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I have a 1990 mazda miata. i had a lifter tap. i took the…

i have a 1990 mazda...
i have a 1990 mazda miata. i had a lifter tap. i took the lifters out, cleaned them and put it all back together(it ran before this). Went to start it up and it struggled to even crank one time and a loud click afterwards. So i thought it was a starter issue. Replaced the starter and still had the problem so i went to the battery cables and connections. Replace the ground wire and terminals and still the same problem. I am at a complete lost of what it could be.
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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/13/2018
Pete
Pete, Mechanic
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 139
Experience: Ase Master Tech
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Will it turn by hand? it sounds like the cam timing is off and the valves are hitting the pistons.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
it will turn by hand. i set timing on it at least 3 different times from numerous youtube videos I've watched and it all seems to be lined up correctly. But if you have any answers on how to do it correctly and that I might have done it wrong. If it would help i can send a video and pictures on what is going on.

Well if it turns by hand I would think the cam timing is ok. Since you have replaced the starter and cables and still have the same problem and the battery is good is the ground wire from the engine to the body ok? Which ground cable did you replace? Did you try jumping the starter by bypassing the small wire at the starter? If you take out the plugs is the engine easy to turn by hand at least 4 or 5 complete revolutions?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Im noticing at a point when turning it, the timing belt gets loose for about 30 degrees after being at top center, then tightens up when continuing to turn it. Could that possibly part of the timing or something being off?
I replaced the ground cable that connects to the battery to the chassis. I tried jumping prior to replacing the ground cable and starter, but not since. i did get it to crank over to start for a split second but it cut off and it now it's back to doing the same thing again. Is there any other ground cables i should be looking for that might be the source of the problem and is there any way too that it might be the main relay switch?

There is a ground cable from the body to the engine I think it is under the car on the trans cross member. Or it is in the engine compartment on the driver side. You can always add one. It isn"t a relay or switch. Try putting a battery jumper cable from the engine to a good ground point in the engine compartment.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
which part of the engine do i need to connect the jumper cable to? starter?

You can connect it to the engine lifting bracket on the driverside front of the engine

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i tried that and now i am getting a loud clicking sound from the starter area and its not trying to turn over anymore. checked all the connections and they were good. Im at a complete lost.

If you are getting a clicking sound from the starter it is trying to engage. Is the battery fully charged? Can you jump the battery with another car? There is no way you have 2 bad starters. It is not getting enough power or ground.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The battery is fully charged, and at good voltage. I have had my local autozone recharge it twice and the voltage checked. I cant jump it at the moment since im snowed and iced in and the car is in my garage. Im very confused on why i have this problem when originally the car ran before cleaning the lifters. i never touched anything besides the camshafts, lifters, air intake, and the cam cover. I've checked everything electrical that could have maybe caused this problem but i cannot find anything.

Do you have a voltmeter? I need you to check the battery voltage when you are trying to crank the car.I also need the voltage of the battery at rest. Turn the headlights on and try to crank the engine. Do the headlights dim or do they stay bright?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i do not have a voltage meter with me at the moment, but i can tell you that whenever i try to turn over the engine with the lights on, they complete turn off. But whenever i stop trying to crank the engine the lights turn back on.

I am going to need some voltage readings before I can try to figure out this problem. When was the last time the engine ran? The headlights turning off might be normal in this car. I will check my wiring diagrams tomorrow at work and will get back to you if you can wait.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
i will get voltage readings to you first thing tomorrow morning and i will get back to you asap! I don't mind waiting at all.

ok

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Good afternoon. I checked the voltage readings on my battery and it's as 12.26 Volts.

The reading you have is where it should be with no load. Can you get a reading when you crank the engine? The lights shutting off when cranking is normal. When did the car run last?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It drops down to 2 whenever I try to crank the engine. The car last ran before I fixed the lifters and replaced the bad battery ground cable when I pulled it into the garage.

If it drops down to 2 volts the battery is the problem. It shouldn' drop any lower than 9.5 volts. How old is the battery? I know that you had autozone check it but they obviously didn"t check under load The battery in the miata is small to begin with and they usually don"t last more than 3 years.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I do not know how old the battery is. I bought the car last month. I’m going to go get another battery right now and I will tell you if it starts up or not.

Ok. Chat later.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Just got back, but the battery in and it started right up! Thank you so much for all your help. I truly appreciate it.

Well done. Did the lifter cleaning job work out?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Yeah the lifter cleaning worked out great, no more tick! Hey man, this car is a project car and I will definitely have more questions down the road. I’m really pleased with how much you’ve helped me and down the road would love to use you as a reference to any more questions I might have. What is the best way to get ahold of you?

Im new to the site so I think you just ask for me in the future. Good luck with the project. These cars are a blast to drive. Have fun.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will definitely do that for sure! Thank you, ***** ***** are! You have a great rest of your night.

You to.

Pete
Pete, Mechanic
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 139
Experience: Ase Master Tech
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I have another problem with the car. I’m pretty sure I’ve diagnosed the problem but I want your input on it. So the cars starts and all that but immediately dies after it starts up. I’ve checked to see if there’s spark, clean the throttle body, checked all vacuum hoses, and the air intake. Would the possible problem be that even though there is spark that maybe the coil pack is fried in parts where coil 2 is not sending a full signal that isnt strong enough.

It sounds more like a crank sensor or the connector. The connector can get oil soaked and this will damage the sensor.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
that’s the thing behind the cam cover to the back left that allows you to degree the idle timing?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The thing is though whenever I got the battery problem figured out it started and idled with no problem but now it’s having this problem so that’s why I’m confused

Yes that is the unit on the passenger rear of the engine. It has the slot for timing purposes. Are you losing spark on #2 cyl or does it stall to quickly to tell? After the battery deal did you drive it or is it still in your garage?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It stalls too kick to tell and as soon as the engine turns over it instantly dies unless I keep my foot on the gas. I drove it up and down the street but no more than that. It’s back in my garage now.

Ok if it will run with your foot on the gas the crank sensor is probably ok. When you hold the gas and let it run does it missfire or run smooth?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
It runs smooth.

Ok so the problem is an idle issue. Your coils and crank sensor are ok. Check the rubber hose from the throttle body to the air flow meter,they develop cracks on the underneath. The problem is a vacuum leak or false air that is not going through the airflow meter.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I will check that asap. And I’ll get back to you, thanks.

Ok, did you ck the timing?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Ck?

The slot on the crank sensor will allow you to adjust the timing. If you didn"t touch it don"t worry about it.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I didn’t touch it at all

Ok then the timing should be alright.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I figured. I got it up to temp too earlier when I had my foot on the gas to make sure it was since being a tooth off on the gears can cause over heating.

Did the timming belt jump a tooth?

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I think the cam timing is 2 teeth off. When the crank pulley is at top dead center, the marks on the cam gears should be at the 12 oclock position. Then there should be 19 teeth between the cam marks. That is why it won't idle right. I can"t see the condition of the belt. Does it look old or dryed out? Is the t belt loose? It might have jumped after you did the lifter job. If it looks old, now is the time to replace it. You don"t want it to break and damage the engine.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Whenever I turn the engine by itself there’s a place in the belt where it gets loose between the gears. Would that be part of the problem? When timing, how do I get a certain amount of teeth to align correctly?

It is normal to have one loose spot but the belt can be tensioned manually. there is a spring loaded pulley behind the lower timing cover. Did you ck the belt timing? If you go on line to miata timing belt images you will see what I am talking about.

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Those marks are for initial set up when you first install the belt. Do the marks on the cams line up at 12 oclock when the crank is at tdc? There are timing marks on the crank pulley and the timing cover.

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