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99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
12-09-2017, 07:12 PM
Post: #1
99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
I could really use a professional opinion as to how to proceed with troubleshooting this problem. Have a 1999 Mitsubishi Galant (4 CYL) (157,000 miles) and has been running fine until yesterday. Ran an errand and came out to find the car turning but not starting. Checked the basics before having it towed home. 1. Pulled a spark plug boot and it arced a spark to metal so were good there. 2. Tried spraying starting fluid into air intake (not even a sputter) so I’m guessing it’s not a fuel problem (or maybe starting fluid not making it into cylinder?) 3.I looked through the Oil Cap while my brother tried to start again (Didn’t see any movement) 4. Loosened timing belt cover to inspect belt (same thing its not turning when we try to start) the other accessory belts turn along with the starter but not the timing belt.

Question-Is it supposed to?
I am going to take the cover all the way off now that I’m home and in a garage and inspect the belt closer and see what’s going on.
After removing top timing belt cover i see that the belt is intact, taunt, and no visable damage, I assume inspecting the bottom end is much more involved.
Again, I’m operating on the assumption that the timing belt should be turning and maybe its stripped on the bottom.
What steps should I be taking towards troubleshooting this?
Thanks for your help.
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12-09-2017, 08:30 PM
Post: #2
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
The short answer is the belt and cam are supposed to turn as the engine cranks. What's probably happened is the belt got worn to the point where a cog or two have broken off at a lower point where you can't see it from above so the crank is turning but slipping on the belt so nothing else is moving. This will require some effort on your behalf to change the belt... and I strongly suggest you also replace the idler and tensioner pulleys PLUS the water pump while in there. Kits are available to cover everything in one shot if you shop around.

Here's a few YouTube videos on the subject to give you an overview so you can figure out if it's within your grasp.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_q...eplacement

Hint: If you are a novice you may want to do the job in steps.... Tear down and inspect.... make a list to go shopping (other belts, hoses, etc).... replace water pump, cleaning.... reassemble belts and test. This will help with frustration levels and being too tired to finish the whole thing in one session. I suspect it will take you a couple of evenings.

Another hint: Make notes on various hose connections (tag / label them) and take pictures along the way. Have a clean area to place parts in order so you don't mix up bolts of different lengths, etc.

Keep us posted on your progress and ask more questions if you get stuck.
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12-09-2017, 09:19 PM (This post was last modified: 12-09-2017 09:47 PM by crownstar.)
Post: #3
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
Is there any chance we could have damaged the valves in the engine as we were cranking on it to attempt to getting it started. ?

(12-09-2017 09:19 PM)crownstar Wrote:  Is there any chance we could have damaged the valves in the engine as we were cranking on it to attempt to getting it started. ?

What could make a Timing Belt give out after ONLY 5,000 or Less ??
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12-09-2017, 10:07 PM
Post: #4
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
Yup, always a chance if it's a 2.4 liter. OTOH, there's a chance it's ok, even though the odds are against it.

There's a couple of ways to figure it out before pulling the head so I'll cover the basics.

1) You can pull the plugs and attempt to view the tops of the pistons for telltale marks the valves will leave. (might only be a single cylinder)
2) While the plugs are out you can set the crank so all of the pistons are midway in their stroke and rotate the cam by hand, then come up with a way to measure how high each valve sits when the cam lobe is away. (valve resting position) All of the intakes should be the same and the exhausts should also match each other. One or more being low indicates a bent valve.
3) If all else fails install a new belt and see if it's running ok. At that point you can do a compression test to verify things.

If any of the above fail you are looking to pull the head for further inspection. Head repair is not the end of the world so all you will need in addition would be the head gasket set, unless there's serious piston damage. A scuff or small dent is not really a problem but a hole or crack is. If you go with a used engine then you might as well replace the belt and water pump before doing the swap.

Hint: an old trick to see inside a cylinder is to get one of those small bulbs commonly used for dash lights. (#194 bulb) Carefully bend the contacts and thread some wire through the loops, then use a piece of electrical tape to keep things from touching ground. The wire should be several feet long so you have enough to work with and reach the battery. (you are building a miniature drop light) This size bulb will fit through a spark plug hole and you'd be amazed and what you can see. It's also a handy thing to use inside a door or under a dash in a tight spot so don't throw it out.
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12-10-2017, 02:26 PM
Post: #5
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
(12-09-2017 10:07 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Yup, always a chance if it's a 2.4 liter. OTOH, there's a chance it's ok, even though the odds are against it.

There's a couple of ways to figure it out before pulling the head so I'll cover the basics.

1) You can pull the plugs and attempt to view the tops of the pistons for telltale marks the valves will leave. (might only be a single cylinder)
2) While the plugs are out you can set the crank so all of the pistons are midway in their stroke and rotate the cam by hand, then come up with a way to measure how high each valve sits when the cam lobe is away. (valve resting position) All of the intakes should be the same and the exhausts should also match each other. One or more being low indicates a bent valve.
3) If all else fails install a new belt and see if it's running ok. At that point you can do a compression test to verify things.

If any of the above fail you are looking to pull the head for further inspection. Head repair is not the end of the world so all you will need in addition would be the head gasket set, unless there's serious piston damage. A scuff or small dent is not really a problem but a hole or crack is. If you go with a used engine then you might as well replace the belt and water pump before doing the swap.

Hint: an old trick to see inside a cylinder is to get one of those small bulbs commonly used for dash lights. (#194 bulb) Carefully bend the contacts and thread some wire through the loops, then use a piece of electrical tape to keep things from touching ground. The wire should be several feet long so you have enough to work with and reach the battery. (you are building a miniature drop light) This size bulb will fit through a spark plug hole and you'd be amazed and what you can see. It's also a handy thing to use inside a door or under a dash in a tight spot so don't throw it out.

Could the issue of Not starting be caused due to a faulty battery not providing enough amps for the crank ?
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12-10-2017, 04:05 PM
Post: #6
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
A weak battery is always an issue, but the fact that the cam doesn't turn while everything else does is the main problem here.

Reading between the lines here (maybe I missed something before) but the cam belt should not have failed so soon. It's possible, but likely not the root of the problem. (the belt itself) What I'm driving at is there could be a problem with belt tension or perhaps the keyway which keeps the lower cam cog lined up properly has sheared. This is something you will have to watch for on disassembly so it doesn't happen again. If the crankshaft is damaged or worn then the engine is toast.

As a side note, I have seen cam belts installed too tight but usually they whine or "sing" to a point where you notice it. In this case the belt also snaps rather than cogs falling off. If the belt was not tight enough that's another story. They can skip or just plain fall off. Proper tension (with or without auto-adjust) is being able to twist the belt about 90 degrees with your fingers at the longest straight run on the slack side of the belt's route.

If you have any questions as you open up the job please post again.
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12-10-2017, 06:44 PM
Post: #7
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
Ok here'es where i'm at.
1. i removed the bottom timing belt inspection cover and verified that the belt has stripped some teeth. Is there any way to check for internal damage so I could know if replacing belt/pump/cam sensor/idlers ect is worth it? my fear is that I could go through all of this effort and expense only to find that there is piston/valve damage and I'm back at square one also, would you recommend just replacing the belt and stuff and seeing how (or if) it even runs? also, if i do replace the belt should I just cut off whats remaining of it so that when I align the various timing marks that it does not move other marks? Any advice on how to proceed is greatly appreciated
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12-10-2017, 07:26 PM
Post: #8
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
See my previous post for some tips and watch a video or two from the link I provided. They will show the needed timing marks. You can either cut the belt off or disassemble things to get it off, as you will need to put the new one on the same way.

Things to note during disassembly:

Belt tension ok? (or just a cheesy replacement that failed early)
Do all of the parts that are supposed to move actually turn freely? (tensioner / idler pulley, water pump, cam, etc)

The last one is important because if something froze up then you have found the problem, which might even be something up top like a cam follower / lifter or other part causing the cam to lock up. You might want to remove the valve cover first to have a gander in there.

Turn the crank till all pistons are mid stroke (max clearance) and then turn the cam by hand to check that each valve moves full travel, all the same resting height. Any valve that does NOT go full travel will be your first clue as to a belt valve. If you can't turn the cam then look for what's binding things up before going further.

BTW, watch your fingers as the cam will "snap" into place as you rotate it against the valve spring tension. This is normal and not to be confused with binding up due to a broken / bent part.
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12-13-2017, 05:06 PM
Post: #9
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
I am replacing a timing belt on a 99 galant 2.4 SOHC and
with the crank at TDC I rotate the cam sprocket to line up
marks and it turns but feels stiff to me, also it seems to
have resistance then all of the sudden frees up and jumps
forward
I am not that experienced with this and need to know how
the cam should feel when turning and if this could be a
symptom of something wrong in the top end
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12-14-2017, 12:53 AM
Post: #10
RE: 99' Galant 157k with Recent Starting Problem Issue
Sorry for the delay but the board was down for a few days.

If you read my posts you would have seen where I noted "BTW, watch your fingers as the cam will "snap" into place as you rotate it against the valve spring tension. This is normal and not to be confused with binding up due to a broken / bent part."

Yes, the "stiff then free" is normal but you'd have to go several revolutions to get a feel for anything unusual, which is why I mentioned measuring (or at least observing) the travel distance for each valve. If you have gone this far then align the marks and install the new belt. Give it a shot and see how things are.
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