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Latest Toyota Repair and Distributor Rotor Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

1990 Toyota 4x4 3.0 Pick Up starts up and dies

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From hunterstoy on 1990 Toyota 4x4 3.0 Pick Up starts up and dies

1990 Toyota 4x4 3.0 Pick Up starts up and runs for a couple of seconds and dies. I just changed timing belt, oil pump, water pump, distributor, rotor, coil, plugs and wires. I did all of this because the timing belt broke on it and decided while I was this far into it might as well put new parts back on high mileage truck. After completing these changes truck started just fine decided to clean Mass Air Flow Sensor took it off and it looked clean as whistle so reinstalled it then my trouble began. Checked codes by jumping dia box with paper clip and no codes. Does anyone have any ideas

Response From steve01832 Top Rated Answer

You should start by checking fuel pressure. If it is good, try unplugging the MAF sensor. If the engine runs ok, plug it in. If the engine dies, faulty MAF sensor.


My reliable 1988 Toyota Camry quit on me!

Showing 2 out of 21 Posts | Show 19 Hidden Posts
Question From TakinItEasy on My reliable 1988 Toyota Camry quit on me!

1988 Toyota Camry with I-4 (2.0l) 192K miles. Engine died suddenly, but was losing power maybe a day before. Checked timing belt and was intact. I went ahead and changed belt and cap/wire set, set timing correctly as per factory manual and it won't start but sometimes pops. Removed plug and cranked and there is spark, blue but not super strong. If I set the timing belt so as to advance the timing mechanically, it tries to start and wants to run but dies after a couple of seconds. Friend says it is Igniter or Distributor that is not properly advancing so as to start. To my limited knowledge Igniter controls dwell and relies on ECU for this but does not advance timing. CEL comes on when ignition switch is turned on so I don't suspect ECU. What and how should I test? Thanks.

Response From Hammer Time

I would start out by taking a complete compression test to determine if that belt is on right with no other problems there.

Response From TakinItEasy

The timing marks line up, (ie crank at TDC and Cam at the bearing mark) and the rotor points to #1. Don't understand the reason for a compression test. Car was running well before this, no oil burning, engine never overheated, always had regular and frequent oil changes (2-3K). Even if one cylinder is a little low that shouldn't keep it from starting. From what I know about this engine at 192K it should have a lot of life in it yet.

Response From Hammer Time

OK, fix it your way then.

How's that been working for you?

Response From Guest

I loved my '88 Camry. Great on gas, peppy, handled great, just fun to drive. Too bad it was all ate up with cancer. Are you sure the old belt was on correctly? And, didn't jump a tooth?
I'd do a quick compression check, at least on one cylinder.

Response From Guest

I will do a compression check. I know that this engine does have clearance and is "non interference" so I do not believe there was any damage if the belt did slip. i did check the other belt components to ensure that the Water Pump etc had not frozen. I am dead sure that the timing is on. What I am not sure about is why does advancing the timing mechanically want to make it run? Is this a sign of low compression??

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

>> What I am not sure about is why does advancing the timing mechanically want to make it run? Is this a sign of low compression?? << It's a sign that the cam timing may be off. Take HTs advice. If the belt is only one tooth off, it may not show up on a compression test alone.

Response From TakinItEasy

Thanks, I am off to buy a compression tester and try this. I have changed this belt 3x before and did experience getting it set one tooth off. Engine started but no power and I had to reset. I should have mentioned in my original post that I advanced the belt about 20 degrees to get it to try to start. Will report back on the compression readings.

Response From GlennAB1

Thanks, I am off to buy a compression tester and try this. I have changed this belt 3x before and did experience getting it set one tooth off. Engine started but no power and I had to reset. I should have mentioned in my original post that I advanced the belt about 20 degrees to get it to try to start. Will report back on the compression readings.

You shouldn't advance the timing like that. Timing is critical and is a balance between engine power and engine longevity. Advancing the timing a little does increase rpm and power output however it causes the piston to be subjected to high temperatures for a longer period and can damage (melt, just like detonation) them during low rpm operation (idle).

Sig removed

Response From TakinItEasy

Agreed, it was just to see what was happening. When the belt is on correctly according to the timing marks, the most the engine does is pop a couple of times. When I advanced it, it started for a few seconds, which makes me suspect there are timing issues related to the ECU/ICU/Distributor. Additionally, I know there are other things (sensors) that can prevent the timing from advancing properly but I need to stay with the basics for now. Thanks.

Response From TakinItEasy

Following the advice of some I just took some compression readings (psi): #1-155;#2-150;#3-152;#4-165. Granted the engine is cold (remember my problem is it won't start) so the exact numbers may be different. According to manual factory new is 178 psi, minimum is 142 (engine warm). So I'm ok here. I'm getting spark on all cylinders (bought a visual gauge). So back to square one. Called around a couple of Autozones etc. They can't test Igniter or distributor. I have a VOM, anything I can check with this?

Response From Sidom

Ok...Lets back up just a bit & recheck some stuff.

1st make sure the timing belt is set correctly & not advanced. Then grab a test light & check all your fuses. If it's not to much a hassle have the battery tested (I know, but sometimes slower is faster). You said you got a spark tester. What is the max kv output. After you get everything set back to normal get a can of starting fluid or carb clean and spray a couple of shots down the throttle body and see if that gets the motor to start for a few seconds.......

Response From TakinItEasy

I actually have pulled every fuse in the EFI/Ignition/starting circuits and checked them for continuity - all OK. The battery is only three months old and turns the motor over quite well. The spark tester I bought was a bulb type. The ones that measure KV quantitatively are in the hundreds of $$$ and I am not ready to put that much into a piece of equipment I may never use again, wish I could but it's a luxury I can't afford. I did try starting with starting fluid (many times) and the result is the same couple of pops. I'm tempted to go to a junkyard and get another distributor, igniter and/or a ECU and just change them out but I'd rather diagnose and understand what is happening. My thought was that maybe someone reading this thread might have had a similar experience with their car and give me a direction that I might try using the limited test gear (and amateur mechanic status) I have. I do appreciate all comments.

Response From Hammer Time

You can buy one most anywhere for under $20

Here's one for $11.80


Response From TakinItEasy Top Rated Answer

Got the Thexton spark tester and the voltage tests about 20-22KV. I am assuming this is ok. So what is next? I read you can have the voltage but still it won't be enough. But this tester reveals quite a gap to jump to read 20KV, so I would assume the spark is sufficient as the plug gap is about 1/5 of the tester's minimum gap to spark. All timing marks line up, distributor rotor points to #1 at TDC. What else is there?

Response From Sidom

It's getting to the point to find the problem you are probably going to need a lab scope & scanner.

You've covered the basics, good battery, clean connections, checked fuses, verified mechanical timing, injector pulse, spark, 20 to 30kv out of the coil, you have spark so the ignitor should be good. It won't run on starting fluid, so that rules out a fuel problem. I can't remember but I believe you changed the plugs..

There isn't any easy tests I can think of. I don't do resistance testing except for real basic stuff due to the fact it's just too unreliable. a lot of electrical failures happen under load and it can be tough catching it sometimes even with scope.

I would hate to see you throw a bunch of stuff at it that isn't the problem, especially since you've ruled out the basics now the stuff gets expensive. If you have known good parts that you can swap that would be great and quick. It's your call, maybe see how much a diag would be compared to the parts you are thinking about changing...

Sorry I couldn't of been more help.....

Response From TakinItEasy

Thanks. ruling out the igniter is at least a start. To my mind that leaves possibly the distributor and the ECU or some connection (sensor?) to it that is preventing the application of the spark at the right time. Both of these parts are expensive and unless I can get them from a last known running engine I 'd hate to take a chance on new parts. Just my luck after getting it running the tranny would go south! I'm ready to get one of those mobile mechanics and maybe try my luck with some more sophisticated diagnostic tools. Since this is pre 1996 my handheld computer, an Actron CP9180, is of no use and the OBD for this car as such isn't throwing any error codes.

Response From Guest

A better question would be: Hammer, do you know what a VOM is? lol

Good bye

Response From Sidom

Just so I'm straight. It died, you check the belt BUT it was ok & in time? Still not a bad idea to check the comp also check the firing order since you've had he cap & wires off. Sounds like you are familar with it but I've seen seasoned techs get em a tooth off....

You might want to also pick up a spark tester if you don't have one & check the coil output. A weak coil will spark but not start an engine.......

Response From TakinItEasy

Yes, the belt was ok and appeared to be in time. It had about 30 K on it so I 'm not one for reusing a belt when you go to the trouble of getting to it so I replaced it and put on a new tensioner for good measure. i will look into a spark tester. I don't want to invest too much in the spark tester so I'm thinking one of those 10$ jobs at Harbor Freight might be ok? Something that gives a visual indication. If I did this for a living like some of the people on this board I'd get something more professional to measure the spark. I remember that when I removed one of the plugs and turned it over the spark was blue but not very strong, plugs have about 30 K also.

Response From Sidom

Yea a cheapy tester is fine. Just so you can gauge the kv output. I would say you want a minium of 20kv

22re timing chain classic symptoms

Showing 3 out of 7 Posts | Show 4 Hidden Posts
Question From chas on 22re timing chain classic symptoms

gentlemen, 94 toyota p/up 22re seems to be running ok, but i think it may have a worn and stretched timing chain. I looked around on the web with a search for "symptoms of a toyota 22re worn timing chain". there is no noise at start up but seems to have a lot of the symptoms mentioned in the link below.
Another strange thing is the distibutor is almost max adjustment in CW position. The rotor turns clockwise. The distributor is almost maxed in the CW position with huge adjustment in CCW timing.
i had the valve cover off and checked the guides with a screw driver. They are not broken, chain seems to be tight, idles ok and no chain noise. The downside is the distributor is maxed in the CW direction, not very good mpg, etc. With the distributor in almost max CW position is this another symptom on a worn chain?

i found this on a search as mentioned in line 2 "symptoms of a ........"
(links like that not allowed)
with the distributor in almost max CW position is this another symptom. Do have anymore suggestions to get a diagnosis on the timing chain? thanks.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Who moved the distributor to it's extreme and why?
Please don't post links just describe what you notice instead.

One check for tension: Take off dist cap and watch rotor while turning engine by crank bolt back and forth. How many degrees does it turn the bolt (see timing marks) before distributor's rotor moves? That's common tell-tale it's loose maybe not why with a tensioner.

If a keeper at the age why not just do it and know it's done?


Response From chas Top Rated Answer

Who moved the distributor to it's extreme and why?
Please don't post links just describe what you notice instead.

One check for tension: Take off dist cap and watch rotor while turning engine by crank bolt back and forth. How many degrees does it turn the bolt (see timing marks) before distributor's rotor moves? That's common tell-tale it's loose maybe not why with a tensioner.

If a keeper at the age why not just do it and know it's done?

hi Tom,>>>>>Who moved the distributor to it's extreme and why?<<<<
ive had it about 2years and thats how it was. I tried pulling the distributor out and move the rotor to advance or retard one tooth to center it better. did not run. put it back to original position it ran. Just wondering if the distributor position can drift with aging of the chain and tensioner. ill try your suggestion and get back in a day or two.
>>>>If a keeper at the age why not just do it and know it's done?<<<<< well yeah Tom, its a tough and expensive job that i am not looking forward to. The timing cover might need to be replaced at a price. Just asking you guys for your opinion because i keep getting different opinions. The distributor position and fuel consumption seems to be a little heavy like its telling me something.

Response From Hammer Time

You want to think twice before tackling this job., This is not your average timing chain job.

You have to remove the cylinder head and the oil pan and if it's a 4WD, you have to remove the front differential.

Response From chas

You want to think twice before tackling this job., This is not your average timing chain job.

You have to remove the cylinder head and the oil pan and if it's a 4WD, you have to remove the front differential.

chas>>>>>ok h, i'm hoping i dont have to go there but there are 2 flipsides to this. the first is remove the cyl head....i have read that removing the cover and doing the timing chain thing can be done without removing the cyl head. there is a bolt in a puddle of oil under the distributor drive gear in the cyl head... remove the distributor then remove the bolt under the distributor drive gear then the cover will come out or the timing cover will break when trying to remove it. whats your guys take on this

Response From Discretesignals

You can do it that way, but you'll probably end up with an oil leak. The proper procedure is to remove the cylinder head. While the head it off, you can send it to the machine shop and have it gone through.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

OK - Not as good at this exact engine the "chain" jobs in general and OLDer stuff. Chain is great vs rubber belt IMO anytime BUT do wear some over time like a chain would. It could have covered up how it runs and made just better advancing timing.

Yes - may take extra parts not in a standard kit if some bolts break. What matters is if you want this for lots longer or just get by. This would be a good service to the thing for the long run. think new tensioner should be done or well known ok for this one. Should be on the slack side of how chain pulls and think it could be a hydraulic push to keep it just right. Symptoms might noise up to chain jumping time if too loose - may run or not if so an covering that with advancing timing is kinda cheating not the fix.

Take your time, clean any and all gaskets required and do it right the first time and be done with this. Chang out oil suggested even if fairly new now or when you do it or send it out.
This job really gets valve timing (not spark timing you can see and adjust) right and the engines love this. Have one of my own, older than this by a bit runs new now but know this is lurking somewhere in the future and dang you can't see that one till right there and by then easy to do that one - all different engine but they like the same things - being right.

With any machine/vehicle. You decide how much care you think it's worth putting into for the most bang for the long term buck. This is one if you want to keep it well the longest,


89 Ford LTD Crown Vic LX Wagon Won't Start

Showing 2 out of 16 Posts | Show 14 Hidden Posts
Question From hugnaba on 89 Ford LTD Crown Vic LX Wagon Won't Start

89' Ford LTD Crown Vic LX Wagon.
Just quit on the road, acted like no fuel.
However, turn key, noise from pump in tank.
(listened while partner turned on the key)
Replaced fuel filter, had fuel on both sides
of the filter.

Battery/starter are both good. Starter cranks
over very fast.
When it quit, it seemed to want to start a little;
tried starting it while on the road, seemed like it
ran out of fuel, it spit a little then would not
fire at all.

Replaced fuel pump relay, no change, replaced
brain relay, no change. Still cranks over no fire.

Fuses seem to be ok. There are 2 inside a metal
case, which I'll try to replace next and of course,
see if there's fire to the plugs.

Had to have it towed home.

Anyone with a clue?

If there's no fire, brain relay/fuses are good, then??\

ECA is supposed to be LH side under dash. will be checking that as well.



Response From Tom Greenleaf

All that and a tie rod came apart. Love the vintage of vehicle but it you didn't have a clue that was about to happen would you please stay off of public roads!


Response From Tom Greenleaf

Are you lacking fuel delivery or spark? If you like tossing parts a common failure is the module on side of distributor, requires a special 7/16th thin walled socket and the bolts will probably snap off if original creating a monster as does trying to remove the retaining sleeve to do a pick up coil in distributor.

Before you blow a ton more check for fuel pressure at rail and check for spark at a spark plug. If you have both and as you said cranks real fast check for jumped timing chain. Plastic gear if original can bust up by surprise and you'll have very low to no compression,


Response From hugnaba

Howdy, No fire from the coil to the distributor. No fire to the plugs, obviously. Any advice?
Before I replace the TFI, I would try replacing the coil, but something drives the coil

Response From Discretesignals

The TFI module controls the coil. Did you make sure the rotor spins in the distributor when you crank the engine?

Do you have a 12 volt test light?

Response From hugnaba

Howdy, Distributor spins. No fire from coil to the distributor. Will be testing ignition switch connections next, (tomorrow) with a test light.

Response From Discretesignals

The TFI module grounds the coil to energize it. When the module wants the coil to fire it removes the ground.

Your test light, when you probe the red/light green and dark green/ yellow wires at the coil connector, should be lit when you turn the ignition on. When you crank the engine the test light should rapidly blink on the dark green/ yellow wire. Make sure the connector is plugged in when you probe it with your test lamp.

If it doesn't blink, the module isn't doing anything. From there you have to make sure the module has power at the red/ light green wire with the ignition on at the module's connector. You should also see power at the white/ light blue wire at the module connector with the ignition on.

You could also check PIP and SPOUT to the engine computer, but you need a lab scope.

If all that checks good, you would have to test the pickup input to the module, but that is impossible because the pickup is inside the distributor connected directly to the module.

Most of the time if the module isn't signaling the coil and your powers and grounds check out , you replace the module and the pickup.

If you do go to replace the module and pickup, inspect the trigger wheel and check for excessive wobble and end play in the shaft. Make sure you mark the gear before you remove it. You'll need a puller to get the gear off, so you can slide the shaft out to replace the pickup. If it looks really rusty in there, you could always get a reman distributor.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Test away as DS suggests to prove it. By far the most common no spark will be that module on the side once misstated held on by incorrect size - it's 7/32nds thin walled socket to a bolt that will break if anything near original by now.

Up front they get wet, hot and originally covered by a boot nobody replaced because it wouldn't stay in place again when this was 10 years old never mind now. This pick up coil requires pulling the gear. The slightest shellac on shaft will be a problem.

The reman distributor will not come with a new module or none known did.

If you diagnose this out this is one item I would and did go get used at salvage yards you could pick your own. See the vehicle that it was 'junked' for some other reason than not running and take the whole distributor just a FORD timing wrench, twist and it's out.

Own and drive this engine exactly right now. I carry a whole dist and timing wrench as a spare known working used if out in no place can swap it on location or earlier would use that for a broken down same one and fix that one at my own leisure. Set timing later but you can get it close enough if you have a clue watching dist rotor when removing and put back in same position as it drops into place.

Timing TMK were all 10 degrees BTDC with plug removed nearby as originally shown on a decal underhood. By Now you probably can't read marks on harmonic balancer so an advance timing light helps to set exactly.

These were common surprises or lasted forever. Forever is now no doubt but they would do this when just a few years old too.

Other common was the dang plug in connections which will fool testing. Dunno why but the connectors either lasted forever or failed early. So common with these that swap-tronics (had spares known good) was faster than finding test equipment.

You should have dielectric grease on hand just plain anyway but is needed for the things to last. Silicone grease is the same thing.

Basic view if it shows of distributor out is like this.......

If vehicle has accident history or butchered wiring at the age this could be a goose chase but those were the common reasons for no spark in my experience with millions of miles on this exact engine used in many models of Ford products in the general era of age of the things,



Response From hugnaba Top Rated Answer


The TFI module was the culprit. I also changed the
fuel filter/ignition switch, (which was creating some
of the aggravation) and the distributor rotor, which
I mangled by not paying attention.

Took the TFI to my auto parts store where they
tested it. Didn't pass. 60.99 + tx got me one
a day later. It was disgusting. The engine fired and
ran like a top first click of the starter. So much aggravation
from such a small part. Had to pull the distributor,
and the 7/32" bolts did not break, even though they
were 24yrs old. Used a sharpie to mark the position
of the rotor and the distributor housing to make sure
I had the same timing. Apparently did not (yet) have
to pull the magnet thing out of the distributor and
did not have to replace the fuel pump.
I like the idea of having a spare distributor to carry.
Especially since the car just up and quit in the middle
of the road. Fortunately, had roadside/tow on my
insurance and it was less than a mile home. Don't
know what it would have turned out like if those
blessings were not there.

Another blessing: had a tie-rod joint come apart,
fortunately in friend's driveway. I was able to
replace the whole link on the passenger side between
the wheel and the center link and align it enough to
get it home and to the shop to get it realigned.
Turned out to be a joint that had very little grease
in it, and the ball popped out of the socket. It was
the only joint in the system that was that way.
Glad it did not happen on the highway @ 70mph.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice/tips/etc.
I am eternally grateful, as without this and YouTube,
the advice/help of the mechanic who usually does
my inspections, the manual I ordered from Helm Inc.
and a wiring/vacuum diagram manual ordered from
another company and the patience of my Wife, I
could not have conceived of doing this. My last
mechanic Gig was working at Dodge in 1977.
I've worked on Dodge/Chev/Ford/Opel/VW/Datsun/
Toyota/Kawasaki/Harley motorcycles on my own,
as I had to, but it's something that others are much
better at.

Anyone with a 93' Ford Ranger?

Had the unusual (my term) experience of the brake
line along the left rail rust out. Had to splice the line
with a connector couple yrs ago. Has not had a problem
with the splice, but,,,I replaced the left wheel cylinder
and used new brass fasteners (double flared the new lines)
and they leak. A friend/mechanic told me to use the old
nuts as there was something strange about the way they
fit. So I will have to reflare and replace the lines going to
the fittings on the cylinder and on the rear axle to stop
this. Hopefully it will work this time.

This was my Dad's car, left me after he passed.
So far the biggest complaint about this model Ford
is the electrical system seems to be going South.
He did take good care of this automobile when he
owned it. Time and wear take a toll on things.
Still have to replace power window motors, door
lock actuators, rear tailgate locks/window motors,
Check out dome light ghosts, Radio has no sound,
just lots of little time consuming electrical stuff.
But, this car will do 75-90 all day long on the highway
without a hiccup and ride smooth. Gets decent mileage
close to the specs around 18-22, sometimes better on
long trips. Did have an apparent vacuum leak somewhere,
I'll have to check out.

BTW, Ignition switch held in by 2 tamper proof Torx head
screws. 5 self tapping screws underneath column to take
out to get at the ignition switch. Those who know; the
tamper proof torx have a hole in the end to accomodate
a pin sticking up in the middle of the screw head.

Found out (too late) on YouTube that to replace the window motors
you have to drill three holes in the interior metal of the door to get
at the bolts to remove the motor. There was no way I could get a
wrench of any kind (at the time) in the gap between window and
motor, (that I knew of). Ended up taking motor out in pieces and
bracing up the window track to hold it in place. Sometimes Ford
didn't have a better idea.


Hope to return the favor in the future.

Response From Discretesignals

The biggest improvement to that system was when they moved the TFI module to the fender. When they did that you rarely saw a module fail.

Usually the TFI would stop working when it got hot. You could pour a glass of water on it and usually get it working again. Replaced a lot of pickup coils on those.

Response From Hammer Time

If he had completed the testing we would know if we should be looking at the pick up coil or not.

Response From hugnaba

Found out, no spark at the left rear plug. Had a mechanic friend predict it might be the TFI module on the side of the distributor. Looks like I have to pull the distributor to remove it according to the shop manual I ordered. As you said, got to be careful with the bolts. Thanks. I have fuel both sides of the fuel filter and the pump makes noise when the key is turned on. Please send any other clues in case this one doesn't work. No fuses or relays appear to be at fault. Thanks

Response From Hammer Time

Thanks. I have fuel both sides of the fuel filter and the pump makes noise when the key is turned on.

That doesn't mean squat. You need to use a fuel pressure gauge and you also need to do the rest of the testing before buying anything.

Response From hugnaba

Howdy. It still could be the TFI module then. Will test the ignition switch, since I have had some trouble with it. It seems there is a sweet spot that has to be found to make sure the AC & turn signals to work.

Response From Hammer Time

All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.

Response From hugnaba

Thanks. I will keep all this information and use it if I can't find anything else. I found no spark at the left rear plug wire. Going to try replacing the TFI module on the distributor. Probably should try testing the
coil as well. Thanks