Crank, but no start

Tiny
BCMULLEN95
  • 1998 DODGE NEON
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 179,000 MILES

Car would not start, died on the highway and would not restart. Replaced battery, alternator, and intake manifold gasket. I know that the distributor timming is off. Have set timming multiple times as well as rotated distrubutor to see if I was still off. My question is it possible for it to have jumped timing and this is why it will no longer start. I can get it to sound like it is going to star, but it will not stay running.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 3:44 AM

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Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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Having the timing off a bit on your car generally will not keep it from running as the adjustment is very small.
One possibility is that the spark plug wires are out of order. Go through them and make sure you kept them right.

Did you do this work after it stalled on the highway?
Did you replace the intake gasket because you heard a leak or because they are problematic?

Have you ever done the timing belt on your car?

The reason I ask is that you have an Interference type engine where stretching the belt beyond the tensioners' capabilities will cause rough running and possible valve damage. If the belt breaks it will damage the valve train.

It will throw a code if the cam gear has been jumped by tooth. So, if you can, get an OBD reader and check for trouble codes. Other things to check would be vacuum leaks, bad plug wires, (pull a plug and see if it is a nice tan brown color), anything gunky or black is rich and white is lean.

Let me know if the car dies before you replaced said parts and the other information and we can start from there.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 5:23 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Hi guys. Never saw a distributor on a Neon.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 8:36 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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Thanks CardioDoc. Iwas in late night early model mode.

With CD's correction that you have spark boxes or coil over type ingition, I would think that the plug wire order or the wires themselves.
If you are talking about timing skipping a tooth on the timing belt, there is an OBD code that will pop up if you go get your car scanned.
Again, if the timing belt is old or has skipped a tooth, it can cause catastrophic failure in your motor.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 2:03 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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I am not sure what happened, but when I asked the question it is for a 96 asro van 4.3L 2wd. I entered all that iformation on the ask question page.

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 2:28 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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It is a 96 Astro van. The web page did not save the car information that I entered and diverted it back to the neon. Everything stated in my question is for a 96 astro van. Having timming issues. Thanks

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Monday, August 22nd, 2011 AT 2:33 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
  • MEMBER

I have another question, replace the timing gears and chain. I now have no spark. Is it possible that if the Crankshaft Position Reluctor Ring is not aligned correctly it will create a no spark issue? Ther was spark prior to replacing the timing gears and chain. Thanks

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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 AT 3:47 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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I don't think the position snensor ring would cause a no spark situation. Hoever it could as a safety default, but I think with it off that far it would have trhown a code.
Have you tested the coil?
That is the next thing I would do.

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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 AT 9:46 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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Power coming to coil and if the crankshaft sensor is not centered right on the timing cover it will not send the signal for the coil to let out a spark. I do now have spark coming from the coil. Had to readjust the timing cover. Still having an issue with the timing on the van. Hoping that when it is all back together it will fire right up.

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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011 AT 11:28 PM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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Just so I am straight on the chronological order of events;

Van brake down and you replaced; battery, alternator and intake manifold gasket.
Then the Van still would not start. What lead you to replacing the battery, alt, IM gasket?
Did you ever check for spark before you replaced the timing gears and chain?
Was the timing gears and chain something you did after the battery, etc?
There is a chance that your engine is equipped with a Non-Interference safety mechanism.
This means if the timing chain fails or stretches it stops the engine before the valves can hit the piston and damage the motor.
I have not found a definitive answer on this yet and will get an answer from a higher up expert if need be.
However if you are getting spark to the coil, it should be sparking and I am assuming you are turning the van over, so if there was any interference from the gear being out of line, you would have heard it.
Also, the timing chain cover should drop right into place when installed in relation to the crankshaft marks.
Are you sure the motor was a TDC and the can and crank were aligned up? Sometime after installation it is a good idea to turn to assembly 10-12 times and re-check alignment. If the is a chance it could be off by a tooth, it might not hit pistion to valve until its running and the valves stretch. Not to mention performance issues.
I you don't have it totally reassembled, you might want to consider re-checking the cam to crank alignment. I realize it is hard to mess up but rotating it can make a difference as I have found out myself.
I will watch for your reply and check into a few more things and if I can't figure it out I will ask someone I know who is A Ford wiz. He is hard to get a hold of but I will get in contact with him by tonight if necessary. I am actually going to try getting hold of him again right now.
I don't want to give you any answers that I am not fully 100% and move in the wrong direction and waste time.

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 AT 8:06 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
  • MEMBER

The van had an intake manifold had a leak before the van broke down. I took and had both battery and alternator tested, both tested bad. I did test for spark coming out of the coils not the wires though. I changed the timing gears thinking it may have jumped a tooth. It had not jumped a tooth, but the chain was loose. So I replace the timing gear set. It does have a new distributor cap which resolved the no spark going to the spark plugs. I rechecked the timing before it went back together everything lined up. It still will not start.

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 AT 11:11 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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I have checked fuel pressure and it was 50psi, put in carb cleaner as I was starting it to see if it would start, still nothing.

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 AT 11:43 PM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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Okay, I checked into a few things.
First things I found were leading to the fact that a coil getting juice is probably not at fault in a no fire situation. It may be the crankshaft position sensor itself.
Also, this sight has some tutorials and past Q&A about testing coils. I could not find one specific to your van but they all say to test at TDC to make sure the crank sensor is in the circuit.
I am going to get some more input and get back with you soon. So, keep an eye on your PM box or this post.

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 AT 11:44 PM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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I put on a new coil and had the same results.

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Wednesday, August 24th, 2011 AT 11:59 PM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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This is a different expert. I'll see if I can help you out a little here.
There are a few serious issues that I notice right off the bat.

First, This engine has non-adjustable timing. When you turn the distributor, all you do is through the rotor out of phase with the spark and the injectors out of synch with the spark so you have to start all over with the distributor. You need to bring it up on #1TDC and install the distributor over again. The next issue is this the inside terminals on that flat cap do not align with the outside wire so you have to be sure about number one. You have to get it as close as possible and the final adjustment has to be made with a professional scan tool to adjust the offset to zero.

The second big problem you have is that 50 PSI is not enough fuel pressure for this engine. It requires a MINIMUM of 55PSI to run with no margin for error. You need to get both of those things resolved before going any further.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:07 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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I think it may be coming down to the crank sensor being a possible culprit.
However, I still would like someone to advise or work with you at this point since it is a situation where the motor could get damaged if not aligned right and/or become any more frustrating with you.
So, I am waiting on a PM, which should come shortly) to make sure something has not been missed and you are headed down the right path.

Since you gave me the new information it does ound like the position sensor, but I wpould just like to get another opinion.

I will get back with you ASAP.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:08 AM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
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They fuel pressure is a rough estimate. My pressure gauge is off and I have not gotten a new one yet.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:12 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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Then you need to get a new one before going any further. There is no margin for error on the fuel pressure.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:14 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
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I got a Master Level Expert to help out. WRENCHTECH, is simply the best.
I will certainly keep tabs on all posts until it is figured out.
Thanks WrenchTech.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:21 AM
Tiny
WRENCHTECH
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You can work on getting the distributor in right until you get an accurate fuel pressure gauge. Who knows, maybe you won't need it.

REMOVE OR DISCONNECT
Make sure the ignition switch is "OFF."

NOTE: If the distributor is removed from the engine, it can be re-Installed using "procedure A" (shown below) as long as the crankshaft has not rotated from its initial position. If the intake manifold, cylinder head, crankshaft, camshaft, timing gear or complete engine was removed or replaced, "procedure B" must be followed to correctly install the distributor. A DTC may also indicate an incorrectly installed distributor and engine or distributor damage may occur. Procedure B must then be used.

PROCEDURE A

1. Spark plug and coil leads from the distributor cap.
2. Three wire hall effect switch connector from the base of the distributor.
3. Two screws holding the cap to the housing
4. Distributor cap.

O Use a grease pencil to note the position of the rotor segment in relation to the distributor housing. Identify the mark with the number 1.

5. Mounting clamp hold down bolt.
6. Distributor.

O As the distributor is being removed from the engine, you will notice the rotor move in a counter-clockwise direction, 42 degrees. This will appear as slightly more than one clock position. Noting the position of the rotor segment, by placing a second mark on the base of the distributor, will aid in achieving proper rotor alignment during distributor installation. Be sure to identify the second mark on the base with the number 2.

INSTALL OR CONNECT

1. If the original distributor is to be replaced, rather than repaired, remove the new distributor cap. Using a grease pencil, place two marks on the new distributor housing in the same location as the two marks on the original housing.
2. When installing the distributor, align the rotor segment with the number 2 mark on the base of the distributor. Guide the distributor into place, making sure the mounting hole in the distributor hold down base is aligned over the mounting hole in intake manifold. As the distributor is being installed, you will notice the rotor will move in a clockwise direction, 42 degrees. ONCE THE DISTRIBUTOR IS COMPLETELY SEATED, the rotor segment should be aligned with the number 1 mark on the base. If the rotor segment is not aligned with the number 1 mark, the gear teeth of the distributor and camshaft have meshed one or more teeth out of time. To correct this condition, remove the distributor and reinstall it following procedure B in the following text.

1. Cap and mounting screws. Do not overtighten as the boss may strip.
2. Distributor mounting clamp and tighten to proper torque.

O Tighten Distributor clamp and bolt to 27 Nm (20 lb. Ft.)
o Tighten Distributor cap screws to 4.8 Nm (43 lb. In.)

3. Three wire hall effect switch connector to base of the distributor.
4. Spark plug and coil leads to the distributor cap.

O If a check engine light is illuminated after installing the distributor and a DTC P1345 is found, the distributor has been installed incorrectly. You now must refer to procedure B for proper distributor installation.

PROCEDURE B
Bring the engine up to Top Dead Center (TDC) of cylinder number 1. Make sure it is on the compression stroke.

1. Remove the distributor cap screws and cap to expose the rotor.
2. Align the pre-drilled indent hole in the distributor driven gear with the white alignment line on the lower portion of the shaft housing. The rotor segment should point to the cap hold down mount nearest the flat side of the housing.
3. Using a long screw driver, align the oil pump drive shaft to the drive tab of the distributor.
4. Guide the distributor into place, making sure the spark plug towers are perpendicular to the centerline of the engine.
5. ONCE THE DISTRIBUTOR IS FULLY SEATED, the rotor segment should be aligned with the pointer cast into the distributor base. This pointer will have a "6" cast into it, indicating the distributor is to be used on a 6 cylinder engine. If the rotor segment does not come within a few degrees of the pointer, the gear mesh between the distributor and camshaft may be off a tooth or more. If this is the case, repeat the procedure again to achieve proper alignment.

INSTALL OR CONNECT

1. Cap and mounting screws. Do not overtighten as the boss may strip.
2. Distributor mounting clamp and tighten to proper torque.

O Tighten Distributor clamp and bolt to 27 Nm (20 lb. Ft.)
o Tighten Distributor cap screws to 4.8 Nm (43 lb. In.)

3. Three wire hall effect switch connector to base of distributor.
4. Spark plug and coil leads to the distributor cap.

O If a check engine light is illuminated after installing the distributor and a DTC P1345 is found, the distributor has been installed incorrectly.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 12:28 AM
Tiny
BCMULLEN95
  • MEMBER

I finally got it running so far no codes thanks so much for the information, as it turns out I was 180 degrees off. Thanks again.

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011 AT 1:59 AM

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