Engine won't start. Timing chain maybe? - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 30th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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Engine won't start. Timing chain maybe?

I went through all of the procedures. I have gas, spark, air. Starter moves the engine but it won't crank over. It all happen when I was driving down the highway and the engine cut out. I couldn't restart it. Silver relays are good. Fuel pump is squirting, I have gas at the fuel rail. Coil sparks to dizzy. Leads all spark too. ECU seems fine because I am drawing codes and the dash lights come on.

I am starting to suspect the timing chain went. Is there an easy way to check if it broke without taking off the rocker covers? It's a 94 so the rotor is driven off the oil pump.

I don't know if this is a true test or not for the timing chain but I held my hand at the exhaust and had my brother cranked the engine. Obviously some of the valves would be open if the timing chain went but the exhaust felt like a consistent flow of air as if they were opening in each cylinder.

FYI this is the RRC, not the Defender
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  #2  
Old December 30th, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Charles Galpin
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Look into the oil filler hole as someone turns over the engine, either with the starter or by hand using the big nut on the main crank pulley. You should see rocker/valve movement if the timing chain is doing it's job.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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I'll look there but i think there is a piece of sheet metal on the rocker cover blocking visibility. The engine is full of sludge too so might be tricky to see. I'll check it out though.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Charles Galpin
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mmh, ok. Also I believe if you pull a plug and use a compression tester or your thumb to monitor the compression you should be able to tell. Normal operation would have the pressure build then release. If the valves are not moving you'll have no compression if the valves are open, or prssure building and never releasing (i think).

------ Follow up post added December 30th, 2010 01:03 PM ------

Also if the valve cover is easy to remove, just remove one
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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I would imagine if the chain broke you would of heard some kind of ungodly clanging in the timing cover before it cut out.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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cam drives the dizzy cam is driven by chain so if dizzy turns chain is not broken. may be stretched or jumped timing thou.
set it to tdc to verify it has not jumped timing.
if it has jumped it is time toget down and dirty in that motor.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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Good call Charlies. I remember the flame trap hole has a cover over it so you can't see the rocker at all. But the oil fill hole is open and you can see the rocker, and it was a rocken when I cranked the engine so that is good news.

Neil - didn't hear anything break or make noise when it shut off. It just shut off like it stalled.

Injectors are firing because I could smell and feel small puffs of gas hit my hand over the spark plug holes.

I'm trying to think if there is some sort of sensor that would go off and disable the truck. Inertia switch has to be closed because I am getting fuel.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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You said the ECU was throwing codes and that's how you know it's working... what codes is it displaying?
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Hey check the - wire that goes from I think the ECU to the - on the coil, when you detach that wire or if something is wrong with it your coil will still spark but the engine won't run. I did this little experment on my 90 on Christmas day. I believe it's a white wire with a black line on it.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Disconnect the wire to the sensor on the engine that sits right behind the distributor and see if it starts. You need to pull the little wire clip off the plug before pulling it off.
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  #11  
Old December 30th, 2010, 04:25 PM
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How old is the battery? Cold weather can kill a marginal one. Maybe it is very weak. Try a known good battery first before freaking out. Low voltage will cause all kinds of symptoms that will make you crazy trying to sort out.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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Daniel Marcello
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Thanks all. I will be on it this week and see if anything happens.

Bill - The battery is still good. only a couple years old and still strong to crank the engine.

Neil - I will check that - on the coil. I was leaning over that part of the engine at the beginning of the day too. maybe i hit it loose. But would that kill the engine as it was running down the highway when it cut out?

Kevin - Do you mean the amplifer or something else back there? I will fish around.
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  #13  
Old December 30th, 2010, 10:56 PM
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Not the amplifier, directly behind the dizzy, screwed vertically down into the engine.
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