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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 03-22-2007, 05:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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'94 pickup hard to start and missing on wet days

Hello YotaTech! Long time reader, first time poster. I have done searching, but haven't found an answer.

It is raining its ass off this morning, and usually on days like this, my 94 pickup 22RE 140K turns over, but does not start. I have replaced the DC and rotor 3 months ago, and now it starts on wet days, but on the way to work today. doing 55 on the highway, raining its ass off, my truck starts missing real bad. I am able to get it to the side of the road where the engine dies. I wait a few minutes and start it. It starts, but sputters and dies agian. I wait a few minutes more and start it agian. It starts up and misses a few times, but keeps running this time for a few seconds. I put her into gear and take off.

Since I replaced the DC and cap 3 months ago, I am thinking someting else is going on.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance! Jeff.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Someone asked if the rubber gasket is ok on the DC?

When I put the new DC and rotor on 3 months ago, I don't remember a rubber gasket being on the new one. Is there supposed to be one?

Jeff.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had the exact same symptoms.. I changed the O2 sensor and the problems got MUCH better. Try unplugging the O2 sensor and see what happens, after changing the sensor I was still having some missing and hessitation, I recently did a timing belt water pump etc and come to find out the bearing was so bad on the waterpump that it was creating slack in the timing belt and throwing off the timing!!! now she's running Great with no more hessitation or missing. Check that stuff out and let us know what you find. Oh and mine is a 3.0 94 5 speed FYI
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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when i first got my truck i was having issues just like these, but as my motor warmed up it went away. on really wet days it missed pretty bad. in the process of doing my tune up i did one thing at a time to address the problem...after replacing the distro cap and rotor, and the spark plug wires, the missing went away and it runs great all the time...im contributing it no gasket being on the distro cap, so i put a small bead of black rtv on it so no water or moisture would get in...worked great for me...also my plug wires were arching...
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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2nd the plug wires. Go over to the local dealer and pick up a set. They're 65-70 bucks, but they fit perfectly, have all the right clips, and you wont have to replace them again for another 16 years (that's how long my original set lasted).
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice all!

The plug wires were replaced when I did the tune-up 30K ago.

I will look at the o2 sensor as well as try the DC gasket trick.

Jeff.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:49 AM   #7 (permalink)
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my runner would sputter and just about stall every time I hit a decent puddle and I never did get it figured out before I sold it. I changed every single ignition part, the o2 sensor and wiring, the starter and I even had a rubber distributor cap boot on it. pretty frustrating problem but my truck was rusty so it was probably an exposed wire somewhere that I couldn't find. check to make sure your distributor shaft isn't worn out - if it is it'll miss when it's cold then as it heats up and the metal expands a bit it'll smooth out and run fine.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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distributor shaft isn't worn out?

How would I go about testing that to see if it is worn out?

Your story makes sense. I did have some wiring work done in the past on the harness. I had the Brake/Batt light on and after a new alternator, turns out that I had some exposed wires in the harness that were shorting out.

Jeff.
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Old 03-22-2007, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Not rain related...But have you checked the fuel filter?
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No I have not replaced the fuel filter ever. I am the original owner, and she runs fine on dry days, but when it is wet, I have starting issues, and sometimes she misses while driving, like today. I put on a tune-up kit 2 years ago, and this solved my "missing while driving" till today.

The drive home from work was fine, cause it wasn't raining.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I was having problems like these, my windshield was leaking and the water rusted out the floor by the computer and by the fuse panel. Water would come in from the floor and drip down from the windshield pillars. I welded up the floor and replaced the windshield to fix the wet day starting/running problems. I used to have a jumper direct to the fuel pump to start it. I could usually remove the jumper once it was running. If I did a lot of driving in the rain, it would spit and sputter like it was running on 1 or 2 cyl.
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Old 03-22-2007, 06:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Funny... mine runs so smooth when it's raining.... except when cold (engine cold, that is).... it stutters and craps around. I attribute it to spark plugs...
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What brand plug wires? If they're aftermarket, they may well be worn out already. OEM really is among the best.

The next time it's hesitating and stumbling, especially at night, go to a dark area and open the hood. You may be able to see the coil and plug wires arcing because they've decayed too far to work properly. They may be to just the point where the added moisture forms a path of less resistance than to the plug.
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Old 03-22-2007, 08:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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the distributor shaft in an old chev i had wore out at ~400,000km - the shaft had play in it when it was cold so the rotor button would move away from the contacts on the cap and cause it to miss really badly. when the truck would warm up the miss would go away completely and it would run perfect.

if you want to check it, let the truck sit over night, take off the distributor cap and try and move the shaft to see if there is any play in it. that's probably not the problem but this took 2 shops plus the dealer mechanics at least a week to figure out - they replaced every sensor in the truck along the way before finding it
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well, had a chance to work on it this weekend. It wouldn't start at all Friday or yesterday. Just a loud click when you turn the key. I checked connections on the starter, cleaned the positive side of the battery. Still getting a click. So today, I spliced into the control wire on the starter so i can measure the voltage. Getting 9.6 volts, so looks like the remote starter is what I need to get her going. Just for ☺☺☺☺s and giggles, I cleaned the negative battery side(looked a little rusted) and checked and re-seated all the connectors on the ECM, since I have a cracked windshield and read about the ECM shorting out.

My brother-in-law coimes over and we start talking about the truck, and He tried to start it, and she turned over and started right up!

It wouldn't turn over for 3 days, and now she wants to behave?!?!

Ever hear about re-seating the ECM connectors to solve you starting issues?

Jeff.
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Old 03-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You could have had a bit of corrosion on the connector pins and by unplugging it and reconnecting it you cleaned the dirty pins....It is possible, though I would think you would see some evidence of corrosion in the form of discoloration ( green or whitish coloring on the pins)...
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1994 4X4 5 speed SR5 pickup with lots of goodies
2000 Audi S4 6 speed with too many mods to list :)
2006 Ducati Monster S2R1000
1989 Pathfinder with full skids and sliders for wheeling (bought brand new)

Gone but not forgotten:
2007 Speedway Blue 4x4 Tacoma Doublecab longbed auto (junk)
2008 Speedway Blue 4x4 Tacoma access cab 6 speed supercharged ( also junk)
1997 Eclipse GSX
2000 Honda CBR 600 F4

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Old 03-25-2007, 06:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Yah, I didn't see anything that looked obvious. I know I have corrosion issues, as my positive battery post gets caked with the stuff. All during the troubleshooting, every wire that I checked from the battery has a vien of corrosion in it. Even the negative terminal that I cleaned, the ground wire that connects to it from the chassis had a vien of it.

It started flawlessly 5 times since then, and I drove it for about 20 minutes. No missing(it didn't rain today) All is fine.

I did put a gasket on the DC and I have new plugs and an o2 sensor coming from sparkplugs.com to see if I can solve the issue with wet weather.

Jeff.

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Old 03-25-2007, 06:18 PM
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