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1998 2.5L Turbo sand car
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
PXL_20210502_164632757.jpg Igniter wiring.jpg ECU.jpg Hello all, this is my first post on this forum and I turned to posting because I have exhausted all resources and google searches and still cannot fins the info iI'm looking for. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated but I understand troubleshooting over the interwebs is really not ideal.
To start I have a 1998 EJ25 2.5l SOHC waste spark engine that currently has a microsquirt ECU powering it. The motor has not ran on this ECU before but due to issues with the previous ECU (EMS Stinger 4424) I made the switch to microsquirt as it is a product that has more information available for the garage mechanic (me).
I have rebuilt all engine harnesses with fresh wire and shielding off of CAM and Crank sesnors where required (Cam and Crank are seperate from eachother and shielding is grounded to ECU sensor ground and to the block)
currently running an aftermarket Outfront motorsports old school green style igniter. All wiring I have redone has been to schematics provided by Microsquirt and information I can find on how the ignition system works with the waste spark system. I'm sure there is some important information I have missed but just ask and I will be happy to provide anything I have mistakenly missed.
So diggin' into the details I cannot find information on the 3-wire ignition coil and when I freshened up the wires on it I copied what was done when the motor was running.
Pin 1 - Ignition output 1;
Pin 2 - 12V power in;
Pin 3 - Ignition output 2
That is what i believe it to be as the motor has ran off of that before, but when I do voltage testing I am getting 12V out of the ignition coil feeding back to the igniter coil and I was wanting to know if this is correct or if it is a problem with the coil itself. I have tried two different coils with the same result. I continuity tested all three wires and they do not touch or connect through a break anywhere in the harness.
On the igniter itself there are 7 pins and they are as follows;
1 - OUTPUT TO IGNITION COIL PIN 2 (IGN OUT 2)
2 - INPUT SIGNAL FROM ECU
3- EMPTY
4 - GROUND TO ENGINE BLOCK WITH BATTERY GROUNDED IN THE SAME SPOT
5 - EMPTY
6 - OUTPUT TO IGNITION COIL PIN 1
7 - INPUT SIGNAL FROM ECU (IGN OUT 1)

I am showing RPM's in the microsquirt software at crank and they are averaging around 250rpm
I have tried both the 6/7 trigger and the 36-2-2-2 trigger both with and without cam signal. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, sorry for the wordy post I just want to try and cover all ignition bases in one shot.
Thank you!
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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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A few questions if I may,

1. What do you think is the actual problem you are having besides “car won’t start” (it is implied that you have a “crank but no start” problem BUT you have not actually said this.
2. Have you checked that you have fuel and compression?
3. Has there been other work done to this engine (timing belt replaced, heads replaced, head gaskets replaced etc)

Anything else you can tell us that may help us to troubleshoot what is happening and why it is happening?

There have been many reports of members replacing an engine in their vehicle with a newer or older model engine and the ECU is then not seeing the required signals to fire the spark OR to be able to confirm the engine is cranking. Both of these situations result in a “crank but no start” condition which I believe is your problem (again you have not advised what your problem is). If this is also your situation you may need to replace the crankshaft and camshaft pulleys/sprockets with the ones that suit your vehicles original engine type.

Hope this helps,

Seagrass
 
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1998 2.5L Turbo sand car
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for the response.
To address the questions yes crank but no start is the main issue but I am receiving signal from the crank sensor since the car showing RPM's as I understand. (I could be incorrect about this but everything I have read and watched suggests that if the ECU shows RPM during cranking the input signal is good to go) I have tested compression and it is evenn across all cylinders, 160lbs last i checked. Fuel is present during cranking, spark plugs come out covered in gas and I have plenty of constant fuel pressure. I had the motor sputter a couple times with the 36-2-2-2 crank gear but would only get some fire every blue moon. I recently changed between the 6/7 and the 36-2-2-2 and was very careful with resetting the timing each time.
As far as motor work goes, it was rebuilt by a reputable shop in CA that in turn replaced a head damaged from the previous owner, had the crankshaft, valves and springs, pistons and rods and all associated gaskets replaced.
Forged pistons and engine bored to target 8.3:1 compression for 91 pump with 8lbs of boost
ARP head studs
Gasket set
Valve Job
Main and Rod bearings replaced and a new crankshaft put in
New water pump
New oil pump
New timing belt kit

I was told by the shop they have better luck with aftermarket ECU's such as the EMS Stinger and the Microsquirt with the 36-2-2-2 timing gear but I have yet to see such results unless there's something I'm missing in wiring diagrams I can't find.
My main thing I feel like the issue is, is in the ignition system. Even when playing with the throttle and startup timing I get zero spark, I've tried different latency settings and still can't notice a difference in spark.

To start with the fueling
The injectors have a 12V hot on a 5amp fuse and the signal wires are paired up on driver and passenger side. The microsquirt requires 2 injector banks and they both fire at the same time everytime. I know it's not very efficent but i'm not after mpg's or record lap times ya know

The ignition has a 12V hot to the center wire on the ignition coil
the two Spark logic wires off the ECU are running to the external ignitor and from there they run to the ignition coil.

Is it normal on a wastespark system to get 12V backfeeding through the control wires?

Edit: I also feel it's important the injectors are also brand new High-Ohm injectors that the ECU specified it will work with. Just got done with some testing on them and I am getting fuel out of them. So the injectors work which makes me lean to Spark or its not getting enough fuel to ignite? I haven't found any answers on that online yet.

I hope I answered all the questions,
I appreciate it

Brandon
 

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Not sure I can be of any more help but maybe @plain OM or @cardoc might be able to offer some advice.

Seagrass
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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What year is the SOHC engine? Is it a SOHC like you posted? Or is it a DOHC from a 98 car? I'm thinking the latter.

Igniting two opposing injectors at the same time will flood the engine. The waste spark is to reburn leftover fuel, not create combustion. Thus it's name, "waste" is what it is burning. All for emissions. The waste spark is on the exhaust stroke after combustion. You can keep the waste spark or ignore it. Built engines don't get any power added with a waste spark.

Do you have a spark tester to see if you are getting spark through the ignition cables? I think you need to see if you have spark before moving forward. The ECU may be firing the coils and your problem is elsewhere. Once you verify spark you can gauge timing while cranking with a timing light just like on old school cars. The crank pulley has a mark on it on the back edge and the timing cover has a measuring arch for timing angle.

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I'm not going to start reading on the ECU system you have. I don't have the time to learn how the system operates, or is wired at the moment.

The ignition system on your generation, 1998, uses an ignitor, the box with the 7 pin connector, a combination coil that is actually 2 coils in one, the spark plugs and wires, the crank signal and the cam signal to fuel and fire the engine. The computer has to know TDC and the cam position. Timing on these engines at start up can be up to 15° BTDC. At idle, warmed up, it's supposed to be around 15° at 700 rpm. If start up timing is 12, that should get it running. As long as everything is in sinc.

The fuel system relies on the correct cam sensor feedback to run the injector timing. If like @seagrass posted you have a cam gear that is not coinciding with the cam, and the ECM programming, then the fuel is being fired at the wrong time; either too early or too late. The cam signal needs to match the crank signal for where #1 is TDC. This will require some investigation on your end. Do you have the right cam gear? The reluctor spacing on the back side of the cam gear determines how the ECM sees number 1 cylinder. The cam sensor is on BANK 2 of the engine. And this can be your issue; the ECU is seeing number 1 cylinder at the wrong time for fueling and is firing the injectors wrong based on the cam sensor feedback which floods the engine and does not put the fuel in the chamber for compression and combustion, rather it's shot in willy nilly based on how that ECU is programmed to read the cam sensor waveform in conjunction with the proper reluctor spacing on the gear. You can't put a cam sensor on bank 1 since that gear doesn't have reluctor spacing to activate the cam sensor for the proper waveform, and either way you would still need to make the ring and space the reluctors for the proper waveform that the ECU can translate and apply it to a plastic gear or make a metal one. (this is why the bank 1 cam is plastic and the bank 2 cam is metal, metal is magnetic) Firing order is 1-3-2-4. So if your ECU is seeing #2 as #1, then it's fueling 180° off. It could be any cylinder on compression other than 1 when the ECU sees it as #1 and it won't start because the fuel is wrong. IOW, it may be seeing 1 on any of the other 3 cylinders' compression stroke.

Verify spark, then timing if you have spark, then the cam sensor to ECU RAM correlation for fueling. It has to know where #1 TDC is and it has to know when the valves are on compression timing for both fuel and fire. I will assume you have good air metering.
 

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1998 2.5L Turbo sand car
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After looking a little more it is a 99' or newer SOHC, the company that originally set it up had the three plug wire coil pack on the engine along with their brand aftermarket ignitor. I looked it up by serial number and had no luck matching it to give me verification.
I do not have an actual spark tester, the most I've done is the old hold the plug to the block while cranking and looking for spark. I will confirm that tonight and pick up a timing light to test timing while cranking.
As I understood (doesn't mean i'm correct) microsquirt claims with the 36-2-2-2 crank setup it does not require cam input, I tried cranking with the cam sensor connected and disconnected with no difference. I pulled the Bank B(?) cyl 2&4 injectors to confirm fuel on cranking and the injectors do fire, the way this ECU (it's cheap and i'm learning the hard way cheaper isn't better) fires injectors is 1&3 at the same time and 2&4 at the same time. Not sure what you mean by air metering but if you mean AFR's I installed a new innovate wideband controller with the bosch 4.9 pickup and have calibrated it to the ECU. I know it doesn't mean much but cranking afr's are super lean around 17.
I've attached a few pictures of the timing and cam gears on the motor just to make sure I'm not misunderstanding a crucial detail. Thank you for your help!
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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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Cylinders 1 and 3 is your driver side of the buggy. Facing the engine timing cover it's the left. 2 and 4 are on the other side.

You should get the ECU to not fire same side injectors together. The injectors need to only fire on the compression intake stroke until you have it running, then you can tweak the fuel and timing. You'll keep the cylinders walls washed with all that fuel that's not getting burned and it's gotta be rich as **** with all that fuel that's not burning. I can't see 17:1 with all that fuel. Something's off. Maybe the AF scaling or it's not working because it's not heating up. Maybe you're not getting much of a fuel shot.

Air metering as in MAF, or MAP and IAT (density tune). What is measuring the air intake mass and temp?

99 SOHC Ignition coil still used an ignition module. So a spark test is still the place to start. Have you considered a newer ignition coil setup? Part 22433AA57A is an integrated coil/module.
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On the integrated coil, pin 2 is fused battery, pin 3 is grounded to the engine block, pins 1 & 4 are spark control firing 1 & 2 simultaneously and 3 & 4 simultaneously based on signal from the ECU. And, the waste spark is for waste gases, not power. This goes back to the firing order and timing for fuel and spark and that double shot of fuel your feeding it. If you were feeding fuel in to the intake directly it's not going to pull fuel in to the cylinder that is not on the intake stroke, so why do it with the injector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay just wanted to make sure we're on the same page about which are which. I pulled the passenger injectors to test for fuel. Actually just picked up the coil with the internal ignitor to save some wiring and simplify connections with the ECU. The previous ECU (EMS Stinger 4424) threw ground signals to initiate the fire process where the new one throws 0-5V to trigger ignition fire and I was running into problems with that. 🥴
My plan for tonight is build a new ignition harness and see where the new coil/ignitor setup gets me
I would change the injector wiring for that style but am unable to due to ECU outputs, with only two outputs I am limited on fuel delivery by designating bank batch delivery instead of individual injector delivery. Do you think it would be better to have opposing cylinders firing? I understand neither are ideal
It is definitely rich, I think the high AFR is caused by the readings being taken well below operating temp but wanted an outside opinion.
Right now the car is getting its metering from MAP (3-BAR GM SENSOR) and IAT (GM 2-WIRE SENSOR), I am using GM sensors on both as they were affordable and communicate with the ECU well.
Thank you for the diagram and explanation, I have seen it before but wasn't sure how to read it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know you said you don't have time to learn the system and I totally don't expect you to seek out the info. But I wanted to provide the page that talks about injector wiring. They claim there is a way to wire four individual sparks for the COP setup but those outputs are being used for cooling fans right now.
On this ignition page I'm currently using the 36-2-2-2 crank gear
 

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When you say passenger side, you mean how it sits in the buggy backward? If yes, that would be bank 2, cylinders 2 & 4.

Firing injectors 1 & 2 simultaneously, and then 3 & 4, would be better than 1 & 3 and 2 & 4. At least the fuel left over would be burned. It would also cool the combustion chamber prior to ignition which would give it a bit of a punch.

Work on that after you have fire.

I'll see about perusing the attachments later this evening unless something comes up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes I was referring to the way it sits backwards, I guess in a car that would be drivers side but I will start using bank references to save that confusion hahaha

Awesome, I'll get those switched around after i get spark figured out. Luckily I quit buttoning everything up so I can still rewire that pretty quick.

I appreciate your help! 🍻
 
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