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Greg, All import japan models
Category: Mitsubishi
Satisfied Customers: 7269
Experience:  All Japan made models
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Trying to start a 1995 mitsubishi space wagon. What should

Customer Question

Trying to start a 1995 mitsubishi space wagon. What should I do next to diagnose the problem?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mitsubishi
Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Hi .

As i've seen many experts have checked your question out, but feel that the question is hard to answer due to the fact this is a hands ON job .

At the moment going from what you have tried and done all looks normal .
Compression all good and even.
You have good spark acroos all plugs .
All injectors and injecting fuel.

If the compression is even on all cylinders then the timing is most likely good ,but if one is a little lower than the others check the timing belts position is good.

The ignition timing will have to be checked ,who knows maybe the ignition was removed and not put back in correctly .
A bad cam or cranks sensor would stop you from having ignition spark to the plugs and cut the injection pulse .you have both so these should be ok

Here are a few common issue to check .
Idle speed control .
Cam and cranksensor.
Air flow sensor.
Coolant temp sensor .
ECM ground
Fuel pressure ****
Vacuum hose.
Bad malfunctioning ECM.

These items you will also have to check .

Let me know if you need further assistance or any information with this issue and i will get back to you .

Please rate my help a 3 to 5. " If you are not satisfied please don't rate."
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If I don't reply soon I will as quick as I can as we may be on different time zones

Rgds Greg

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Greg,


Thanks for your input:-



FYI the engine is the 4G63 (16v single camshaft)

I took off the upper timing belt cover. The belt looked very clean with no signs of cracking. I then turned the engine over in short burst and kept re examining the belt looking for weakness or missing teeth it all looks very sound and 100% OK. I note there is a second smaller timing belt 'B' which I can't see. This is described as silent shaft which I believe just reduces vibration so would not cause any starting issues.

Compression on all cylinders was very very close all at 200 psi



Just to clarify the engine up to now has never failed and the ECM has never been touched. The car was backed into its current position a couple of weeks ago with everything working perfectly! After a couple of days idle it has not been possible to re-start it. I know this all may mean nothing but it is all very peculiar! Looking at your list realistically which of the items do you think could cause the problem just in those few seconds when trying to get it to fire i.e. where should I focus for the next step?


Idle speed control = Not sure it would kick in so quick
Cam and cranksensor = You said I would not see the spark/injector spray sequence if this was wrong, but is there anyway it could be working but the timing has become wrong?
Air flow sensor = I tried starting with the air filter assy disconnected and also with a squirt of easy start no joy not even a single fire/misfire. I put my hand momentarily over the inlett (just before throttle butter fly) whilst someone turned the engine. I felt a slight vacuum. Is there anyway under these conditions I would not have got air as well as fuel (knowing the spray pattern looks good)?
Coolant temp sensor = Incorrect sensing either hot or cold seems impossible to stop me getting even a single spark.
ECM ground = Grounds can cause odd an odd sympton. Where should I check and or clean?
Fuel pressure = Spray pattern looked very good (nice fine mist)
Vacuum Hose = Not sure about this one.
Bad malfunctioning ECM/ECU = Always a possibility if it is possible for it to sequence correctly but somehow time the spark so it occurs say just before the valves close thus pushing unburnt fuel straight out, crazier thing have happened but I would have though I would at least occasionally get a misfire. One thing I also did (probably not recommended) to further disprove contamination and that the spark was good was to Tape each of the removed spark plugs over the top of there normal entry point then turn over the engine. I was able to get a small flash and small explosion as each of the cylinders fired as the vapours were expelled.


I look forward to your comments but at the moment it points to firing at the wrong time but would I never get a fire/misfire?


If we were to conclude that it is say the EMC what else could I do to disprove anything else before possibly sourcing/changing this item?










Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kevin .

You are getting all that is needed to start, now my question is are you getting any type of misfire any slight backfire ,anything to do with an explosion .when you are cranking the engine

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No. That is the strange thing even with easy start I have not had a single misfire on any attempt!

Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Ignition timing is out , or the plugs are not firing Kevin ,are the plugs new .

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes brand new. If timing is out based on the information I have provided what do you think is the cause?

Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kevin .

The timing with an old timing belt will jump teeth ,

Timing belts should be replaced every 60.000 miles or 6 years

Here is the timing marks ,you will have to remove the front cover and work with the timing marks on the cam and crank sprockets and not the crank pulley.


Check this out this may be your problem .
Rgds Greg
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Ok I was thinking I would have to do this next, images would be helpful but the ones you sent are incorrect. The engine is 16v but has a single camshaft. As per the number I gave before.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks. I'll proceed to check this out but it won't be before the WE. Is that a problem?

Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Hi .

No problem Kevin ,

Have a great week .

Rgds Greg
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have just checked the Timing and it looks pretty good to me on the crank pulley. I also removed a spark plug from cylinder number 1 then inserted a clean thin rod. I was able to verify cylinder No.1 was at TDC by moving the bottom pulley very slightly back and forth. As the engine is SOHC I can't see how it can be out? Do you agree because I note on the DOHC you said I'd have to look inside?

I have attached a couple of photos also. The Yellow sticker is over the tiny cut on the outer edge.

Just in case I actually bought a timing belt kit with a view to changing it expecting it to be out of step and also as it was last replaced about 45,000 miles ago. Now I'm really confused.



Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.
Hi Kevin .

Remove the front covers and check from the sprocket these crankshaqft pulleyss are know to be out due to a bad woodruf key (possible )
replace the seals there leaking bad, even the belt is covered in oil .
But the timing looks good .

This is a good one check the bottom sprocket timing mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Removed cover etc. Crankshaft timing was spot on. Oil pump was well out of position but I'm not sure of it significance. I was told this would not cause the problem. Regardless of this (I guess I'm still looking for the problem but will work on the basis I will eventually sort it out) I have started replacing the belts and have done the small belt so far. I read that the oil pump sprocket needs to be checked for correct positioning. 'manual states remove blanking plug from cylinder block and insert 8mm screwdriver' but I have not found this yet. To cold to continue today and it has just started snowing!







Expert:  Greg replied 5 years ago.

Kevin here is the bolt to remove and insert the screwdriver .