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Surf won't start - possibly ECU?

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  • Surf won't start - possibly ECU?


    I'm new to the forum, and it's taken me a day or two to figure out how to post! Sussed it now though.

    My 1993(?) Japanese import Surf series 2 KZN 130 3.0l Turbo Diesel took me to work on Friday, then wouldn't start to take me home.

    The engine cranks normally, but there is no fuel at the injectors and no fuel sprays out of the filter when I remove the hose and crank the engine. This would suggest that if there is an electric pump it's not running. There is plenty of fuel in the tank and I've re-primed the filter - the pump goes solid suggesting plenty of pressure and no air. The priming pump can suck fuel through quite happily and fuel can get to the diesel pump no problem.

    I've checked all the fuses I can find and the relays seem to be fine.

    I didn't see the check engine light on the way to work, and when I tried shorting the links on the diagnostic plug, I didn't get any code at all - not even a single "1" flash for OK.

    My guess here, having trawled this forum extensively, is the ECU has died. I tried unplugging it overnight to see if it might reset, but no joy there. I carefully took the lid off the ecu but there is no sign of major catastophy.

    My best hope is to send the ECU to the ECU doctor, but he isn't answering the phone, being the weekend, and there's a postal strike on! Why isn't anything easy?!

    Do these symptoms sound familiar to anyone?

    While I'm here, I notice people talking about the glow-plug light. I don't seem to have one - it certainly isn't lit on the dash when I turn the key to the accessory position. Neither is the check engine light. Should it be? I never normally have any trouble starting the engine - even in winter I just stick the key in, turn it and within two cranks it's running. Have I unwittingly been doing something wrong for three years?

  • #2
    Hi n Welcome this may help

    There's always a Payback .. Ya don't know where n ya never know when tho !!
    Buncefield Burner


    • #3
      Read through this

      and this

      Had same problem cost 180 to fix when was probly 20p part fubar.
      Remember arrows are silent.....................
      Don't forget to tell everyone its indestructable as seen on top gear.......


      • #4
        Might be even cheaper if anyone bothered to read my reply.

        There are two threads on this subject now.


        • #5
          i have just bought a 3.0l with similar problem.Iy will turn over but not fire up.I am waiting for it to be delivered then i will take a look at it this week and see what i can do.If i find the problem i'll report back as a few have given some ideas in my thread i posted at the weekend
          heres a link to my thread with info

          Last edited by stormforce; 2nd November 2009, 12:26.


          • #6
            His thread states no glow light or engine check light but it turns over, well thats exactly what mine did.
            Remember arrows are silent.....................
            Don't forget to tell everyone its indestructable as seen on top gear.......


            • #7
              Sounds very familiar

              Thanks for your responses guys - I'm pretty convinced now that it's the ecu, so it's gone off to the doctor. I'm getting exactly the same symptoms as Paul1556.

              One thing worries me though. The numpty from the AA said "sounds like the stop solenoid's stuck. I'll just connect it directly to 12v." Unsuprisingly nothing happened, but from the description I have a horrible feeling the thing he connected to 12v was actually the spill control valve that a poster said never to put 12v through. Oh dear. Worse still, I suspect he actually hit the thing with a hammer to "free it off". The object in question is a small vertical cylinder with a bulbous (rubber?) bit at the bottom and a very thin but large nut screwing it to the back of the fuel pump.

              Let's hope the fourth emergency service haven't done more harm than good. If he has, is it replaceable? It looked like a git to get off.

              With reference to the glowplug light, I've never seen it. Maybe the bulb has never worked, but I've always wondered if I was supposed to have one. What does it look light and which lights are near it?

              Oh, and sorry for starting two threads. I'm a biff.


              • #8
                The glow light is bottom row far left in the dash panel and only lights for a second or so.
                My driving position means mine is obscured by the steering wheel so i don't see it anyway.
                If someone could get an ecu with the same symptoms, for free of course, and try changing the voltage
                regulators to see if that cures it, that would make the answer a whole lot cheaper.
                As Apache said in my thread its probly a 5v regulator worth pennies that has just expired.
                Five minutes with soldering iron and your fixed.

                Oh and hope he didn't put 12v through it, think someone on my thread said that is a big no no.....
                Remember arrows are silent.....................
                Don't forget to tell everyone its indestructable as seen on top gear.......


                • #9
                  The spill control valve can be replaced but the pump will need to be removed, rebuilt and recalibrated and it's true they should never be connected to battery voltage.



                  • #10
                    Just a thought do the AA fill out a detailed work sheet for what they have done.
                    If he has noted that he conected the valve to the battery, surely you can claim
                    the repair to the spill valve from them ?
                    He should have checked before doing it, and if he did not know not to, he should have left alone.
                    (god my grammars crap today)
                    Remember arrows are silent.....................
                    Don't forget to tell everyone its indestructable as seen on top gear.......


                    • #11
                      Now I'm worried.

                      The AA man did fill out a form, which I've just read. It says "possible injection pump fault requires further investigation."

                      No mention of him bodging wires onto valves of course.

                      I'm not going to get too scared just yet. He only connected it for a few seconds, and I've checked it's not gone open circuit. Let's wait until the ECU comes back fixed before flapping, because I've no chance of getting the AA to pay for their incompetence if the spill valve is knackered now.

                      He really should have admitted that he was out of his depth and left it alone.
                      Last edited by Funky; 3rd November 2009, 19:57.


                      • #12
                        ...and relaxing again!

                        Hmm. Maybe I won't panic just yet. I found this old thread where someone actually fixed a fault (accidentally) by putting 12v across the spill valve!


                        Seems it opened and the engine started to run away, but all was well in the end.

                        I'd certainly recommend avoiding doing this in future, and it's certainly deterred me from fiddling about without knowing what I am doing. And I'm an aircraft engine technician, so I really should know better!

                        I should hear from the good ECU doctor tomorrow - he got the ECU this morning. Hopefully brain surgery will fix my truck. I hope its personality hasn't changed after.

                        Oh, and I found the location of the glowplug light - thanks Paul. I'll watch closely to see if it comes on after I fit the ECU, because I'm sure the bulb has gone, but like you my steering wheel hides it. The glowplugs certainly work, as I've never had trouble starting before the ECU died.
                        Last edited by Funky; 3rd November 2009, 19:59.


                        • #13
                          If its not the ecu the doctor will tell you before he operates.
                          I had ecu pinout and tested all the curcuits before sending mine
                          Found the 5v line down but i don't know enough to fix my self, i let him do it.
                          Remember arrows are silent.....................
                          Don't forget to tell everyone its indestructable as seen on top gear.......


                          • #14
                            Sort of working, but not quite...

                            Very strange. Ecu returned today with a fault confirmed and repaired - although he didn't say what, but did assure me it wasn't the car that caused the ecu failure but almost certainly old age.

                            I fitted the ecu and on turning the key got all the lights I'd expect including the glow light for a second. Yippee.

                            Engine then cranked for over a minute and no start. Primed pump. Still nothing but this time did cough. Batteries going flat. Swore some, and tried one last time. The engine started and idled at a very low speed. After about a minute it finally jumped up to an idle of about 900rpm and I was able to get in and drive off. Hooray.

                            All is not well though. When I got back in after my test drive it didn't start normally. It cranked and then "wound up" slowly. It drives normally, except when I shift from park or neutral to drive, when the revs drop to below idle speed and won't pick up. If I hold the revs up slightly before I shift, it's OK.

                            Maybe it just needs to settle down and choose a fuel map it likes. I'll see what happens, but I'm not convinced it's fixed. There seems to be something amiss with the very bottom (idle) end of the rev range. I wonder if this spill valve thingy isn't opening properly. It's doing something, or I don't think I'd be able to shut the engine off.

                            If someone could put up a labelled photo of the diesel pump so I knew exactly what the AA man had been fiddling with I'd be very grateful.


                            • #15
                              Top rear of pump.