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Old 02-21-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
rjSupra
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Default car suddenly wont start - never ran great anyway, esp. cold, now cranks, but won't st

Hello excellent forum,

Engine will crank but not run (had started & run without this problem ever including earlier this same day!).
88 Turbo AT, 131K, prob 5th owner and questionable history last 6 years on maintenance. It mostly sat and was run only occasionally on short private road - what that last owner told me anyway.

With a good batt, it always started right up. Idle steady and solid about 600 RPM at start, no real 'high idle' which dropped after warm. Dunno if that's normal but my Integra has a high idle on start.

But NOW, it won't start at all. It cranks no problem (new batt), but chugs like it's about to run on it's own and won't get the final 5% there if you know what i mean. I jumped the +B and FP terminals, and could hear a distinct fuel (or liquid at least) noise right around the throttle body so I am guessing I am getting fuel ok?
Just did the error codes by jumping E1 & T. Got codes 14 and 21. I did look them up and will search here more, but I am a little not sure what's the next step.

ALSO, 10 minutes ago I put the T & E1 jumper in (with it not in all the way b/c error codes did not flash), and then I noticed a smoke starting to come out at the back top area of the motor (an accessory or component up high and back, not the motor itself). I also smelled like a light burning plastic type of smell. I smelled that before this morning before I had the hood up and saw the smoke. It was not smoking on a lot of earlier attempts with the hood open though, just the last time. I've jiggled the CPS connector and the connection look ok. Turbo O2 sensor wiring looks ok.

The TEMS leds go up to 3rd LED sometime as I am trying to start the car, and then back to 1. I can hear the suspension clicking about in the rear.

Before this not starting problem when it ran the last 6 months I've had it, it runs like shit at 2000 rpms with AT in Economy and Overdrive enabled. Pulls like I am towing a boat, cold or warm 2K Revs on the motor is bad, stumbly and low low power. If I hammer it with
'Power' on AT setting and get full boost it does get more respectable. OH, and I get 14.3 MPG, yeah, driving like an old lady with mostly highway, you read that right. 15mpg if I am 'lucky'. what does that also indicate? (I use premium fuel).

Runs pretty good at 70 mph +, it seems to really pick up and have power and not ever stumble at 2300 RPM+. 2500 RPM and fully warm it's almost dreamy although not quite.
This Supra hates the cold. If I start it under 50 degrees or maybe 40 at least, the motor starts, runs, revs mostly normal (stumbles on initial throttle tip in), but put in in 'D' press the gas and she'll barely move on the flat. Even flooring it, and i mean almost not move at all. Ditto for 'Reverse' D1 etc... After 10-15 minutes idle and normal op temp, it will drive down the road. Hills of most kinds present a challenge for this motor too.... it has very weak power. And even full boosting isn't exactly going to impress your co-driver.
There was a suggestion it's tranny related by chatting to a Hyundai tech friend and a chevy mechanic friend of friend (the cold not moving problem).

The 2nd to last owner I tracked down, and 7 years back he said he noticed a 'power problem' the last stretch of him owning it and did not know what it was. Also he and last owner don't know about HG and if it was ever replaced etc... The car did come with full parts to do a Tran swap to Manual (lucky me), a throttle body, a head that was done 'perfect'.

I think, maybe (??) I have two separate problems here? Maybe a 02 sensor gone bad that makes it run like shit? and now won't start? And maybe something gone bad in the AT that makes it a grouch when cold?

(and also due to a massive coolant leak problem - that stupid 90 small hose underneath the thermo housing - I pulled the CPS to remove the water outlet housing and replace its gasket - another leak pre-emptive repair while I was in there - and replaced the oil seal and correctly put back in the CPS while aligned at #1 TDC. The car ran identically before and after I did this, so I don't think at least a CPS timing issue is present).

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:21 PM   #2
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Default

that cold power issue def seems like tranny problem, i recently just started having a similar problem with mine, but it rarely gets that cold here. Sometimes when that happens to me, i'll shut off the car and then restart the car and it seems to work and have it's power back. As for your other issue of not starting, I'm not to clever with cars but it sounds like a timing thing... also to check if your getting fuel, just pull a hose off after the fuel pump and put the end into a jar and crank the engine. If there is gas in jar when you check then pump is working. Hopefully someone with a lil more knowledge will chime in and give you more advice.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:45 PM   #3
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Default getting fuel noise in or next to throttle body - so pretty sure getting gas & batt g

I can hear the whoosh of fuel in or next to the throttle body / fuel rail area. I just put the ignition key in and turned to 'on' and then jumped the FP & B+ connections. I could clearly hear fuel then, so I think that part is good.

I have tons of stuff in the car so was not able to verify if the fuel pump under carpet is clicking on ignition key in. Do i still need to check that if I can hear the fuel pumping while I am doing the above bypass?

(also there is that 21 code - Ignitor / ECU and code 14 O2 sensor / ECU happening, so could that shut me down from re-starting?)

and how the heck do you know if it's a bad ECU instead causing problems? Seems like a lot in the error codes, the lower possible culprit is - ECU!

Thanks.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:19 AM   #4
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Default All the fuses are working.

Checked under hood and inside foot well fuse box. All the fuses are still intact.

I also found I have an extra / surpplus MT ECU not an AT one. My car right now is AT (with stock ECU I assume) and a the 2nd prior owner was intending to swap it to MT and handed all the parts along. I suppose - from reading here - that if the ECU is toast, this one won't work for me as they are different.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:23 AM   #5
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Default AT error codes 62 & 63 - ugh.

So, I didn't even know the Auto Transmission had error codes too (thanks Cygnus X-1 for procedure).
I have error codes:
62
63
that are stored. According to Cygnus X-1 it means:
62 - Defective No1 solenoid or short circuit-severed wire harness or short circuit.
63 - Defective No2 solenoid or short circuit-severed wire harness or short circuit.
Don't have any idea if this could be contributing to a grouchy slow Supra in the extreme cold, and the occasional hard shift into OverDrive. ??

And one other note, my wiring harness / loom is, uh, not pretty. Looks like high temps have sort of melted / brittled away some of the black enclosing thingee, and a few wires are open and exposed in front of the CPS area... I can't really get it out, or haven't devoted the time to pull it out for full inspection, I am also sort of afraid of cracking off more of the black plastic stuff, it's very flimsy at this point. Don't know if that could be an issue and causing all of these problems??
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:02 AM   #6
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A bad wire harness could account for all of your problems. Personally, I'd start with testing and patching the harness but I'm more of an electrical kind of guy.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:08 PM   #7
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Thanks Cre.

I hear you. That might not be a bad place to start. Also, for some reason I don't think my ECU is bad, just a hunch nothing more. But my O2 sensor looks pretty old and dirty on the outside, so I bet it's old and dirty on the inside too.
I wonder if the 02 sensor is so bad and dirty and old, and the temp was so cold here yesterday, maybe it just couldn't work (air temp in the teens, maybe lower). And maybe trying to start the car the 14 + times without it starting prompted my #21 error of ignitor / ignition pack failing to start after "A" times (which for my Turbo is 3 times in a row). So would that make sense?
Can a trashed O2 sensor cause some power issues by, what, messing up combustion or timing, and account for lowered power and crappy fuel mileage?
What do other folks get on their older Supras for MPG anyway? I think I read 14-30 mpg range. It would be very nice to solve this problem, have a running car, and a break from the headaches. I haven't even had time to think about the nasty PS leak with all the other stuff.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:25 AM   #8
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Your O2 sensor isn't going to cause much other then slightly poorer mileage than normal. The average mileage I've seen would be about 18MPG with mixed highway and city and a slightly heavy foot on occasion. You can unplug the O2 sensor and should see little change in the operation of the vehicle. If there is a significant change then there is a problem with a more critical trim sensor somewhere else in the system (such as the AFM).

The code could be the result of low voltage due to the cold temp and drain from repeated cranking... test the battery, the alternator and test the ignitor.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjSupra View Post
What do other folks get on their older Supras for MPG anyway?
I'm averaging about 18-19 city driving, and that's with a somewhat frequent heavy foot.
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Old 02-23-2011, 02:47 PM   #10
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Default have new batt, and used 50 amp charger for car starting too

Hi guys, thanks for the assistance!

I have a battery charger with a 50 amp starting setting, to start the car with the battery in it from your garage A.C. This worked pretty good with a bad battery before on the car, before I bought a new (cheap) battery. Autolite Silver series $67 with core on sale direct internet. Probably not a great battery, but I was not sure at that point I could keep the car (had that unsolved mega coolant problem that grounded it for 2 months at the time, and had thought if the steel line under the headers was toast I'd probably sell the car as is with disclosures).

So, I am guessing I should be getting enough juice. I am separated from the car's location for another day, hopefully when I get back it will warm up a bit and I can re-try. The car sat about 24 hrs overnight in fact (not same day), in biting cold since it had last been driven 30 miles / 45 minutes. So far, the alternator has been keeping the battery charged. The car has sat for 7+ days in bad cold before and fired right up as always.

I have not done the spark plugs. They looked, well used, but not terrible. No real oil that I can recall, although it's possible one was wet a little bit. Mostly I remember normal carbon deposits (at the time no plug gapper tool, so could not check the gaps). Have not done the wires, no idea when they were done last, although visually they look ok (i've seen a lot worse).

Any thoughts what that wisp of smoke behind the motor, close to the firewall could have been? And the slight plastic-y burning smell? That happened the last time I tried to start her, with a paper clip jumping either the engine error code check terminals, or the fuel pump 12v bypass I can't quite remember which one I had it in.

It sounds like the 02 sensor can't be at fault for all these issues, so I appreciate knowing that now. Don't really know what they do aside from I gather measuring oxygen levels in exhaust to send setting info to the car for fuel rich / lean levels etc... I do have a multi meter so next step would be to test a few of the components that way. It was just too cold and dark the other day to deal with it.

Thanks again.
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