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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

1991 is hard to start first time of the day. Trying to turnover, but not catching. Takes several tries, with finally catching when key is turned continuously for way too long.

Starter was replaced about a year ago. Just replaced the intank fuel pump.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Rande
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
also changed the fuel filter.
 

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Trying to turnover, but not catching.
This confuses me (which is pretty much my natural state but...). When you turn the key to 'start' does the starter motor immediately begin to turn the engine over? Or is there a delay with nothing happening? Or does the starter motor spin but not engage the ring gear/crank the engine? Or does it turn the motor over but very slowly? And what color is your car?

The first thing I'd suggest is to clean & secure all the connections in the battery to starter circuit - including/especially the grounds. The battery negative cable bolts to the floor of the trunk but sort of behind the battery (so often out of sight/out of mind). And there is a ground strap in the transmission tunnel (under the car). Clean & secure the connections at the starter motor with the battery disconnected to avoid big, expensive sparks. All this may not fix your issue but it is good preventative maintenance plus you will then know all those connections are 100%.

Have your battery load tested - most auto parts stores will do this for free (hoping you'll buy a battery from them if needed). If you have a voltmeter (not a dash gauge - they are not wired correctly for this test) connect it to the battery. With everything off a fully charged battery should read 12.6V 12.3V is half-charged. Now see what it reads during cranking. The computer has a minimum threshold to wake up and send the make spark/squirt fuel signals. Bosch never specified a threshold but 10.5V seems to be the minimum required. It can sound like it is cranking over OK but if available voltage is below the threshold it won't start. If cranking voltage is low and all connections is the circuit are 100% good then either the battery is failing or the starter motor is faulty.

A weak link in the starter operation is the ignition switch itself. The internal contacts often become unable to pass the electrons needed to activate the starter. The contacts are designed to be self-cleaning so it is typical that they work OK some times but not other times. One solution for a failing ignition switch is to replace it. But the replacements are not of the highest quality so it may also fail before too long. Another option is to add a relay to send power to the starter motor. The switch then only needs to pass the tiny amount of electricity needed to trigger the relay. The relay can easily pass the current needed to operate the starter motor. Adding a relay will likely make the ignition switch last for decades. (and it is less expensive than a new switch)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
GHNL,

I misstated the problem, it is definitely not "fire" (electric, new battery and starter is turning over), definitely fuel.
Rande
 

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Still worth making sure all those connections are good (don't assume - remove, clean & secure them).

And I have experienced defective "new" batteries. Consider having it load tested (many auto parts stores will do this for free).

I am not a Series 4 expert (ours is a Series 3 - similar but not exactly the same). If all the above doesn't help, search for more info about the crank sensor in your model Spider. The crank sensor combines two functions - it tells the computer how fast the engine is turning (rpm's) and the crank shaft position (timing). If it isn't installed properly or is otherwise faulty that might explain your problem.
 

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GHNL,

I misstated the problem, it is definitely not "fire" (electric, new battery and starter is turning over), definitely fuel.
Rande
you have tested for good spark at the plugs, correct?

when it does eventually start, does it idle steady (ca. 900rpm) and drive well?

When the engine is warm, does it then start immediately, or do you still have to crank the starter motor over a lot?

If it is only a hard start when cold, then I would suspect the blue motronic temperature sensor (p/n Bosch 0 280 130 026). That feeds data to the ecu for starting and running (photo1)

with cold engine and say a few degrees °C plus outside, pull the connector and check with an ohmmeter if it measures about 1400 ohms.
Other resistance test figures here:
@ –10°C / 8.3 to 10.5 K.ohm
@ +20°C / 2.2 to 2.7 K.ohm
@ +80°C / 0.28 to 0.36 K.ohm

Even if it does, it could still be the probe has deposits on it and not reading correct. The probe sits in the water channel (photo2)
 

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Danix,
almost forgot about this thread, Rande's gone all quiet ;)

Rande...any progress?

couple more things I can think of
fuel pressure regulator
crank pulley sensor tip has gotten crudded up, not delivering a clean signal. The CS is the most important starting signal on the S4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
it was a cross reference number for the part. That is the correct bosch part number, but Pelican Parts is out of stock as is most everyone else in the US.
The one from spectromatic fit and works fine.
Rande
 
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