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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 1996 geo tracker with a blown headgasket. It came with another good engine which I rebuilt the head on and replaced the headgasket, etc. It is a 16v engine and was before as well. I have already done a lot of trouble shooing and don't know what else to check. It cranks and cranks but won't start. Fuel system is good. The timing is good (just replaced all components) and the crank keyway has no damage (used e marks). Ignition timing is set correctly and I have good compression across all cylinders and I am getting spark at the plugs. No blown fuses, what else can I check? Thanks for any help.. I am writing this on my phone so hopefully everything is explained ok.. Not sure if this is a needed detail but it is a 5 SPD manual. Thanks again.
Edit: the car started and ran/drove when I bought it but was burning coolant and it was getting into the oil.
 

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99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
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AS you have replaced the engine, the info about it running when you got is is inconsequential..

You now need to prove the fuel side of the equation, Does it start on test fuel??

..... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The only reason I mentioned it is because I used the same injectors and fpr, etc. I tried starting it with a can of starter fluid and no it did not start
 

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The only reason I mentioned it is because I used the same injectors and fpr, etc. I tried starting it with a can of starter fluid and no it did not start
Failed on test fuel! back to diagnostics.

Post your compression numbers, "Good" is just relative..
Valve timing @#4 TDCc
Ignition timing @#1 TDCc
1342, firing order...

.... Philip
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Compression numbers are 145-155 which is good based on the kick fix site for a cold engine at WOT. Timing belt is correct and I set the distributor timing when the engine was at TDC after setting the timing belt. These things have been checked and double checked. Isn't there something else it could be?

Edit: ignition timing was set according to the kick fix site. Inset timing put crank mark to the correct position with cam e mark up then set the distributor so that the rotor was at #1 coil (approx 1pm). Firing order is set correctly.
 

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No, according to kickfix - and actually according to the FSM, 145-150 is bare minimum for a cold 8V engine - you have the 16v, and your compression on a cold engine should be about 170psi - 190psi on a warm engine. I would go back to your timing again, as per Aqua's instructions above.
Make sure that you have the valve timing set with cylinder #4 on its compression stroke. The crank key is at 12:00, the cam key is at 6:00 and the cam mark is at 12:00 (E marks).
The ignition is then set to cylinder #1 on its compression stroke - the 16v rotor rotates counterclockwise, by the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is how I have it set.. I have already pulled the radiator twice to check it and make sure the last time being the morning before posting this.
 

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That is how I have it set.. I have already pulled the radiator twice to check it and make sure the last time being the morning before posting this.
Have you confirmed that the crank keyway is not sheared??

..... Philip
 

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Is your check engine light on with the key on, and off when you crank the car? What was the donor engine that you put in - same year, etc? Any harness modifications?? Is the ECU from the original car? Give some more info as to the swap - if the ECU doesn't see spark/fuel it will prevent the car from starting, even if it is an ECU malfunction. Do you have a scanner to check the ECU?
When you did your compression test, did you have the gas pedal floored when cranking, and all spark plugs removed? Did you try a wet test, to see if the compression came up at all?
 

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You have spark, are the injectors firing? The most common mistake is to get the ignition timing 180 degrees out. The other usual mistake is to get the head gasket on backwards, while you're checking stuff its well worth checking that you're getting oil to the top end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow don't I feel stupid... Ignition timing was 180 deg off. I still need to buy a timing light to fine tune it but it fires right up and runs pretty good. I had resealed the oil pan ( not my first time) but it leaks quite a bit by the crank sensor. That and a couple of other small things and I can finally start driving it. Thanks guys! Side note.. Why wouldn't it just say to set the distributor to #4 firing? Its pretty confusing that the engine has to be turned over once before setting it to #1. I read through the guide quite a few times as well as many other articles trying to figure this out and never got that information from it! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did read specifically about the head gasket orientation while installing but during my troubles did pull the valve cover to double check valve lash and the oil is definitely getting up there, thanks though. I can see how it is easy to install upside down.
 

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Why wouldn't it just say to set the distributor to #4 firing? Its pretty confusing that the engine has to be turned over once before setting it to #1. I read through the guide quite a few times as well as many other articles trying to figure this out and never got that information from it! Thanks again!
Post #4 my friend....;)

.... Philip
 
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