Make certain that spark is actually making it all the way to the plug
that's installed in the engine.
If the current finds a ground anywhere before the plug, your tests will
tell you nothing. Your blue spark tells you the distributor is just fine.
Check the plug wire and the tube in the head for signs of arcing.
That means the spark isn't doing anything useful (or there is an internal
engine problem or the engine is badly flooded). Your original post describes
a strong blue spark, which means the ignitor was working okay then. Please
be aware that cranking with no place for the spark to go is likely to short
the ignition coil - don't ask me how I know :-(
If there is a spark and it isn't igniting the fuel, check the timing. If
it's way off, the timing belt isn't as good as it looks. Don't just set the
belt timing back unless the belt is brand new; replace the belt.
Have you checked to see if there's any sign of arcing in the spark plug
Have you checked ignition timing when you crank?
Have you tried the "pedal to the floor" trick while cranking? This will
help clear a flooded condition.
Most of the obvious thing you have done or others have suggested. Did
anything unusual or different happen before the problem occurred? It
might help in diagnosing the mystery.
Does it still crank about the same speed as before the problem? Any
new noises? No check engine light the went away?
You have spark, probably no problem compression, and fuel before the
injectors. Maybe there is a problem with the injector system. The
starting fluid should have made the engine want to start unless it had
way to much fuel. Hold the gas pedal to the floor while cranking
should have helped unless there is just too much fuel.
Try starting it again. Then pull a plug, see if it's wet and or
smells like gas. Take a whiff close to the spark plug hole and maybe
even the tail pipe for gas.
Possibly a weak coil? Strong enough to fire a plug outside the engine
but not with a little fuel and a lot of pressure inside the engine.
I really appreciate everyone's advice. I did get my car started,
finally! Here's what I think is happening:
I noticed that two of the spark plugs were fouled up with fuel. I
pulled all the plugs overnight to let the cylinders dry out a bit.
When I put the plugs back in, I pressed the gas pedal to the floor, and
cranked the engine for about 30 seconds until it finally choked to
life. I ran the car today, and the check engine light came on - code
43. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong but the way I interpret this code
is that the O2 sensor is seeing either an overly rich or lean mixture.
I metered the fuel injectors and found that they all read about 60K
ohms. The Haynes manual says they should read 5 to 7 ohms.
Long story short, I think one or two injectors are failing. It
wouldn't start because the car was sitting for four days without being
started. At least one injector leaked, and flooded the engine.
Sound about right?
Considering the injectors are out of spec, I'm going to replace them
and see if the problem clears up.
Your injectors are just crudded up.
Keihin injectors NEVER "go bad". NEVER. Never never never. There is a very
good reason they cost $250 each new. They are good forever. Their quality
is without peer.
If you can locate one of those places that does injector cleaning, you're
best to just get yours scrubbed. Even a Motorvac service will do this with
the injectors in-situ. www.motorvac.com
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