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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I recently purchased a 1989 Suzuki Sidekick. It is a 5sp manual, awd, 2 door, EFI. When I start it up cold it has a tough time starting and I have to crank it multiple times. Also, it revs extremely slowly under 2000 rpm. Can anybody help figure out the problem?
 

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99 Tracker, 5 door, 2L, 4x4
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Use a scanner and check the engine coolant temp (not started for ~8 hrs), it should read same as ambient temp (same as IAT).

Yours is pre OBDII
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi,
I have a 1989 Suzuki Sidekick, 1.6 8 valve 4x4, EFI. The gas pedal is incredibly sluggish under 2k rpm but runs perfectly above 2k. It almost stalls if it falls below 2k. I think I need to replace the throttle position sensor. Has anyone done the job before and have some sort of instructions? Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

B
 

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Try all you can to get rid of the poor electrical contact! The pins and couplers the TPS get dirty so many years. Sandpaper them carefully. Never throw the OEM sensors away!!
 

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Don't use sandpaper, better thing to use is an ink eraser (remember the old grey ones for erasing ball point pens) or a draughtsmans fibreglass eraser, they work wonders on electrical contacts and tracks.


heres a link to what i'm talking about, should be available at most art supply shops

 

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The 1989 fuel pump does not prime for 3 seconds with key on, like the fuel pumps do on the 1991 and newer. The fuel pump only primes as you are cranking in your car. You can try a couple of easy things to try to see where your problem lies:
Floor the gas pedal and try to start the car - will it start more easily now? Flooring the gas pedal actually stops fuel delivery, and if your car starts this way, you need to check the fuel side of ignition (like engine is flooding, etc.).
Depress the gas pedal down about 30% or so - will the car start more easily now? Depressing the gas pedal part way allows more air at cold start. If this makes the start up easier, then you need to check the extra aIr side of cold start.

Basically, if your car is running properly, when you start from cold start, your engine should rev to about 2000 rpm (and you should not need to touch the gas pedal at all). In about 5-10 seconds, you should hear a definite drop of about 500 rpm, as the throttle opened at the rear of the engine, closes. You can find the throttle opener by finding the two vacuum solenoid valves that are close together in the front of the engine (they look like little top hats) - one is blue and one is brown. The hose off the brown one goes to the throttle opener at the rear of the engine.
Then your idle is about 1500 rpm, and it slowly reduces as the engine warms up. This is done through a wax pellet valve that slowly shuts as the wax melts and closes an additional vacuum port.
Try the above two ways, and report back. As Aqua says, there are other reasons (like the coolant temp sensor signaling to the ECU that your car is already warm, etc.) but it’s good to start with the simple stuff...lol
 

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Is this car new to you? If not, has this problem always been there? Give some more info.
The TPS (even a new one) would need to be calibrated, but it’s very possible that your problem actually lies elsewhere. For example, when did you last change the fuel filter? Have you checked to confirm that your throttle cable isn’t kinked but is routed properly?? Are your spark plugs gapped to .7mm?? Have you confirmed the proper valve timing of your engine with a compression test? You need to diagnose, rather than just throw parts at the engine, in the hopes that you find the right circuit.

By the way, my TPS is 29 years old - I’ve never had to clean the contacts....???
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The 1989 fuel pump does not prime for 3 seconds with key on, like the fuel pumps do on the 1991 and newer. The fuel pump only primes as you are cranking in your car. You can try a couple of easy things to try to see where your problem lies:
Floor the gas pedal and try to start the car - will it start more easily now? Flooring the gas pedal actually stops fuel delivery, and if your car starts this way, you need to check the fuel side of ignition (like engine is flooding, etc.).
Depress the gas pedal down about 30% or so - will the car start more easily now? Depressing the gas pedal part way allows more air at cold start. If this makes the start up easier, then you need to check the extra aIr side of cold start.

Basically, if your car is running properly, when you start from cold start, your engine should rev to about 2000 rpm (and you should not need to touch the gas pedal at all). In about 5-10 seconds, you should hear a definite drop of about 500 rpm, as the throttle opened at the rear of the engine, closes. You can find the throttle opener by finding the two vacuum solenoid valves that are close together in the front of the engine (they look like little top hats) - one is blue and one is brown. The hose off the brown one goes to the throttle opener at the rear of the engine.
Then your idle is about 1500 rpm, and it slowly reduces as the engine warms up. This is done through a wax pellet valve that slowly shuts as the wax melts and closes an additional vacuum port.
Try the above two ways, and report back. As Aqua says, there are other reasons (like the coolant temp sensor signaling to the ECU that your car is already warm, etc.) but it’s good to start with the simple stuff...lol
I started the car today with the throttle depressed 30% like you said. Wow! It started up without a hiccup. What do I need to check now?
 

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That basically means that your engine is starved for air at cold start. So, you can either just continue to do the 30% thing (so that you, or your foot, is doing what the throttle opener, etc., would do), or go further into checking that circuit.
When you start with the 30%, exactly what does your rpm do? If you read my post above, you’ll see exactly what the car should do, at cold start. In order to ascertain which part of cold start is causing the problem, you need to advise exactly what the cold start rpm does after you start the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The rpm starts at 2000 then drops to about 1500. It drops down to about 1200 and idles there. The previous owner adjust the timing a little and I know it doesn’t run well if the timing is low. (This morning it wouldn’t start no matter what I did to it)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes, the car is new to me, I’ve only had it for a few days. Thank you I’ll check all the other stuff you just mentioned.
 

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I’m not sure what ‘adjusting the timing a little’ means, but most advice that you will get will be based on the engine being timed and tuned to factory spec. You can verify this by doing a compression test on the engine (which you should do). Post the results of your compression test, cylinder by cylinder.
The fact that your engine starts at 2000 rpm and drops (presumably within 5-10 seconds) to 1500 rpm would seem to indicate that the throttle opener is working properly. But today you advise that you cannot start the engine at all. When the engine won’t start, pull a spark plug to see if it is wet (engine flooding). Also try to start the engine with starter fluid sprayed into the intake - will it start then? You can also pull off the vacuum hose on the fuel pressure regulator (the hose on the right of the regulator, as you are standing in front of the engine). It should be dry inside.
You should also confirm that your check engine light is on with the key on and off when you are cranking - and that you can get a code 12 from the check engine light (your car will have the diagnostic fuse set up - you put a fuse into the blank fuse holder at the very right of the fuse panel under the dash, and the CEL should start to blink.
These engines are old, and can often have more than one issue. But in order to really diagnose, you need to confirm the engine timing (and perhaps advise what the previous owner did when he ‘adjusted’ the timing).
 

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You have two different threads going on the same issue. Choose one of them and continue posting on that one. If it’s ok with you, I’ll combine them both into one thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you for your help, I’ll do that and report back. And yes please combine the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I replaced my fuel filter today-no dice. I tried starting with starter fluid-no luck with that either. I can run a compression test and check the spark plugs, tomorrow, it gets dark early here and I don't have a garage. My check engine light is not on.
 

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does the CEL come on at key on?
 

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Yes, the CEL MUST come on with key on, and the off when cranking. That’s the ECU self check done at each start up. If you are unable to get the engine started with starter fluid, it would point to a fuel issue. It may also be an issue with the capacitors in the computer. Do you hear any clicking when you are trying to crank? Just about everyone with an 89-95 Trackick has had to change out the Rubycon caps in their ECU - it’s a $5 fix. I would do the compression test, just to verify the timing. I’d ensure that my spark plugs are gapped to .7mm. When the engine doesn’t start, I’d pull the plugs to see if they are wet (and advise if so), and then, potentially open up the ECU, to see if you see some damage there. The ECU is behind your left front speaker - normally a gold (or silver) metal box. One of the caps is involved in fuel delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
About to start my compression test. Only trouble is I'm having difficulty locating the fuel pump fuse so I can pull it for the test. Does anyone know where to find it?
 
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