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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I’ve spent the last two weeks diagnosing a non-starting rebuilt 2.2 Shelby Z. After spending hours troubleshooting, I came across a thread from 2011 by NAJ titled “No Start,No Spark 84-94 2.2/2.5L”. I had tried all these things, in one form or another, and am still not getting a spark from the coil. Below, I have recorded my observations and results with each step of the troubleshooting process in that 2011 thread. Based on what I have stated below; What am I missing? What next steps should I pursue? I am at a total loss on next steps.

First, apologies for the length of the post but, second….thanks in advance for anyone’s help!

-Tim

*Before performing diagnostic tests check for any fault codes that may be present.
Only codes are 23 (Charge Air) and 54 (Dist. Sync. Pickup).
I don’t think 23 would prevent the car from starting, although it should be reviewed. I am not sure what code 54 is really telling me. After searching the forum, it seems to be something that would need to be addressed (HEP, maybe?) but shouldn’t keep the car from starting?

*Due to the length of diagnostic charts and changes made from year to year if specific diagnostics are needed for ASD, HEP, Coil Control circuits contact me for specific info related to your year/model/engine.
Thank you in advance, it seems I will be taking you up on this. Perhaps the Coil Control Circuit based on the feedback in step 5 below?

1)Verify no spark by removing the coil wire from the distributor cap and hold 1/4" from a good ground.
Crank the engine for 7-10 seconds, spark should be strong and consistent
Count 1-2 sparks as No Spark.
Is spark present?
No. (I went and bought a spark plug light also, and it does not light up when placed inline of the coil.)

2)Verify...
Distributor is turning, if distributor is not turning repair timing belt issue.
It must be. Belt is properly installed and tensioned. Further, I thought maybe I just had the timing waaaay off. So, I double checked the timing (again, fresh rebuild). I also took off the dist cap and made sure that when the #1 cyl was at TDC the rotor was pointing at the #1 spark plug wire. It is.

Coil wire is not open, check resistance with an ohmmeter,3000-5000 ohms per foot. Repair as necessary.
Confirmed the coil wire resistance is 10,000 ohms across 30”; 4000 ohms / ft.

3)Check ASD Relay circuit(84-90)(On 91-up do you hear the fuel pump cycle for 1 second with initial key on?)
Locate the underhood diagnostic connector
With the key on/engine off ground the DB/YL(dark blue/yellow) wire.
This will actuate the ASD relay.(A Code 42 will be set in memory)
Power (battery voltage) should be present at the + coil, DG/BK
(dark green/black) wire at the injector(s) and at the fuel pump.
You should hear the fuel pump running.
Is power present?
No...Repair ASD Relay circuit
I replaced the ASD relay, no effect.
Before replacing it, I jumped across the relay and got battery voltage at the + terminal on the coil.

4)Check HEP (hall effect pickup) circuit.
Remove the ground wire from the diagnostic connector.
Using a 12 volt test lamp connected to + coil and ground crank the engine.
The test lamp should illuminate.
Did the test lamp illuminate?
No...Repair the HEP circuit
I guess multimeter would do the trick? Please see attached picture (and I can send video). When cranking the engine and my multimeter hooked up, I am getting about 9.3 to 9.4V at the + terminal of the coil. I also did this later when the coil wire was pulled and placed over a ground to check for spark.

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5)Check coil control circuit
Using a 12 volt test lamp connected to - coil and ground crank the engine.
The test lamp should flash on/off repeatedly.
If the lamp flashed on/off but no spark...replace the ignition coil.
If the lamp did not light...replace the ignition coil
If the test lamp illuminated but did not flash...repair the coil control circuit.
Initially I observed is that there IS voltage at the "–" terminal on the coil. It was about 9.0 to 9.3V on the multimeter. It did bounce around between those numbers.
As I was typing this, I decided to just go get a cheapo 12v test light. When connected as above and cranked; the test lamp illuminated but did NOT flash. In fact, as soon as the kill switch was flipped to the on position; the lamp flashed briefly indicating a quick pulse was through system. Then, when the key was turned; the light stayed on full time.

At this point, I've gone as far as I know how to go. Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you not replaced the hep?
No, but I've ordered one. I can't convince myself that's the issue.
Please help me understand why that could be the problem? Seems to me that the issue is upstream of the HEP, since I am not getting any power to the distributor to begin with. Does it somehow sense rotation and feed that data back to the ECU?
 

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Hep is essential to run.
It's like a Cam or crank sensor on a modern car. No start period.

I have seen a shorted speed sensor shut down the spark so try that

but most likely the Hep is bad.
Also make sure the distributor is spinning...
 

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This is constructive criticism, part of the learning process, You made the flow chart seem much harder than it actually is, I understand that experience plays a big part, do not let it intimidate you, it should not have taken any longer than 15-30 minutes to get to the actual circuit creating the problem.
1)Check for fault codes - YES (Code 54 needs to be diagnosed 1st, as long as it is a real code that was not set accidently during diagnostics)

If you have a Code 54 stored in memory you have a HEP circuit issue.
Code 54 is "Loss Of Fuel Sync Signal".
The fuel sync signal tells the controller where #1 cylinder is located on the Turbo cars so it can pulse the injectors in the proper sequence.
If the controller loses either the Crank/RPM signal or the Fuel Sync Signal it will not actuate the ASD Relay, the ASD Relay provides power to the fuel pump, + coil and injectors.
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Clear the codes, be sure they cleared, crank the engine 7-10 seconds and recheck codes.
Did Code 54 return?


You also need to check/charge your battery, 9.3 volts at the + coil is not acceptable, you need 12 volts present, 12.60 volts = a fully charged battery. (2.1 volts per cell).

If it turns out to be the HEP...
1)Do Not Bend the HEP Wiring as the factory had it or you will damage the internal wiring.
2)A new replacement does not always = a good/functioning replacement.

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If after replacing the HEP or determining the Code was not real then you need to continue with the flow chart.
1)Fault Codes - YES/NO If YES, what are the codes? (Code 23 is not relevant)
If NO, continue.
2)Spark - YES/NO, If NO, continue
3)Remove the distributor cap and crank the engine, is the distributor turning? YES/NO
If NO, check the timing belt, intermediate shaft and distributor.
If YES, continue.
4)Manually actuate the ASD Relay, is power present at the + coil, fuel pump and injectors? YES/NO.
If NO, diagnose the ASD Relay circuit.
If YES remove the jumper wire from the diagnostic connector and continue.
5)Connect a test lamp to the + coil and a known good ground, crank the engine and check for power (battery voltage) at the + coil, is power (12 volts) present? YES/NO
If NO, diagnose the HEP circuit.
If YES, continue.
6)Move your test lamp from the + coil to the - coil terminal and crank the engine, the test lamp should flash on/off constantly as the engine is cranked.
Did the test lamp illuminate and flash on/off? YES/NO
If NO, diagnose the coil control circuit
If YES, test the coil itself.

One other thing since you said the engine was just rebuilt, be sure all controller/body grounds are securely connected.
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone!
NAJ, I agree. I had tried most of the troubleshooting before I stumbled upon your post. It gave me the framework to record my observations, and yes - it was very quick. Thank you again. I have some more information.....

First, I am getting 12.7V at the battery. That's measured at the battery with the kill switch off. When cranking, I am only getting the 9.3V at the coil. I also went ahead and checked continuity back to the large connector near the battery to ensure there wasn't a broken wire on the rotor pickup; it appears to be good.

Now, to reply to the troubleshooting steps above.

1. Yes, I am still getting 54 at the computer.
2. No spark, with new HEP installed
3. Confirmed
4. When grounded, I can hear the fuel pump come on and I get near battery voltage at the coil (11.7)
5. As stated above, low voltage at the coil. Test light comes on plenty bright and stays on during cranking
6. Test light flashes very bright at beginning of cranking, and then becomes very dim after. Less than 2V on the multimeter.

-Tim
 

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Thanks everyone!
NAJ, I agree. I had tried most of the troubleshooting before I stumbled upon your post. It gave me the framework to record my observations, and yes - it was very quick. Thank you again. I have some more information.....

First, I am getting 12.7V at the battery. That's measured at the battery with the kill switch off. When cranking, I am only getting the 9.3V at the coil. I also went ahead and checked continuity back to the large connector near the battery to ensure there wasn't a broken wire on the rotor pickup; it appears to be good.

Now, to reply to the troubleshooting steps above.

1. Yes, I am still getting 54 at the computer.
2. No spark, with new HEP installed
3. Confirmed
4. When grounded, I can hear the fuel pump come on and I get near battery voltage at the coil (11.7)
5. As stated above, low voltage at the coil. Test light comes on plenty bright and stays on during cranking
6. Test light flashes very bright at beginning of cranking, and then becomes very dim after. Less than 2V on the multimeter.

-Tim
U can unplug the smec and test the wires to the hep. Look for breaks or shorts in the harness. Also unplug the speed sensor. I've seen that short out the smec. Is the shutter wheel turning when cranking? Code 54 means no signal from pickup so there won't be any spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
U can unplug the smec and test the wires to the hep. Look for breaks or shorts in the harness. Also unplug the speed sensor. I've seen that short out the smec. Is the shutter wheel turning when cranking? Code 54 means no signal from pickup so there won't be any spark.
Continuity all they way to the computer.
I am guessing by speed sensor you mean the distance sensor on the transmission? I just disconnected it, no start
I am sorry, but I am not sure what you mean by shutter wheel?

-Tim
 

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Continuity all they way to the computer.
I am guessing by speed sensor you mean the distance sensor on the transmission? I just disconnected it, no start
I am sorry, but I am not sure what you mean by shutter wheel?

-Tim
Under the hep is a metal wheel held on with plastic blobs. Make sure it's spinning when cranking. It's what triggers the hep
 

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Continuity all they way to the computer.
I am guessing by speed sensor you mean the distance sensor on the transmission? I just disconnected it, no start
I am sorry, but I am not sure what you mean by shutter wheel?

-Tim
It is what sits under the HEP. Take distributor cap off along with rotor and HEP. Crank engine and make sure shutter wheel (part with metal tabs sticking up) is turning while cranking.
 

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Yes, the distributor is spinning. I took off the HEP to look to see if everything looked right under the HEP.
Then either the hep is bad or the smec. I got a Doge 600 running then no start code 54 saw this. The hep wires are very fragile. I have a pile of em. Went through 5 of them till it ran again.
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As luck would have it, I have another HEP to pick up tomorrow at O'Reilly's; so I guess I can give that a shot.

I thought of something else noteworthy maybe. My dad came over this weekend and helped me by cranking the engine during my tests. He mentioned to me that when you first turn on the kill switch and put the key in the run position, the tach moves up to about 900 rpm before the engine is cranked. Given that we're focusing on the rotor and HEP, which I presume is what provides engine speed information to the computer, I am wondering if there is a short in the system somewhere?

I have a wiring diagram, and will be tracing that circuit to see if there's something going on there.
 

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1)9.6 volts is normal battery voltage when cranking the engine, lower than 9.00 volts cranking = a faulty battery or a starter with excessive draw.
2)If you have battery voltage at the + coil when cranking you Do Not have a HEP issue.
As long as the engine controller is seeing a crank/rpm and fuel sync signal (turbo only) it will actuate the ASD Relay which will provide power to the + coil, fuel pump and injectors, No Signal(s) = No ASD Actuation = No Power to + Coil.
I have seen Code 54 set in memory without a HEP issue, sometimes on a car that runs, why?
My assumption is the controller is not seeing the proper signal for some other reason (stray voltage from another faulty circuit?) so it sets the code.
3)Not quite sure what your results in step 6 were...Did the test lamp flash on/off while cranking.
You said the test lamp became very dim after cranking, did battery voltage also drop, has this battery been tested?

4)Test the coil itself before going further.
a)Verify coil primary and secondary resistance is correct.
1.34 - 1.55 ohms on the primary
9000 - 11,700 ohms secondary
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b)Be sure the battery is fully charged. (12.60 volts)
c)Disconnect the - coil lead from the coil
d)Remove the coil secondary wire from the distributor cap and place it 1/4" from a known good ground.
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e)Connect a jumper wire to the coil terminal
f)Manually actuate the ASD Relay and verify battery voltage is present at the + coil.
g)With all of the above steps in place take the free end of your jumper wire and momentarily touch to ground and remove.
Each time you touch and remove the jumper from ground you should have a good strong spark from the coil secondary wire to ground.
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
1)9.6 volts is normal battery voltage when cranking the engine, lower than 9.00 volts cranking = a faulty battery or a starter with excessive draw.
Thank you for the confirmation. The battery is brand new and when I am not working on the car, kept on a tender.

2)If you have battery voltage at the + coil when cranking you Do Not have a HEP issue.
As long as the engine controller is seeing a crank/rpm and fuel sync signal (turbo only) it will actuate the ASD Relay which will provide power to the + coil, fuel pump and injectors, No Signal(s) = No ASD Actuation = No Power to + Coil.
I have seen Code 54 set in memory without a HEP issue, sometimes on a car that runs, why?
My assumption is the controller is not seeing the proper signal for some other reason (stray voltage from another faulty circuit?) so it sets the code.
Thank you again. I have the third HEP in there, same results. To be honest, the only reason I tried a third one is because I already had it on order. So, it was just sitting there and it only took a second.

3)Not quite sure what your results in step 6 were...Did the test lamp flash on/off while cranking.
You said the test lamp became very dim after cranking, did battery voltage also drop, has this battery been tested?
It was very bright for a split second, and then became very dim. This tracks correctly, as when you first crank the mutimeter shows 12.7 but then drops to 1 - 2. Step 6 was on the “-“ terminal. It does not flash.
Battery is brand new.


4)Test the coil itself before going further.
a)Verify coil primary and secondary resistance is correct.
1.34 - 1.55 ohms on the primary
9000 - 11,700 ohms secondary
Primary is 1.6 ohms
Secondary is 9510 ohms


b)Be sure the battery is fully charged. (12.60 volts)
Confirmed.

e)Connect a jumper wire to the coil terminal
f)Manually actuate the ASD Relay and verify battery voltage is present at the + coil.
Confirmed (?), 11V

g)With all of the above steps in place take the free end of your jumper wire and momentarily touch to ground and remove.
Each time you touch and remove the jumper from ground you should have a good strong spark from the coil secondary wire to ground.
No spark. When I move the temporary ground wire, IT sparks on the grounded surface (my A/C bracket). But, no spark from the coil lead (also using the A/C bracket).
The coil is brand new, but since I had the set up – I went ahead and tested the old one and got the same results.


-Tim
 

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Thank you for the confirmation. The battery is brand new and when I am not working on the car, kept on a tender.


Thank you again. I have the third HEP in there, same results. To be honest, the only reason I tried a third one is because I already had it on order. So, it was just sitting there and it only took a second.


It was very bright for a split second, and then became very dim. This tracks correctly, as when you first crank the mutimeter shows 12.7 but then drops to 1 - 2. Step 6 was on the “-“ terminal. It does not flash.
Battery is brand new.


Primary is 1.6 ohms
Secondary is 9510 ohms


Confirmed.


Confirmed (?), 11V


No spark. When I move the temporary ground wire, IT sparks on the grounded surface (my A/C bracket). But, no spark from the coil lead (also using the A/C bracket).
The coil is brand new, but since I had the set up – I went ahead and tested the old one and got the same results.


-Tim
Test the wires going from the HEP to the SMEC or swap in another SMEC.




U can use any SMEC 88-89 t1,t2,2.5 t1 (supposedly Tbi smec will run on 2 cylinders) just to see it run.
Also in reverse you can take the SMEC out of your car and try it another one just to test it.

Final option is to get DRB2 scanner and look at the hall effect pick up output. or whatever checks u can do with it (I've never used one)

If you are in New England I have a couple lying around or you could bring yours over and plug it into my car and see if it starts..
 
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