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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
No spark, removed opti (parts rattling about-with pictures)

Gentlemen,

Long story short, the car ran fine but unfortunately, oil felt the rear main seal was a convenient way to seep out, so i pulled the transmission and changed the seal.
I also noticed water in the tell-hole in the water pump, tried opening it up to do some refurbishing but ended up messing it up, and got a new one, all fine and dandy.

However, as i today (five years later...) was attempting to start up the almost-assembled car, it would not fire. I have fuel in the tank, fuel pressure (not measured, but it was squirting out of the fuel line Schrader-valve on the back of the intake when pushed on). Won't start on starting gas either, it will not make the tiniest attemp to ignite.

Checked for spark by holding a plug to the block, but nothing.

Im thinking ICM/Coil/Opti, correct?

Since nothing has been done to neither the icm nor the coil since the car was put on stands five years ago, i thought it was the leaking water from the pump that had eventually corroded the opti.

I took the opti out and disassembled it, heard a rattle when i got it out and sure enough, one of the rotor retainer bolts was not where it was supposed to be(see pictures). The other bolt was not exactly tight, but the rotor was not wiggling about. The business end of the rotor does look like crap, is this normal wear? Is this perhaps caused by a slightly wiggly rotor touching the.....the....the metal-connector-things on the opti cap?

The question: is this the likely source of the lack of spark? I can't see why a loose bolt would cause it (since it was in the bottom part of the opti), neither the burns on the rotor, since it ran fine the last time it was on (however, still five years ago)....
Is there any way to test if the opti-electronic-thingy is working as it is supposed to with a multimeter or such?
If this isnt the cause, im glad i took it apart anyway, since it would only have been a matter of time before bolt #2 came loose too..
:Edit: Plus the fact that optisparks are fun, and pretty. I like optis.


Btw, -97 TA WS6 A4, 120ksomething miles





 

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shbox.com has opti and coil testing procedures. Also in the sticky threads at the top of this section, open the one titled "diagnosing the optispark" Watch the video and run the tests.

Also if American type obd2 scanners are available in Sweden, I would check for codes as the opti and icm codes don't light the ses light.
 

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Definetly looks like your rotor was hitting something. When I changed my opti or the cap and not the rotor was loose and I got almost the same thing. You could see my rotor was hitting, however, my car still ran. Not well but still ran.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Updates:
I have an ELM-scanner somewhere, can't find it though, so will borrow a friends' unit this weekend.

I cleaned the inside of the lovely Optispark™ out, sanded the terminals a bit and put it all back together, then bolted it back on the engine.

The result:
The injectors now open up for fuel, which is good. As long as i crank it, nothing really happens ignition-wise (could not check plugs for spark while cranking due to lack of friends), but when i let the key go, there is a hesitant sputter or two before the engine stops spinning. This is also good.

I took the Optispark™ back down, sanded some more and tried bending the metal rotor a bit closer to the terminals, put it back in and tried again. No hesitant sputter after cranking now (no sputter or ignition-sounds at all, this is not good), though this may be to low voltage in the battery (left the ignition on by mistake while having dinner).

So, i put the charger back on, will scan for codes in the next days and try again with charged battery, but methinks an Optispark™ rebuild kit might be in order? Cap and rotor?

As for the moment, neither the MAF assembly (filter box, maf) nor the serpentine belt are connected (or the water pump, for that matter), but if i've figured these engines out correctly, neither should affect the starting of the engine?

Edit: Say hello, car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
I charged the battery, no change. I scanned for trouble codes with the ELM-scanner and ScanXL, but no trouble codes were to be found.

With the ignition on but car not started, is the SES-light supposed to stay on? Is it only if the light is on when the car is running a DTC is present?

If the opti rotor is worn out (i have no reason to believe it has ever been replaced, and the car as 124 000 miles on it), hit would not throw codes, correct?

I noticed a strange thing; all data streams were idle ofcourse, since the car was not started, but every five seconds or so, the following data would show for about half a second (see pic). Is this a "bug" or does it indicate that something is a'gwan in the PCM?

Edit: Put the wrong picture in

Edit 2: The ECT-sensor and MAF are not connected at the moment, hence the -40 data (i think).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It starts! Im stupid!
The opti was not connected...i must have forgotten to do this after i measured the electricity in the terminals the other day. What caused the injectors to not open earlier i don't know, but they do now...

A question:
In the ABITS training video, it is stated that the injectors are turned off if code 41 or 42 are thrown (which i did not have). Are there any other conditions that may turn off the injectors? If so, do they show up as DTC's?
The car has been sitting with a disconnected battery for a few days after the no-injector condition was found, could this have erased the trace of whatever caused the injectors to not open?

It is also stated that codes are not thrown if both sensors fail (or are disconnected, i suppose?), which may explain why i did not have any.

Time to start putting stuff back together then....:)

Edit: To conclude, what i THINK was the problem was the opti being buggered after that small screw went awol. Then i had low battery voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Bah, i think the opti is shot...
It started but had a pretty rough idle. Ran it for perhaps 3-4 minutes, then the idle got a bit worse. Disconnected the maf and it got a tiny bit better, then after a few seconds the fluctuations in rpm got increasingly wider and wider, and the engine cut out (straight out like you turned off a switch, not from stalling).

Now it has ignition but does not stay on for more than a split second, disconnected MAF does not help, nor does starting gas. Starting with throttle a bit open does no difference at all (to rule out a bad IAC).
Only DTC is a P0300 Misfire.

Is it Opti-time?

Good thing though: I didn't notice any leaks from the front or rear main seals, which may mean i didn't mess up that part :)
Taking off the opti was easy as hell...don't understand what the fuss is about :)
 

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Have you put fresh fuel in the tank?
You said at the top "5 years later".

Just a thought

Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
damn 3 years? i promise that tank will have to be cleaned, and the filter replaced. gas turns to brown sludge in 3 years. hell i'm suprised it burned.
Wow, you learn something every day...i've always thought of this as a myth, but then my projects usually don't sit around for so long either...i'll let you guys know the results :LS1LT1flag:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Does anyone by any chance have advise on how to jerry-rig the fuel pump relay for emptying the tank?
 

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If you will look on the passenger side inner fender well, where all the wiring connectors are. This is near the pcm, you will find a red wire with a connector on it's end that's not connected to anything. That is the fuel pump prime connector. If you hook battery voltage to the wire, your fuel pump will run for as long as it takes to empty the tank.

If you need a pic of it, go to www.shbox.com it's in the component views section, # 35 I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you will look on the passenger side inner fender well, where all the wiring connectors are. This is near the pcm, you will find a red wire with a connector on it's end that's not connected to anything. That is the fuel pump prime connector. If you hook battery voltage to the wire, your fuel pump will run for as long as it takes to empty the tank.

If you need a pic of it, go to shbox.com it's in the component views section, # 35 I believe.
Great tip thanks, emptying the tank was done in a flash. I disconnected the feed line by the intake with a home-made tool made from a garden hose, hooked up a bigger hose and let the pump run.
Had about half a tank in there, i could not see neither junk nor water in the fuel, but in any case the car now starts, runs, and does it well for the time being. Will let it warm up properly in the next few days to see if i have any leaks left :)
 
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