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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm not really sure where to start on this I've never even heard of this ever and the dealer is stumped too.

Car details:
2001 Accent 1.6 5spd
306,000k on the ticker
Very well Maintained...

There is a spark that is jumping from the oil pan to the crank pulley, let that sink in for a bit. Two metal parts that are in effect 'touching' are developing enough of a potential difference for a spark to jump a 1/2". Science = Broken.

I have checked the ground straps and checked with a scope to see if there was a voltage between the block and the frame (nope).

Its RPM dependent, as in the rate of discharge increases as engine RPM's go up.

I took it to a local shop and they said "well we could fix it but renting a exorcist is gonna cost ya"...
Hyundai Dealer was doing the head scratch thing as well.

Its not effecting the normal operation, but I'd like to fix it as this can't be good in the long run?

Any advise would be appreciated! If I could post a video I would...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its interesting to see another person having a similar issue. But the article was last updated in 2010 with no resolution posted. So it was helpful to know I am not alone, but not so helpful regarding a solution. Thanks for the reply though!
 

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There is no guarantee that the crank is grounded while the engine is running. Both the rods and crank float on a thin film of oil while operating and the crank to block seals are made of rubber. The clutch plate is not a conductor either. The input shaft of the transmission touches the crank via a greased bearing. That should ground the crank to the transmission but who knows what happens when it is turning. My bet is that one or both of the crank seals have some sort of discharge spring in them that is supposed to touch the crank and ground it to the motor. This is just a wild guess since I have never heard of a problem like this. I wonder if this could be the cause of some unexplained clutch throwout bearing or input shaft bearing failures in transmissions.

Also, this engine has a rubber timing belt so there is no crank grounding there either.
 

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I remember this happening to another member some time ago. He even posted a video of it and it is a wicked spark. Do a search on this forum and you can find the post's, I dont recall if there was a resolution or not.
 

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Here is a YouTube video of the problem. He claims it is due to the serpentine belt.

 

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From Gates:

Q. How is static conductivity of a belt determined and why is it important?
A. RMA bulletin IP3-3 explains how to test for static conductivity by passing an electric current of specified
voltage through a section of belt while measuring the belt’s resistance to conduct the current. A resistance of 6 MW
or less prevents measurable static voltage buildup, thus preventing a potentially hazardous static discharge.
V-belts are generally manufactured in accordance with this bulletin, but, to be certain, obtain the proper static
conductivity from the manufacturer.
The RMA bulletin applies to new, clean belts. However, older belts can collect debris or become worn and
damaged, which may give a belt infinite resistance. This condition enables a static charge to build up. Thus, in a
hazardous environment, additional protection is recommended, such as grounding the entire system to ensure
against accidental static spark discharges. Also, a static conductive brush or similar device will bleed off static
buildup on the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hmm... You might be onto something with mentioning the oil being non-conductive.

I only really started to notice this after I changed the oil - that being said I had a E-test to pass so I did a bunch of typical maintenance items (Plugs, Wires, Oil Change, Air Filter Clean...New Cat!). So I was being a tad more observant after all this, so it may have been pre-existing or it may not have been, I just happened to notice it afterwards.

*As a side note of sorts...The oil I took out was to say the least 'earning its keep' :rolleyes: So it is possible that the oil in the crank had a lower resistance and therefore reduced the electrical buildup and prevented the discharge from occurring.

As to the video - Yep that's what it looks like, but mine is louder and brighter (I can hear it while siting in the drivers seat and see the glow from the spark reflecting off cars beside me).

I don't know the vintage of the timing belt so perhaps I should look into replacing it (someone mentioned the belt as being mildly conductive).

I contacted Hyundai about a discharge spring on the crank, I got a raised eyebrow and a chuckle, so that's a 'no' on that one...

Thanks for all the responses guys...If you got anything else to check - please chime in. In the interim I'm going to sit back and watch ghost-busters and hope for a osmosis fix. :D:D
 

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Spazz with the info from Gates and Utube I think that the problem is the alternator/AC/PS belt. The harmonic balancer is insulated from the crank by rubber and can get charged up by static electricity. The fellow on Utube said it was a belt problem and it makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am still having issue believing it is strictly a static buildup issue. Even if the crank did build up a charge... The bearings in the connecting rods and piston pins are metallic ... And the piston rings are metal... And they touch the block...

Even then- the belts on the car ( not the timing belt ) are brand new-ish ( 2 months old) and they came from Hyundai ( genuine oem ). So they should be fine...

I am planning on replacing the timing belt soon ( next month or so), other then that... Throw holy water at it?
 

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maybe your flux capacitor is suck open? LOL!!

Sounds like a Back to the Future problem, better call Doc!

 

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Continuity

Static discharge to the level you describe from the belt sounds downright weird.

Things I would check would be arcing on one of your coil packs (inspect each of them carefully for signs of arcing, and even spray them with water when the engine is running), including your new wires. The crank sensor or cam sensor grounding (crack in the plastic casing - although very unlikely as there isn't enough voltage), and definitely all grounds.

If you just changed the plugs and wires, my hunch is that you will find a problem there.
 
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