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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: austin, tx
Posts: 22
Angry Starting woes

I bought an 85 944 that was mostly pieces in cardboard boxes. I have it put back together, but I can't get it to start.
It will occasionally sputter while cranking, but just won't catch.

Gory details:
I had a crack in the head repaired, replaced rings and bearings, but didn't disassemble the camshaft assembly.

Drained the gas and put in fresh; replaced the fuel filter. Cleaned and checked the injectors, replaced the o-rings. Fuel pressure measures good, and I can smell gas around the tail pipe after cranking.

New plugs, wires, rotor, distributor cap. New boot (that J-shaped hose connected to the AFM). Checked voltage at AFM, checked internal resistance in AFM. Internal resistance of coil checks good. Checked and re-checked that the timing belt was aligned properly. Put an oscilloscope on the speed and position sensors; the signals look good.

Now, when I put a timing light on the plug wires and crank it, it seems that #1 and #4 aren't firing every time they should. The light flashes much more often on #2 and 3. I got this far, and I'm stumped. Does anyone have any suggestions?

I'm not absolutely positive that I have every vacuum hose connected to the proper ports, but if not, it's pretty dang close. But I have trouble imagining how a crossed up vacuum hose would prevent starting. Help!

My next step is to assume that the car doesn't understand me when I cuss at it in English, and I should start cussing in German.
Old 03-18-2005, 06:59 PM
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Location: Costa Mesa
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Is the dist cap on square?
Whos wires did you buy?
Did you replace the wire between the coil and the dist cap?
What is the compression for each cylinder?
Have you cleaned the grounding wires between the engine and the chassis?

Even with the plug wires crossed you should see some action from the plugs IF there is sufficent juice. Like blowing off the J boot. You may have enough "signal" to fire a timing light but not enough juice to fire the plug.

Have you pulled the fuel rail and observed that each injector is squirting? If the car has sat for a long time the crud in the fuel lines can easily clog the screen in the injectors inlet. You can back flush these with a two foot section of hose that fits over the business end of the injector. Fill it with solvent and use shop air.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 03-18-2005, 07:18 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
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There's very little play in the dist. cap, so I feel sure it's on square.
The plug wires are from Clewett Engineering, and they did come with the coil-to-distributor wire.
I haven't run a compression check on each cylinder; with the spark plug removed there's a good blast of air while cranking, if that means anything.
When I put the engine back in the car, I checked the ground strap - no corrosion.
I'm quite sure the plug wires are on correctly. To me, the problem appears to be that there's intermittant spark going to cylinders 1 and 4.
Old 03-18-2005, 07:36 PM
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Not familiar with the Clewett wires. I always use stock.

Firing order: 1 3 4 2

Should be running (or trying too) on two or three cylinders. As you don't report any activity I would guess the spark is not sufficent. It doesn't take much to trigger an inductance timing light.
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Hugh - So Cal 83 944 Driver Person
NOT a 'real' Porsche -- Its Better!!!!
When was the last time you changed your timing and balance belts and/or cam chain and tensioner?
New Users please add your car's year and model to your signature line!
Never break more than you fix!
Old 03-18-2005, 08:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Sometimes Sacramento, Most of the time Concord, CA
Posts: 185
rebuilt my engine and tried to start it with the afm and a couple vacuum hoses not connected....didn't work.....connected them all using diagrams from clarks garage and it was all good.....then my dme relay crapped out on me a week later, but that's taken care of as of yesterday....
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1987 944 Naturally Animalistic

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Old 03-18-2005, 10:35 PM
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