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Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Help and Advice on Volvo's extremely popular car line, powered by Volvo's nearly indestructible, versatile inline 5-cylinder engine.
1992 - 1997 850, 850 R, 850 T5-R, 850 T5, 850 GLT
1997 - 2000 S70, S70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70, V70 AWD
1997 - 2000 V70-XC
1997 - 2004 C70

Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby klm » 27 Jun 2009, 04:31

OK this is a weird one, and I am stumped.
For the last year and a half my 96 non turbo 850 wagon would not start quickly. It has slowly been getting worse and now it cranks for about 5 - 10 seconds one or two times then it will start. Sometimes it starts right away, hot or cold it doesn't matter much, a little better if just shut off. Once started it runs great with no problems, no missing, no stalls. I thought for sure this was a fuel delivery problem, but the the pressure is perfect and it holds the pressure after shut-off with no problem. So I gave it a shot of either in to the intake manifold to see if it would fire right up, made no difference. I had checked the spark a couple times in the past and it was always fine. New Cap, Rotor, wires and plugs, cleaned coil connections no difference. So yesterday I thought I would check the spark cold. I removed one plug to test and disconnected the wires from all but one other. I grounded the removed plug well and had the wife crank it over. Cranked for about 10 seconds then it began to spark, at the same time it bean to spark the one cylinder still plugged in began to fire. Repeated and the same thing happened. So I put a test light on the coil with the ignition on (no crank) both posts hot. Put the light between the two coil posts and had the wife crank it again, nothing for about ten seconds then it started to strobe and the engine fired immediately, repeated and the same thing happened. It appears that on most start attempts my ignition system is not providing the correct signal to the coil for 10 seconds or more. Just turning the ignition to the on position does not help. I do not want to burn up the starter so I do not cycle it very long but I get the feeling that sometimes I could crank all day and nothing would fire. It appears that turning the key off and retrying does more good than anything else.
Thank you,

Kurt
1996 850 non turbo,146K miles, (My & 4 daughters car)
2004 C70 convertible 30K (Wifes car)
Does not seem quite fair does it :)
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby MadeInJapan » 27 Jun 2009, 11:42

How about the coil pack against the fender wall on the fuse box side...did you change that wire to the rotor...you might try there to see if there is a 10 second delay...
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Craigd2599 » 27 Jun 2009, 13:36

Yeah I agree with MIJ. You also might want to check that ignition switch for a possible short.
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby drsugg » 27 Jun 2009, 14:03

It sounds as if you tried jumping the starter motor with the key on with same result. You need to check injectors for power while cranking the motor, eliminating main FI relay. If power is there, should be pulse to ground while cranking. If not, I would be looking at engine speed sensor, especially the connector. It is one of the few sensors that generates a larger voltage the faster the motor turns over. Cam sensor deserves a check too, as it is responsible for injector pulse.
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Lin82965 » 27 Aug 2009, 22:31

Hello,
I meant to post a reply to this. My car also does the same exact thing. It's weird. We thought when it rained it would do it, but it does it randomly. I turn the key and it starts, but shuts down sometimes. Then won't start at all and sounds flooded. It started perfect for like a week and now seems to be getting worse! Very annoying! How do I post a picture on my profile?
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Ozark Lee » 28 Aug 2009, 00:10

I was kinda wondering what to do with your first post, I will just delete it.

Welcome to MVS,

Do you have a check engine light? Have you had the codes read. Volvos will post codes even without a CEL on.

Your problem sounds like a weak camshaft position sensor which should set a code if that is true.

You can attach an avatar and complete your sig through the user control panel at the top of the page. Once you are in the user control panel click the link to profile for the options. They have size limitations so edit them accordingly.

Post back any codes that you can retrieve and we will try to help you.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby JDS60R » 28 Aug 2009, 00:13

Couple of quick checks
First check the coil for signs of cracking and sparks jumping to body while turning over.

Then check the inside of the cap and rotor for any corrosion on the terminals both inside and out.

Place a test light across the coil and see if the ECM is signaling but the coil is weak. ( light flashes but sparks do not come from plug) If light flashes right away replace coil with a good one.

If that does not fix I can only tell you what we do on other cars.
On some cars ( I do not know the Volvo ECM start logic for your car)the ECM has to get an adequate oil pressure signal to allow ignition (Ford design). Some of the sensors leak or get old and it takes a few seconds before ecm will let it fire.

On others the crank or crank and cam sensors have to provide a signal and when dirty or old need a few seconds to work.

Do the coil fire check and let us know.
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Rob 1 » 29 Aug 2009, 21:30

Hi All
I have a similar problem when I bought my 96 850 GLT 6 mo ago it would sometimes start hard, hot or cold no difference. Well it has gotten worse, now it will not start at all. I have replaced the dist. cap, rotor and plugs. Nothing, I have 3 used coil packs none fire the car. they have all started the car before. I am not getting any spark from the coil, I hooked my inductive timing light on the wire from the coil to the dist. no strobe or flash. When the car did run I had flashes. I have checked the voltages, & the resistances on the RPM sensor Camshaft position sensor, Engine coolent sensor, TPS sensor. I even made up a connecter so that I could see the signal from the CMP sensor which went from 5-0.7V it would not go to 0 V Maybe thats the problem, I have 2 CMP's & both do the same.
I have checked the primary and secondry resistances on the coils I have they are fine. I checked for any trouble codes none, I have disconneted the RPM sensor and tried starting it and got trouble code 214, clearded that then disconnected the CMP no trouble code showed up. I do not believe the power stage is getting the pulse it needs to make the coil spark. Is it possible the ECM is bad? :(
Last edited by Rob 1 on 30 Aug 2009, 18:04, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Ozark Lee » 29 Aug 2009, 21:49

No codes with the cam position sensor is normal. The ECM won't set a cam position code until the engine is running and with out the cam sensor it won't run.

It is a chicken and egg sorta thing.

What do you see on the input to the power stage that feeds the coil? Specifically, look at the signal between the Blue/Red wire and the Yellow/White wire.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Rob 1 » 30 Aug 2009, 04:14

Hi Lee
I had to leave for a while, at power stage connector Terminal 1 is grd. terminal 3 bat. terminal 4 1V Update terminal 4 the V was 0.1 when cranking it went to 0.45 with no variation, I would think that it should pulse to trigger the coil to fire, am I wrong? Oh by the way I have 43 PSI gas press. at the fuel rail. Is there someway that the fuel relay does not allow the coil to fire? Or is it something else in the fuel system.
I subscribe to ALLDATA they have great diagrams and explanations of how the system works, but nothing that pinpoints my problem. They do say that the car will run if the CMP signal is lost after starting but will not start if the signal is not there on starting, and that the signal should be 0-5V, but my signal is 0.7-5V I don't know if that makes a difference or not. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for the reply
Bob :(
PS
I know that someones thinks why not take it to a dealer (stealer) is my word for them down here especially. I Have seen the bills from the previous owner and the work they did, missing fasteners, broken points of contact shoddy work. Right now and I have the Italian disease "Ma fun's alo".
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Rob 1 » 31 Aug 2009, 00:41

Hi All

I just wanted to say that I may have done something dumb by editing one of my replies instead of making a new reply keeping the post active. I am new but a quick learner.

Rob 1 :oops:
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Ozark Lee » 31 Aug 2009, 02:33

Your edited post makes much more sense. I read the earlier one and didn't quite know what to make of it.

Since you have tried multiple camshaft position sensors I think my next step would be to clean up the edge connector and the socket on the ECM with contact cleaner. If that doesn't fix it then the ECM itself is the next step. You should see a distinct pulsation on terminal 4 so either the ECM is not seeing the signal from the camshaft position sensor or it is not able to send the control signal on the the power stage for the coil.

On all of the documentation I have the ECM is a black box with no component level detail so I can take you no further beyond "replace with known good".

Stay away from the stealerships if you need a new ECU (ECM). They are all over eBay.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Rob 1 » 31 Aug 2009, 04:18

Hi Lee

Thank you for getting back to me, tomorrow I will try your suggestion about cleaning the contacts, which I have done once before and I will make sure that both ends of wires for the power stage have good continuity. What about the signal from the CMP does it make a difference if that signal does not go 0-5V
is the 0.7-5V acceptable. Is there a possibility that maybe the something else is causing the pulse signal not to trigger the coil.
I am not that well versed on electronic ignition, give me a set of points they are less expensive and easier to change and you can see if they work in the dark. Now I am giving away my age.

Thanks again

Bob :|
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Re: Interesting ignition problem, delayed start, Spark?

Postby Ozark Lee » 31 Aug 2009, 09:39

What about the signal from the CMP does it make a difference if that signal does not go 0-5V
is the 0.7-5V acceptable. Is there a possibility that maybe the something else is causing the pulse signal not to trigger the coil.


It may actually be going to zero but the meter doesn't react quickly enough to settle there between pulses. Even the worst old slow TTL circuits have a 0.8 volt low trigger threshold, CMOS components are more like 1.3 Volts for a positive low trigger so it should be OK. I'm going to guess that you don't have an oscilloscope laying around but that is the real way to accurately see the pulse train.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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