Low Idle and Lifters Ticking After Starter Replacement

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Hey all, I recently bought a 99 Cruiser with 290k on the clock. The starter went out last week. (no click, no start) I followed exiting threads to learn how to pull the manifold and replace the starter. After buttoning everything up the truck wouldn't start. I had a friend helping me when I removed the manifold and I had disconnected the fuel line from the filter and pulled it out carefully rather than disconnect the banjo bolt. Thinking of possible air in the line after many a key turns for fuel priming I finally got it to start. However, it is idling 400-600 RPM and ticking real bad. I believe it's lifters and can be heard on both sides. Originally it would die if given any throttle. Through my time troubleshooting now it will take throttle and RPM's increase and so does the ticking. Oil pressure is reading normal. I've read as many threads as I can find for advice and so far I've tried the following:

Left battery disconnected for ECU reset
Replaced 20A ECU fuse
Cleaned MAF sensor with compressed air
Checked for vacuum leak with starter fluid around hoses and where the intake gasket is, never saw RPM increase.
Also spritzed starter fluid into air intake while moving the throttle by hand and it made the truck stall rather than rpm increase?

I'm concerned I may have put a permanent kink in the fuel line (#2327150150) I disconnected. I had to reinstall the manifold alone; and in my haste pinched it under the manifold and then pulled it out while trying to lift and hold manifold against my knee. (kneeled where the airbox sits) There is no visual damage and I felt along the line giving it a pinch with my fingers to see if I can feel a soft spot. I can feel one(?) at a bend but it doesn't seem terrible squishy. Is the hose that delicate? Any advice?

Sorry for the novel, wanted to give as much information as possible for effective help. Thanks guys.
 

Tanner H

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low idle could be: Any time you disconnect the battery on these things, it takes several cranks for the engine to ''re-learn'' so maybe a couple more days she'll be back up to normal idle. This of course would be sped up if you're running errands and stopping/starting throughout the day.
 
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low idle could be: Any time you disconnect the battery on these things, it takes several cranks for the engine to ''re-learn'' so maybe a couple more days she'll be back up to normal idle. This of course would be sped up if you're running errands and stopping/starting throughout the day.
Would letting it idle so low be advised to see if the ECU could normalize the air/fuel ratio? Shouldn't it have defaulted to a stock ratio where it runs and wouldn't die when given throttle? I'd go take it for a drive but I'm worried it won't end up back in the driveway if it dies on me.
 
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Did you damage either of the coolant temperature sensors/plugs. It's easy to damage during starter install and would cause idle issues. Easy way to check would be using OBDII reader to view ECT.
 

flintknapper

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The black sensor closest to the starter had a broken clip when I got to it. I pressed it together an put a spot of JB Waterweld putty to keep it together just in case.

That would be your right bank Knock Sensor. There is another one on the drivers side in the 'V' of the engine block. There is also a Temperature Sensor *green* at the front of the engine valley that is easy to damage. It is right next to the gray temperature sending unit to your dash.

Sensors.JPG
 
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That would be your right bank Knock Sensor. There is another one on the drivers side in the 'V' of the engine block. There is also a Temperature Sensor *green* at the front of the engine valley that is easy to damage. It is right next to the gray temperature sending unit to your dash.

View attachment 2743367
The knock sensors were undamaged as far as I know. The sensor I was referring to is right next to the starter itself. However, the temp sensor you identified is damaged. I don't think I did it, it looks old but...anything is possible. Could that cause the idle issue?

20210727_152545.jpg
 

C6H12O6

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Wasn't trying to bust your chops, I promise. Just helping cross something off the list. Ticking could be injectors. I'd focus on stuff that was removed or disturbed during the starter job, if this is a new noise. Harbor Freight sells a $5 stethoscope if you can't reach things with a screwdriver. Also helps you avoid trying to climb all over the engine and breaking something else.
 
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Analog gauge is based off of black plug. Green goes to ECU/OBD2. I'm surprised you don't have a CEL. If ECU thinks engine is hot due to bad sensor, it may cause idle/stalling. I broke mine while doing starter and replaced it with an aftermarket sensor from the auto parts store.
 
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Analog gauge is based off of black plug. Green goes to ECU/OBD2. I'm surprised you don't have a CEL. If ECU thinks engine is hot due to bad sensor, it may cause idle/stalling. I broke mine while doing starter and replaced it with an aftermarket sensor from the auto parts store.
Okay will do, it's instock at my AutoZone and I'll reply tomorrow with the result.
 

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