: '89 not starting

12-18-10, 04:32 PM
started and ran the car this morning, and let it warm up while I cleared the ice off the windshield. Turned it off after 20 minutes or so. When we came out 1/2 hour later, the car would not start at all. I tried pumping the pedal, and also holding it to the floor. It will crank and crank but not run. Eventually, I can smell gas vapor. I left it for four hours and came back and again it will not run. It seems like gas is certainly getting to the carb. My only other guess is ignition. I wanted to hold off on getting a new cap/coil/rotor until we had the engine working properly, but then I haven't experienced a sudden stop in ignition function before.

The starter solenoid will not always engage. Sometimes it just revs up without engaging the flywheel. Sometimes, it will retract before the car has started. I just turn the key back and try again, and it works. I doubt this is causing a non-starting problem.

Any ideas?

12-18-10, 08:25 PM
Your starter malfunction is not your starting problem.. but you will need a bendix drive put in or another starter soon.. most of the time when a car like yours looses spark , its the module in the distributor...but it could be the coil...You could have autozone check the module.. and you can check the coil with a ohm meter..If I am right your car has ECM controlled timing, so chances are slim it could be the pick-up wires broke...

12-18-10, 09:05 PM
Right. If I could get it started, I could certainly drive over to AutoZone and have them check it. For now, I will follow the steps in the Haynes manual. The DSM has a diagnostic procedure, but the Haynes is a little simpler and easy to understand. Will see tomorrow when it is light again.

12-18-10, 10:17 PM
My car used to do that on warm starts, only on cold days. What was happening was I was flooding the engine; if it didn't catch the first time I turned the key my only reaction was to pump the pedal and try again. It can take a few hours for a flooded engine to fully vent. When you came back to it 4 hours later, did you pump the gas pedal at all? If you did, you could have flooded it again, which would have caused that no-start. Holding the pedal to the floor should have worked, but in my experience, you need to crank it for a while (longer than you really want to) before the engine will turn over.

But if the no-start persists, one way you can check for spark is by removing one of the plugs, grounding it, and having someone briefly crank the engine. If you're getting spark the plug will fire.

12-19-10, 12:43 PM
Yah, car started right up this morning. Drove it a little, then sprayed carb cleaner in while revving it. Seems to run much better. I was even able to plug the fuel metering solenoid in without it stalling. Will see what the next few days bring.