trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!
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Northstar Engines and System Technical Discussion Discussion, trouble starting after timesert job - HELP! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Hey all, My Caddy has been outta commission for quite a while due to this timesert job I never seem ...
  1. #1
    chance_b's Avatar
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    trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Hey all,

    My Caddy has been outta commission for quite a while due to this timesert job I never seem to have time for.. but finally, just now I got the engine basically back together - pretty much only lacking brakes and the cooling system.

    I hooked up a fresh battery, hooked my cables up, and added some premium gas. Then, I got in the car and started tryin to turn her over..

    What happened:
    Typical noise from the starter, after about 5 seconds some subtle putting, sounded hopeful.. and then POOF! the sound of gas igniting or something.. so I turned back the keys and took them out. I go back to the engine and there's white smoke hanging around the engine, quite a bit of it too. I'm not going to try and start her again until I hear from you guys first.

    So - what do you guys think? Is it a firing problem maybe? I'm fairly certain the timing is correct, so I really hope that isn't it.

    Side note*** after I take the keys out, something keeps running under the hood, it was fairly noisy and had a constant clicking. Shuts off after about 10 seconds. Any clue as to what that could be?

    EDIT*** just double checked my firing order, everything seems to be fine there.. hm

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    It might have been too lean...It may take a little longer to fill the fuel lines. Not 10 minutes of cranking but maybe another 5-10 seconds. Try giving it a shot of starting spray.

    After letting it sit so long the lifters may be dry. You may get a lot of clattering on startup. It will go away but might take a minute or so.

    Make sure you changed the oil after putting it together.

  4. #3
    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    How long has it been apart?

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    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    The white smoke around the engine may be the result of a backfire through the intake manifold. You stated the firing order was rechecked and found to be correct. Are you certain of your camshafts timing?

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by haymaker View Post
    The white smoke around the engine may be the result of a backfire through the intake manifold. You stated the firing order was rechecked and found to be correct. Are you certain of your camshafts timing?
    x2

    Check compression. I suspect you might find there isn't much.

    The clicking noise is the ISC resetting itself.

  7. #6
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    zonie77:
    The oil change crossed my mind, but I guess in my excitement to try turning my car over I forgot to do it but tomorrow I'll pick up the oil and a new filter. I'll also make sure to hand crank it a few times to circulate the oil.
    As for the starter spray, I'll get that too.. do you think it's safe to try cranking it again? Also, how do I use the spray exactly? Does it go straight into the TB? And can I do it beforehand, or should I have someone spray as I crank the engine?
    Also.. it's been apart for.. about a year

    haymaker:
    Is a backfire through the intake manifold something to worry about, or is it common upon startup? I'm not 100% sure of my timing, but I did spend a lot of time making sure it was right. I read in depth into the timing process, and everything seemed right before I sealed up that front cover... the markings all seemed to line up, and they checked out when I tried the 7/14 rotations test as well (or however many it was). Either way, I'm going to rule that out until the end, as I want to avoid having to get at the timing again.

    eldorado1:
    I'll pick up a compression tester tomorrow as well. Those things are pretty universal, right? Just a pump w/ a pressure guage that threads into the plug holes? And glad to hear that clicking wasn't something serious.

    A couple other things to note:
    The smoke, though there was a fair bit of it, was pretty much odourless.
    Also, I think the POOF happened when I touched the gas pedal just a slight bit to help firing.. though I can hardly remember, I was a little shocked at the time.


    Lastly.. I really appreciate you guys, and the others who help on this board. The knowledge here is far superior to any manual out there. I will try when I can to give my input when others need guidance as well. Also, once I hear my car start up.. I'm going to contribute a little money to this board to show my support. Thanks again-

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    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by chance_b View Post
    zonie77:
    eldorado1:
    I'll pick up a compression tester tomorrow as well. Those things are pretty universal, right? Just a pump w/ a pressure guage that threads into the plug holes? And glad to hear that clicking wasn't something serious.
    Actually it's just a pressure gauge. You can rent them from the major suppliers for like $30.

    Disconnect the black 3 pin connector on the ICM, pull a spark plug, insert the tester, and crank it over. The black 3 pin connector supplies power to the spark coils, so you don't have to worry about it trying to fire up. Also disconnect the intake/injector harness (the big circular connector) so you don't flood the engine. As long as you have more than 100psi, you can be reasonably confident you didn't screw up the cam timing and bend the valves.

    If that's the case, I say prime the fuel system once more (key on, key off, repeat after 2 minutes) and try starting it once more. If you disconnected anything, you should suspect it as a trouble maker. MAP, TPS, CTS, crank sensors, all can cause potential problems for backfiring at startup. Also, if you routed the spark plug wires too close to each other and/or the crank sensor wires, that makes the possibility for an intake backfire.

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    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Eldorado1 is right a compression test is a very simple test to verify the camshaft timing. Since you only want to perform the test once and to ensure its accuracy all the while giving your old engine the benefit of the doubt use these steps for best results.

    1. Remove all of the sparkplugs. (Starter will turn the crankshaft a little faster)
    2. Hold the throttle wide open. (Less intake air restriction for better cylinder filling)
    3. Screw the compression tester into one of the sparkplug holes in the cylinder head start at the front or back it doesn’t matter. Crank the engine at least three revolutions per cylinder test.
    4. Take note of the compression gauge reading for each cylinder as you test. If one entire bank of cylinders test readings are low 80-100 p.s.i. and the engine is backfiring through the intake manifold I would check the intake camshafts timing on that bank of cylinders. If it is backfiring in the exhaust I would check the exhaust camshaft timing on that bank of cylinders. If only one cylinder tests low the problem is not cam timing.
    If the car has set for a year with little fuel in the tank the problem could be condensation and now possible water in the tank, filter, fuel line and injectors. Good Luck.

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    I didn't explain it fully but a backfire on first startup is common. If it keeps happening that's not normal.

    The starting spray can go in the TB or in the intake tube. It just takes a few cranks to pull it in if you spray it in the tube. Spray it behind the air filter.

    If you did the 7 rotation test the cam timing should be correct. I'd try starting it again before the compression test but if it keeps backfiring the compression test is definitely in order.

    Change the oil before you try to start it again! There is junk in the oil now and you don't want to ruin the bearings. I'd recommend another oil change fairly quickly after running it. There's coolant, dirt, and possibly a few metal chips that get into the sump. They may not all come out on the first oil change. I like to do a second change a week or so later. That's just my preference.

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    zonie77 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    One other tip, if an engine sits a long time it's a good idea to put a little oil on the cyl walls. Not a lot, just wipe them with a little oil.

    Don't worry about it now but if you do a compression test give each cyl a shot of oil, just enough to run down the top of the piston and wet the ring. Yeah, you'll get a little smoke when it starts up.

  12. #11
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Thanks for all the replies, you guys are awesome. I'll do the oil change, add the starter spray and crank some more tomorrow morning, as it's been raining today. If that doesn't work, I'll go grab a pressure tester. I'll post results tomorrow!

  13. #12
    eldorado1 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    keep an extinguisher handy

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    haymaker is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by eldorado1 View Post
    keep an extinguisher handy
    I second that.

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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    What you have described is "post ignition" which used to be a usual problem on older cars. The fuel system is dumping too much fuel into the cyliders and the flow has to be controlled or it will continue. The fuel pressure controller has to be changed to correct the problem.

  16. #15
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    Re: trouble starting after timesert job - HELP!

    Hey Mugsandluke; where are you located. I live in Catskill.

    Quote Originally Posted by MUGSANDLUKE View Post
    What you have described is "post ignition" which used to be a usual problem on older cars. The fuel system is dumping too much fuel into the cyliders and the flow has to be controlled or it will continue. The fuel pressure controller has to be changed to correct the problem.
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