Question about timing...

General Bellett, Gemini 75-98, Piazza 81-93, Bellel, Florian, 117 Coupe, Minx, Aska technical discussion.
IZU069
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Post by IZU069 » Sat May 12, 2012 10:26 am

I just quit smoking (tobacco) this week... AGAIN!

Wedgy is correct about certain things being unlikely, or not involved, in the starting issue.
A step-through approach is required... EG - is it cranking, is it sparking, is the ECU lit, is there fuel...?


But, a non-quick and un-short comment (ramble) on electrics & manuals in general....

IMO, factory manuals are the best you can get, at least for Jap cars (Isuzu etc).
Others may be bad despite "looking" good.
And I still reckon Gregory's have the WORST electrical diagrams I have ever seen ANYWHERE for ANYTHING. (That's based on box or circle outlines or all devices - you have to look to the legend for what each box is. And with the "simple" TX-Gemini having over 80 such labels...).
The Jap manuals often provide "a course" on the particular subject item.


I have a copy of Mr P's PiazzaManual CD (as available from this site).
IMO such sources are essential for modern vehicles - the electrics and interaction are simply too complex otherwise.
Older "1-page" electrics on Geminis and earlier could be ok without schematics.

Initially I HATED the multi-page wiring diagrams for ANY car. I wanted it all on one big page.
However, a 1-pager is not practical. Hence splitting is required.

And whilst I still hate many other electrical schematics (typically non-Jap), I now appreciate the PiazzaManual.pdf's schematics.

Each fold-out page is a reasonably self-contained sub-system or collection of systems.
The relevant power source is present on all pages (on the LHS) for understanding & troubleshooting ease.
Normally I hate duplication, but it is well worth it in this case!

And "functional" or "circuit diagram" type symbols are used. IOW, relays and components or modules are shown electrically rather than physically - the latter IMO being useless when trying to understand or troubleshoot.
Despite that, once the circuit labeling is understood, it is easy to convert the diagram to physical connectors and pins etc.


Translating the above into reality....
Despite not "knowing" my Geminis or Piazzas etc, from their quality electrical diagrams I can often understand and predict behaviour...
VIZ - last year's episode with someone that insisted on shorting out their Piazza's air-con idling or starter relay etc.
For the Piazza, I can even suggest what incorrect "re-plugging" might occur, and the likely impact.

Compare that to other electrical diagrams - whether Gregory's or other vehicles that IMO are difficult to decipher...
Some pages are merely "bridges" between actual components.
A system's functionality might be spread over several pages (with cryptic connection labels)!


Back to the Piazza...
IMO, at first the Piazza engine-bay was an electrical plumbing nightmare!
Now I see it as a collection of reasonably stand-alone subsystems.
Some are merely "add on luxuries" that are not essential. EG - the turbo "not cold" coolant system; remove that and you substitute a single hose for a hose with a valve and an additional solenoid.

The bulk of the wiring is not helped by the Piazza's innovative features. Few cars had CPUs at the time, and the Piazza was quoted as having 3 CPUs (or 4 if automatic transmission).
Plus the technology. What I thought was some crazy ignition or power system is merely the front windscreen wiper's variable-speed controller.
The wiper's low shoebox sized control could now be matchbox sized.
Similarly with the digi-dash. That could now be reduced to a single board even if using the same display technology.


Anyhow, the above is my opinion for what it's worth.
It is well worthwhile getting the appropriate wiring diagrams and spending a bit of time trying to understand their madness.


Not that any of the above effects the most common fix for ANY electrical problem (ie, over 90% for vehicles; probably over 96% for piazzas) which is to break and remake all connections and ROTATE all fuses (else exchange or at least break and remake if the only fuse of that type or value).
[ By rotate I mean "leap frog"... Remove the first fuse. Replace it with the next same-rated fuse until all done; the first removed fuse it fitted into the last fuse's position. Spare fuses should only be used for single fuses in which case a new fuse should be bought as spare if that circuit's behaviour changes. ]

Note that fuses can have intermittent contact. Typically such fuses break (or open) when warm.


As to Mr Dikhed mechanic that after 2 weeks merely succeeded in blowing up a mate's Piazza's ECU (and costing me hours on the phone and under my Piazzas removing my fuel pumps etc - all to no avail)...
My mate found the problem. It was a "likely problem" I alerted him to months before - namely that his battery flinks were likely to cause problems in the near future.
Sure enough, damp weather was all that was needed.
Two weeks, many hours, and an ECU could have been saved if (1) the break & remake rule was used, & (2), my predictive advice had have been followed. (He was lucky - I prevent things; I don't do repairs nor assists for subsequent passive damage.)
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Post by Bugle » Sat May 12, 2012 1:58 pm

Have you been through the ECU self diagnostics yet? Most sensor problems critical to the engine starting will be picked up by that.

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Post by impulsive » Tue May 15, 2012 3:07 am

Thanks for the info guys.
Bugle wrote:Have you been through the ECU self diagnostics yet? Most sensor problems critical to the engine starting will be picked up by that.
And no, I cannot find the diagnostics wire to save my life. Looked everywhere under the dash, cannot find.

Also, what is the best way to test fuel pressure with no Schraeder valve on the fuel rail?

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Post by wedgenut » Tue May 15, 2012 4:33 am

Get a gauge with a range of up to 100 psi and fit it to a "T" piece. Most gauges that are cheap to buy are 1/4" male connect, bottom or back entry, thread is probably NPT in the states. get a ht/f/ht connector. That is a "T" piece with a hose tail each side and a female threaded connection in the middle to suit your gauge. Then all you need is a piece of fuel hose the right size to suit the hose tails and your fuel pipes. Take off the original hose from the bulkhead pipe end and the fuel rail and put this on instead. That will allow you to do all the tests to the fuel delivery as well as the FPR.
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Post by impulsive » Tue May 15, 2012 4:51 am

Gotcha, should be simple.

Also, even though I have spark, could I just simply have a weak spark? Meaning, my ignition coil should be replaced? These are cheap enough that I am tempted to just change it out anyways.

Thanks,

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Post by wedgenut » Tue May 15, 2012 5:18 am

If your spark is bright blue then it isn't weak, if it is weak it may not be the coil, it could be the ignitor
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Post by IZU069 » Tue May 15, 2012 6:36 am

There is no diagnostic wire.
Diagnostics is via the LEDs in the ECU.
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Post by impulsive » Tue May 15, 2012 6:39 am

IZU069 wrote:There is no diagnostic wire.
Diagnostics is via the LEDs in the ECU.
eh? It shows in the manual a single wire that you connect to turn the diag system on so to speak. Meaning, with those wires connected (or maybe its disconnected) your CEL with flash with the key in the 'ON' position, and then you count flashes to get the codes. Is this not the case? Is there some other way?

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Post by IZU069 » Tue May 15, 2012 7:31 am

That sounds right.

I thought you meant a "diagnostics connector" etc - like OBD.


It's a pretty basic system, but an all-clear should discount any ECU or sensor fault.
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Post by impulsive » Tue May 15, 2012 2:55 pm

IZU069 wrote:That sounds right.

I thought you meant a "diagnostics connector" etc - like OBD.


It's a pretty basic system, but an all-clear should discount any ECU or sensor fault.
I just wish I could find the connector. :) I've looked and looked, and it does not appear to exist. Dark forces are working against me.

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Post by Bugle » Wed May 16, 2012 12:31 am

Could help you if you had your steering wheel on the correct side of the car but yours is probably in a different location.

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Post by impulsive » Wed May 16, 2012 1:58 am

Bugle wrote:Could help you if you had your steering wheel on the correct side of the car but yours is probably in a different location.
The correct side or the right side? LOL

Yeah, I dunno man, its weird, there is a wiring bundle near the ECU and I have pretty much pulled it all outta there and I do not see the connector. Now, as you know, working under the dash is a back breaking experience, and I have a feeling if I REALLY want to find the damn connector, I am going to need to pull the driver's seat and lay on my back like I did when I did the clutch master. Even with the seat out it was still a difficult and painful experience. Getting the motor out was easier.

At this point I still can't help but wonder if my timing is off. I cannot for the life of me see how that could possibly be, but the car will NOT start. I have fuel, spark and air, and she just cranks but does not fire. Unless my fuel pressure is messed up or my injectors are not working, I just can't figure it out. My next step is to pull the throttle body and plenum off again and have a look at the injectors squirting and make sure they work, despite the fact that they are new, NOS, but new nonetheless.

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Post by IZU069 » Wed May 16, 2012 11:06 am

It's the right side.
Don't forget, the right side's the wrong side and the left side's the right side. Simple!


According to my Chiltons, for the RWD Impulse...
- I think they mean WRD as in Wrong Wheel Drive; mechanics never could spell write...
... the connector is "under the instrument panel next to the steering column".

The diagram shows it to the left of the clutch pedal.
It seems to be below some electrics and coming from a harness from the top-left.



Note that I have adjusted the above directions for your northern hemisphere - eg, "up" is against gravity rather than a directional vector, and left is right but wrong in this case because the ECU should be on the right side which is otherwise wrong.
But I haven't included Coriolis Corrections. If screws etc are involved, you rotate in the same direction as your low-pressure weather systems or sink-drain to UNDO the thread. (We rotate to high-pressure systems and anti-sink drain direction to loosen nuts and bolts - except for left had threads which are also right but wring in this application.)



Hopefully that helps you.
[If not, ignore all but sentences 5, 6 & 7. ]
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Post by impulsive » Wed May 23, 2012 3:39 pm

OK, got the car to start tonight. I had a few minutes to fiddle with it. I pulled the dizzy and checked the timing again. I am, once again, damn certain the timing is close enough to start the car.

Now, some info, this is how I can get the car to start. I have to wait a few hours, and it will start on the first or second try. After I get it to run, it is difficult to repeat unless I wait a while. To get the car to start, I have to crank and give gas. Once it catches, I have to keep pumping on the gas otherwise it will immediately die. This video shows me getting it started for a few seconds and then it dies. The spitting sound at the end it also does. I cannot make out what it is, but I am thinking it is the sound of one of my injectors, or a misfire, I don't really know.

http://youtu.be/gf8jL0EuI3E

At this point, I cannot help but think it has got to be fuel related. I am going to do a fuel pressure test on Saturday and I am going to pull the injector rail and test the injectors.

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Post by wedgenut » Wed May 23, 2012 4:47 pm

I'm sorry to tell you that looking at that video, either your timing is out by a mile, your valve timing is wrong or you have the firing order all fucked up. I am assuming here that you have the injector plugs in the right positions as well.

Your valve timing will be right or wrong, there is no almost or nearly. Same with ignition timing, either it is right or it isn't. It worries me that say you are "fairly sure it is close enough to start" You need to be CERTAIN it is right. That video is typical of a wrong timing or spark leads in the wrong place. The way it is kicking back would indicate it is one or both of those.
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