Engine Cranking but not Starting

Zaino14

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Zain
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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Hi all,

Just recently finished a manual conversion after having car layed up for around 10 months. Baclground: Auto gearbox died on me just after filling at petrol station so was on a full tank of fuel. Anyways I started it up after putting everything back together on jack stands, car started first time beautifully, tested all the gears everything perfect. Took the car off the stands drove it around the block, also no problems, was idling ok too. Brought back to do some other things. When I went to start it again, wouldn't crank. Figured it might be the battery, so used the jump starter, car started fine but after disconnecting the jumper leads was idling very low and sort of sputtering. Figured battery was gone since its old and I had charged it up over the 8 months, so when out bought new battery and installed it. Then car would crank but not start, as if it was fuel starved. Thought might be the fuel was stale. So hand pumped it out from the fuel pump location under the back seat. Tank looked completely empty but gauge was still showing 1/4 full, figure it might be just problem with gauge? Filled her up with fresh 98, car is doing the same thing still cranking but not turning over. Have done error code checking of ECU with evoscan, no specific codes popping up, i think it says something like Trouble Codes Present, have to check again. No idea what to try next, anyone got any ideas?
 

BCX

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Tried using evoscan to run the fuel pump actuator?
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Tried using evoscan to run the fuel pump actuator?
Yep given that a go. It's seems to be fine. Had to pull all the old fuel out from there as well and tested with hoses off, pressure looks OK I think.

Also rechecked EvoScan it just says No Trouble Codes Present.

Just tried some starter fluid in the air intake, no difference also tried bypassing the IFS and still nothing. Thinking if just getting her towed to the mechanic at this point.
 

kc427

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Check all the fuses, both interior and engine bay?

Any sparks from spark plugs cable? Or the spark plugs cables are in correct order assume you didn't remove before.

Any unburnt gasoline smell from exhaust tail? If no smell, means no fuel into the engine.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Assume because it started once you have the inhibitor switch bypassed properly?
I don't think I was bypassed at any point before. Worked fine with it. Did try bypassing it but still just cranking, no different. Also IFS error code isn't showing on evoscan.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Check all the fuses, both interior and engine bay?

Any sparks from spark plugs cable? Or the spark plugs cables are in correct order assume you didn't remove before.

Any unburnt gasoline smell from exhaust tail? If no smell, means no fuel into the engine.

Checked all fuses, all seem fine. No unburnt gas smell in exhaust, so possibly may be right with no fuel? What's the next step for that? Checking lines to injector banks?

Never touched the spark plug cables before conversion, so shouldn't be any different to before. Could probably go ahead and check them, but I don't really know what im doing there and don't want to make more problems.
 

kc427

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Checked all fuses, all seem fine. No unburnt gas smell in exhaust, so possibly may be right with no fuel? What's the next step for that? Checking lines to injector banks?

Never touched the spark plug cables before conversion, so shouldn't be any different to before. Could probably go ahead and check them, but I don't really know what im doing there and don't want to make more problems.
Let say you tried cranking long time and still cannot start, but no unburnt gas smell, I would suspect the fuel pump may die, or maybe a clogged fuel filter.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Let say you tried cranking long time and still cannot start, but no unburnt gas smell, I would suspect the fuel pump may die, or maybe a clogged fuel filter.

OK this makes sense as it's exactly what im seeing. Can crank for a while but no unburnt fuel smell. I'll check fuel filter this afternoon. Pump appears to be working but maybe not enough pressure? I could take it out and have a look.
 

Baba Galant

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This is a pain in the A. Had the same issue in summer and turned out to be my engine immobilizer. It was an old mongoose model. Doors and lights worked fine but the ignition cut off side had failed.
Another weird one I've seen is the IFS bypass wire for the tacho.
If this get shorted to ground it does the same, cranking but won't start.
It might be worth checking the 2 plugs for the crank and cam senors, make sure they're plugged in and no damage to the wires.
 

Zaino14

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This is a pain in the A. Had the same issue in summer and turned out to be my engine immobilizer. It was an old mongoose model. Doors and lights worked fine but the ignition cut off side had failed.
Another weird one I've seen is the IFS bypass wire for the tacho.
If this get shorted to ground it does the same, cranking but won't start.
It might be worth checking the 2 plugs for the crank and cam senors, make sure they're plugged in and no damage to the wires.
Yeh is super odd as it was running just before and then all of a sudden nothing. Waiting til the weekend to check fuel filter, pump and plugs when i have more time. Might give checking the sensor a go tonight as it won't take long. My IFS isn't normally bypassed I'm pretty sure, so doubt there is a bypass wire to tacho? Plus tacho was working fine before.

What was the go with the engine immobilizer? Was it doing the same thing cranking but not turning over? I had a feeling there was something wrong with my immbolizer but since it was cranking figured that couldn't be it. How did you end up fixing it?
 

Baba Galant

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The immobilizer is a black box with plain black wires coming out that bypass the ignition feed wire going to the key switch. Generally there are 2 or 4 heavy gauge wires that cut the ignition feed line, I have see though others use it to kill the fuel pump or power to ignition coils
When my unit went I had nothing on turning the key, no dash, no cranking etc.
You'll have to figure out if your IFS is or isn't bypassed. They can randomly go.
Mine is permanently bypassed pins 3 and 4 joined with a fuse and pin 2 connected to the green wire on the crank signal connector.
I left my IFS module in place but removed the pins so there's no connection to the plug.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
The immobilizer is a black box with plain black wires coming out that bypass the ignition feed wire going to the key switch. Generally there are 2 or 4 heavy gauge wires that cut the ignition feed line, I have see though others use it to kill the fuel pump or power to ignition coils
When my unit went I had nothing on turning the key, no dash, no cranking etc.
You'll have to figure out if your IFS is or isn't bypassed. They can randomly go.
Mine is permanently bypassed pins 3 and 4 joined with a fuse and pin 2 connected to the green wire on the crank signal connector.
I left my IFS module in place but removed the pins so there's no connection to the plug.
I don't think its immobilizer then, I've manage to activate it so engine doesn't crank. Plus can actuate fuel pump with Evoscan so that appears all good. I'll try and give the IFS ago, I did already try bypassing it, but may not have worked (just bridges the 3 and 4 pins in the connector with a paperclip. I also have two spare IFS modules, so might be worth swapping in and giving them ago (no idea of their condition though).
 

jungle

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All good info.
Try the basics, I'd remove the front spark plugs and check for spark. You'll need someone to cracnk if for you. This will also show if fuel is getting to the cylinders.
If spark then remove the return fuel line from the front rail to ensure fuel is getting there. If fuel is there its either the IFS or your immobiliser.
You said it wasn't the immobiliser, so that most likely leaves the IFS.
It is odd that it ran fine then not at all.

If you haven't changed the fuel filter, do that regrardless, as they can "gum up" after a while.

My feeling is fuel pump. They can work then stop. I've had it happen like you've mentioned. Wortking fine, you stop, turn it off go do something, get back in try to start, it just cranks. No sign of spluttering- nothing just cranks.
I've had that happen twice.

Also check the connector to the fuel pump. Ive also had it where even though the connector had "clicked" into to place, it wasn't happy and it wouldn't pump fuel. Mate, that took bloody ages, didn't make sense. So recheck that seeing you've had the fuel; tank open.

Hope that helps
 

Zaino14

Insta: @vr4lLegOfHam
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Perth
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Zain
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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
All good info.
Try the basics, I'd remove the front spark plugs and check for spark. You'll need someone to cracnk if for you. This will also show if fuel is getting to the cylinders.
If spark then remove the return fuel line from the front rail to ensure fuel is getting there. If fuel is there its either the IFS or your immobiliser.
You said it wasn't the immobiliser, so that most likely leaves the IFS.
It is odd that it ran fine then not at all.

If you haven't changed the fuel filter, do that regrardless, as they can "gum up" after a while.

My feeling is fuel pump. They can work then stop. I've had it happen like you've mentioned. Wortking fine, you stop, turn it off go do something, get back in try to start, it just cranks. No sign of spluttering- nothing just cranks.
I've had that happen twice.

Also check the connector to the fuel pump. Ive also had it where even though the connector had "clicked" into to place, it wasn't happy and it wouldn't pump fuel. Mate, that took bloody ages, didn't make sense. So recheck that seeing you've had the fuel; tank open.

Hope that helps
Very very helpful thank you!

Bit of an update, I have sent the car to my family mechanic since I don't have enough time to work on it and need it as a daily. He has had done most of everything everyone has suggested. Test fuel pump, was all good, checked fuel lines and filters, which was ok. He also checked spark plugs and said that was fine also. He said he tried fuel into the intake (or something along those lines) at it's still not turning over even briefly, which he says makes him pretty sure it's not a fuel issue. I've suggested the IFS bypass and he is going to give that a go, since it seems to be the only thing left. I'll forward him this with everyones suggestions as it quite helpful, as he doesn't normally work on these cars. Will keep everyone posted on how it goes.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Just heard back from the mechanic, he manage to get it firing by replacing some fuses. Not exactly sure which ones, but he did mentioned they weren't blown. I'll find out exactly which ones when I get it back, as it may help someone in the future.

The engine isn't firing properly and he suspects the timing is out, so he's going to pull the covers and check timing and do the timing belt in the prcocess. He mentioned it could have bent valves, but fingers crossed it doesn't or my wallet is doomed. Considering it ran for a little while sputtering etc. as i mentioned in my first post, I have a very bad feeling..... However he did mention it still has good compression.
 

Zaino14

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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
Update for anyone still following this. Good news is that it's not the timing but rather some sort of sensor issue.
My mechanic said they've tried quite a few things but suspect it is some sort of communication error with the crank angle sensor or the IFS module. They have tried bypassing it with no luck. He mentioned that the crank angle sensor is sending data, then all of sudden recieving nothing? I'll ask him for specifics later when I go to see them. I have a spare IFS that I'll drop to them, but having spent two full days on it I think they're starting to get a bit frustrated. He believes its either the IFS sensor or something wrong in the ignition circuit. But surely if you bypass the sensor it should work? I don't know if its worth trying but could possibly swapping the crank angle sensor help?

Any other suggestions for them to try would be very very welcome.
 

Baba Galant

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I believe the CAS can only be checked by hand cranking the motor, with ignition on and coils unplugged, at least the front 3 plugs out also to crank easier.
It should read 0v then about 5v I think.
Using the starter may not indicate correct function due to the speed of the output voltage between 0 and 5v.
As far as the IFS is concerned, only wires 3 and 4 need to be joined for it to kick over and start, I don't think it even needs to be plugged in, tacho signal can be sorted at home.
 

kc427

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Update for anyone still following this. Good news is that it's not the timing but rather some sort of sensor issue.
My mechanic said they've tried quite a few things but suspect it is some sort of communication error with the crank angle sensor or the IFS module. They have tried bypassing it with no luck. He mentioned that the crank angle sensor is sending data, then all of sudden recieving nothing? I'll ask him for specifics later when I go to see them. I have a spare IFS that I'll drop to them, but having spent two full days on it I think they're starting to get a bit frustrated. He believes its either the IFS sensor or something wrong in the ignition circuit. But surely if you bypass the sensor it should work? I don't know if its worth trying but could possibly swapping the crank angle sensor help?

Any other suggestions for them to try would be very very welcome.
If it is crank angle sensor failure, you probably get engine code 22. Or do a step backward and see post #14, ground the spark plug housing to the engine, and check if there is spark, then the IFS should be fine. BTW, assume you are using bone stock spark plug coils, not those modified coil over plug kit.
 

Zaino14

Insta: @vr4lLegOfHam
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Perth
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Zain
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1998 FL Legnum VR4 Type S Manual
If it is crank angle sensor failure, you probably get engine code 22. Or do a step backward and see post #14, ground the spark plug housing to the engine, and check if there is spark, then the IFS should be fine. BTW, assume you are using bone stock spark plug coils, not those modified coil over plug kit.
No crank angle sensor failure, so must be ok. IFS is fine too as there is spark, however it does have a Denso coil over plug kit.
 
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