2.9l wont start


Sevensecondsuv

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So I dragged my other 1990 ranger out of what's been it's grave for the last two years next to the oak tree in my back yard :headbang: It lost oil pressure when warm so I parked it and have not touched it since. Now I have a new engine to put in so I am trying to revive it. But before I go through all the work of swapping engines I at least want to make sure it will still drive. Therefore I'm trying to get the old engine started.

It started just fine when I parked it 2 years ago, but it just cranks now.

Things I've verified:
All fuses are good.
The fuel pump runs when the key is turned on.
I've got 35 psi fuel pressure at the rail, and holds steady during cranking.
I've got good spark at least on number 1 and 5 (the two I held the plug against the block while cranking and watching the spark).
Generally, all the electronics (head lamps, buzzer, etc) seem to work good.
I've got the plug wires on in the right order: 14-25-36

Things I've tried:
New battery (old one was dead as a doorknob)
Cleaned and gapped spark plugs.
Wire brushed all terminals on the cap and rotor.
Different TFI module
Different EEC from a 1990 2.3 ranger (I know it's a different engine but the starting functions are all the same)
Three different ignition coils.
Tried twisting the dizzy about 30 degrees in either direction in 5 degree increments while cranking.
Starting fluid through the throttle body.

I'm kind of stuck on this one. Anyone else have some ideas?
 
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Earl43P

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Didn't even sputter with starting fluid?

Odd. Exhaust clogged with mice nests?

2 years, gas is gotta be crappy. But it should fire with ether.
 

loneranger48

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just a thought but maybe the inertia switch got flipped somehow.
 

Sevensecondsuv

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Well all I managed to get done wednesday night was blow the battery up. Yes, with battery schrapnel flying everywhere. I didn't even know they could do that. I guess it has something to do with overcharging when it's too cold (was about 5-10 degrees that night in my garage).

I did get about half way through the TFI diagnostics and everything looks fine so far. Saturday is the next day I have time to work on it, so we'll see how far I get then...
 

Sevensecondsuv

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Well I got a new battery in it. It now spits, sputters, and pops pretty good when you crank it, but still won't start. And I verified that it is blowing air out of the tail pipe at a pretty good rate, so I've eliminated the mice nest theorey.

I also verified that the physical timing of the distributor is correct. The crank mark is at #1 TDC when cylinder #1 is, along with the rotor pointing at #1, so it should be right around 0 degrees base timing (not 10 degrees per spec, but good enough to start).

I also verified that the fuel injectors are opening when they should.

The only thing I can think of is that the TFI module is messed up, even though I've tried three different modules (none of them have come from vehicles I've heard run though). It just really sounds like the timing is all off.
 

Sevensecondsuv

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I got it running... Turns out whatever dipstick put the engine together last time put the damper on 120 degrees off so when the damper lines up at TDC, it's really 120 degrees before TDC.... which means that the #1 wire goes on the #3 terminal, the #2 on the #1, the #3 on the #1 and so on and so forth. The funny thing is that the rotor also points at the #1 terminal when the damper is at TDC. So something is goofy inside. I now understand why it doesn't have oil pressure... the idiot who "rebuilt" it couldn't even get the crank lined up with the cam apparently. The funny thing is that it somehow runs.

How did I figure this out? Well, the guy did manage to scratch a "1" into the #3 terminal on the cap.... it's just a good thing I didn't try replacing the cap!
 

DisturbedMXer8

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Wow, nice man. Very interesting...

At this point, if I were you and I had the time/tools/ability to, I'd pull that engine out and assess it myself. Do it the right way from the start, make sure everything is how it has to be, that way you don't run into more crap later on. Then again, it's much easier said than done =P.
 

IMenriched

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Just wanted to let everyone know that I got it running... Turns out whatever dipstick put the engine together last time put the damper on 120 degrees off so when the damper lines up at TDC, it's really 120 degrees before TDC.... which means that the #1 wire goes on the #3 terminal, the #2 on the #1, the #3 on the #1 and so on and so forth. The funny thing is that the rotor also points at the #1 terminal when the damper is at TDC. So something is goofy inside. I now understand why it doesn't have oil pressure... the idiot who "rebuilt" it couldn't even get the crank lined up with the cam apparently. The funny thing is that it somehow runs.

How did I figure this out? Well, the guy did manage to scratch a "1" into the #3 terminal on the cap.... it's just a good thing I didn't try replacing the cap!
It maybe that the dampener or harmonic balancer has slipped....there is a rubber mating the inner hub to the outer hub.

or the timing chain was put on wrong

Good work on your part none the less.

also try a new/different MAP sensor
 
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Sevensecondsuv

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The plan is to take that engine out and put a different one. The new engine is going to have its lifters, heads, and cam bearings replaced before going in though, as those seem to be the weak spots in the 2.9L.
 


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