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Thread: Won't start after ten months in storage, MAJOR troubleshooting ineffective.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Seattle, WA

    Default Won't start after ten months in storage, MAJOR troubleshooting ineffective.

    Need some hardcore technical assistance and advice. Hoping Danny is still around! Datalog Plots included below.

    Parked for ten months with battery disconnected in climate-controlled garage. Now it simply won’t run. Ran for 13,000 miles when parked. Though did have minor issues starting the last three drives (odd sputter before starting, though then ran perfectly normally). Avenger 550-200 EFI.
    Now, it does not even briefly pre-squirt fuel from injectors when key turned to ignition (it always used to, and yes, I checked that setting and even fiddled with it slightly to try other durations and percentages of priming).

    Fuel pump primes fine when key turned to ignition-on position. That relay works great. Fuel pressure builds quickly to 22 psig. Red wire feeding injectors is also powered (as it feeds from the same relay). Removing connectors from injectors and manually feeding a brief 9V signal results in nice cone of fuel spray from both injectors.

    Wiring harness all perfect, no chafing, etc. No fuses blown. Red/white wire has power during ignition-on AND while cranking. Connecting to laptop with Holley EFI software syncs fine, all sensors show nominal values (MAP, IAT, TPS, ECT, IAC Position % open). Fuel pressure remains 22 psig during engine starter cranking.

    Timing light confirms no spark whatsoever during cranking.

    Setup uses an MSD6A ignition box and Holley Dual Sync Distributor (Hall-Effect) plug & play setup. Distributor has only ~500 miles on it, as the first Dual Sync distributor rusted from the inside-out in less than two years.

    With ignition keyed on, the MSD6A box shows red LED power, but does not flash the LED during engine cranking. The MSD6A wiring harness is intact and all connections (power, ground, white wire from EFI harness) nominal. (No critters chewed on any wiring during the winter.)

    Loaded previously known good Global files to ensure that the ECU contained a good tune. Confirmed all ignition parameters were set correctly for this ignition configuration. Performed TPS resets, etc, all checklist items that Danny Cabral evangelizes thoroughly checked out. Even started a brand new tune to see if it would help overwrite any corrupted issues. Reverted back to a known-good Global tune after that did nothing, including leaving the battery disconnected for half an hour a couple of times and re-trying.

    Even painstakingly re-did the Dual Sync Distributor procedure for setting baseline timing at 50° BTDC, paying close attention to the internal LED lights, ensuring the #1 cylinder was at the proper spot. That procedure went nominal, and the distributor behaved nominal (its internal circuit board LEDs reacted properly during the procedure.) Confirmed proper spark plug routing after reinstalling distributor cap.
    Went back into the EFI software to triple-check the ignition parameters were set correctly.
    Ignition Type ............. ― "Custom"
    Crank Sensor Type ..... ― "1 Pulse/Fire"
    Sensor Type .............. ― "Digital Falling"
    Inductive Delay .......... ― "100.0 usec" (Also tried “44.0 usec” while troubleshooting.)
    Ignition Reference Angle ― "50°"
    Cam Sensor Type ........ ― "Single Pulse"
    Sensor Type .............. ― "Digital Falling"
    Output Setup Type ..... ― "Points Output" (CDI box ground trigger for my MSD6A.)
    Dwell Time ................. ― "2.0 msec"

    No dice. Won’t start. I have spent a good six hours troubleshooting at this point.

    Next: I recorded a “Type 1” System Log datalog during 8 seconds of attempting starting (i.e. the key was in the start position beginning at t=2 sec).

    1- RPM signal reads lower than actual and has regular dropouts. The engine “sounds” like it is cranking at its usual pace (not bogged down at all, and I have a fully charged battery), which is at least a couple hundred RPM. Right? The System Log however only shows 120-160 RPM during starter cranking, with the RPM signal dropping briefly to zero every 0.75 seconds. Battery voltage (fully charged to no-load voltage of 12.6V) remains above 10.8 Volt during starter cranking.

    I even reset my “Crank To Run RPM ” under ‘Ignition Parameters/Cranking Parameters’ down to a value of 100 RPM as part of my troubleshooting steps. No effect.
    (Danny, I did read your Forum sticky on “Avenger Potential RPM Input Problem” but I'm not using the “CDI Box Tach Out” setting so that's N/A for my situation)

    CHART from .SL file (exported as .CSV file and plotted in Excel):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2- CamBit signal is ZERO. The Crankbit has a square wave zero-to-one value, but CamBit stays zero the whole time.

    CHART from .SL file (exported as .CSV file and plotted in Excel):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    3- The crank sensor A-to-D signal is a normal regular square wave going from about 1.0 to 3.0 at a frequency of about 11Hz. (or ~660 cycles per minute).

    4- However, the camshaft position sensor A-to-D signal is erratic. It's a square wave with a VERY small amplitude, bouncing from 2.98 to 3.00. Sometimes it is regular and overlays the crankshaft signal timing.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In summary, I’m worried that

    1-My ECU is somehow bad. The fact it won’t briefly prime-squirt fuel upon turning the key to the ignition position is a BAD SIGN. This doesn’t rely on the cam or crank sensor integrity, right? The engine isn’t even cranking at this point. It ALWAYS used to prime-squirt a bit of fuel from the injectors. Yes, my ‘Startup Settings’ has the box checked for “Enable Fuel Prime”.

    2-My practically NEW Dual Sync distributor is ALSO somehow bad. Its cam position sensor seems to be acting wrong, based on the datalog results. I REFUSE to buy a THIRD distributor if they are really this crappy. I will elevate this to the high echelons at Holley if I’m advised to drop another $400 on a 3rd distributor that only lasts a few months. Note that this 2nd one shows no internal corrosion signs. Please help!

    Can I mail my ECU and Distributor to Holley for inspection and testing?

    Reminder: This car ran when parked, and is now dead in the water after sitting in a heated garage for almost a year with the battery disconnected. The most benign environment of all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Seattle, WA


    Dear Holley, Please reply to my questions from 13 days ago. I hope you still read your own forums. I even sent an online request to your Tech Hotline, and have still heard nothing. Unhappy with the lack of response. Dave.

  3. #3


    Put another distributor in it, like an HEI as a test, not that I know what engine or car you have?

    My Dual Sync distributor Series 2 died, well had issues of just cutting out after a 20 minute drive and sometimes wouldn't start. I ditched that, so try another cheap distributor as test, not hard. Cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by DartDave1969 View Post
    Can I mail my ECU and Distributor to Holley for inspection and testing?
    Yes, contact Holley Tech Service (LINK).
    May God's grace bless you in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    '92 Ford Mustang GT: 385" SBF, Dart SHP 8.2 block, TFS T/W 11R 205 heads, 232°-244° duration/.623" lift/114° LSA camshaft, 12:1 C/R, TFS R-Series FTI ported intake, BBK 80mm T/B, Holley Dominator MPFI & DIS, 36-1 crank trigger, 1x cam sync, 200A 3G alternator, Optima Red battery, R134a A/C, 100HP progressive dry direct-port NOS, Spal dual 12" fans, Frostbite 3-core aluminum radiator, Pypes dual 2.5" exhaust, off-road X-pipe, shorty headers, -6AN fuel system plumbing, Walbro 255 LPH pump, S&W subframe connectors, BMR upper & lower torque box reinforcements, LenTech Strip Terminator wide-ratio AOD, 3000 RPM converter, B&M Hammer shifter, Stifflers trans crossmember & driveshaft safety loop, FPP aluminum driveshaft, FPP 3.31 gears, Cobra Trac-Lok differential, Moser 31 spline axles, '04 Cobra 4-disc brakes, '93 Cobra booster & M/C, 5-lug Bullitt wheels & 245/45R17 M/T Street Comp tires.

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