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How to drain gas tank

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Old 09-30-17, 08:00 PM
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How to drain gas tank

RX7 1984 GSLSE will not start. New fuel filter and pump. New plugs. Got spark. Got gas. Thought it was flooded so I did the unflood procedure and even put 3/4 oz ATF fluid in bottom rotars. Tach shows bounce = spark? I suspect bad gasoline at this point.

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Old 09-30-17, 08:10 PM
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There is a plug on the bottom of all FB tanks.
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Old 09-30-17, 08:10 PM
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How long has car sat without running? How old is the gas? There is a drain bolt in bottom of gas tank. I have found them to be tight,you'll want to use a six point socket not a wrench or 12 point socket. I use a small impact gun to pop bolt free 1/2 turn or so,then get out of way so not taking a bath. Leave the gas cap on so the flow can be somewhat controlled.
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Old 10-01-17, 04:10 PM
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I had the car running about 16 months ago, after I replaced the fuel filter. Then the pump stopped working so I replaced that and then it wouldn't start at all. The pump works. I can hear it and I know gas is getting to the engine. The tank has about 1/4 tank of gas. I put a couple gallons of new gasoline in it but that didn't make any difference. Before I put the fresh gallons in (July 2016) the gas was about 2 years old. I will look for this plug. Thanks!!
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Old 10-01-17, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KansasCityREPU View Post
There is a plug on the bottom of all FB tanks.
Originally Posted by GSLSEforme View Post
How long has car sat without running? How old is the gas? There is a drain bolt in bottom of gas tank. I have found them to be tight,you'll want to use a six point socket not a wrench or 12 point socket. I use a small impact gun to pop bolt free 1/2 turn or so,then get out of way so not taking a bath. Leave the gas cap on so the flow can be somewhat controlled.
This is the plug that is on the bottom of my tank. I suspect I will need a compression washer to reinstall the plug?
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Old 10-01-17, 06:31 PM
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There is a test procedure for pressure AND volume. I would check both. Your tank is likely clogged with rust and may need cleaning and sealing. Do a compression check first though.
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Old 10-01-17, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RXrick View Post
This is the plug that is on the bottom of my tank. I suspect I will need a compression washer to reinstall the plug?
Yes - that is the plug. I don't remember it having a compression (aluminum or cooper) washer but it wouldn't hurt using one.
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Old 10-02-17, 02:30 AM
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Were you careful to be sure you hooked the pump inlet and outlet lines to the correct fittings? It's kinda important which way the pump tries to go. If you can hear it running, you should check the fuel rail to be sure you're getting fuel to the injectors. This is best done by removing one of the 2 lines right a the firewall next to the brake master cylinder and running the pump while shunting the EFI Test Lead located by the Air Flow Meter (the green plug not used for anything else). If you get pressure at the rail, as the others said you need pressure and volume - but it may be something else like spark.

After you installed the new fuel pump, did it run at ALL? Did you start it back then to be sure it ran?
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Old 10-02-17, 06:32 AM
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Pull the plugs and check them. Are they wet? If so clean them and dry them and attempt to restart after pulling the EGI fusible link and cranking the engine.

If they're dry, I would try to run it on starting fluid for a second. Try spraying some into the intake and try starting it. have you messed with the injector grounds at all? They are two wires, each with a ring terminal that bolt under the dynamic chamber. If that ground is not clean and secure, the injectors won't fire. I would not suspect bad gas. The engine will run on bad gas, just not very well.
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Old 10-02-17, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaverx713b View Post
I would not suspect bad gas. The engine will run on bad gas, just not very well.
This is accurate. It should at least try to fire on bad gas. Check all the other possible causes first and then move forward from there.
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Old 10-07-17, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by LongDuck View Post
Were you careful to be sure you hooked the pump inlet and outlet lines to the correct fittings? It's kinda important which way the pump tries to go. If you can hear it running, you should check the fuel rail to be sure you're getting fuel to the injectors. This is best done by removing one of the 2 lines right a the firewall next to the brake master cylinder and running the pump while shunting the EFI Test Lead located by the Air Flow Meter (the green plug not used for anything else). If you get pressure at the rail, as the others said you need pressure and volume - but it may be something else like spark.

After you installed the new fuel pump, did it run at ALL? Did you start it back then to be sure it ran?
After I installed the new pump it wouldn't start. But the fuel lines were checked at the engine and confirmed fuel was being delivered. Then I guess I ran the battery down and flooded the engine. But after unflooding the engine it still wouldn't start so then I suspected an igniter (it was very hot that day and so was the igniter.) So I replace the trailing igniter and all plugs have spark. So now I have another theory. Compression and spark. Do I have enough of both? Now I will replace the battery with a brand new one and crank away.
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Old 10-07-17, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mazdaverx713b View Post
Pull the plugs and check them. Are they wet? If so clean them and dry them and attempt to restart after pulling the EGI fusible link and cranking the engine.

If they're dry, I would try to run it on starting fluid for a second. Try spraying some into the intake and try starting it. have you messed with the injector grounds at all? They are two wires, each with a ring terminal that bolt under the dynamic chamber. If that ground is not clean and secure, the injectors won't fire. I would not suspect bad gas. The engine will run on bad gas, just not very well.
I pulled the plugs after every long attempt to start the car, fearing I kept flooding the engine (maybe 3-4 times.) In general, the plugs were wet but not all of them all of the time. First time they were ALL wet. Anyway, I have EFI so you recommend I remove the spark plugs and spray starting fluid into the plug holes (and into the rotar?)

I don't know anything about injectors. Where can I find a photo of what you describe? Interestingly, the last time I pulled all the plugs (Wednesday night) they were dry, but they smelled like gasoline, and the exhaust pipe smells like gasoline, too. So I still suspect I have fuel. I'm thinking I don't have enough power to crank the engine fast enough, and/or enough spark. Someone mentioned (some other thread) to swap the coils (maybe the trailing coil is weak?) Anyway, I will replace the battery with a brand new one and see what happens. Thanks for your help and thoughts!
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Old 10-07-17, 06:22 PM
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UPDATE: Installed new battery and that did not make a single difference in anything. I fear the worse now. Because of all my cranking attempts, the engine smells like burning electrical wiring. Did I ruin the rotars?

I also noticed, while cranking, although the oil pressure gauge moves upward, it doesn't move beyond the 1/4 mark, and I don't see any (electrical?) bump on the tach, which I used to.) I checked all the fusible links near the front shock absorber tower and they all have continuity. So now I suspect compression, and maybe a host of other illnesses since my initial non-start problem. Could I have blown a seal?

Good grief. All this drama because I fixed my oil cooler leak...
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Old 10-07-17, 08:06 PM
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Before you assume the worst (no compression) there's more work to be done. Your comment about not getting any indication to the tach when trying to start tells me that you're not getting the injector signal from the Trailing Coil to the ECU to trigger when the injectors should fire. This is a black wire with spade connector that goes on the FRONT coil (front is Trailing coil, back is Leading coil...). Check to be sure thats connected first and recognize that this signal is required to start the engine - without a trigger signal, the ECU won't know when to fire injectors even if your fuel pump is providing pressure.

Onto those injectors: they are likely to be leaky if you've never had them rebuilt. This could be why youre flooding it as they will tend to leak pressure all the time, but not enough, and not in a poper spray pattern to allow the engine to start. Liquid gas will wash the oil from your selas and drop compression considerably - enough to make starting difficult. Change your oil, and squirt oil into your bottom plug holes to lube the apex seals.

as for spark, check your distributor cap and rotor for any breakage or heavy carbon on the contacts. They don't last forever and wipe it down so its clean insie and out. Carbon traces will rob the current needed to trigger the igniters.

Another, more hassle but sometimes lucrative method, is to pull start the car with another vehicle. This spins the engine over faster than the starter and will almost always start a car even with low compression if everything else is in order. Good luck,
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Old 10-07-17, 08:45 PM
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I sense your frustration at this point. How did car run when it ran last,what caused it to stop running? Can you pinpoint a specific area of engine compartment that the smell is coming from? Pay special attention to battery cables-connections at battery and at starter. This is the circuit that has most amperage going through it and most likely to heat up-especially from extended cranking. You need to give the starter motor a rest and allow it time to cool between cranking attempts,this could be the source of burning smell. Does it sound like its cranking speed is normal or maybe a little slower than previously? There is a minimum cranking speed a rotary needs to reliably start,especially when previously flooded. How many miles on car,ever done a compression test on engine? For what its worth,extended cranking periods in and of itself would not cause rotor damage. Periodic squirting of oil into leading plug holes and turning engine thru by hand to distribute the oil around housings both lubricates and restores sealing capabilities to aid in compression. Repetitive flooding can wash this lubricant from rotors/housings. ATF is not recommended as a lubricant,has a nasty habit of loosening carbon which then moves to places you'd prefer it didn't. Pull EGI fuse link and deflood til no more mist is coming from spark plug holes. Clean and dry spark plugs,insert them into plug wires and lay plugs on top of engine to ground them. Have someone crank the car while you observe all the plugs for spark,should be uniform and light blue in color. This is 1st step in process of elimination of cause of no start,if don't have consistent quality spark at plugs need to focus attention here to start. What is your skill level with diagnostics,own a test light,multimeter and know how to use them? Happy to help you long distance,test and focus on one system at a time to keep from being overwhelming.

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Old 10-08-17, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by LongDuck View Post
Before you assume the worst (no compression) there's more work to be done. Your comment about not getting any indication to the tach when trying to start tells me that you're not getting the injector signal from the Trailing Coil to the ECU to trigger when the injectors should fire. This is a black wire with spade connector that goes on the FRONT coil (front is Trailing coil, back is Leading coil...). Check to be sure thats connected first and recognize that this signal is required to start the engine - without a trigger signal, the ECU won't know when to fire injectors even if your fuel pump is providing pressure.

Onto those injectors: they are likely to be leaky if you've never had them rebuilt. This could be why youre flooding it as they will tend to leak pressure all the time, but not enough, and not in a poper spray pattern to allow the engine to start. Liquid gas will wash the oil from your selas and drop compression considerably - enough to make starting difficult. Change your oil, and squirt oil into your bottom plug holes to lube the apex seals.

as for spark, check your distributor cap and rotor for any breakage or heavy carbon on the contacts. They don't last forever and wipe it down so its clean insie and out. Carbon traces will rob the current needed to trigger the igniters.

Another, more hassle but sometimes lucrative method, is to pull start the car with another vehicle. This spins the engine over faster than the starter and will almost always start a car even with low compression if everything else is in order. Good luck,
Well, I've pulled that spade connector off the blade of the front (Leading) coil so many times (when cranking without plugs to unflood) it's possible I damaged the wire... I will check that out. Can I connect a VOM to that blade and check the voltage? Would that help determine if the coil is good or bad and/or the connector is good or bad?

Speaking of test equipment, would a simple computer diagnostic thing be able to give me a code or codes of what it wrong? ECU? I purchased a working used one about 16 years ago :-)

I will remove the distributor cap and clean and inspect.Never thought about that.

Fear factor: I looked under the car and noticed a small pool of oil on the garage floor, coming from under the engine somewhere. It doesn't drip. Maybe it only leaks when the car is cranking? Could this be a sign of a blown Seal? Could one Seal spell doom and the car would never start under such condition?

Thanks for all your thoughtful help and time, LondDuck !!
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Old 10-08-17, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by GSLSEforme View Post
I sense your frustration at this point. How did car run when it ran last,what caused it to stop running? Can you pinpoint a specific area of engine compartment that the smell is coming from? Pay special attention to battery cables-connections at battery and at starter. This is the circuit that has most amperage going through it and most likely to heat up-especially from extended cranking. You need to give the starter motor a rest and allow it time to cool between cranking attempts,this could be the source of burning smell. Does it sound like its cranking speed is normal or maybe a little slower than previously? There is a minimum cranking speed a rotary needs to reliably start,especially when previously flooded. How many miles on car,ever done a compression test on engine? For what its worth,extended cranking periods in and of itself would not cause rotor damage. Periodic squirting of oil into leading plug holes and turning engine thru by hand to distribute the oil around housings both lubricates and restores sealing capabilities to aid in compression. Repetitive flooding can wash this lubricant from rotors/housings. ATF is not recommended as a lubricant,has a nasty habit of loosening carbon which then moves to places you'd prefer it didn't. Pull EGI fuse link and deflood til no more mist is coming from spark plug holes. Clean and dry spark plugs,insert them into plug wires and lay plugs on top of engine to ground them. Have someone crank the car while you observe all the plugs for spark,should be uniform and light blue in color. This is 1st step in process of elimination of cause of no start,if don't have consistent quality spark at plugs need to focus attention here to start. What is your skill level with diagnostics,own a test light,multimeter and know how to use them? Happy to help you long distance,test and focus on one system at a time to keep from being overwhelming.
I car sat for about a year and during that time I removed and repaired a leaking oil cooler. The engine sang like a fine watch before that. A mechanic told me he had never heard such a smooth running engine with as many miles as mine. It purred.

After the repaired oil cooler was installed, the engine would not fire. I suspected the fuel filter and replaced it. Then the engine sputter and eventually started! I drove it around the block many times, pulled it back into the garage and noticed one of the lines (connection) at the pump was leaking. So that was tightened but after that the car would not start. I suspected a air gap or something in the fuel line, so the fuel lines at the engine were disconnected and there was no fuel pressure, and suddenly I could not hear the fuel pump anymore. So I purchased a used fuel pump.

A couple weeks later, the fuel pump was replaced and now I had pressure and I could hear the pump (when trying to start the car.) But the car would not fire. I ended up flooding it, probably many times. There was a procedure to jump a (green?) connector up near the air filter to manually do something.... now I can't remember what that was for but it worked (my friend did that test for me.) Anyway, the car would not fire, so at this point I suspected a bad igniter. Makes sense to me at the time. It was very hot and so was the temperature in my garage. So I replace the leading igniter on the distributor cap with a known "good" used one and checked all the plugs for spark. But not as you suggested above. My method: I removed the plug wire from the plug, stuck a wire in the plug connector and placed the exposed copper end of the wire near the metal EFI manifold housing and cranked the engine briefly. I saw spark. I did that for all the plug wires. All plug wires gave me spark. So that is the full story up to my latest attempts here in this thread (because at this point I started to suspect bad gasoline...)

I did not pull the EGI fuse link to unflood but I did remove the connector from the blade on the front coil. Same thing? Anyway, I cranked it 15-20 secs without plugs every time I felt I may have flooded the engine. I also tried the put the pedal to the metal for 15-20 secs then try and start the car without your foot on the accelerator. I did this 5-6X too, and that did not work.

I pulled the plugs out one last time and to my surprise, they were NOT wet, but they looked and felt like they were almost dry. Now my head is spinning. Back to compression and perhaps "volume" as was mentioned here. Spark. Gas. Compression. My three favorite things.

I bought a brand new battery ($156) yesterday (Saturday) and although the cranking did seem faster, the volt meter on my dash still drained the voltage from 12V down to just above 8V mark when cranking = same as before with the older battery.

I already tried the ATF trick the first go around and that did not work. I read somewhere to do that to help build compression, something about helping seal the seals...

I will pull the plugs and check the spark at the plug itself like you advise. That will be interesting to see.

I do not own a test light but I have a multi-meter and I know how to use that.

What worries me mostly now is the small pool of oil under the car. How easy or how can you blow a Seal? Can you blow a Seal by cranking the engine too much?

Thanks for your helpful advice and your time!! I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-08-17, 11:05 PM
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If the engine ran as well as you said only a year ago,i doubt,even with all the flooding?and cranking of the engine you have done any harm to it. If you were to investigate the pool of "oil"under car you may find it to be located under the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe. It may be a combination of gas and the ATF you put in the spark plug holes. On a rotary,extended cranking/flooding will push fuel out of rotor housing into the exhaust system where a small leak(too small to hear with engine running)will allow the fuel,oil? to leak out. Pull oil dipstick and verify engine is not overfull of oil,smell oil on dipstick to check for fuel contamination. The green connector by air filter is a test connector that can be jumped with key on to run fuel pump and pressurize fuel system. Do the spark check i referred to in previous post,it will help to rule out a couple possibilities and help to decide in what direction to go next.
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Old 10-08-17, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by LongDuck View Post
... Your comment about not getting any indication to the tach when trying to start tells me that you're not getting the injector signal from the Trailing Coil to the ECU to trigger when the injectors should fire. This is a black wire with spade connector that goes on the FRONT coil (front is Trailing coil, back is Leading coil...). Check to be sure thats connected first and recognize that this signal is required to start the engine - without a trigger signal, the ECU won't know when to fire injectors even if your fuel pump is providing pressure...,
Ok, see attached photos. This spade connector is always connected when I try to start the car. Is there a way to measure the signal at the blade connection with a VOM? Is so, what is the procedure? Detach the connector then attach the + of the VOM to the terminal and the - of the VOM to ground and crank the engine, then note the voltage?
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Old 10-08-17, 11:40 PM
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see photo = trailing coil blade connector
Attached Thumbnails How to drain gas tank-trailing-coil_blade-connection.jpg  
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Old 10-08-17, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GSLSEforme View Post
If the engine ran as well as you said only a year ago,i doubt,even with all the flooding?and cranking of the engine you have done any harm to it. If you were to investigate the pool of "oil"under car you may find it to be located under the exhaust manifold or exhaust pipe. It may be a combination of gas and the ATF you put in the spark plug holes. On a rotary,extended cranking/flooding will push fuel out of rotor housing into the exhaust system where a small leak(too small to hear with engine running)will allow the fuel,oil? to leak out. Pull oil dipstick and verify engine is not overfull of oil,smell oil on dipstick to check for fuel contamination. The green connector by air filter is a test connector that can be jumped with key on to run fuel pump and pressurize fuel system. Do the spark check i referred to in previous post,it will help to rule out a couple possibilities and help to decide in what direction to go next.
Reading your reply has reduced my blood pressure greatly! :-) Engine oil level is good, only down about 1/2 qt. (which is where it was at when I started all this.) I checked this at the start of everything and the level has maintained this level throughout my hassles (maybe dropped only about 1/16 qt.) I didn't smell the dipstick but I will now. Thanks for reminding me what that test was about for the fuel pump...now I remember...

I will do your spark plug test tomorrow after work. Do I need to do it on all the plugs, or just the leading? Thank you!!!!
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Old 10-09-17, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by GSLSEforme View Post
.....Pull oil dipstick and verify engine is not overfull of oil,smell oil on dipstick to check for fuel contamination...
Okay, I pulled the dipstick and smelled it it smells like oil and gasoline. Good grief. What does that mean?
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Old 10-09-17, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by RXrick View Post
see photo = trailing coil blade connector
You're missing the Black Wire EFI Signal lead on the front (Trailing) coil. The one that's on there now goes to the ignitor. There's a separate black wire with a spade connector that feeds your ECU with the EFI signal, and if it's not connected to the Trailing Coil, you're not getting the injectors to fire. It really could be that simple.

A trick for advanced troubleshooting is that the engine will run (poorly) if you connect the EFI Signal lead to the LEADING coil - which is the incorrect coil, but will let the ECU determine when to fire the ignitors, however off time. This will limp you home if your Trailing Coil or Trailing Ignitor fails for some reason.

Find that black wire with spade connector and plug it onto the opposite side blade on the same ignitor lead. This will restore your EFI signal and should get it up and running.

Also, take a picture showing which wires are connected to both coils and I can tell you more about what's going on.
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Old 10-09-17, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RXrick View Post
Okay, I pulled the dipstick and smelled it it smells like oil and gasoline. Good grief. What does that mean?
Just another sign of repeat flooding/cranking,some of the gas makes its way down to oilpan,just like gas makes its way into the exhaust. You would want to change oil and filter once engine is up and running.
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Old 10-09-17, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RXrick View Post
Reading your reply has reduced my blood pressure greatly! :-) Engine oil level is good, only down about 1/2 qt. (which is where it was at when I started all this.) I checked this at the start of everything and the level has maintained this level throughout my hassles (maybe dropped only about 1/16 qt.) I didn't smell the dipstick but I will now. Thanks for reminding me what that test was about for the fuel pump...now I remember...

I will do your spark plug test tomorrow after work. Do I need to do it on all the plugs, or just the leading? Thank you!!!!
Do the spark test as i outlined in previous post,this will tell you if BOTH Leading and trailing ignition are operational,if either isn't we'll focus on why that is so. Completely functional ignition system is one of three things needed,the other two are fuel,in the right quantity and proper compression. The wire Longduck is referring to is the tach signal wire that goes to negative primary of trailing ignition coil. This wire feeds both the tachometer and runs to ECU to let it know when trailing coil fires. It uses this input along with that of several other sensors to calculate how much fuel the engine needs to both start and run thru complete rev range. Without this input the ECU cannot fire the injectors. I believe the wire color is yellow/green tracer and should have a black female spade connector on its end to attach to trailing coil. If you have trailing ignition spark as well as leading spark at the plugs,with this wire connected you will have both a working tach and ECU is getting the signal engine is cranking and ignition system is firing and will calculate how much and how long to trigger injectors for proper amount of fuel for startup.
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08-20-01 10:13 AM

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