Question about Ford Econoline

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My '91 ford E-350 Econoline Diesel 7.3 L is starting hard. When engine is cold (not- run-for-over-eight-hours) it starts up right away, BUT ONLY RUNS FOR 3 SECONDS AND STALLS. It can't be the glo-plugs, because it does start right up on the first try. But after it stalls, I have to crank for about 45 to 50 seconds before it will start. Lots of blue smoke after it starts, but being a diesel, can't tell if that is normal. _______ any guesses ? _____ Shade-Tree-Mech.

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Swap out the crank and cam sensors

Posted on Sep 09, 2010

  • 26 more comments 
  • Answers Now!
    Answers Now! Sep 09, 2010

    (?) Would it STILL be the 'crank/cam sensors if the van always starts when warm?
    . . . and the fact that it does start right up when cold, but stalls after 3 seconds of running ?

    --help me here, I'm a shade-tree Mech.

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

  • Joseph Prosser Sep 09, 2010

    Faults with hall effect sensors are difficult to diagnose without an oscilloscope to capture the output. Timing is everything. The Engine/power control unit (ECU) takes signals from the crank sensor (CPS) to know where the piston is with respect to top dead centre. The cam sensor also tells the ECU when the piston is at TDC but it also tells the ECU whether the piston is on TDC for the power stroke or TDC for the fresh injection of fuel. If the ECU loses track of either the crank or cam sensors it has no real chance of maintaining the correct timing of fuel injection. Badly timed injection of fuel equates to an engine that is hard to start and prone to stall. If the timing is just slightly adrift the injection cycle might be short in which case the fuel mix will be lean. Lean burn is sustainable in a warm engine (you say yours starts easily when warm..) but makes it difficult for a cold engine to start and keep running (you said that it starts but dies quickly and is then difficult to get going....). From what you said I diagnosed that it was more than likely that the injection timing was off and since the cam and crank sensors are key to this but are a pain to confirm as being at fault but are also not too expensive or difficult to swap out that this would be a good place to start. If the problem persists at least you will know for sure that it is not the cam or crank sensors. Hope that helps give some back ground to my thoughts to what was, i admit, a very short solution

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