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A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine decided to be a mechanical weekend warrior and attempted to change out the head gasket in his sisters 89 trooper (4 cyl, 2.6, manual). He did really, really well tearing everything out and getting the mating walls cleaned and everything. But when it came time to put it back together, he was as lost as a little puppy in a wolf den. So, as any good friend would do, I came and got everything done for him. Got the cylinder head heat straightened and cleaned, adjusted the valves, got the vacuum hoses all back in, torqued everything down to spec, replaced the timing belt, got everything TDC and got all the wires back where they go. Or so I thought.

Something is missing. There are two plug-ins that have no mate and there are two wires that have no home currently. I know very well that they go somewhere, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out where. I've done a thorough search on this site and can't quite get the answers I'm looking for. The motor will turn, but will not catch, which tells me that the plugs are not getting fire. The plugs are brand new, the wires are brand new, the fuel pump works fine (don't ask me how I learned that) the ignitor is plugged in, the distributor is at the #1 position and the battery is brand-spankin-new. So, I took a butt load of pics in the hopes that someone on here can please answer my questions and guide me in the right direction as to where these wires go. Please have a look at the following pics and tell me:

1) Where does the black grounding wire underneath the wiper motor connect to?
2) where in the world does the bluish-green wire (about 5-6" long) go?
3) There's a female plug by the fuel rail that has no mate that I can tell. Ideas?
4) Theres a female plug on the passengers side by the firewall that has no mate. Ideas?
5) I'm 99% sure I got all the vacuum hoses where they're supposed to be, but if anything is out of line, please let me know?

The pics I took are as follows:
 

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The ground wire from near the wiper motor attaches between the threaded hole and the bolt attaching either the coil or the nearby transducer located between firewall and coil atop the valve cover. The transducer is the round object in your last pic. In your last pic showing the ground wire ring terminal, note the narrow vacuum fitting. That should have a small vacuum line running from it to a tiny, white plastic fitting in the passenger side firewall near where the a/c lines entering the cabin. Or, put a cap on it. The gray plug appears to be the one for california only models and remains disconnected in other states. That single ground wire appears like the one in this pic (white arrow).
Where's the pic of the bluegreen wire?
 

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Not sure if your hoses are connected properly...

Trace this #1 hose and make sure it is going to the lower of the two vacuum switching valves on the pass side fender well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Shooter,

Thank you so much. In answer to your question about the bluish-green wire, the wire on the hood by otself is the one in question. I felt down the side and that ground is where it should be, so it doesn't go there. My friend said that it came off of the cylinder cover somewhere and he cannot remember from whence it came. In regards to the ground under the wiper motor, you said to place it with the transducer or the dampener. I am including another couple of pics from different angles of the dampener in hopes that you will allow me a specific unless it doesn't matter. I am not daft by any measure, but I've never had a motor be so finicky. (Except for a Jag. God what a living nightmare those things are) I just want to make sure that I get this right cause I'm tired of looking at this engine and want to get it out of my hair and not burn anything up in the process. LOL

Mark,

The number 1 hose is indeed going to the lower of the two vacuum switching valves. Also, he said that the hose bibs (marked 2 & 3) didn't have anything on them at all, so I will make sure to put plugs on them. Hopefully I can get this thing fired up and out of the garage in the next day or two. Its currently freezing balls here right now (23 degree high today) so trying to work on this thing and keep my fingers from falling off seems a bit of a challenge. (You'd think I'd get a space heater, right? :oops: )

Thanks again so much. Knowledge is invaluable and the help you guys are giving me is greatly appreciated. Hell, if you were here, I'd buy you guys a six pack in a heartbeat :)
 

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trooperpooper said:
Shooter,

Thank you so much. In answer to your question about the bluish-green wire, the wire on the hood by otself is the one in question. I felt down the side and that ground is where it should be, so it doesn't go there. My friend said that it came off of the cylinder cover somewhere and he cannot remember from whence it came. In regards to the ground under the wiper motor, you said to place it with the transducer or the dampener. I am including another couple of pics from different angles of the dampener in hopes that you will allow me a specific unless it doesn't matter. I am not daft by any measure, but I've never had a motor be so finicky. (Except for a Jag. God what a living nightmare those things are) I just want to make sure that I get this right cause I'm tired of looking at this engine and want to get it out of my hair and not burn anything up in the process. LOL
It attaches to a bolt at the transducer or coil. Which ever one it'll reach. I converted mine to carb a while back therefore when I went out a moment a go to take a look, my set up is different due to having no transducer and the coil being located in another area. I just looked at one of Mark's pices and that wire is attached to the transducer bracket bolt. The wire on the hood goes to a small bolt on the passenger side intake, rearward of the temp gauge sending unit. that bolt should have either a total of 2-3 small ground wires. 99.9% of the time, a factory wire with a ring terminal is a ground wire. I believe the other end attaches to a "ground" bolt located beneath the NEG post end of the battery tray. Another ground wire runs from the NEG post to that location beneath the battery. If push ever comes to shove, you can always play it safe and run an extra ground wire (10 gauge would be good) from the NEG post to the valve cover and one to the intake. Also, that olive drab (green) bracket on the passenger side fender well which has attached to it the fast idle solenoid and other contraptions also has located between it and the fender the relays for high beam / low beam and the starter relay. Also hidden by that mess is a bolt threaded into the fender itself. That bolt holds 2-3 other ground wires.
 

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In your first post you said you had it timed to #1! If every thing was put back together right with the cam and crank marks aligned right you need to install the distributor to the #4 position (about 10-Oclock) Every thing is set from #4 at TDC on this engine. Good luck DAVE
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Outofrshell,

I figured that may be the case because its still not wanting to turn over for me. All its giving me is a little "puh" out the back end. But she'll rotate all day as long as I keep giving it juice. Don't want to burn the starter out though, so I'm trying to be careful. Bolted the ground on top of the dampener (coil) and the arcing has mercifully ceased, she's got fresh fuel after I learned that the fuel sitting in there previously had been there for over a year; so I drained the tank and put fresh. I'll try re-positioning the distributor to the number 4 and see if she'll turn over. God this thing is giving me a headache. :( If she'll just turn over for me or at least act like she wants to, I can figure out the subtle nuances from there. Thanks again.
 

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trooperpooper said:
Outofrshell,

I figured that may be the case because its still not wanting to turn over for me. All its giving me is a little "puh" out the back end. But she'll rotate all day as long as I keep giving it juice. Don't want to burn the starter out though, so I'm trying to be careful. Bolted the ground on top of the dampener (coil) and the arcing has mercifully ceased, she's got fresh fuel after I learned that the fuel sitting in there previously had been there for over a year; so I drained the tank and put fresh. I'll try re-positioning the distributor to the number 4 and see if she'll turn over. God this thing is giving me a headache. :( If she'll just turn over for me or at least act like she wants to, I can figure out the subtle nuances from there. Thanks again.
What method will you use to determine the engine is at TDC on the #4 compression stroke before you orient the rotor to #4?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Shooter,

With the cam and crank marks aligned (which they are) 1 and 4 share the same stroke, meaning that they both come up and down at the same time. Would only stand to reason for me to remove the valve cover and watch them dance until the number four set of valves are closed, then I'll know that they are on the number 4 compression stroke. If I am wrong on this, or if you have any other ideas, I would absolutely be open to hearing them.
 

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Sounds like you got it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Shooter, Mark, Dave,

You guys rock. I removed the valve cover, danced the valves until they were closed at the #4, removed the distributor cap and spun the spindle 180 degrees until it was at the #4 position, replaced all the hardware, cranked it over and she fired right up. That's a very strong engine for a 4 cylinder. I wasn't expecting the roar that I got when it cranked. I can see now why people love them so much. :) I gave it a little gas and watched it for a few minutes, which sparked a new question; when you give it gas, it'll roar like nobodies business, but the moment you let it idle, it wants to shudder and act like it wants to die. Granted its been sitting for over a year, but with everything that's been done to it, it should purr like a kitten. I already know that I will need to adjust and fine tune the distributor because I advanced it all the way over for the spindle to catch on the upswing. Question is, will that ease the shudder, or is there something else I should look for?

Mark, I'm going to take some more pics of the vacuum hoses just to make absolutely certain that everything is where it needs to be, if you would not mind giving them one last look for me please? I'll shoot and post them tomorrow. I am well aware that if the vacuum lines are not right, that it will contribute considerably to the engine not wanting to idle as it should and will reduce performance as well.

Shooter, I found out where that lone 5" bluish-green wire goes on the valve cover. While I was taking everything apart to take the valve cover off, I noticed some circular grooves in the spark plug wire guide (the one towards the exhaust manifold). I got curious, so I took the wire to see if it matched the grooves and sure enough, it fit like a glove. After that, it was only a matter of playing "where does this wire reach". Found out that the only plausible place it goes is to the transducer bolt, so that's where I put it. I didn't notice any funny business with it when I fired it up, so I'm hoping that everything will be alright where it's at, though why they would run it that way is a mystery to me. Everything else electrical seems sound.

Dave, I cannot thank you enough for the advice. Once I put it to #4, everything went like clockwork. It shook the dust off, turned over and is going to smoke like a broke stove for a couple of days of driving (thanks to all the old caked on grease that's been on the block since God knows when), but at least I know that engine-wise when I'm done with it, she'll be solid as a rock. I'll be sure to try to talk them into getting at least the bottom half steam cleaned to alleviate alot of that smoking that I know is going to come once that block heats up.

To all of you guys, I truly cannot say thank you enough. You have my gratitude. Now that its running, I'll let you know the moment they pull it out of the garage after I get done with the minor corrections and fine tuning. :D
 

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If you ever doubted the value of joining and contributing to a decent forum, you should be a believer now.
 
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trooperpooper said:
Shooter, Mark, Dave,

when you give it gas, it'll roar like nobodies business, but the moment you let it idle, it wants to shudder and act like it wants to die. Granted its been sitting for over a year, but with everything that's been done to it, it should purr like a kitten. I already know that I will need to adjust and fine tune the distributor because I advanced it all the way over for the spindle to catch on the upswing. Question is, will that ease the shudder, or is there something else I should look for?
With a fully warmed engine, what is the engine speed (rpm)? Sounds like fuel delivery, be it old fuel, filter, dirty injectors, etc. It should be idling at a steady (+ or - a tad) 900 rpm. If it's 900 or very close to it, how's the timing (12* BTDC)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Shooter,

Haven't got to warm the engine up fully yet because the bottom half is smoking so bad. I'm thinkin I may have to find a pressure washer or something and get that bottom end sprayed off. Its not forest fire bad, but its enough to prevent me from sticking my face under the hood. As far as the timing goes; everything was lined up TDC (crank timing at high noon and lined up with the mark on the block). So no, I don't believe I put the crank timing to 12*BTDC :( If that's where it needs to be, I'm gonna have to rip out all the belts and pulleys, take the timing belt back off and reposition the crank to 12*BTDC. ~sigh~ Always something fun with this motor. If there's another way that I can get it there, do let me know please? Unless the 12*BTDC is only in relation to the distributor? Or (like I'm fearing) in relation to the valves? Or even better, both? Let me know please. Thanks Shooter.
 

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No need for that. If the crank and cam timing marks are on the money, and the rotor is dead on to #4 inside the dizzy, at 900 rpm on a fully warmed engine, the timing will be at 12* BTDC. If it isn't, and you're positive all marks/rotor are on the money, it's most likely the harmonic balancer has slipped.

If the marks are perfect and rotor is perfect, with the engine not running, the etched timing line on the balancer should align with zero (0) on the timing tab. If it isn't, simply "paint" a new line to correspond with zero (0) ad that will become your new timing mark. My brand new balancer was off by 3* degrees and I have heard of them being off by 6* and perhaps more. Additionally, in a perfect world, all things aligned, the bolt you loosen to turn the dizzy will be dead center in the adjustment slot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good deal. I can put my heart back in my chest now and pick up my lip. :) Nothing has slipped and yes, everything was at dead zero when I put it back together. Odd thing though, the balancer on this one has two different timing marks and it really threw me at first because I didn't know if that was just a mistake or if they were there for a reason or what. Finally I just ignored them and dropped everything at zero using the marks on the block and crankshaft key(yes they match up to the zero on the timing tab). Once I put everything back together, I noticed that TDC sits almost perfectly between the two other marks. So yeah, I painted the new one on so I wouldn't get confused down the line again. I also made certain to take the time (while I had it off) to thoroughly inspect the harmonic balancer to make sure that all the rubber was still good and full intact with no cracks, pits or scars and that there was no excessive play in the rubber. With the exception of a little rust, the thing looks brand new.

So, in saying all that, I'm thinking that the hesitation might just be coming from the distributor not being quite right and probably a couple of vacuum hoses out of sync. Easy problems to fix. :) Thanks again Shooter.
 

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A dirty egr, it's passages in the manifold, bad egr will mess with idle and perhaps off the line performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hmm....your probably right. I'll make it a point to check that out when I head over there tonight. Probably the one thing that I didn't replace with brand new. LOL Everything else (Plugs, wires, fuel filter, fuel, air filter, oil, oil filter, coolant, all of the belts, thermostat, O2 sensor, battery, quite a few of the vacuum hoses) are all brand spankin new. I didn't think to check the EGR. :/ I'll pull the EGR manifold tonight and run some compressed air through it and see what comes out. In the meantime, I'll go ahead and get a new EGR priced. Only other thing I didn't swap for new was the fuel injectors because they didn't have the money for them. (they were 75 bucks a pop) So I gave them a mineral bath and cleaned them up best I could and changed out the o-rings on them. Can't really think of anything else right off the bat. Once I get it smoothed out, I'll have a look see if the check engine light is on. If so, I'll plug it in and go from there.

Also, just a question of curiosity; how pertinent is it to have the fan shroud on? I'm asking because putting that thing in was a pain and its flimsy as all get out. Literally, you can watch it flex as the fans moving inside it. And no, its not rubbing and yes all the bolts are in. Just wondering. :)
 

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Regarding the shroud, some folks here swear it's necessary. I never reinstalled mine and see zero difference in temp. If I were to install it, I'd split it and use a couple of more screws. If the egr port in the manifold is clogged, it could be near steel-like in hardness. Even with the manifold on a bench, the cleaning of that port can be a bear. Lots of small screw driver, pick tools, solvent etc. If hardened, I see no way possible to clean it unless the manifold is removed. If removed, might be able to remove some with a drill. Just can't remember the angles and such. Seems like the port is more like a short tunnel with a bend or turn with it. When I converted to carb, I cleaned it and left my egr off and replaced it with a blocking plate and plugged that big pipe thing. I believe by removing the egr it has been pointed out that the combustion temps will increase. Don't even know if it's removable (from a functional point of view) on a fuelie. Believe it's been addressed here somewhere. Also need to make sure its associated transducer is functioning properly, though I don't what the test is. :lol:
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Shooter, checked the EGR and its fine; still smooth as a baby's bottom. Corrected the three vacuum hoses I had wrong (Thanks to Mark's awesome pics and diagrams) adjusted the distributor and replaced all the cosmetic covers and guides. Man, she's purring like a kitten. Smooth as silk. They drove it away today. I cannot say thank you enough Shooter. Seriously. Wish I could meet you in person one of these days so I can shake your hand :) I told them to bring it back to me down the line so I can change out a few of those vacuum lines and put new ones on and get rid of those old crusty ones. Might get them to bring it back to me next weekend. It was hard to watch it drive away, but in the same breath, I'm glad its done. Thanks again to everyone on here who helped me. I could not have done it without you.

Best regards,

Gabriel
 
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