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I saw 1546 for sale on Craigslist, and immediately knew I wanted it. It's a 2 owner car, and COMPLETELY stock. The second owner, Robert, said he picked up the car in 1998 when it was brought in as a trade at the dealership he worked at. From that time on, I'm told it was used as a daily driver. Working with Robert on the sale was awesome, and I couldn't have asked for a smoother transaction. I could tell as I was loading it onto the trailer, it wasn't easy for him to let the car go. I assured him the car was in good hands, and I'd do my best to have it back on the road in no time. Here are some pictures of the car from the sale ad:
The goal for this build is a completely stock restoration. It's hard to find completely unmolested examples like this, and I'm going to take advantage of that fact. The car does have some issues, though.
Overall, the body is pretty clean. There doesn't appear to be any real rust issues, but I won't really be able to confirm until I pull the fenders and such. The roof, front bumper, and cladding all need paint. The rest of the paint looks pretty good for its age. The wheels will also need to be refinished as well.
The interior is rough. The carpet is some kind of aftermarket stuff, and looks horrible. I'll get a stock carpet to restore and replace the current stuff with. The rear seats are trashed, so those will need replaced too. The steering wheel is junk, and the dash is lifting and peeling in places. I'd rate the interior in its current state a 3 out of 10.
Mechanically, the car will need some work. Robert said he believed the car needs a motor. I pulled the plugs, and found a set of Autolite platinums /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/uhh.gif
After seeing the plugs, I wasn't terribly surprised with the next discovery...
Luckily, the car was still perfectly in time. I spun the motor over by hand, and it felt smooth.
So, I hit the key and nothing. Turns out, the grounds were terribly corroded, so I removed them, cleaned them, put everything back and tried again. I hit the key and the motor cranked right over.
Once the car was turning over again, I proceed to check for spark. Nothing. So, I pulled the ECU and found it blown the f*** up:
The IC107 driver was blown; ISC coil pair A. So, pulled the old ISC and swapped in a good revised unit.
While I was screwing with the ISC, I found a sweet rat nest...
Then, I swapped in a spare ECU and tried to crank the car over again. Still no spark. I pulled the CAS and found it 180* out. So, turned the car over to #1 TDC, lined up the CAS and tried to crank the car yet again...No spark.
I have since swapped in:
-Known good CAS
-Known good coil pack
-Known good wires
-Known good transistor box
Since I had spares on hand, I did some quick swaps to try and find the issue. It's clear now, that I'll need to dig into the harness and start doing some real electrical testing and diagnosis. Any ideas or suggestions on what the issue may be would be appreciated. Hopefully I'll have some more time to screw with the car tomorrow.
Given the few troubles I've already had with grounds, I decided to remove and clean all the grounds I could readily find. I also depinned the coil pack connector and replaced it. I put everything back together, and suddenly the car has spark. I'm not sure exactly what I fixed, but it's working none the less.
Once the car was sparking again, I ran a compression test just to see where I was at. The results weren't what I was hoping for. Starting with cylinder 4, I saw 150-50-90-120. Not exactly inspiring results. In addition, there's a nasty knocking sound that's developed now that the crankshaft has compression to work against. Considering I had nothing to lose at this point, I threw in a set of NGK plugs and tried to start the car. It cranks and doesn't even attempt to fire. I'd think even with the low compression on cylinders 2 and 3, the car would start? It doesn't even try, though.
I still need to verify the fuel side of things is good to go. I can smell gas when the car cranks, but that's not a very definitive test. I verified the fuel pump is operational by jumping the test connector to +12V. The pump runs, but sounds pretty weak. I also pulled the CAS and spun it by hand, which also kicked on the pump. So, at least it seems like the circuitry is working as it should. I'll pull the fuel rail and verify the injectors are all spraying this weekend. I figure I should probably pull the pump too and see what the situation is in there as well.
I suppose something stupid like a screwed up CTS could also be causing a no start issue as well. I may swap in ECMlink from 820 to make troubleshooting a bit easier.
Basically, 1546 is definitely going to need some love before it's even close to being roadworthy again. Yanno, just business as usual fixing up another 20 year old shitbox /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/roll.gif
It may not mean anything, but just in case...
If the car hasn't had spark for a long time, and you've done a lot of cranking without the engine running, the cylinders might be washed out with gas and compression readings become very unpredictable. You might get a different result if you can manage to get the car running and do a follow up test.
I had a Mazda5 that had really bad fuel, and I went through 2 battery's worth of charge and a bunch of fiddling to get it running again. I did a compression test and the numbers indicated that the 2 middle cylinders were shot; they were about 1/2 of normal. I ended up draining and replacing the bad gas, and the car has run like a champ since, and the compression numbers are all normal now. Didn't change anything except the fuel.
Just a thought. Good luck on the build, car looks full of promise.
I had the injectors unplugged while cranking/testing, up until I verified I had spark again. At the time of the compression test, the car hadn't see fuel from the injectors in over 12 hours. As you pointed out though, I was hoping to get some better results after running the motor, and getting a hot reading.
Good point on the gas. I was planning on dumping some new stuff in just to see what happens.
Was it trying to start, I.E. sputtering but not starting? You asked about low compression causing a no start, and it could but the good cylinders would fire and try to run so you'd get a sputtering almost start. If flat out nothing, then I'd say injectors weren't firing.