Car Problem 88 RX-7 GTU not starting

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KyleS, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    So after reading a lot of the car threads recently and noticing that we have a lot of Mechanics that seem to love Home Theater I thought I would ask about a problem that I have been having lately.

    First I will give you a little bit of a background on my 88 RX-7 GTU. My father-in-Law gave my wife and I this car when he moved back to Chile 2 years ago. The car was in decent shape and has not had a problem running in the past with only 80,000 miles on the Engine. The only work I have done to the car since owning it is replacing the Calipers, Pads, Machined the rotors, replaced the tires, wipers, air filter & replaced the battery.

    About 2 months ago I brought some junk home in the trunk (Back open area under the glass, no trunk really [​IMG] ) and parked the car backwards in our drive-way which is at an angle towards the street. Well I unloaded everything out of the back and in the morning came out to go to work. Well the car wouldnt start. You can hear the ignition kicking over but nothing beyond that. So I pulled the caps off the spark plugs and grounded to the frame and they are all getting spark. Pulled the fuel line and cranked the engine over, plenty of fuel comes out. Checked the air filter and it was replaced around 3000 miles ago looking good there. So I figure I might not be getting spark from the plugs themselves. Replaced both of the leading and both of the trailing plugs on the engine with new plugs but still nothing. So what could it be? I was thinking that it could then be the injectors but would it make sense that one day they are working and the next nothing? Usually injectors will get dirty or not spray correctly but all of a sudden. What really has me stumped is that the engine isnt even cranking over or starting where it would be a timing issue. If the timing was off I would think that the car would at least start just sputter or not run worth a damn but Nadda? Anyways looking for some info from you guys to see if I can figure this out. Electrical maybe? Man talk about frustrating [​IMG]

    KyleS
     
  2. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    If the car is fuel injected, the injectors are probably computer controlled, and maybe the computer went dead, or is not getting power, or something like that. You said it has spark, does it use points or an electronic ignition? Did you check all the fuses?

    Another possibility is a plugged exhaust or catalytic converter. If the car tries to start the first time you start cranking it and then nothing, it could be that.

    Does it have a rotary engine or a conventional piston engine? If it's an overhead cam the timing belt could have broken.
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  4. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    That should work. You'll need to ground the injector after you pull it out so it has a complete circuit.

    If the injector sprays (it should spray intermittently as the engine turns over) then the problem is not the fuel system.

    Another option (probably a safer option since fuel plus electricity = kaboom!), is to disconnect the wire from the injector and connect a 12 volt test light to the injector wire and see if it flashes as you turn the engine over.

    If it's not the injector, then you have a plugged exhaust, or a really bad timing problem.

    What opens the valves in a rotary engine? Does it use a timing belt?
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i had a 89 GTU and loved it...fun car. [​IMG]

    anyway, it sounds like you trouble-shot everything pretty well. are you sure it's not just a faulty starter? how strong is the crank? maybe your battery is dying?
     
  6. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    Here are some possibilities. Fuel injection relay or sensor shot, clogged injectors,or possibly a gas tank interior coating that has clogged up the fuel line, don't laugh, I remember hearing about it happening! total loss of compression- this is usually a gradual problem sometimes brought on by overheating the engine ,thus warping the rotor housings and causing the Side seals to leak on the rotors, seen alot on the earlier preRX7 13b engines,totally worn apex seals on rotors.Crimped exhaust pipe?(pretty unlikely). Another possibility could be the engine computer I suppose. Rotary engines have no valves, instead they use ports on the side housings for the intake and exhaust.I want to say the distributer has a gear that makes contact to a gear on the ecentric cam or crankshaft,& also operates the oil metering pump.As stupid as it sounds make sure the plug wires are on the correct rotor housing plugs. Could you smell fuel when you removed the plugs? I used to have a number of older Mazdas before the RX7's so I had plenty of experience back when few people knew anything about their design. The other guys made some good points too. A good strong battery is always a good start.As a last result before having the wrecker come out to take it to the shop, if you have a manual transmission you might try having someone push the vehicle in neutral up to 20 mph and putting it in 3rd or 4th gear ease out clutch to see if the engine will run. Don't try this with an automatic transmission . Hope this helps! Let us know how it goes o.k.?
     
  7. DaveO

    DaveO Auditioning

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    2nd gen RX-7's are prone to flooding, especially if you turn it off before the engine has warmed up. The computer gets stuck in its "cold start" mode. You then need to "reboot" the computer. I don't know if this is your problem, but look here for a fuller explanation and recovery procedures.

    http://www.rx7.com/tech/unflood-fc.html

    Here for 2nd gen info and links to even more:

    http://home.rmci.net/panther/


    Currently an owner of an '86 GXL, and a rotor-head since '75.
     
  8. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  9. Scott Diedrick

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    I owned a 1991 RX-7 and had my engine die on me. Just tried to start it one morning and it wouldn't start. It was blown apex seals. Have you had hard starts or felt less hp recently? You need to have your compression checked. If you are low it could be blown apex seals. If so the only thing you can do is rebuild the engine.
     
  10. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    In your case I'd remove the starter from the car and check for a burnt electrical smell or discoloration like it got very hot. Have a auto parts store run a starter test on it to make sure the windings are o.k., not drawing excessive amps and the solenoid is good. I went through all this before on one of my rotaries before I finally figured out the engine was experiencing hydrostatic shock thus putting an extreme load on the starting circuit. Good luck!
     
  11. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    There are no "valves" in a rotory engine. The rotor housings have intake and exhaust ports in them that are exposed during fixed points in the combustion process by the movement of the rotor.
     
  12. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

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    You're correct Chris. I had mentioned this in an earlier post.
     
  13. Chris Derby

    Chris Derby Second Unit

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    sorry about that karl... i had done a skim through the posts to see if anybody had covered that and didn't see it.

    i guess it was lost in the jumble somewhere.. [​IMG]
     

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