Topic: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

We need help with our crappy 1990 240sx (Ernie) with the stock KA24E single cam engine. We recently replaced the cylinder head after blowing a head gasket at Sears Pointless. Just got it all put back together last night and it would crank fine but no fuel. Forgot to ground the fuel pump up by the injector rail... DUH! Well, grounded it, and now we have fuel and the car cranks and fires very briefly but only if you keep the starter engaged. Immediately dies. Acts like a giant intake leak but simply won't idle at all.

Pulled the ECU code and only got code 41, Air Intake Sensor, probably because that sensor is unplugged. Car ran fine with no AIT sensor for 10 plus hours at Sears Pointless before it boiled off all the water due to our driver forgetting to turn the fan on, which then led to the head gasket going kaput. Injectors are making normal noises and smelling like fuel is definitely not the issue.

Problem is I'm totally out of time to troubleshoot further. I have to run the Alex's Lemonade Stand at the race and must travel up to the track tonight. Would any of the Nissan teams or others with Nissan knowledge be able to help us get Ernie running on Friday at the track? Promises of beer, dinner on us, lemonade, really whatever you deem appropriate for payback. No sexual favors, mind you. ;-) This is a family show.

The entry list shows a dozen or so Nissan teams at this race, so this is your chance to be our hero! My plan is to arrive at the track gate uber early on Friday and find a paddock space and push the car off the trailer. but I have to have the lemonade stand up and running by 8:00am or so.

Help us Liam Nissan (or any other awesome Nissan teams), you're our only hope.

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

I will man the lemonade stand all morning if you need it.

M-Ark-2 Vodden 2012; Babelfish Pointless 2013, More Pointless 2013 (Organizer's Choice); Lamborarri Vodden 2013 (P9), Freeze 2013 ; Royal Mail Vodden 2014; Can't Am Freeze 2014; Iron Flutterby Vodden 2015; Baltimorons Loudon 2015; XX Racing (crew) Freeze 2015; Ernie Pointless 2016; WINsome/Scotsmen Discomfort 2016; D-Spec FTW Vodden 2016, Sweat 2016
http://yousuckatracing.wordpress.com

3 (edited by fleming95 2016-05-19 01:42 PM)

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Not a Nissan guy, but here's my input:

- check for an intake leak.  Tape shop vac exhaust to engine intake, pressurize, look for that intake vacuum hose barb that broke invisibly.
- on some of my cars the fuel and/or ignition relay is not energized if there's no signal from the cam/crankshaft sensor to the ECU, and the engine is supposed to be running.  You'll get fuel while cranking, but none when you aren't.  Ditto ignition.  Don't know why it'd try to run while cranking in this case, but....
- Check-check-check the distributor-to-plug wiring. (Mistiming a small block sounds like you've done messed it _all_ up and stuff is trying to get out the intake - learned that while watching Speedycop and his team a long time ago  - lesson not forgotten.)
- Ditto to checking timing while cranking.  If spark goes away before the engine coasts down, see above.
- Recheck engine-to-frame grounds, physically, then using voltmeter from engine-to-frame during cranking and whatever running you get. 
- Recheck camshaft timing - uggh.
- good luck!

<edit>

- and for the two other people on the planet who read this ( smile ) - code 41 is for the IAT sensor, _not_ the MAF or MAP or whatever Nissan is using.

  It looks like it'd be something like:

11 Crankshaft Angle Sensor/Camshaft Position Sensor (CAS/CPS)
12 Air Flow Meter/Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
13 Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS)
14 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)
21 Ignition Signal
22 Fuel Pump
23 Idle Switch

for the stuff that'd not let it at least try to run if all else is mechanically sound.

(And here's a dumb theme opportunity):

"55 No Malfunction"

<edit 2>

Try this for a reference on code-pulling:

http://www.ka24development.com/ecu_codes.html

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Only know about v6 and v8 nissan but the airflow meter is a critical input on those and will do just as you state when its disconnected...
Do you have a airflow meter to plumb and plug in?

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR LeMons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

sounds like camshaft ouf of spec.
Check compression, it be an easy way to see.

https://www.facebook.com/greatglobsofoil/
This car....Is said to have a will of it's Own. Twisting its own body in rage...It accelerates on.
1978 Opel/Buick Isuzu - 3 races, IOE, Incredible Feats in Badge Engineering
http://i.imgur.com/m3KbADo.gif

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Great feedback!
1- One barb is uncovered. Going to get a vacuum cap and plug it off. I don't have a practical way to pressurize the intake to test it, though. This engine ran badly when we first got the car with several giant intake leaks but it did run and idle, barely, which makes me think this is more fundamental than just a small air leak.
2- ECU seems to be happy other than the missing AIT signal, but once we get it to run a bit longer it may start throwing more codes. I'll try to find a known good AIT and plug it in but I'm skeptical that's what's causing such a big issue.
3- One of the first things I thought of was cap-to-plug wires. According to service manual firing order, we're spot on there.
4&6 - We pretty much obsessed over have the bottom and top of the engine be perfectly in time with one another. Everything was TDC and cam was in correct position and distributor was pointing at cylinder #1. If its still a timing issue I may jump off a bridge or just give up on working on cars completely.
5- Still need to dig up my voltmeter, and if I had time I'd double check everything, but I'm outtatime like Marty and Doc.

fleming95 wrote:

Not a Nissan guy, but here's my input:

- check for an intake leak.  Tape shop vac exhaust to engine intake, pressurize, look for that intake vacuum hose barb that broke invisibly.
- on some of my cars the fuel and/or ignition relay is not energized if there's no signal from the cam/crankshaft sensor to the ECU, and the engine is supposed to be running.  You'll get fuel while cranking, but none when you aren't.  Ditto ignition.  Don't know why it'd try to run while cranking in this case, but....
- Check-check-check the distributor-to-plug wiring. (Mistiming a small block sounds like you've done messed it _all_ up and stuff is trying to get out the intake - learned that while watching Speedycop and his team a long time ago  - lesson not forgotten.)
- Ditto to checking timing while cranking.  If spark goes away before the engine coasts down, see above.
- Recheck engine-to-frame grounds, physically, then using voltmeter from engine-to-frame during cranking and whatever running you get. 
- Recheck camshaft timing - uggh.
- good luck!

<edit>

- and for the two other people on the planet who read this ( smile ) - code 41 is for the IAT sensor, _not_ the MAF or MAP or whatever Nissan is using.

  It looks like it'd be something like:

11 Crankshaft Angle Sensor/Camshaft Position Sensor (CAS/CPS)
12 Air Flow Meter/Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF)
13 Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor (CTS)
14 Vehicle Speed Sensor (VSS)
21 Ignition Signal
22 Fuel Pump
23 Idle Switch

for the stuff that'd not let it at least try to run if all else is mechanically sound.

(And here's a dumb theme opportunity):

"55 No Malfunction"

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

7 (edited by skivittlerjimb 2016-05-19 02:31 PM)

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

kakarot1232001 wrote:

sounds like camshaft ouf of spec.
Check compression, it be an easy way to see.

Cyl #1 - 148
Cyl #2 - 175
Cyl #3 - 170
Cyl #4 - 156

Lower spec. limit on this engine is 140. Brand new is 190. #1 and #4 are the cylinders that took it the worst when the engine overheated, so perhaps the rings on those cylinders are worse then #2 & #3? Either way, decent #s for an unknown mileage block/pistons/rings + remanufactured cylinder head.

Any chance an out of time cam would yield similar numbers?

Edit - put a tsp. of oil in cal #1 and compression jumped up to 195. Definitely worn rings, but not bad enough that the car wouldn't run.

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Spray starting fluid in it, if it runs it is a fuel (airflow meter) issue

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR LeMons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

9 (edited by kakarot1232001 2016-05-19 04:54 PM)

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

skivittlerjimb wrote:
kakarot1232001 wrote:

sounds like camshaft ouf of spec.
Check compression, it be an easy way to see.

Cyl #1 - 148
Cyl #2 - 175
Cyl #3 - 170
Cyl #4 - 156

Lower spec. limit on this engine is 140. Brand new is 190. #1 and #4 are the cylinders that took it the worst when the engine overheated, so perhaps the rings on those cylinders are worse then #2 & #3? Either way, decent #s for an unknown mileage block/pistons/rings + remanufactured cylinder head.

Any chance an out of time cam would yield similar numbers?

Edit - put a tsp. of oil in cal #1 and compression jumped up to 195. Definitely worn rings, but not bad enough that the car wouldn't run.

That is all correct then, very unlikely cam timing the issue. You can put down some mystery oil, or atf into each cylinder, may help if its a stuck ring. never hurts to try vooddo magic.

Is there enough fuel pressure? all holes plugged? Maf connected?

You can also use cigarette to smoke into the intake, cover up the throattle body. you should see smoke from the gaps.

https://www.facebook.com/greatglobsofoil/
This car....Is said to have a will of it's Own. Twisting its own body in rage...It accelerates on.
1978 Opel/Buick Isuzu - 3 races, IOE, Incredible Feats in Badge Engineering
http://i.imgur.com/m3KbADo.gif

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Had the same issue with a bad ignition switch.

Team Lost in the Dark
Winner " I got screwed" and "Jay's dream car"
2012 Gulf region champs

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Fixed one vacuum leak off the intake but it still runs about the same, which is not at all. I actually tried to idle on its own for a few seconds. Tried to start it with MAF unplugged at it was worse. Still stumped, but I don't have the tools and time to do the diagnostics that folks are suggestion, The feedback is very welcome, though.

Ernie is on the trailer and will be at the track tomorrow, God willing. What happens after that I'm not sure, but any help given will be appreciated.

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

skivittlerjimb wrote:

<snip>

I actually tried to idle on its own for a few seconds. Tried to start it with MAF unplugged at it was worse. Still stumped, but I don't have the tools and time to do the diagnostics that folks are suggestion, The feedback is very welcome, though.

Idle air control valve stuck open?

Too late to add much, but howzabout. . . is there fuel in the tank? smile  Does the throttle butterfly actually move when you push the 'go' pedal?

What if the TPS/IAC/MAF/etc. sensors use identical connectors and they're misconnected?

(or a kinked fuel line/clogged filter/etc. - sounds like spark and timing are present, so misfueling or mis-air-measurement start looking more likely.)

Also, on one of my cars there's an idle microswitch.  If that (or the equivalent on the TPS) stays closed when the throttle is opened, or open when it's closed, would that do something wrong?  On my car (I think), if the ECU thinks the throttle is open when it's actually closed, it won't go into idle mode.

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

What was the resolution?

Homestead Chump 5th-Sebring 6th-PBIR LeMons 9th - Charlotte Chump  CrashnBurn 9th
Sebring 6th again -NOLA Chump 1st -PBIR Chump Trans Fail 16th
Daytona 11th - Sebring 6th - Atlanta Motor Speedway 2nd - Road Atlanta Trans Fail 61st-Road Atlanta 5th
Daytona 13th - Charlotte 9th - Sebring 2nd-Charlotte 25th broken brakes - Road Atlanta 14 10th-Daytona 14  58th- Humid TT 19th Judges' Choice!

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Distributor was off by one tooth on the oil pump shaft causing the engine to be regarded 20 degrees. Once we got it right, 30 minutes before tech closed on Friday in a sideways rain storm, I forgot to tighten the front lug nuts. Upon passing tech and leaving the pavilion, the left front wheel literally came off the car in plain view of the judges and lots of other folks. Good times.

Rest of the race went ok, aside from getting a hole in the radiator and ruining a front caliper. Our arrive and drive hotshoes turned a 3:43 and a 3:45.

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

skivittlerjimb wrote:

Distributor was off by one tooth on the oil pump shaft causing the engine to be regarded 20 degrees. Once we got it right, 30 minutes before tech closed on Friday in a sideways rain storm, I forgot to tighten the front lug nuts. Upon passing tech and leaving the pavilion, the left front wheel literally came off the car in plain view of the judges and lots of other folks. Good times.

Rest of the race went ok, aside from getting a hole in the radiator and ruining a front caliper. Our arrive and drive hotshoes turned a 3:43 and a 3:45.

You guys ran awesome and a whole lot longer than our 240 did. We were done by about 2pm on Saturday when we blew the head gasket. Again. Grrrrr. I've got the whole thing on video.

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

We didn't do nearly as well this last weekend, but we did win some hardware.... of the I Got Screwed Variety Having our paddock-mates and friends the Rambler crew win Heroic Fix (partly due to our help) was balm on the stinging wound of being entered in two cars and not turning a single lap in either one.

Anyhow, we're not sure sure if we went lean, and then went blammo, or if going blammo made us go crazy lean, but we've got a hole in the engine block where #3 rod let go and ashen white exhaust valves from extreme heat. We'll pull the plugs and head and get a better post mortem, and make sure our fuel pump, injectors, and oiling is all squared away before we proceed with the new used engine.

Replacement KA24E was acquired on Saturday night but we weren't able to start installing it until about 10am Sunday morning. We thrashed but the extreme heat and the desire to know the root cause of the last engine's demise before destroying another one meant we decided to just get it back together well enough to push it onto the trailer.

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

I don't know if anyone has told you this, but the stock fuel pump wiring on a 240SX has about a 15 year lifespan.
Run a heavy gauge fused ignition power source back to the trunk and run a relay triggered by the stock fuel pump power leads.
My boosted street 240 went through three motors before I figured out the fuel pump was only getting nine volts under load.

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

Thanks. That's good info on the wiring. Jim lets add it to the list of things to do....might precipitate getting our wiring spaghetti figured out

Re: Nissan help needed at Thunderhill

For sure. We want to install a fuel pressure gauge as well. That and an A/F ratio gauge would tell the complete story about wether or not the motor is getting enough gas to not go boom.

Also learned that KA24Es have oil starvation problems above 5k rpm. Something about truck engines not intended to be race cars, I don't know. Anyhow the old 280ZX turbos used higher volume and pressure pumps that are completely the same as the KA24E oil pump otherwise, and they're pretty cheap (sub $100). All part of the learning curve...

Bert One - 1981 Volvo 262c Bertone | Ernie - 1990 Nissan 240SX