Dads 1971 FJ40 Swap

jtaco1

 
 
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Dec 19, 2003
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Well, the new parts didn't change anything, nor did swapping in the battery from my crawler. I am at a loss at this point.

If anyone wants to stop by and take a look and look things over, or if anyone can recommend a decent shop in the Harrisburg area that has FJ40 and engine swap experience, let me know. Would like to be able to drive this thing around once the weather breaks.
 

Pacer

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Was doing some work on some other vehicles and decided to give firing this up a shot after building the exhaust today. Thought maybe have it ready for the meeting in a few weeks.

Good news:
It turns over when you turn the key!!
We have fuel too (only a few fittings needed an extra turn or two).

Bad news:
It doesn’t fire off and there is some more wiring that needs figured out since the rest of the Cruiser is dead when the power is on :(

Spark is there, but appears weak, going to troubleshoot and replace a few parts and see what that gets us. Then figure out what else I need to do to get power back to the fuse block so the rest of the Cruiser can come to life.
So, still troubleshooting week spark, or?
Give us an update on the parts you've thrown at it and we can go from there.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Swapped in a different battery out of my crawler that is known to be good, new coil, spark plug wires, rotor, and distributor cap. We have fuel at the motor and can hear it returning to the tank. Plugs are newer, but not brand new. Have not swapped plugs yet, as I have to remove the exhaust headers to get to them - stupid design.

Motor still turned very slow and would not fire. As it would turn, after a couple of revolutions, you can hear a chug/pop sound, which I am assuming is compression. Rotates with a wrench on the crank pulley as well.

Considering pulling the starter off and having it tested next. It came with the motor, but didn’t have it tested before installing it.
 

Crusha

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Can you try and bump start it before pulling the starter?
 
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Check the firing order. How many times have I seen this simple thing over looked on tv. I don't hate the bump start idea either. You could try on your driveway. But if it fails it will be a mofo for you to get it back in the shop again.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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It has a TH350 tranny, so I am not able to bump start it

Firing order is correct. Triple checked online. Not sure that that would impact the slow turning over.
 

YotaFun

 
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Nov 21, 2007
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Dover, DE
JT,

I had to read through the tread to get caught up on the motor so bare with me.

What is the history beside it's a 97 that was a swap with a harness from pirate member. Was it rebuilt? Last run? I know you initially said weak spark, did you also always have a slow crank?
If so, I wonder if there is a mechanical issue causing the motor from turning enough to get things going. Possibly and accessory not allowing the motor to spin, or if the motor was rebuilt, tolerance to tight on bearings, correct cam distributor gear match up?

Before pulling the starter, I'd pull the belt (belts?) And see if the motor spins a little easier.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Motor is a 98 which previously was in a running tube chassis crawler with a TH350 transmission behind it. We got it and put it in with stock accessories. I did put a new water pump on it since the old one leaked out of the weep hole. The PO indicated that he had replaced the spider injector when he installed it in his chassis.

The harness is a stand alone setup originally from Painless, which the previous owner modified to fit in his tube chassis. I ended up sending the harness and computer to Jim’s Performance in Maryland for a rework when we found some questionable wire splicing and to verify the tune on the computer. Was plug and play when we go it back with 4 wires to hook up - ignition, power, ground, and fuel pump.

When we turned the key the first time, the fuel pump turned on and we had fuel at the motor, which was verified by depressing the fuel bleed schrader valve and once primed we could hear fuel returning to the tank.

Turn the key to start and the motor would turn, but very slow and acting like the battery didn’t have enough juice to get it going. We then borrowed a spark tester and showed a spark, but appeared weak. The one time it gave me a nice jolt as well :)

When it turns over, it does act like something may be holding it back, but the only accessories attached are the power steering pump and fan, we do not have an ac compressor. The flywheel is bolted to the torque converter with appropriate bolts with red loctite. It should be able to turn the converter without issue.

The last time we tried to start it, after installing the new parts noted above, it turned over the same, but got to a point after spinning the motor for 20-30 seconds that it stopped spinning, at which point I gave up. Took the battery out and put it back in my crawler and that fired right up.

All fuses are good in the factory fuse block, as well as the stand alone portion for the motor.

Thought about the distributor alignment, however it was never out since it was previously running. Worth checking though. Will also pull the serpentine belt as a check.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Will add that to the list to double check. Will grind the frame and chase the bolt and threads to make sure the grounds are good.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Well, cleaning and reattaching the grounds helped. It spun normal, however I think the battery is crap. I hooked up jumper cables and was able to get it to spin and start to spit and stumble, but would immediately die.

Feeling the exhaust manifolds, they are all warm except for #6 cylinder. It was cool, but not cold.

Verified timing. At TDC, the rotor points to the #1 cylinder in the distributor like it should.

I’m afraid to put any gas down the intake since it is plastic, would hate for it to backfire and blow the intake apart.

May drain the fuel tank next and add fresh gas. It is a bit old but so is the fuel in my crawler and it fired right up.
 

jtaco1

 
 
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Had a little bit of time to work on it again. Ran a new wire for the alternator that ties into the original wire, so we are getting power to the fuse block and some things are starting to work again :) Will need to review that wiring schematics between the 1971 and 1973 since I swapped a 1973 column in with a mini conversion harness. Only thing is that we are using the ignition switch on the dash, not the one on the column, so I have a little bypass wiring to do to get a few things to fully work.

Battery is on the charger to bring it back to life and hopefully a fire up this week.
 
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