View Full Version : Need some help: Engine turns, guzzles gas and like He Man has the power but no BANG, no go

08-27-2015, 04:26 AM
Been a while since I was on here but I need some serious assistance. Last night I had my timing belt changed. The guy was buttoning everything up as I got there, just had to put the cruise control back in place and bolt it and the power steering reservior back into place. He started it up to show me it was all ready, got everything bolted down and started it up again just to be sure. Then his foot slipped off the clutch and he must've left it in gear because it lurched and stalled. No big, right? Well we tried to start it again and it wouldn't fire. So we start trying to figure it out. First thing I mention is gas, I was running low when I rolled in, maybe it just missed the pickup, so we put some gas in, still nothing. We check for spark, it's sparking. We check that the fuel pump is working, it's pumping. So we check the timing alignment, still good. We try it again, nothing. We pull #1 plug and check to see if the cylinder is up at TDC, sure is. While the plug's out we cycle the engine by hand; Piston goes down smooth, comes back up and I can see fuel misting out on compression, and the cylinder stops just as the pulley reaches TDC again. We check fuses, relays, plugs, everything looks in order so we try again. Same thing! I even tried jumping the car thinking maybe it's just not ENOUGH spark, still nada. Neither of us knew where to go from there, we followed everything in my Haynes manual as far as troubleshooting this went.

Long story short: Car has fuel, fuel is reaching the engine (you can smell it after a few attempts), spark IS reaching the plugs, plugs are properly gapped, and it's in proper timing alignment. Is there something we might have missed? Is there something electrical that might not give the motor the signal to run? Is it possible that somehow the distributor got off somehow but is still sending spark?

The only thing that's off about the car right now is the ignition cylinder thinks the key is in all the time, so I can't lock the doors unless I do it from the passenger side with the driver door shut.

*edit* Guess I should've mentioned it earlier, it a '90 GTS, 5SFE, 260,xxx miles

I really hope someone can help me out with this, I hate having my car down for dumb stuff.

08-28-2015, 10:14 PM
Hahahaha you got me with the title, I had to see what the problem was. :P

Unless the crank pulley is broken the #1 cylinder will always be at TDC when the pulley is at 0*. It has to.
Did you check cam timing?
If it is ok, do a compression check.
If you have fuel, spark and compression the engine will run.

Also, I can't see the cam gearing [inside the head, not the timing gears] jumping a tooth, but I guess if you can't find anything else it wouldn't hurt to check that.

08-29-2015, 12:14 AM
Had to grab attention somehow lol.

We checked the cam timing and it's correct too, guess a compression check is in order. What's baffling is it was running fine until he accidentally dumped the clutch. All I get now is a constant turning over, just doesn't hook up.

08-29-2015, 06:26 PM
Yeah, it sounds to me like your belt jumped a few teeth, but you're sure the timing is right.
That's why I mentioned the teeth on the camshaft gears inside the valve cover.

The Captain
08-29-2015, 06:41 PM
Yeah, it sounds to me like your belt jumped a few teeth, but you're sure the timing is right.
That's why I mentioned the teeth on the camshaft gears inside the valve cover.

04-23-2018, 07:23 PM

Sorry for being away for so long, once Prime died and I had to start finding a new daily which turned into a string of projects, travelling around the world to visit my gf->fiance->wife, and a second deployment I lost all this in the shuffle.

So jumping ahead to just before I deployed last year (July) I tried to fire up Prime again just to see what would happen and in the hopes that a new clue would show itself. A friend and I decided to just run the starter until something happened, gave the intake a little go-go juice in case there wasn't any fuel moving, and after about 30-45 seconds of it cranking over it actually started to bog and fire. It was repeatable too, and finally Prime would fire, rev and immediately die again. Stumped and with a dead battery I let it be.

In talking to one of my friends I worked with in the Reserves who also deployed with me (and works on/repairs/builds all sorts of vehicles), we came to the conclusion that it sounds like the fuel pump is toast. He said it sounds like it was priming the system but not actually sending fuel after the initial run, so I picked up a new fuel pump for when I got home.

Bringing things up to date, I have the fuel pump in-hand waiting on installation but I have to get my DD Subie running first so all my focus is on that atm. However I now have another issue; due to that shitty body kit I had on the car the driver side rocker and into the quarter is pretty well eaten away so even if I do get it running it won't pass inspection. Is there any company out there that makes replacement panels or someone that has a wrecked 5th gen that the rockers/quarters are still good I could scavenge from?

04-24-2018, 02:34 PM
You can try car-part.com. It's an auto recycler network that you may be able to find stuff for it.