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2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

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2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:18 pm

Greetings, friends! The new "heath crisis" has everyone at home, so I decided to carry out a few service items and upgrades on my 1995 Transit with the 2.5Di Bosch-injected engine, which include replacing the radiator, hoses (hard to get!!), the two fan belts and the camshaft belt, as I have no idea when these items were changed in the past, and I've experienced overheating problems (collapsed lower radiator hose the primary cause).

So..... after doing all that according to the Haynes manual, the engine won't start. It turns over but won't start (unless I spray it with cold-start spray (ether?), and then it starts for a half second or so and dies. So, please help me understand what's wrong and how to fix it. As always, my life depends on this van running reliably! Thank you.

This is the first time I've done this on this engine, and everything seemed straightforward, using Haynes. I believe I had all 3 timing holes (in flywheel, injection pump and camshaft) aligned and plugged properly, and everything is tightened properly. I attempted to start it to let it run a few minutes so I could retighten the fan belts, according to instructions. The radiator is not yet installed (I'm waiting for a lower radiator hose ordered from Ford in Germany, since there seems to be not a single one for sale in Poland).

What could possibly be the problem? The engine seems eager to start, but merely cranks. It's not a matter of fuel temperature either, like I had all winter ,but fixed by using a hair dryer to heat the intake manifold, which worked perfectly. Now nothing seems to work. Thank you for your help!
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby Chuggy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:04 pm

If it's starting ok on easystart then it's probably just air in the system, undo the bleed nipple on the side of the pump and crank until you get a steady stream of fuel, tighten the bleed nipple and undo the injector unions at the injectors and crank until each pipe shoots a solid jet of fuel, tighten injector unions and she should start.

OR,
You could try my no spanners easy bleed method if you like......undo the air filter at the inlet manifold, open the throttle wide open, crank the engine and spray easystart into the inlet manifold whilst keeping the throttle wide open, this will allow the engine to run, but don't worry it won't rev its bollox off as their isn't enough eaststart to run fulll throttle, keep spraying easystart to keep the engine running, after awhile the pump and injectors will bleed themselves and diesel will take over from the easystart, you will soon know as the engine will suddenly rev up properly when it gets the proper amount of fuel.
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:08 pm

Chuggy, thank you profusely!! You are awesome. You have helped me a lot, and I'll be forever grateful. :) I thought it might be something I'd overlooked or didn't know about, and I don't remember reading anything about that in Haynes.

So, I got my son to turn the key and I sprayed, and after 4 such attempts, it roared to life... well, sort of chugged, and I did as you said and kept it racing till it caught on by itself, and I was still worried because it was running very rough, but I figured that not every cylinder had been bled yet, and after running a few minutes, it smoothed out and now runs like a champ!! I couldn't be a happier camper. Such a relief. Now it jumps to life at the slightest contact of the key...runs so much better. The old cam belt seemed to be ever so slightly loose, which would make a difference in performance, I imagine.

I'll try to update my build thread with pics. Thanks, mate!
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby twin wheel camper » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:28 pm

hetman wrote:Chuggy, thank you profusely!! You are awesome. You have helped me a lot, and I'll be forever grateful. :) I thought it might be something I'd overlooked or didn't know about, and I don't remember reading anything about that in Haynes.

So, I got my son to turn the key and I sprayed, and after 4 such attempts, it roared to life... well, sort of chugged, and I did as you said and kept it racing till it caught on by itself, and I was still worried because it was running very rough, but I figured that not every cylinder had been bled yet, and after running a few minutes, it smoothed out and now runs like a champ!! I couldn't be a happier camper. Such a relief. Now it jumps to life at the slightest contact of the key...runs so much better. The old cam belt seemed to be ever so slightly loose, which would make a difference in performance, I imagine.

I'll try to update my build thread with pics. Thanks, mate!



I don’t get why you had air in the diesel pump or lines doing the work you described?
Great you’ve it going again but changing the radiator and doing the cam belt shouldn’t of disturbed the diesel lines?
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby andz327 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:36 am

twin wheel camper wrote:
hetman wrote:Chuggy, thank you profusely!! You are awesome. You have helped me a lot, and I'll be forever grateful. :) I thought it might be something I'd overlooked or didn't know about, and I don't remember reading anything about that in Haynes.

So, I got my son to turn the key and I sprayed, and after 4 such attempts, it roared to life... well, sort of chugged, and I did as you said and kept it racing till it caught on by itself, and I was still worried because it was running very rough, but I figured that not every cylinder had been bled yet, and after running a few minutes, it smoothed out and now runs like a champ!! I couldn't be a happier camper. Such a relief. Now it jumps to life at the slightest contact of the key...runs so much better. The old cam belt seemed to be ever so slightly loose, which would make a difference in performance, I imagine.

I'll try to update my build thread with pics. Thanks, mate!



I don’t get why you had air in the diesel pump or lines doing the work you described?
Great you’ve it going again but changing the radiator and doing the cam belt shouldn’t of disturbed the diesel lines?
He did mention SERVICE ITEMS AND UPGRADES so possibly a fuel filter change in there somewhere but why worry he's got it running mint

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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:00 am

twin wheel camper wrote:
hetman wrote:Chuggy, thank you profusely!! You are awesome. You have helped me a lot, and I'll be forever grateful. :) I thought it might be something I'd overlooked or didn't know about, and I don't remember reading anything about that in Haynes.

So, I got my son to turn the key and I sprayed, and after 4 such attempts, it roared to life... well, sort of chugged, and I did as you said and kept it racing till it caught on by itself, and I was still worried because it was running very rough, but I figured that not every cylinder had been bled yet, and after running a few minutes, it smoothed out and now runs like a champ!! I couldn't be a happier camper. Such a relief. Now it jumps to life at the slightest contact of the key...runs so much better. The old cam belt seemed to be ever so slightly loose, which would make a difference in performance, I imagine.

I'll try to update my build thread with pics. Thanks, mate!



I don’t get why you had air in the diesel pump or lines doing the work you described?
Great you’ve it going again but changing the radiator and doing the cam belt shouldn’t of disturbed the diesel lines?


Thanks for that observation, TWC. I am a novice when it comes to diesel engines. All my life I've worked on gasoline (petrol) engines, so really I'm in the dark here. If this happened to my engine during the service I just carried out, then I should be more than concerned that something else is amiss with my engine, correct? I seriously have no idea how air could have gotten into the fuel system. I did not open any part of the fuel system. Is there another basic problem I'm not aware of? I believe in preventive maintenance, and really would like to avoid a break-down of my van at all costs, especially during this time of paranoia and government lockdown of the whole society. It is illegal now for us to travel, so when I do, i would like to know that my van will get to me to my destination and back, safely, securely and without incident.

Prior to this service, the van had been working reliably, so it would seem to be logical that whatever caused it to not start up after the cambelt change happened during this service, right? The immediate cause for the service was to correct the overheating problem that the van had when I bought it. The temp gauge was indicating about 3/4 toward the redline, whereas I'd expect (or assume) that it should be at the middle of the gauge. Though still well within the "normal" range, it is unsettling to have the needle there, so the first thing I did after buying it was to change the oil and filter, and flush the radiator 4-5 times (using some radiator cleaning solutions the first 2 times, then with water, then I added coolant). This indeed helped the overheating situation, as the needle has been dead center in the gauge for 3000 miles of service. Granted, the ambient air temperature during the winter was usually below freezing, so that might have had some effect on the cooling properties of the engine, in my estimation. In any case, I was not concerned about it until on my next to last trip (during which the van was perhaps slightly overloaded: I'd guess I was carrying only 1.5 tons, and the van is rated at 1.0 tons load capacity). About 20 miles from my destination, I smelled coolant, and within a few minutes the temp gauge rose to about 7/8 on the guage (still clearly within the "normal" zone) and stayed there till I eased the van to my destination, in light traffic fortunately, allowing me to cool the engine naturally, even if the fan weren't working. I believe the water pump was working the whole time. I did replace the water pump with a new INA unit during the recent service, but there's no indication it wasn't working prior to this. So, at my destination, I let the van sit for 6 hours, filled up the reservoir with about 5 quarts of water, till it reached the proper level indicated in the reservoir, and ran the engine to make sure the system was full of coolant. Then I carefully drove the 100 miles home without incident! The needle stayed precisely in the middle of the gauge. So, I imagined that everything was OK, and embarked on my next trip the next week and at some point, I lost radiator fluid again, just as the previous week. During this trip, the needle stayed at the 3/4 to 7/8 mark the whole time. My diagnosis was a collapsed radiator hose, and during the service I determined this to be the cause, but because I felt the radiator too was performing below par, or at least as a preventive measure, I decided to buy a new radiator too. And hoses.

I commenced disassembling the front end, and at this time I also cleaned up the engine, using gasoline to remove all the old oil deposits from the engine and surrounding area. I don't see how I could have interfered with the closed fuel system. I'm certainly interested in hearing your advice! Is my fuel system letting in air anywhere?
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby andz327 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:28 pm

Certainly seems like, did you do anything around the fuel filter area like hanging anything on the housing out the way while working or leant on or bumped filter and housing??????

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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:39 pm

I guess anything is possible. I will go outside and check to see if the engine still starts.

Would turning the fuel pump backwards cause a problem? Because I rotated the crankshaft around a bit left and right to find the point to lock it into place.

Update: engine cranks but won't start. I have not replaced the air filter yet, so the housing is off the engine, and the so the opening to the intake manifold is also exposed. Would that be a problem? It's hard to believe that this would cause a fuel delivery problem, unless perhaps the glow plug which is mounted inside the intake manifold were allowing air to get into the fuel system that way? The aftermarket glow plug (the electrical element of which is not working) has a copper line from the fuel pump to it.
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby andz327 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:18 pm

Yeah if that or pipe is cracked, or loose Could cause it anything that has fuel moving through it can cause your problem if air is getting into it

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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:31 pm

I blocked off the line from the diesel pump to the glow plug, and it ran fine after using the cold-start fluid again. That was yesterday. Today same thing : no start. Where can I look for air leaks in the fuel system? How do I even check for them?
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby Chuggy » Sun Mar 29, 2020 12:12 am

Assuming it was starting fine before you did all the work then we shall assume it must be something that has happened during the work.
I asssume it drives ok once started so we can rule out the timing being out?
When you cleaned the engine did you disturb the leak off pipes?
I'm tired so not got a thinking head on atm, other thing maybe lift pump has decided to play up and is letting fuel run back?
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:28 am

Yes, sir. Prior to this it used to start up quickly and reliably, provided there was enough heat (ambient temp of above 40 F or so, or heated intake manifold or fuel filter by way of hair dryer), and it ran fine before. And now it runs really well once it bleeds itself of the air and settles down. This is true at idle as well as at higher RPMs. I hadn't had the radiator installed, so I couldn't actually drive it around, but the engine seems to run capitally through the rev range.

It would seem that air is continuing to get into the system. I gather from the responses here that even a micro-crack somewhere will upset the whole system. I"ve been racking my brain trying to think what could have happened. I don't recall any violent actions or bumping of any parts around the engine or on the engine. I used a soft brush to gently scrub away any oil
deposits and grease (to clean the engine), but this pertains primarily to the front of the engine where I was working, though I did try to clean around the valve cover area and injectors, but I actually gave up, once I noticed how difficult a task that would be, so I left that area alone, in fact. However, can a gentle nudge of any of those injectors cause them to leak? They have rubber lines on them! Could one of the rubber lines be cracked? Should I replace all those little rubber lines just to be sure? I definitely messed up the glow plug line; I could feel it move around a bit, but I have since deleted that and blocked the line coming out of the diesel fuel pump, so that doesn't seem to be a cause. What's the lift pump?

I will go out this morning and see what I can see and report back. Thank you, Chuggy, from the bottom of my heart.
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby Chuggy » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:47 am

The rubber lines are the leak off pipes, give them a good check over and replace if necessary, the lift pump is on the side of the engine under the exhaust manifold between the fuel tank and the fuel filter.
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby hetman » Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:07 pm

Oh, that mechanical fuel pump... ;) I almost forgot about that one, which I'd expect on a normal petrol engine; I saw it when I was rebuilding my clutch last year, but it seemed to be fine so I didn't even install the new one I'd bought.

So, today I started checking the lines out, and it feels better knowing what to look for. I also checked the bolt specs on the injector securing tabs, and they hadn't been moved. However, the nuts that hold the hard plastic fuel lines to the fuel filter, they were all slightly loose! The line could move in my hand on one of the feed lines to the injector pump, so I tightened all of them snug. That was after examining the rubber fuel line off the injector pump which had been connected to the glow plug in the manifold, and I'd blocked off 2 days ago. That hose actually had two minuscule cuts or abrasions in it, one of which might have penetrated all the way through, because when I bent it to examine it closely, it had penetrated. So that might have been my problem, but also the lines attached to the fuel filter needed tightening.

So, another restart on starter fluid, and it ran OK, I'd say. But there was an immense amount of white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe, just like every time I've used that fluid. Is that a byproduct of burning this starter fluid? Even after the engine had been running a couple minutes - not too long because I still have no bottom radiator hose or coolant - the exhaust smoke is whitish and constant. Granted, I cannot really compare it to before, but I'm asking if this is normal, or would it indicate something like a poorly-adjusted fuel injector pump (someone had remarked on my thread 6 months ago that I'm missing a cold-start regulating mechanism) or any other problem with the engine? Perhaps the timing is not correct? The engine does seem to hesitate slightly when I try to accelerate, but it revs right up after that.

Below I have attached a photo of when I blocked the injector pump, camshaft and flywheel in the rear. Please tell me if it would be a problem if, after attaching and tightening the tensioner on the belt, those holes were slightly off? For example, I thought I detected a minute movement on the cam, perhaps as much as one tooth of the belt, though the dowel still fit into the hole behind it? Would that make a difference in the running of the engine?
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Re: 2.5Di banana engine won't start after cambelt change

Postby Chuggy » Tue Mar 31, 2020 1:37 pm

I've never noticed white smoke when using easystart so it could be that your timing is slightly out and the easystart makes combustion of the diesel happen, try loosening the injection pump and moving the pulley in its slots to see if that makes any difference.

Rubber hoses from the coolant resevoir go to thermostat housing (right hose) and radiator (left hose)
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