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03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 20 Aug 2017, 04:14 pm
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Default 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

I'll try to shorten my long tale of woe -- let me know if you want more details!

Engine overheated and blew the head gasket. I did a tear-down, and found piston damage as well. I've installed 4 new pistons, a new head gasket (and a spacer, since the machine shop had to shave off 12 1000s to resurface the head), a new timing belt and a new water pump.

The engine cranks just fine, but will not start. The only error code is P0113 (IAT sensor -- one of the wires has broken right at the connector; a replacement has been ordered). I have spark, and starter fluid does not help. Today I noticed that when the engine is cranking, the tach needle doesn't move. Should it?

At this point, my only other thoughts are to check the fuses and perhaps the cylinder compression (which had better be fine after everything I've gone through!).

Any other diagnostic ideas? Thanks!
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Old 20 Aug 2017, 04:23 pm
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

Check to see if the camshaft sensor connector and ignition coil connectors have been swapped. These two plugs are almost identical, will fit in either location and often get swapped after head gasket job. I know you say you have spark, but check anyway to make sure.




After that, make sure the cam sensor is correctly hooked up and the the leads at not damaged. This would give you the symptoms you describe. Also, it's possible to change out broken wires in a PCM plug yourself if that's where the one you mentioned is. The cam sensor lead is likely pin #34 and #27 on the second (C2) PCM connector.




Other members may have additional good suggestions. You can download a copy of the service manual from my Google Drive here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9C...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 20 Aug 2017, 05:02 pm
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

I would suggest you check the engine compression on all cylinders if you have a strong spark.
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Old 20 Aug 2017, 07:02 pm
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

@Handy_Cruiser:
I'll check the two connectors as you suggest. The camshaft sensor should be okay -- I've had it go bad on me before, and it created an error code (which I don't have this time).

@ptcruisersteve:
I think I will check the compression, but it better not be a problem! I spent just over $500 and more than a month working on this (several delays getting various parts shipped)!

Thanks for your help.

Does anyone know (or can you just check for me next time you start your car) if the PT Cruiser activates the tachometer when the engine is cranking (but before it actually starts)?
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 06:39 am
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

I never noticed the tach working in my 03 GT unless the engine was running. It never moved while cranking.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:36 am
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

Just another piece of information which may or may not mean anything. I've also noticed that the oil pressure idiot light is on. Don't know if this is a light that comes on until the engine runs (makes sense -- the oil pressure is probably pretty low until the oil pump gets spinning).
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 07:59 am
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

I just went out and started SOOO BIG. The tach stayed dormant while turning the engine over. It only began indicating when the engine started.

Are you getting fuel flow?

Happy PTin', ptprice
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 10:07 am
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieuallen View Post
I have spark, and starter fluid does not help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptprice View Post
I just went out and started SOOO BIG. The tach stayed dormant while turning the engine over. It only began indicating when the engine started.

Are you getting fuel flow?

Happy PTin', ptprice
If it was a fuel flow issue starter fluid should have started the engine.
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Old 21 Aug 2017, 06:14 pm
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

What color is the spark on your plugs? If it isn't a nice blue/white color and is more yellow or orange, it's too weak. You may have a weak coil.
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Old 23 Aug 2017, 08:47 am
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Default Re: 03 non-turbo won't start -- no RPM on tach

Just to follow-up:

I bought new spark plugs, because my memory says the spark was in the yellow/orange range. No help at all.

I got a compression gauge -- WOW! Compression is 35, 30, 30, 65 (cylinders 1-4). So I've got a big problem!

Since I've already replaced the head gasket and resurfaced the cylinder head, I'm guessing that it's a valve problem, or a crack somewhere that I didn't see.

I am now so far out of my skill level, I'm afraid it's probably going to have to go to the shop. My only other alternative is the "poor man's leakdown test", or just replacing the entire cylinder head. Lordy, please don't make me tear this engine down a third time!!
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