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R33 Not Starting!


JimX
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After I pulled the dash out to check my intermittently working tacho again, the car will now not start at all. It doesn't even attempt to kick over, it just winds and winds like something's cutting the ignition. Is there anything in the dash that's required to make the engine run? Like, could I have destroyed something in there when I had it apart?

I've checked all fuses, and the battery has a full charge (it's bigger than standard), and the fuel pump primes and I think all dash lights except the engine warning light come on when I turn the key on. While cranking the engine warning light goes on but I don't know if that's normal.

It almost certainly had to be something I did in the dash or in the wiring around the dash, I didn't even open the bonnet during all this. The fact that the tacho was only intermittently working beforehand gives weight to a problem around the dash. Can anyone give me some ideas, like which wires to trace for ignition and possibly injectors? Or recommend an on-site auto electrician that's good with Skylines in the Sydney area? (north side)

Thanks! No car on weekend make Homer go something something.

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No plugs or anything are lose under the dash?

my friend had the same problem when he did the engine swap in his supra, plug wasnt connected properly hence the engine not turning over.

cheers

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Jim if you have an immobiliser it may be interfering and thinking you're trying to steal the car. As it's a GTR I'm assuming you have one - did you happen to unplug it?

btw have to say I'm envious of the man that has an R33 GTR and a TL1000R in his garage :D Zoom zoom.

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Cowie yep it's hard being a car fan when you are also a fast bike fan :ermm:

I forgot to mention that I had an immobiliser installed as soon as I got it, and it's been working fine except these past few days. And also I found what seems to be a factory immobiliser on a green plug under the dash (see below).

The NRMA guy just came and went, and he confirmed that there's no ignition as I suspected but couldn't offer any advice on where the break might be. He said it must be the new immobiliser somehow. I didn't tell him I pulled the dash out because he didn't know anything about Skylines.

When I unplugged the factory immobiliser the fuel pump made horrible stuttering noises when I switched on (pulsing off/on), and the door switches didn't work anymore for either the alarm or the interior light. It could be the cause of the ignition problems, but I only unplugged it after it wouldn't start. I plugged it back in just to get the light and pump working properly but it might be stuck in "kill ignition" mode. Is there a way to override it?

I don't suppose anyone knows what colour wires I'm looking for to trace the ignition wire? Going back into it now, it's gonna be a long night.

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I found in a text file that black/red stripe is the ignition wire, and I found such a wire near the steering column which gets 12V when I switch it on. But then the wire goes into the immobiliser loom which is all wrapped up in electrical tape. I guess it's a start. Time to pack up and continue tomorrow.

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how old is the battery? and were you using a work light running off the battery? if the battery is old then even if it is a bigger battery it could still be dead. cold weather usually sorts out the good from the bad when it comes to batteries. might be worth while jump starting it or sticking it on the charge to rule that out of the equation.

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Dash is plugged in, but I suspect it's either not making contact somewhere, or I fried one of the components. If you know which bits are required to work to make it start, please let me know.

Mad082, I was using a worklight but not off the car battery. And this thing was very sudden. Started first kick before removing dash, then not even almost starting after removing/replacing dash. Either way there's no spark as confirmed with spark plug lead test, and I think there'd be a weak spark if it was the battery. I'm going to charge the battery tonight anyway because there was a moderate amount of turning over whenever I tried a fix. The battery should last a lot longer, but as you say I want to rule it out. If it *is* the battery I'd be extraordinarily surprised because the battery the car came with was weak and it took an effort to start (you could hear the starter struggling) but my current battery still winds over at full speed.

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For what it's worth, I had a similar problem a few weeks back, which is why I suggested the immobiliser may be the culprit.

My headlight switch burnt out and they would not switch off. I disconnected the battery and went to bed. When I went to start the next morning - nothing. Dash lights came on, but as soon as I switched the ignition to start, EVERYTHING died. Would not start.

Although the battery tested at 12.3V, because the lights would not switch off, they drew enough load that only 8-9V was available for ignition. This tripped the immobiliser relay and it interrupted the start and isolated all electrics. The alarm installer came around and we started it with a booster pack (thanks Allen!).

I've mentioned this just in case you've knocked something (I'm searchin' here...) behind the dash and lights or some other voltage sponge has interfered.

:shrugs shoulders:

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all u need is the rev guage to work!!!

check ur fuses... im sure u dont need the other dash instruments working, coz mine was rooted not long agao except for the rev guage, and still worked, but wen i unplugged the rev guage it stuffed up

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Hmm weird. I wonder why it needs to work, because the tacho shouldn't have to do anything other than report what the ECU is telling it. My tacho stopped working intermittently it never caused the engine any problems at all, not even rough running or excessive fuel usage. Well, no more excessive than it already was :) I might have to swap the dash out and see. Is the GTS-t dash compatible with the GTR loom and ECU?

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You may have to find and by-pass the immobiliser, find out what it cuts out and by-pass it .

Before you do that make sure you have a good fully charged battery .

You shouldn't even need the cluster to be plugged in to start it .

To make it easier for you to find what the immobiliser cuts out, get someone to crank it and see if you got spark( take one plug out earth it and se if there is spark ). My guess is they cut the CAS and maybe the injectors?

Good luck with it ..

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got it all sorted, special thanks to Jerry for helping me out! I wish I had thought to test the ECU before anything else, because then the car would have been running over a week ago.

It hasn't been a total loss though, having all the wiring apart means it'll be quite easy to install the tracking device I bought and had sitting on the shelf since before I even got the car. It was just too much effort to install until now, insurance made me lazy!

Additional notes for anyone that might get a similar problem in future:

1. The dash doesn't need to be plugged in at all for the engine to start and run. In fact a whole bunch of things don't need to be plugged in.

2. The factory immobiliser can be easily removed permanently if it's giving you problems (please pm me about this if you need to know how).

3. ECU's that aren't completely dead suck total arse!

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Yes, and no. It is definitely not sending the signal to fire the spark plugs (no spark at all), and possibly the signal to open the injectors because I couldn't smell any fuel when it wasn't starting. And I think it intermittently wasn't sending the rev signal to the tacho. But apart from that it primed the fuel pump, so it wasn't completely dead.

I figured that the fuel pump cycling off and on was due to a flat(ish) battery. Charged it up and it was fine on that part.

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