Zetec and Emararld K3 ecu, him no go.

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Nigel Riches
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Zetec and Emararld K3 ecu, him no go.

So in the long and tawdry process of getting the Caterham back on the road here in NZ, I have presented it for the inspectors pleasure, ok it's only been pinged on some minor issues.

However, the car has now failed to start, and the battery is below cranking level, there is plenty of "fuel pump" sounds, and if a jump start is applied plenty of vigorous cranking, but no starting of the engine.

So my learned colleagues out there in 7 land, what would be your call on first things to look for, ok, time was tight this afternoon and I didn't get a look at the green LED on the K3, indicating power available, I think. 

Given the above, and the old suck, squeeze, bang, blow sequence, well it's obviously sucking when a decent battery is applied, there is apparently fuel being delivered to the system if the pump noises are to be relied on, so the last item is the bang bit, not lighting off the fuel? however there may also be non activated injectors, so no bang.

The inspector assures me the car had been starting fine prior to the Christmas break, 2 weeks laid up in his workshop, and now it doesn't, start and between the two of them they had managed to flatten the battery, "A" grade motor mechanics? 

Any pointers gratefully received.

Regards.

Nigel.

Wrightpayne
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Is the car new to you or known?

Is there a hidden switch thats a theft deterrent thats been knocked? Some Emeralds had a switch in the cockpit to set different Maps (3) - has it got one? Has it been knocked?

Start with basics - check for spark & fuel.

Ian

Jonathan Kay
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Private Message sent.

Jonathan

SM25T
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If the battery voltage falls below something like 9 volts during cranking, the ECU won't function. Charge the battery and try again. Have you checked the inertia switch ... press down on the top of it to reset if it has been tripped by an impact. Is the immobiliser deactivated before cranking ?
Molecular--Bob
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When I had a zetec I found that it was really hard to start if the plugs got wet with fuel, and once fouled they rarely recovered, so might be worth looking at your plugs before spending a lot on other fixes. 

Golf Juliet Tango
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I agree with Molecular Bob.

My procedure would be:

  • charge the battery
  • take out the plugs
  • isolate the fuel pump
  • turn the engine over briefly
  • take a blow torch and get the plugs really hot
  • put them back, reconnect everything, including the fuel pump
  • start the car.

Last time I had a really recalcitrant engine, it took me about 3 iterations but that was a learning process and I think that each time I made the tips of the plugs glow more brightly.

Stephen Hubbard

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

Nigel Riches
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Thanks for the info people.

I will be back to the inspectors shed tomorrow afternoon.

I have the 650cca battery from my Landcruiser in the car and some heavy duty jump leads, I feel the battery, which is not anywhere near new, has packed a sad, so possibly time for a new one,

If I can get the engine to run with this set up, I'll put the battery on charge at the workshop, and leave it for him to complete his checks, if not then it's a case of winch it on to the trailer and return to the garage at home for some other investigations.

Happy daze.

Nigel.  

Golf Juliet Tango
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I hope it goes well Nigel.

Stephen Hubbard

Democratic dissent is not disloyalty, it is a positive civic duty

paulalexander1963
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Hi Nigel,I have zetec with omex ECU and I have to leave with a trickle charger because any drop in battery life and it won't start, good luck, regards Paul
Aeroscreens
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My Zetec has an Emerald K6 and and a Sterling Toad immobiliser, and they are both wired via the battery master switch, thus there is no parasitic drain on my 'golf buggy' battery. My battery therefore holds 13+ volts for a very long time and it very rarely drops below 12.5 even in this cold weather.

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Member since March 1998

Nigel Riches
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So the continuing story, I got a message from Mr. Inspector saying he had turned the key and the motor fired up as it should, so he conducted the noise and emission checks and I presume did the brake check also, the car was then parked outside, and of course when I turn up it failed to start, good strong cranking, pumps running etc.

However whilst he and I were messing about trying to understand whats happening he again turned the key but kind of wiggled the key in the ignition lock, and that seems to be the problem, the 37 year old ignition switch is intermittent at the ignition power position, even though any higher current circuits are connected via relays, so when I get it back tomorrow afternoon I'll have an upside down session under the dash, possibly place a toggle switch for the ignition circuit, see if that gets this problem sorted.

Then of course need to find a replacement barrel for the lock, not interested in big red buttons, probably try some of the kit car supply places mentioned on the pages.

Thank you all for your assistance, and hopefully this is soon to be resolved.

Nigel.