Car won't start? Cam sensor adjust?


Welcome to the DarkSide
Mar 5, 2002
I replace my timing chain and rebuilt the oil pump resently. I couldn't get the car to start last night. I primed the oil pump with a drill and then re-installed the cam sensor. (I guess I got it right) I followed the instructions - perhaps I made a mistake.

The car cranks strong for about 1-2 seconds and then stubbles and slows. I never get any backfire at all. I pulled all plugs and the only had a slight amount of fuel on them. FP is about 35 PSI. I connected all 6 plugs to the boots and watched them thru the windshield as I cranked the motor. They all seem to fire pretty good.

1) Does this mean the Crank Sensor is working and adjusted properly? If I see spark - then the Cranks Senor is not the problem (correct)?

2) Could an out of adjustment Cam Sensor be the problem?

3) I am 99.9% sure that the timing chain is correct. How can I check?

Any Cam Sensor adjustment info would help me tonight.

OUt of adjustment cam sensor will generally let the car start.
A crank sensor that forgot to get plugged in wont allow it to start ;)

Nor will a cam sensor that forgot to get plugged in. ;)
What slot on the crank sensor are the rings passing through?

Should be the farthest from the connector end. Ask me how i know. :rolleyes:

The rings are passing thru the 1st slot (the on farthest from the connector).

I check this on my GN and it is the same way.

Any more ideas???

If I get spark does that mean my crank sensor is OK???

Just trying to eliminate that part,
Cam sensor is correct then. You already verified spark at the plugs.

Double check all connections one more time!

Bring the engine to TDC on the compression stroke.. BOTH valves on #1 closed. Continue to rotate to 25* ATDC.
Look at the cam sensor gear. there's a dot on it near the bottom. Install the sensor w/ the dot facing the pass. fender and the wires in the cap are pointing towards the dr headlite. Once the gear meshes w/ the cam gear, you should be close to the sensor bottoming in the cover.[ A little "sneaky cream on the o'ring helps!!] If it's still up a bit and the gears are meshed,[you can't turn the sensor shaft], it's OK to bump the engine a bit to get the oil pump shaft to mesh into the bottom of the sensor gear.Once this is done, put the cap on, and hook up the indicator lite. Turn the sensor CLOCKWISE until the lite goes out, turn it COUNTER CLOCK until it just lites. I then continue CCW about 1/8 to 1/4" and lock it down. [Lite should still be on]

Originally posted by TurboDave
OUt of adjustment cam sensor will generally let the car start.

True, IF it's close! I've had this particular problem before. If the cam sensor is just outside the proper range of adjustment, you'll see fuel and spark (on the wrong cylinder), but no start. The engine spins normally for one or two revolutions, then it sounds like you've suddenly developed a 14:1 compression ratio! Mine also backfired occasionally.
Where I'd look:
1/ Orange ECM wire plugged in?
2/ Cam sensor set correct and plugged in?
3/ Crank sensor at .025", right slot and plugged in?
4/ Coil-pak cyl order 1-5-3 across the top and 4-2-6 on the lower?
5/ Fuses OK, yes even the AC and CCCI one?
You need fuel and spark to light, got both...
6/Sh!t, time to have a look at the timing gear alignment.
One More Try

Thanks to everyone that has posted.

I believe that I may be getting closer to my solution. Last night I readjusted the cam sensor and verified the crank sensor location.

S10xGN, my car is doing exactly what you have described:
The engine spins normally for one or two revolutions, then it sounds like you've suddenly developed a 14:1 compression ratio!

Cam Sensor:

Danster, I tried your method and I believe it may be incorrect. Most of the posts and other sources tell me to adjust CW until I get 7V - then got CCW and stop at 0V. (I will try this tonight)
Check that if U have time.

I also noticed that it (Cam Sensor) wasn't completely seated all the way down on the Front cover. But I remember getting oil pressure?? All is better now. But I have it set to turn CCW - stop when at 7.5V. (I believe this is my trouble - I think it should be stopped when turning CCW at 0V.)

Cranks Sensor:

I verified both side gaps between the interrupter ring and sensor using a piece of thin plastic. They are both equally spaced now.

I am using the outer channel in the crank sensor (the one furthest away from the sensor's connector - It would be the one on the left if look at the engine from the front of the car. The connector side would be on the right.) Is this correct? Seems ok to me because I am getting a good spark.

Got it Running !!

After readjusting the cam sensor, the car finally started.

Thanks for all the help :)

The explanation I listed was using the casper tool for setting the cam sensor. The method you used was with a meter which I also used when I set mine.

The main thing was for you to follow the procedures up to the last few sentences. I know how frustrating it can be. Been there done that. :rolleyes:

Glad it worked out for you!

Thanks for the help Dannyo. Feels good to know that I wasn't alone out there. It seems several of you have been in my shoe before me and at least you guys are willing to help with a little insight. And sometimes, that is all it takes.

Thanks for making my hopeless situation bright again,