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Intermittent spark til it starts

shoe_in97

New Member
Joined
August 26, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
City, State
Kent, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XL
Hi all, we have a 1991 xl that has a starting issue. It cranks really strong, but takes forever to fire up. My husband has replaced the crankshaft sensor, the coil pack, spark plugs, pcm, iac, and the throttle positioning sensor. We get intermittent spark until ignition. Once fired, it runs great. It does this first thing in the morning and after running into the store, doesn't matter if the engine is warm or not.
Please help as a few parts are way more affordable than a "new" car!
Thanks
 
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TedJ

Well-Known Member
Joined
December 4, 2006
Messages
873
Reaction score
18
City, State
Fair Lawn, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Sport
If you turn the key on, wait 4 sec or so and turn it off a couple of times before trying to start it, does it start easier?

Check the fuel pressure, you can go to Autozone and loan-a-tool a fuel pressure gauge. Maybe someone else can tell you the correct specification, I forget off the top of my head.

I'm thinking you have a fuel pump with a bad check valve, so the fuel in the lines is draining back to the tank. When you try to start it, there is not enough fuel, and the 4 sec prime when you turn the key on is not enough to get the pressure up. It starts when the pump runs for awhile when cranking, and fuel reaches the injectors. Turning the key on and off will prime it repeatedly to get the fuel pressue up.

If turning the key on and off a couple times makes it start easy, then you probably have a bad pump or a leak in the fuel line (don't forget the rubber hose inside the tank)

You could also have a bad fuel pressre regulator, (check for gas in the vacuum line attached to it), but I would think you would have other driveability problems from that.
 
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shoe_in97

New Member
Joined
August 26, 2009
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
City, State
Kent, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XL
TedJ, thanks for the info! Unfortunately we had a crash with the car yesterday. The steering system got messed up, maybe too bad to bother trying to fix. On a side note, after we got it home, the darn thing started right up. HA! Can't drive it, but the darn thing will start now.
 
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