ST165 with no spark - again.

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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby ___Scott___ » Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:09 pm

I've checked codes a few times hoping for a clue, but there are no codes set.
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby ___Scott___ » Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:51 pm

I have been driving my wifes' Z4, and I had the scope in the back of it. Today I stupidly took her Jeep to work on my car and left the scope in the Z4. I "made-do" with a multi-meter and confirmed that the IGT signal really was getting to the ignitor. So I've been looking in the wrong place just because I made a bad measurement when I initially looked at the IGT signal. I pulled the ignitor so I could check it out at home. Visually it appears fine, but I need to look more. Here is a link to a big photo of the inside of the Ignitor. http://planetcampbell.us/ST165%20Ignitor%20guts.jpg
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby Theman88b » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:05 am

I have done a few of those and have never seen anything visually wrong with them. Just replace it and the coil together. The coil usually takes them out via high resistance.
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby ___Scott___ » Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:19 am

Thanks Theman88b. I agree that the coil and ignitor should be replaced together, so I've placed an order for both. They should be here by Tuesday with some luck.
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby ___Scott___ » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:17 am

As expected, a new ignitor and coil got it going.

A few tips for future reference:
- distributor failures are rare compared to ignitor failures. Suspect the ignitor first.
- if you check for a signal and it appears to not be there, double check it.
- RockAuto.com had the best price on ignitors that I found.
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby Rick89GTS » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:15 am

Glad you got it going. Good info here, re: ignitor :)
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Re: ST165 with no spark

Postby ___Scott___ » Fri Aug 16, 2013 3:54 pm

Not so fast. The problem has returned. It wouldn´t start this morning and as before there is no movement in the tach needle when the starter is cranking the engine over.

As a recap, I´ve swapped in the following:
- Spare ECU
- Spare Distributor
- New Ignitor
- New Coil
- Bypassed the harness with the NE, G1, G2, G- wires.

Maybe next I´ll bypass the IGT and IGF wires between the ECU and ignitor and see if that helps at all. At least it´s home in the garage now and I have most of the weekend to work on it.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby Theman88b » Sat Aug 17, 2013 1:07 am

Are the spare parts still being used on the car? Are you not getting spark again?
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby ___Scott___ » Sat Aug 17, 2013 3:26 am

I'm back to the original ECU And distributor. I haven't Investigated yet, but the symptoms are the same.

There can't be much left to check at this point.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby ___Scott___ » Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:11 am

Today verified that it still didn't want to start. Then I soldered wires to the IGT, NE, G1, G2, G- and E1 pins on the back side of the circuit board of my spare ECU so could be assured of getting a good connection with the scope. I then unplugged the original ECU and plugged the connectors into the spare ECU and set up the scope to look at the IGT signal. Turned the key and it started right up. GRRRRR!

I can't pinpoint the problem if it goes away when I'm set up to look for it. Anyway I probed around for quite a while and everything I looked at looked like it should. I let it cool down while I did some other stuff. Came back later and removed my bypass of the NE, G1, G2, G- signals and reconnected the original connections. Then I swapped back the original ECU and tried it again. It wouldn't start. :D I know, crazy that I'd think that's a good thing but I need to pinpoint this problem. So I jabbed a wire into the back side of the IGT connection at the ECU and setup the scope to look at it again. Turned the key and it started right up. GRRRRR!

I haven't added a ground wire from the ignitor to the ECU yet, that's next... after I find something to eat.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby wakkjobb » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:05 am

You're just going to have to give it to me; or trade for mine... it starts every time! haha...
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby ___Scott___ » Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:46 pm

I'm not ready to give up on it yet. And I'm not really a red-car-kinda-guy. Even though I've been driving a red Z4 for nearly a month.

Update:
I added the ground wire from the ignitor to the E1 connection on the ECU connector. The car started right up, but is idling higher than before. I don't think I knocked a vacuum hose loose, but I'll have to look around. The fact that it started right up doesn't mean anything. I still haven't identified the cause of the problem.

Also, the check engine light is on and the code is 54. I have a jumper installed in the connector to the level sensor to bypass it, and that has worked for a few years but it's not working now. Of course the IC pump isn't running either.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby Theman88b » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:05 am

I know you have been checking for spark this whole time but have you checked for an injector pulse when it doesn't run? Check the distributor ground, run a new one if you have to. Have you checked the EFI main relay?

I pulled this from Identifix, wire color may be wrong but good info:

"No start No Spark";

1. Verify that the Check Engine Light stays on while cranking too and if not, check the +B terminal in the diagnostic check connector for battery voltage while cranking.

2. At the igniter, scope the White Ignition Trigger (IGT) wire for a 0-5 volt square wave signal while cranking. If there is a signal, but there is no pulse on coil negative, the igniter may be faulty.

3. Verify battery voltage to the igniter on the Black/Orange wire.

4. Verify ground for the igniter through its mounting.

5. Check the coil negative White/Blue wire at the igniter for battery voltage key on and for a pulse signal to ground while cranking. If it is pulsing, the problem may be a faulty coil.

6. Check the tachometer signal wire out of the igniter on the Black wire for battery voltage key on. Remove that wire from the igniter connector and check for spark. If it gains spark, run a new tachometer wire.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby ___Scott___ » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:33 am

Theman88b wrote:I know you have been checking for spark this whole time but have you checked for an injector pulse when it doesn't run?

I checked that with a test light to verify there was power at the injector wires at the ECU, but that doesn't mean they were pulsing. I think the ECU needs the NE, G1 and G2 signals to know when to pulse an injector. I didn't look at the injector signals with a scope, but that's something to look closer at if the problem returns.

Theman88b wrote:Check the distributor ground, run a new one if you have to.

Done that, that's the G- wire.

Theman88b wrote:Have you checked the EFI main relay?

Verified power to the ECU, which comes from the EFI relay.

Theman88b wrote:I pulled this from Identifix, wire color may be wrong but good info:

That's all good info, thanks for posting that. Even if I don't end up needing it, someone else may need it later.

At the moment the engine starts every time and I've tried it probably more than 20 times over the course of several hours. I don't know what the deal was with the fast idle after the first start after adding the ground wire between the ignitor and the E1 wire at the ECU, but that went away and it idles normally now.
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Re: ST165 with no spark - again.

Postby Theman88b » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:33 am

Hopefully you will not have any further problems. The Japs know how to wire a car so usually not this hard to diagnose lol.
'88 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo(Blue) 145k - Race car!!!
'92 Ford Taurus SHO(White) 212k - Intake and exhaust, needs a clutch at the moment
'98 Jeep Cherokee - Current DD, 33" tires and 2 light bars :rofl:
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