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Discussion Starter #1
Hello again everyone. If you've seen my previous post about my 1989 Chrysler TC Maserati not running you'd know that after a few long months I finally got her running. to catch up the link it below...


Now she's running but that's a loose term....she starts but the RPMs are all over the place, she coughs and backfires constantly and will continuously try to die. Next step in the process is to correct all that . Below is a list of what is new on the car that may relate to this issue.

  • fuel tank
  • fuel pump,
  • fuel level sensor
  • fuel filter
  • all fuel lines hard and soft
  • fuel regulator
  • all 4 new injectors
  • all new plugs
  • all new wires
  • new distributor and coil
  • new timing belt and car is freshly timed
  • lastly a NOS OEM HEP sensor, which was the final piece of the puzzle to get her running
Today I unhooked the battery to reset the fault codes and ran her in and out of the garage which is about all she can manage to do. Heres what I got

12- battery recently unhooked..... of course
27 - Injector circuit isn't switching when it's told to (TBI) ......???
41- Alternator field control circuit open or shorted......Alternator isn't jumping up to 13-14v so I assume it's in need of replacement
47- Battery voltage too low and alternator output too low .......same as above
54 - No sync pickup signal during engine rotation (turbo only) ......now this one I don't get. This should have been fixed with the HEP as that was what was causing it to not start and it fired right up once replaced.

I advanced her a tad by spinning the Dizzy and that seemed to help but by no means made a substantial difference. I have no clue how to time these with a light as the timing marks are hidden under the air and I couldn't get that thing off to save my life. I assume just like a traditional non-tubo car you can time with a vacuum/pressure gauge?

anyway, I'm open to any discussion points and suggestions as to what to try next and what the codes above mean.
 

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Where is the backfire coming from, the exhaust or intake?

Again we are going to be back to where we were in the other thread and although it may sound redundant and be a PITA we cannot "assume".
Please verify a few basic things...
1)Are any fault codes stored in memory?
2)Are the spark plugs fouled?
a)None, 1 or 2, all?
3)What is engine vacuum reading? (you will have to tee the gauge inline, 15 - 20" HG is the normal range)
a)At a manifold source
b)At the map sensor
4)Static Fuel Pressure (Key On/Engine Off, ASD manually actuated)
a)53 - 57 PSI?
b)When you stop the ASD actuation does pressure hold?
5)Any issues with the vacuum system?
a)Are all lines routed properly?
b)Are any lines disconnected/cracked/broken/collapsed?
89 Turbo 2 Vacuum.jpg
6)Verify Cam and Ignition Timing are correct.
Do you own or have access to a timing light with an "Advance Meter"?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks everyone, I'll answer the bullet points I can right now below.

0. I do have access to an Oscope and will do that hopefully this coming weekend when I return from a business trip. But as mentioned the Car did not run at all before the installation of this new HEP, so it stands to reason that it did not work and now does. I will scope it ASAP to verify the waveform.
1)Are any fault codes stored in memory? Not that I can see with the dash light. I intentionally reset the codes via the battery to not confuse the ones I incurred trying to get it running with the ones I get once it actually starts and runs.
2)Are the spark plugs fouled? No, they are new plugs and I confirmed today that they have not fouled now that it has been running.
a)None, 1 or 2, all? None
3)What is engine vacuum reading? (you will have to tee the gauge inline, 15 - 20" HG is the normal range) Now the engine is running like crap so the vacuum flutters with RPM but it stays between 15-20, never below 15 and typically 17-18 at manifold source
a)At a manifold source 17.5" average, not low by any means.
b)At the map sensor This one I didn't measure yet, should i measure it between that filter and the MAP sensor?
4)Static Fuel Pressure (Key On/Engine Off, ASD manually actuated)
a)53 - 57 PSI?
Yes confirmed, pressure is 55
b)When you stop the ASD actuation does pressure hold? Yes pressure holds at 55 when stopped after running, sometimes 53-54, but it doesn't drop.
5)Any issues with the vacuum system?
a)Are all lines routed properly?
Yes. I redid and cleanly routed the lines. All lines are new, high temp and pressure silicone lines. All new fittings as well.
b)Are any lines disconnected/cracked/broken/collapsed? No 95% of all lines and fittings are new. The only ones I did not redo was the one to the wastegate and the large ones from the PCV to air cleaner.
6)Verify Cam and Ignition Timing are correct. Timing at the belt has been set and verified at least 4 times recently. however she has not been formally dialed in with a light and distributor movement yet.
Do you own or have access to a timing light with an "Advance Meter"? I do own a very nice digital timing light with an adjustable advance setting. I'm hoping you don't tell me it's timed to that extremely hard to see marking under the air box.😂
 

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Regarding timing. Yes you need to hit the timing marks under the air box, and yes it's possible.

I marked mine with white liquid paper or womens french manicure nail polish (can't remember which) for ease of reading. If I recall you're looking to have around 10-12 advance on the marks when idling with the temp sensor unplugged.
 

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First...
0 Degrees!!! What The!!!.gif
I hate cold weather and winter and to this point (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!) we have had an extremely mild winter, only had 2-3 days below freezing and no measurable snowfall.
On a side note there is a light at the end of the tunnel...
Phillies Pitchers and Catchers report to spring training on Feb 12 and the groundhog did not see his shadow, so, early spring!!! Clapping.gif Big Grin.png

Be safe on your business trip.

To check vacuum to the Map Sensor...
1) Tee into the line between the manifold and baro solenoid to be sure proper vacuum is reaching the solenoid.
2)Once that is verified tee your gauge inline between the baro solenoid and map sensor.

You can easily check/verify cam timing with a timing light with an advance meter.
1)Remove the access plug from the upper timing cover.
2)Remove the airbox to gain access to the timing window on the bellhousing.
3)Connect your timing light
4)Start the engine and allow to reach normal operating temp.
5)With the engine running disconnect the CTS connector
6)Shine your light at the timing window
7)With the advance meter bring the timing mark to 0 degrees.
8)Now take your light over to the other side and shine the light at the access hole in the timing cover.
9)The slot in the cam sprocket should be at 12 o'clock center with the cylinder head/timing cover.
(Do not forget the cylinder head is on an angle so centerline is not 12-6, more like 11-5.
IMAGE-Timing Mark Center Line.jpg Upper Timing Cover.JPG
10)If it is, cam timing is good.
11)Shut the engine off before reconnecting the CTS connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Funny you mention it....I actually live in Punxsutawney less than a mile from gobblers knob. Had a big party this weekend hence why the car didn’t get worked on. I’m busy all this week but I’ll test that other vacuum location and time it with the gun this weekend. Not looking forward to taking that air box off 😭 last time I tried the rear bracket bolt couldn’t even be 1/8 turned and after 45 mins I finally gave up on trying to get it off
 

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All you have to do is be able to remove/move the air box enough so you can gat a clear view of the timing window.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alright. So I was able to get the air box off and throw a timing light on. I figured I better start there since I know she wasn’t dialed in. Well it was a futile effort. The engine runs so poorly that I can’t get a decent bead on it. The light and rpm sense are all over the place. I painted the little mark white so I could see it better. Adjust the light up and down 60degrees each side of zero and I couldn’t get that white mark to stay in one spot. See the video Below, the audio doesn’t do it justice, those thuds are actually ear shattering backfires. I guess I’ll check those other vacuum lines and scope the sensor next since this timing won’t work until it’s running better.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No...I must’ve missed that memo above. I’ll have to try that Sunday. Does that smooth it out or removal electrical advance? I think I still have some sort of hep issue because the timing gun was sensing #1 spark real erratically. Even with a sloppy idle I’d think it would be more consistent. And those back fires.....I’ve never heard backfires that loud, and I’ve never heard ones coming from the engine bay and not the tail pipe
 

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It's in 29.8 in the attached pdf. Hope this helps. Mark the notches for the timing you desire. I found it easy to use some of my wifes white french tip nail polish and mark one line on the degree advance I wanted on the bellhousing marks, and one on the flywheel notch itself. The flywheel was hard to get into exact position, but can be moved with a screwdriver if you get the point that you can see the flywheel notch in the little window. Engine is started, and then disconnect and reconnect the temp sensor...then take your readings. I recall setting 12* advance for mine (I think calls for 10* but check your emmissions label under the hood for your setting). If the mark is jumping around alot, I'd make sure the cap/rotor and wires are good, but also that the distributor base clamp allows you to move it, but that it is still firmly seated.
 

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Oh yeah, and be careful of that electric fan! ...especially when messing with the distributor! A wrench contacting the fan is not a good thing
 

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Thanks everyone, I'll answer the bullet points I can right now below.

0. I do have access to an Oscope and will do that hopefully this coming weekend when I return from a business trip. But as mentioned the Car did not run at all before the installation of this new HEP, so it stands to reason that it did not work and now does. I will scope it ASAP to verify the waveform.
1)Are any fault codes stored in memory? Not that I can see with the dash light. I intentionally reset the codes via the battery to not confuse the ones I incurred trying to get it running with the ones I get once it actually starts and runs.
2)Are the spark plugs fouled? No, they are new plugs and I confirmed today that they have not fouled now that it has been running.
a)None, 1 or 2, all? None
3)What is engine vacuum reading? (you will have to tee the gauge inline, 15 - 20" HG is the normal range) Now the engine is running like crap so the vacuum flutters with RPM but it stays between 15-20, never below 15 and typically 17-18 at manifold source
a)At a manifold source 17.5" average, not low by any means.
b)At the map sensor This one I didn't measure yet, should i measure it between that filter and the MAP sensor?
4)Static Fuel Pressure (Key On/Engine Off, ASD manually actuated)
a)53 - 57 PSI?
Yes confirmed, pressure is 55
b)When you stop the ASD actuation does pressure hold? Yes pressure holds at 55 when stopped after running, sometimes 53-54, but it doesn't drop.
5)Any issues with the vacuum system?
a)Are all lines routed properly?
Yes. I redid and cleanly routed the lines. All lines are new, high temp and pressure silicone lines. All new fittings as well.
b)Are any lines disconnected/cracked/broken/collapsed? No 95% of all lines and fittings are new. The only ones I did not redo was the one to the wastegate and the large ones from the PCV to air cleaner.
6)Verify Cam and Ignition Timing are correct. Timing at the belt has been set and verified at least 4 times recently. however she has not been formally dialed in with a light and distributor movement yet.
Do you own or have access to a timing light with an "Advance Meter"? I do own a very nice digital timing light with an adjustable advance setting. I'm hoping you don't tell me it's timed to that extremely hard to see marking under the air box.😂
1)Does all of the above still hold true, we are obviously missing something.
a)You now have the vehicle running albeit poorly which now takes us from a "no start" to a "driveabilty issue".
b)Here is Chryslers Diagnostic Flow Chart for "Driveabilty Issues With No Fault Codes or Codes 51/52".
c)What did we miss?
(5)Test NF1 Code 51-52  1.jpg

Also, do not know if I asked this before...
Is the main controller ground securely connected between the manifold and firewall?
ELECTRICAL- Main Controller Ground 84-89.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Alright everyone. I was able to do more testing on this tonight. No positive progress was made towards it running better, but I gathered a lot of good info.
1. I tested vacuum at the MAP sensor. It is reading slightly below 15, sometime 15 if the rpms are steady. Vacuum reading is seady and doesn't bounce unless rpms are bouncing. Manifold vacuum is still a stead 17-18".
2. I took an oscope to both of the Sensors in the HEP. My waveforms and finding are below.
- The reference signal (below) is very clean. It's average is 4.98V which should happily satisfy the 4v requirement the computer is looking for in the 5v square wave. I did a second measurement straight to the battery ground and it's average was 5.34v. You can clearly see the extra gaped square wave for cylinder 1.
270070

- the sync signal was a little less clean cut but should still within working range. It's square wave peaks are rather fuzzy as you can see below. However the average upper was still over 7v with a lot of it above 8v. I zoomed in and all noise is still above 5v. again you can clearly see the double hit for cylinder 1.
270071


I think I can confirm that the HEP is working as expected and signals are being sent, even if the second one is messy.

3. I hooked a timing light up again and checked Cam timing via the timing cover hole. With the distributor straight and the coolant sensor unplugged the timing mark is just as it should be aligned on the fin at 11:30ish position.
I attempted to timing on the bell housing side again (which the CTS unplugged) yet again I could not get a bead on the timing mark . I adjusted my gun all up and down the spectrum and couldn't see it at all. I'm going to spin the engine slowly tomorrow and verify my paint mark is correct. I saw it once or twice only. Is there more than one mark? maybe an advance and retard one.
4. the engine runs night and day better without the CTS sensor plugged in. For what that's worth. It still not anywhere near good. But with the CTS removed it will idle on it's own without a foot on the pedal and it backfires substantially less. The RPMs are also much smoother without this sensor plugged in.

What now?
 

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Small thing you can do is zip tie all the old sloppy boots on your vacuum lines. If you don't have a bad connection you'd see manifold reading at the map. As for the timing marks, only one of them is there. Your timing is probably so far out, you'll need to move the distributor slightly until you see the marks consistently and go from there. If the engine has ever been apart the distributor drive may have been moved, so clocking of the distributor would then be out. BTW: once the CTS was unplugged you can go ahead and plug it back in per the instructions. Are you sure you don't have any codes?
 

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1)Map Sensor Vacuum is Low at 15"HG or lower
You stated manifold vacuum is reading 17/18"HG, vacuum should read the same at the Map Sensor.
Where are you losing the vacuum...???
What is vacuum reading at the Baro Solenoid In and Out, should be the same as Manifold.

2)Bring #1 cylinder to TDC on a compression stroke, slowly move the crank CW until your timing mark is visible in the timing window, bring it to 0 and mark it.
Verify the distributor rotor is pointing towards #1 on the distributor cap and that the distributor drive on the oil pump is parallel to the block, if it is not your marks are not aligned correctly between the crank and intermediate shaft.

IMAGE- Distributor.jpg ENGINE- Oil Pump Shaft Alignment.jpg IMAGE-Timing Marks 2.jpg
 

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... I adjusted my gun all up and down the spectrum and couldn't see it at all. I'm going to spin the engine slowly tomorrow and verify my paint mark is correct. I saw it once or twice only. Is there more than one mark? maybe an advance and retard one.
Don't think anyone answered this. The flywheel has two marks, one for TDC and one for BDC. Same with auto torque converters.Nothing to do with advance or retard mark, just TDC and BDC.

As NAJ says, figure out why your engine vacuum and MAP/Baro vacuum aren't the same. I recently ran into a Baro solenoid that was partially plugged up and lowered MAP by about 8HG of vacuum. Needless to say engine didn't like it.
Easy to bypass the baro solenoid temporarily so MAP reads actual manifold vacuum/pressure. There should be zero loss of vacuum/pressure running through baro solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you 4 L for confirming that, it was exactly my hang up. I mustve had the BDC mark painted. Once I found the other one and hit it with white paint I was actually able to get a reading where my timing was. FYI there was actually a third mark too, a large "0" that was also stamped inline with the timing window.

anywhooo see my video below. I was able to get it to read constant time now and I adjusted to roughly 10 advanced. It fluctuates but that's because it's not running smooth. I'm confident now though that it is timed well enough to rule out that being the issue.


In an attempt to fix my alternator faults and low voltage I got a new AC delco alternator. After hours of fighting to get it in I still have the alternator faults and the voltage is still only 12.xx when running. WTF.

Car seems to want to run better with the timing now but again only with that plug for the CTS out. It will fall right on it's face when i plug it back in.

I completely forgot to test the vacuum today as mentioned above with everything else I was playing with. I'll do that next

Current fault codes at the end of the night after everything are still. 12, 14, 22, 41, 47, 54

Won't be able to get back to this POS for at least 2 weeks. Hopefully there is an epiphany as to what to try next.
 
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