignition coil to the distributor up to the chassis and crank it I get no spark.
        Welcome to the forum cidalfus. I have no idea what you mean by the above statement.BUT if you want to see if the ignition is producing a good spark.
        Make sure you dont have any fuel leaks around the engine-
        Remove a spark plug,then plug it back into the wire-
        With the plug threads touching anything metal on engine block.Have someone crank the engine. Spark should be nice and blue & have a " crisp " snap to it.
        Your engine has a "Feed Back" carburetor.Which can be difficult for a beginner to trouble shoot/repair.Good Luck-
        Some people like to read fiction,I prefer to read repair manuals. Weird I know-
        Henry Ford: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently"
        Fuseable Link Distribution Block repair link

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        • #5
          Thanks for the reply and the link! I'll try the spark plug test and cleaning the fuse box, what I meant by the statement is essentially the same test ( I think ) except unplugging the ignition coil wire from the distributor and testing that. I don't have an assistant this morning but I can do it myself if the drivers side strut post is a good ground?

          Also update: I tried testing the solenoid with a screwdriver as I read in another post and that works to rotate the engine also but the engine still will not start.

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          • #6
            No spark with the plug test

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            • #7
              I don't know about the suitability of a MSD coil. Maybe someone here does. Meanwhile check for 12V at + term. Check for continuity between + and -. Check continuity between center post and either terminal.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by georgeb View Post
                I don't know about the suitability of a MSD coil. Maybe someone here does. Meanwhile check for 12V at + term. Check for continuity between + and -. Check continuity between center post and either terminal.
                That coil is fine,jus make sure all its connections are good. Make sure you arent grounding the plug threads on some thing thats painted. If youre sure your not getting spark, thats prolly ur isssue.
                Some people like to read fiction,I prefer to read repair manuals. Weird I know-
                Henry Ford: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently"
                Fuseable Link Distribution Block repair link

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                • #9
                  Voltage at the pos terminal is good. Continuity from Pos to neg looks good, from center to either reads 6000 ohms.

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                  • #10
                    If you confirm no spark id say you need a dizzy most likely.
                    1992 white L, Bp, American racing 13's, stock trans.
                    1991 White L, BP/F5MR, protege header, full aspire swap with gr2's, seats, and sway bar, 15" konig's, short throw, escort console.
                    1991 blue L, 5 speed.
                    1988 red L-plus-all stock.

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                    • #11
                      ok, next step now that we know the coil is good and has power: test the dizzy pickup. since you know how to use a DVOM, pull off the diz cap, rotor and dust cap. there you'll see 3 wires to the ign modual. with the key on, you should have power at the thick blue and black wire terminals. if not, replace the bad wire. next you need to check continuity of the pickup coil. there should be 2 exposed prongs at the 9 and 11 oclock positions when looking at the diz fron the driver side. you should have continuity between those 2 points. if not, replace the pickup coil. if you have continuity, suspect the ign modual and have it tested (bring a hair dryer with out and test whild it's warm as well as cool).
                      Trees aren't kind to me...

                      currently: 2 88Ls (Scrappy and Jersey), 88LX, 90L(Pepe), 91L, 91GL (Skippy) 93 GL Sport (the Mighty Favakk), 94 (Bruce) & 95 Aspire SEs, 97 Aspire (The Joker),
                      94 Justy 4WD, 87 Fiero GT, plus 2 parts cars. That's my fleet.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all that info Festyboy! I'll test all that when I get home later this evening

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                        • #13
                          The wires and the coil scored good. So to test the module I take it out and bring it to a parts store?

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                          • #14
                            Sounds to me like your ignition control module (aka transitorized points) inside the distributor is failing. Intermittent stalling and difficutly starting are symptoms. You can take it out and taked it to some parts stores to be tested for free. A new one costs $160 or so hereabouts. Only one manufacturer and importerr but cost can double depending on who you buy from retail. If you do have to replace it be sure to bed it in dielectric heat transfer paste, the stuff they put under the CPU in a computer. You can get the stuff at an electronics store in a smal bubble enough to do two.
                            Original owner of silver grey carburetted 1989 Festiva. 105k km as of June 2006.

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                            • #15
                              Okay thanks everybody, I see some new ones from Ebay for around 50. Any advice on brands? Cool yip on the dielectric paste, been using that in building/maintaining my own PC for ages

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