1989 Toyota Camry Engine keeps cranking but won't crank ove

Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 TOYOTA CAMRY
Engine Performance problem
1989 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 183K miles

I did an engine rebuild - replacing piston rings, all new gaskets, re-cut valve seat, valve adjustments with shims. Put engine back. New spark plugs. #1 piston is in compression (0 mark line up). Tried to start the car and the engine keeps cranking and it won't crank over (engine won't start running). If I keep cranking at it, the ground strap wire connect between the cylinder head body and chasis would smoke up. I assume bad ground wire. Current is not flowing through to the chasis. Current got build up in wire causing heat up and smoke. Don't think this would cause the engine not to crank over.

what have I checked so far?

1. Compression test at #1 cylinder. Pressure needle on the pressure gauge starts to jump to 50 psi, 100psi, then 170 psi. Once I see this I stop. I belive this is good, so no futher comprssion check. Did not check the other cylinders.

2. Took out the all spark plugs and saw that center and ground electrodes are all black. It shows at least that the plugs are sparking. Just too rich in fuel base on the plugs coloration.

Any help in troubleshooting why the engine wont crank over would be much appreciated. Thank you for reading.
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Friday, September 25th, 2009 AT 4:21 AM

14 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Did you verify that no.1 piston is on the compression stroke by checking both valves on the no.1 are closed and also the distributor ignition rotor pointing to no.1 cap tower and crank pulley at 0/TDC.

If you're sure that the valve timing and ignition are correct-disconnect a plug wire or 2 and ground it to the engine and have helper crank engine over -Do you have spark if so check the fuel pressure and injection pulses-
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Friday, September 25th, 2009 AT 6:29 AM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
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No. 1 piston is on the compression stroke. Distributor ignition rotor exactly touching no. 1 cap contact pin inside the distributor cap. Crank pulley is at 0/TDC. Not sure if valves on the no.1 are closed since the cylinder head is closed up.

I did not check for spark with the spark plug unplugged and brought to the outside. I indirectly check for spark by looking at the tip of the spark plugs. These spark plugs were brand new. Now they are coated black so they are sparking.

I will check on the fuel pressure and injection pulses.
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Friday, September 25th, 2009 AT 8:26 AM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
Replaced that ground strap between cylinder head and chasis and the same problem is still there. Smoke comes from the ground strap if I keep cranking the car.

Got fuel pressure measured at the top of the fuel filter and it is 46psi. But I don't think it is to to the point where it won't let the engine crank over (start).

I removed the spark plug. I insert the spark plug back to its spark plug cable. I grounded the ground electrode of the spark plug. In the cylinder head where there is no spark plug, I hooked up the compression tester. I then crank the car.

No1. Spark plug has no spark, compression 170psi
No2. Spark plug has intermittent tiny yelllow spar, compression 155psi

No3. Spark plug has intermittent tiny yelllow spar, compression 155psi

No4. Spark plug has intermittent tiny yelllow spar, compression 155psi

I guess I have to replace spark plug, distributor cap, and rotor inside the dist. Cap.
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Saturday, September 26th, 2009 AT 7:43 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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I guess I have to replace spark plug, distributor cap, and rotor inside the dist. cap.

Do this and recheck the fuel pressure-1st blow thru the return line and check the fuel pressure and see below


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/12900_fuel_pressue_camry_1.jpg

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Saturday, September 26th, 2009 AT 8:17 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
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I tested new spark plug for spark and spark is intermittent and yellow (weak spark). So spark plug is not the issue.

Checked resistance of spark plug cables (wire) and the highest value is 1.2 kilo ohms. So my spark plug cables are good. They are below 15 kilo ohms.

Battery is good by the way. 12V and 15mA.
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Saturday, September 26th, 2009 AT 8:26 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Yellow spark could mean weak coil -test the coil's primary and secondary winding resistances out specs you replace it-
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Saturday, September 26th, 2009 AT 10:39 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
Got new distributor cap with new spark plug cable (wire). Got new distributor rotor. New spark plug and I still got no spark on the spark plug.

Alright, I will look into the electrical now. I don't think there are problems with mechanical. This brings back the symptom where the ground strap is smoking, which is electrical related.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 AT 3:50 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
I noticed the following relay activities upon turn the car key to ON

relay Fan No.1 (normally closed) clicks
relay EFI Main (normally opened) clicks

is this normal? Am I suppose to hear these clicks when I turn the car key to ON
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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 AT 4:29 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Check for battery power on the orange and black wire on the ignitor and ignition coil-let me know
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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 AT 5:06 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
I am not sure where exactly these are, but I found some wire of the descriptions and I hope it is right.

There is a connector on top of the distributor housing. I unplugged the connector and there are two wires. Black/orang and white/blue. I put a voltmeter to these two wires turn the car key to ON and got 12.16V. The wires are on the outside of the distributor housing.

The other chech is when I opened up the distributor cap to get access inside the distributor housing. I notice one orange wire, one green wire, one black wire. I can see where the orange wire is connected to at a bolt-nut location. The black wire and green wire seem to be connected to the bolt-nut location on the opposite side. I connected positive terminal of mult-meter to orange and negative terminal of mult-meter to the opposite location where I belive the black wire is connected. Turned on the car key to ON and I got zero volt. I did have the connector outside of the distributor housing plugged in, by the way.

The issue with the two relays that clicks when the car key is turned to ON is gone after I did something to the EFI relay. What I did was that I removed this relay. Short/jump the two connectors (1&3) to make a close contact as pictured on the relay. I kept connectors 4&2 un-shorted. Turn the the key to ON then off. The plug the EFI relay back and I dont the clicking sounds from the relay anymore.

One more thing that I noticed. After of about 10min of leaving the car key in ON position (and with the car key still at ON) I heard 5 beeping sounds. Then, I heard one somewhat long beep sound. Are these beeping error codes? 5 beeps is O2S related?

I got a cheap code reader where you plug it in the DIAGNOSTIC module by the air filter and turn the car key to ON and observe the engine light blinking for error code. When I do this the engine light keeps blinking and there is not temporary pause. The constant blinking indicates a no error code registered.
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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 AT 6:16 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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You are doing all these checks wrong

That orange and black wire powers the coil measure that wire only put your red lead to the orange and black and black lead to ground not the white and blue

The same thing with orange and black to the ignitor to ground for a voltage reading. If you have power to the coil, ignitor to include the injector harness wire connector orange and black wire if so

Replace the distributor
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Sunday, September 27th, 2009 AT 6:33 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
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I got you mate. Here goes.

Primary coil resistance (measured across the two nut-bolt locations inside the distributor housing) is 2.8 ohms. This is out of specs of between.38 to.46 ohms

Secondary coil resitance (measure between one of the two nut-bolt locations and high tension terminal of the ignition coil) is 8.94k ohms. This is in spec which is between 7.7k to 10.4k ohms.

Power between the orange/black wire (that powers the ignition coil measure with reference to chasis ground) is 11.83V (battery voltage is 12.02V). This is done with car key turned to ON.

Power between the orange/black wire (that powers the igniter with reference to chasis ground) is 12.02V (battery voltage is 12.02). The igniter is the silverish, metallic case that hangs next to the battery.

Looks like my primary ignition coil is toast?
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Monday, September 28th, 2009 AT 10:31 PM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
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Got a new ignition coil from the dealer and I still don't have spark at all four spark plugs.

Swapped out the igniter with one from another car that works and got no spark on the spark plugs.

My other thought would be ECU issue. But that is something too complex for me to get into. So the car is going to the dealer for diagnostics.

Thanks for trying to help.
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Saturday, October 10th, 2009 AT 12:18 AM
Tiny
89CAMRYWAGON
  • MEMBER
Ok.I managed to get the engine to crank over. Been awhile indeed. Here is how I solved my problem.

Basically it was camshaft misalignment. I found this out when I carefully analyzed the valve open/close actions corresponding to piston movements. I found out that during the combustion phase where the piston goes down, the exhaust valve opens (it should be closed).

Now, I did align the timing marks/dimples on the gears of the two camshafts correctly. I did this 4 times as a matter of fact. But I had been missing one step. I was so focused on the this alignment and complete ignored the importance of this one step. This step is the alignment of the intake camshaft to 10 BTDC. The intake camshaft needs to be in the 10 BTDC position first (this information was in the manually and I just did not think had to be done). Then you put in the exhaust camshaft and align the timing mark/dimples of the gears of the two camshafts. My mistake at the beginning was that I let the intake camshaft be in any position. You can't do this, the intake camshaft needs to be at 10BTDC before hooking up the exhaust
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Saturday, January 30th, 2010 AT 12:32 PM

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