Jump to content

Tomble's 1983 Starion GSR-X fumbling / hand-holding / discussion


tomble
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 145
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

9 hours ago, ProZac said:

I'd just retard the static timing a couple of degrees and it'll be safe :-).

You might find this interesting, I wrote it around 20 years ago: https://web.archive.org/web/20130504232342/http://prozac.orconhosting.net.nz/eciguide/rebuild.html

Once you remove the EGR (it'll be blocked up anyway), the vacuum plumbing becomes much simpler, can help there :-). Being a GSR-X yours will have auto climate control (So cool :-) ) where all the blend actuators on the heater box are vacuum controlled. Also jealous of the Auto. I'm old now, and autos appeal :-).

I'm definitely in need of parts - but most things can wait! Mostly trim and side mirrors, a wheel arch, etc - "final touch" things that can come much later. That said I'm keeping a list of it all and will definitely hit the community up.

Excellent guide, saved to my docs stash.

I actually think the existing EGR has already been unplugged, there's a few vac tubes with bolts in them that were confusing the hell out of me until I bought a service manual (for a 2.6 starion lol :joker: but it has a lot of parallels)

9 hours ago, Stu said:

Dare I say it, but throw a Link on it instead? That way you can use the dizzy you have? Plus it will be better in the long run once you inevitably slide carelessly down the "might just do a couple of subtle modifications" route...

To start with I want a more-or-less fairly faithful restoration - I'm pragmatic about the whole thing in terms of cost and parts rarity/effectiveness but as a beginner (and until told otherwise) I feel like that's the path forward that's most likely to succeed for me.  For example, I don't know what a you mean by a link :)

Down the track there will definitely be tweaks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've found him to be particularly painfuil to deal with, but there is a guy in NZ with a bunch of old Mitsy parts, Brett Campbell. If you join up the various Starion groups on the ol faeboes you'll see him posting quite often. Twice I've agreed to buy things from him though, and he wouldn't get back to me with shipping costs or more pictures or anything. I don't think he's dishonest, just disorganised? hah.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, tomble said:

I'm definitely in need of parts - but most things can wait! Mostly trim and side mirrors, a wheel arch, etc - "final touch" things that can come much later. That said I'm keeping a list of it all and will definitely hit the community up.

Excellent guide, saved to my docs stash.

I actually think the existing EGR has already been unplugged, there's a few vac tubes with bolts in them that were confusing the hell out of me until I bought a service manual (for a 2.6 starion lol :joker: but it has a lot of parallels)

To start with I want a more-or-less fairly faithful restoration - I'm pragmatic about the whole thing in terms of cost and parts rarity/effectiveness but as a beginner (and until told otherwise) I feel like that's the path forward that's most likely to succeed for me.  For example, I don't know what a you mean by a link :)

Down the track there will definitely be tweaks.

A Link is an aftermarket ECU option to control the engine, Not sure if they do plug in versions for the Starion so you would be looking at a wire in setup

I'd probably steer you towards a speeduino and suggest a patch loom/new loom but I suspect if your wanting to keep to factory parts you may not be keen

The challenge with factory parts is getting replacements can be hard, also less knowledge these days on how they work for trouble shooting

An aftermarket ecu would mean you could get rid of the dizzy, and move to coil on plug or other ignition options. Would just need to sort out a sensor to read timing, it also allows you to get rid of things like Mafs, have better boost control etc and if you have the right ecu move towards Drive by wire options (better cold start/idle and options for cruise control)

Fuel ignition has come a long way and an aftermarket ecu allows you to simplify the engine bay and remove parts that are no longer required, this increases reliability (sometimes fuel economy) and when you eventually want more power opens that door as well

@Roman Is pretty good at this stuff so maybe he can give more guidance

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also if you haven't already

https://projectzerog.com/

If it was me I'd get a wideblock 4G64 from a Mitsubishi Ute/Van, pick up a DOHC head from a 4g63 build a 10:1 compression motor to swap in with a turbo (3" exhaust and a front mount inter-cooler), an aftermarket ecu and make a new engine loom for it.

Upgrade the fuel pump to the biggest one that will fit in the fuel tank cradle, 1000cc injectors, coil on plugs (probably R35) E85 and then tune it for around 200kw at the wheels

Probably go for a Drive by wire setup as well

Obviously more to it then that however :p

But that also means it isn't original

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, shrike said:

The challenge with factory parts is getting replacements can be hard, also less knowledge these days on how they work for trouble shooting

I feel this in my bones, and is definitely the impression I've gotten over the last couple months - it's easier to modernise and get support for modern tech than it is for old stuff.  One of the first things I was told is that I should get a modern turbo for eg.  I'm definitely keen.  I know that there are many more options out there for me that are more efficient, easily maintainable, powerful, etc. and I plan on diving into all that stuff at some point.  

In the mean time I want to get it to a "it works" baseline that I can work from, and the easiest way (again for me) is probably backwards. Just one piece I need to source and learn about (for now) instead of multiple different systems to learn for an engine that may or may not have other things wrong with it.  Of course this assumes that the engine has nothing else crazy wrong with it, but even then it seems like this would be a more stable platform for a beginner to continue diagnosing from. I'm hoping this isn't a rookie mistake. 

Hopefully this dizzy that I'm picking up tonight fits the bill!

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, tomble said:

Hopefully this dizzy that I'm picking up tonight fits the bill!

Apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs with this next comment just trying to be helpful :D, fingers crossed the dizzy works :)

But while you've been waiting do you know any of the below and I would probably do most of this before you try start it

  • Have you done an oil and filter change? or at least topped the oil up (I vaguely remember you saying it was super low on oil)
  • Do you have a good battery for it?
  • Does the engine turn over (ie does it spin when its cranked?) or have you turned it over by hand (turning the crank with a socket)
  • Have you drained the old fuel out of the tank? and replaced it? (what fuel should it run?)
  • Are there any cracked vacuum lines or coolant lines
  • Do you have access to a compression tester?
  • Have you taken the spark plugs out and what do they look like?
  • Do you know how to set the timing when you install the Dizzy?

As always main things when you do start it is does it have Spark/Fuel and compression

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, shrike said:

Apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs with this next comment just trying to be helpful :D, fingers crossed the dizzy works :)

But while you've been waiting do you know any of the below and I would probably do most of this before you try start it

  • Have you done an oil and filter change? or at least topped the oil up (I vaguely remember you saying it was super low on oil)
  • Do you have a good battery for it?
  • Does the engine turn over (ie does it spin when its cranked?) or have you turned it over by hand (turning the crank with a socket)
  • Have you drained the old fuel out of the tank? and replaced it? (what fuel should it run?)
  • Are there any cracked vacuum lines or coolant lines
  • Do you have access to a compression tester?
  • Have you taken the spark plugs out and what do they look like?
  • Do you know how to set the timing when you install the Dizzy?

As always main things when you do start it is does it have Spark/Fuel and compression

I'll treat this like a schooling exercise and write down what I plan to do before I read your list.

  • Double-check the engine turns via the crankshaft bolt - prev owner said it did but I haven't personally tested that
  • Reinstall dizzy
  • Check spark plugs are ok, clean them up a bit with wire brush
  • Spray some appropriate lube into the cylinders via sparky holes
  • The coolant is chocolate, so I've drained it already - will temp fill it back up with just water for now 
  • I was going to check the water pump first, mate says that's probably the chocolate source
  • Gonna put air filter back in place because paranoid
  • Replace oil
  • Replace oil filter
  • Drain fuel tank, clean it
  • Clean fuel pump
  • Replace fuel filter
  • Flush fuel lines
  • Fresh fuel in the tank
  • Got a vacuum tube to ziptie because it's loose

Let's see what I missed

  • I got no battery - and the old one was cut out... :doubt:.  But have borrowed a neighbour's and have managed to power the electrics just using clamps.  Too macguyvery?
  • I was going to use 91 fuel
  • The coolant managed to stay inside for the last 15 years (was full) and the pipes are firm but pliable, I will probably replace them when it comes time to put everything back in after paint etc but I think they're fine.  Vaccum tubes are quite sof and one in particular just falls off its nub.  Again something to replace down the line but maybe ok for now
  • No compression tester - something to get somehow I guess
  • I've taken one plug out, "seems ok", just dirty.  image.thumb.png.47bd74e694e51c28bb417f33ff0f4b68.png
     
  • 'know' in 'know how to set the timing' is a strong word but I've seen a few guides and there's some starion-specific stuff I was going to follow

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure what turbo starions normally run fuel wise but personally I would start with some 98 as it has higher knock resistance so if you get the timing wrong it'll help protect the engine.

For a turbo engine I wouldn't put anything less then 95, unless its been tuned for lower octane fuel (on a dyno with some form of knock detection) 

Typically lower octane fuel has less knock resistance and generally knocks if you have to much ignition timing, or heat etc 

Clamps for power to get it started should be ok short term, just make sure you have a good earth connection 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

25 minutes ago, shrike said:

I'm not sure what turbo starions normally run fuel wise but personally I would start with some 98 as it has higher knock resistance so if you get the timing wrong it'll help protect the engine.

For a turbo engine I wouldn't put anything less then 95, unless its been tuned for lower octane fuel (on a dyno with some form of knock detection) 

TIL.  I also just sourced an aussie owner's manual and it recommends Super 97 RON 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

91 is fine to get it up and running and cruise it around a little, but it'll knock for sure if you start to give it the jandal. They're a surprisingly easy motor to make knock, and it kills the factory ring lands on the pistons really easily as they're very thin. I'd go with 98 :-).

When you say your coolant was chocolate, do you mean that it was just brown (rusty water) or it was more like a milkshake?

Put up the some pics of the dizzy you got :-).

The basic process to getting and engine to fire is to check it has air (compression), fuel (in a reasonable quantity), and spark (at the right time). An engine will show signs of life with a surprisingly wide tolerance on these three things. Most fuel injected stuff has diagnostic procedures which can be super helpful to figure out what is going wrong, but not your generation of Starion unfortunately. This is just a stepping stone to getting the engine started, as you'll probably be able to get it to fire relatively easily, but that will expose further issues to sort. It's all fun though :-).

For a Starion in particular, this is what I'd do: (once you've got a dizzy in place, are you familiar with how to fit the dizzy and make sure it's timed correctly?)

Fuel:

  • Remove the cross over pipe that connects the turbo to the intake manifold.
  • Get someone to crank the engine and see if you can see any fuel spraying out of the injectors. You can do this because Starions are throttlebody injected, having two injectors placed above the throttle plate, not an individual injector per cylinder. If you can see fuel spraying (should form a pretty fine mist), move on to checking spark.
  • If you can't see any fuel spraying, you've found a problem. Doesn't mean there aren't also many more problems, but this is certainly one!
  • Check there is actually fuel in the tank, easiest way to do this is just be chucking $10 in. Then you know.
  • Remove the fuel pump access panel in the boot. Passengers side, under the carpet. Single screw, probably sealed down with gum-tape stuff, pry it up nicely.
  • With someone cranking the engine, feel the fuel pump to see if it is vibrating at all, or making any noise. If it seems completely still, its not running for some reason. Tap it lightly (the housing it aluminium, don't dent it) with a hammer and try again.
  • If its still not running, its either a dead pump, dead MPI relay, or a wiring issue. How are you with a multimeter?

 

  • If the fuel pump is running, but no fuel is spraying, your injectors are likely at fault. They could be gummed shut from years of sitting (most likely), or they're not getting a signal (ECU or wiring fault). There isn't really a way to check them that doesn't involve pulling the injection mixer apart. You can connect and LED (make sure to get the polarity correct) to the injector wiring going to the injection mixed and see if the LED flashes when you're cranking the engine to check there is some sort of signal.

 

  • It's probably worth replacing the fuel filter (engine bay, passenger side, mounted down near the chassis rail) as a matter of course, but it's unlikely to be completely blocking fuel flow and stopping it from at least trying to fire.

 

Spark:

  • Remove the cross over pipe that connects the turbo to the intake manifold.
  • Get a can of 'Start ya Bastard' from Repco / Supercheap.
  • With someone else cranking the engine, spray this down the intake manifold, stand a little way back, and not directly in line with the intake manifold opening. This stuff is much easier to ignite than petrol, so even a really weak spark will set it off. Usually there are three outcomes to this:
  1. The engine fires normally, tried to run, and then dies (this is what you want to happen :-) )
  2. There is a backfire through the inlet manifold and some fire comes out. This probably means your distributor timing is 180 degrees out, and you need to refit the dizzy correctly, and make sure the plugs leads are in the right place. Your factory service manual should have a good section on this, just make sure when you time the engine to top dead center on cylinder 1, its on the compression stroke, not the exhaust stroke. This is the second best outcome as it's likely to be an easy fix :-) .
  3. Nothing, just cranks and is dead as a doornail, Sad Panda.
  • In the case of option three, you need to completely confirm that there is no spark. To do this, remove the no.1 sparkplug. Re-fit it to it's ignition lead, and run a small crocodile clip from the ground strap of the plug to the battery negative post. Get someone to try and crank the engine while you watch the plug (rest it somewhere, don't hold it). Chances are you'll see nothing, confirming that there is no spark.
  • If there isn't a spark, I'd first check the coil. Using a multimeter, you can measure the resistance across it's two terminals. There will be a spec in the service manual for what this should be. If its open circuit, the coil is dead. Replace it with a 12V can coil for an electronic ignition system and try again :-).
  • If the coil checks out fine, you're into the realm of needing to scope signals and what not... Not insurmountable, but requires a bit more gear

 

A couple of things to be aware of when you're reading diagnostic stuff on forums; Starions run a completely divorced injection and ignition setup. The ECU in the cabin controls the fuel delivery only, with the igniter box mounted to the inner passengers fender controlling the ignition. This stuff is from the beginning of the fuel injection era. It's actually pretty robust, but a little different to troubleshoot :-). Also, most testing I'd usually do with the cross over pipe connecting the turbo to the inlet manifold removed, so I can see the fuel injectors firing. The engine will fire like this, but probably wont continue to idle, as the air flow meter isn't connected to the intake manifold, so the amount of air entering the engine isn't known by the ECU. Once it fire and want to start, reconnect this and give it another kick in the guts :-).

Fingers crossed you can time it up, fit a dizzy, plug it in and she at least fires up :-). They're actually pretty reliable old girls, so I'd be cautiously optimistic as long as it hasn't been to fiddle-fucked by previous people playing with it :-).

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, ProZac said:

if you start to give it the jandal

I chortled, love the expression

The coolant wasn't milkshake, maybe more like a strong tea.  We drained it and gave it an unenthusiastic rinse.

I'm still working atm so here's just a sneak peek.

image.thumb.png.ba77a02e36232eb98d2755af1a73e492.png

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ahhh, yeah, that just looks old and rusty, not mixed with oil which would be a bad thing. Your mate is right that its likely the water pump impeller rusting away :-).

I got an email from HR last friday telling me I had too much leave and was against company policy.... So I'm now off till the first of feb. Have been doing some work on my Starion for once, which has been really, really enjoyable :-).

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once again thank you immensely to @Firebrand for coming through with not only a new dizzy but also a lot of other swag, including a new dash instrument cowl.   We (told my partner) have massive smiles on our faces.  He didn't even ask for any illicit favours.  I've updated the project thread with pix of the new loot.

Also thanks to @gibbon for checking and for @Sigma for offering up his as well, and to the other big brains in this thread offering me their wisdom - I am very appreciative and feel very welcomed.

Here's the old cowl to show how good I have it.

uiqMOZ4.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • tomble changed the title to Tomble's 1983 Starion GSR-X fumbling / hand-holding / discussion

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...