200 problems, the answer

John David Anderson janders1 at mix.wvu.edu
Wed Dec 18 19:18:31 EST 2002

Nicholas  Lawrence wrote:

>Saw your recent post about changed cam timing.  Could possibly someone
>changed the distributor timing at some point to follow wrong cam
timing? I
>know this is not the way to adjust timing on this motor but it does
>where the window inside and the rotor line up.
> And another thought, I would like to share my '90 200 experience. Soon
>after bringing my car home to Ohio from Iowa it developed a peculiar
>starting problem.  Started ok in morning, drive 30 miles to work ok,
>fine in eve and drive home. But if I stopped the engine it would not
>again.  Spent much time and questions trying to figure it out. On day I
>found the cam timing off so I retimed and all was well, till it moved
>The keyway for the crank pulley ( harmonic balancer) was gone. Crank
>was creeping

Well I'd like to thank and curse Nick at the same time for definitely
winning the diagnostic prize of the year as far as I'm concerned.  As
it ends up this was EXACTLY the problem.  Diagnosis should have been
much faster (in hindsight) but this is how it went.  Yesterday I found
the belt "apparently" slipped 3-4 teeth.  Reset correct, car ran like a
top for 15 minutes, stopped (I stupidly thought because of some nagging
vacuum leaks whatever.)  Look it all over before putting cover on, hmmn
seems as if I should have put it one more tooth forward (this was the
critical error I missed, I had placed it correctly but in fact things
had moved which I did not appreciate.)  So today spent all morning,
took valve cover off, verified on this cam pulley it is the first of
two dimples, not  a notch that is correct mark.  Put it all in
alignment using the flywheel mark, correct dimple, dizzy to mark, put
the valve cover back on with new gasket.  Runs a few seconds.  Turn it
all over a few times, look at it all, still all in alignment.  Fiddle
with dizzy taking it in and out of where it should be timed, runs a few
seconds each time some times, other times throws a 2113 code, other
times not.  Getting real pissed off at this point then make the
critical move, I had never WATCHED the flywheel right as I started
turning it over, I'd crank it around looking at the cam pulley till
about right then go look at the flywheel as it is a pain to lean that
far.  So I notice DUH when I turn the crank there is a lag before the
flywheel moves, turn the other way, same lag then move.  Now unless I'm
using all my super power strength to twist the crank I think WE HAVE A
WINNER.  Take the crank pulley off (the bolt is mysteriously loose of
course) and there is absolutely no key left.  Crank is as new being
much harder of course.  I had been missing this each time and the
alignment "had not apparently changed" because every time I cranked the
engine around into alignment the slack was caught up until it bound,
apparently always in the same place.  Start the engine however and it
slips instantly (or not so instantly) and randomly withing about a
10-20 degree range.  So no biggie I figure, go looking for one in my
parts bins, all 4 cyl, then ahh one off that 100 engine, rats stupid
newer belt, one off a EV, entirely different.  Well that's OK dad's old
mechanic who I scrounge bits like this off now and then has like 5 old
blocks sitting in his shop, go down there, he tossed them all outside 3
weeks ago and the junkman came for them about 4 days ago.
AAAAARRRRRRGHHH.  He can get one for me for $18 new of course, takes
about a week.  So this evening I stop at a total strangers who I've
noticed has a few parts cars, the guy let me pull one just in exchange
for the promise to bring it back in a week or whatever, I'm going to
give him the new one of course.  So tomorrow folks, with luck and no
rain, all back together.  We shall also answer the qestion of whether I
have only an IA ECU or ECU and spring, though I'm unclear what was
swapped when they put this engine in so the spring may be long gone
with the old block.  Regardless we'll see how my Michelin Man can
handle real boost 8-)

Thanks again Nick, definitely the diagnosis of the year even though I
didn't believe you when you told me.

janders1 at mix.wvu.edu

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