need help with diagnosis of 3.9 fuel problem - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 28th, 2010, 11:28 PM
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need help with diagnosis of 3.9 fuel problem

I wasn't sure where to post this, since there is no RRC tech area, but I need help and appreciate the boards expertise. The vehicle is a 1995 Rangie Classic with the 3.9 engine:

On Friday I drove 100 miles from home to do some climbing and camping. On the way, I noticed very slight 'misses' like a quick loss of fuel pressure, but attributed it to my imagination or a strong head wind.
Later in the day the problem got much worse, and eventually the Rover would only run for short periods then die unexpectedly. Again, it seemed to not be getting fuel, but would start after a few minutes then die again shortly thereafter.

Since I only had half a tank of fuel, I decided to limp to the nearest town and fill up just in case it was a bad tank of gas.
Immediately when the tank was full, I noticed gas pouring onto the ground below the vehicle on the filler side.
I pulled the carpet in the loadspace area and unscrewed the access door above the in-tank fuel pump. Just to the right of the fuel pump on the tank there is a lower area with a vent hose for the filler tube attached.

This hose was split and felt like it was rotting away, and the entire area was filled with gasoline that had leaked out. Obviously this is a problem that needs to be replaced (by dropping the tank) but since this is just a vent hose I don't believe it would affect fuel pressure - right?

If not, what else could be causing the problem? I left the vehicle at a local shop on Saturday but don't have much confidence in the mechanic - he mentioned never working on a Rover before.

I'm going to have him run a fuel pressure test and know that it should be between 34-38 foot pounds squared, but then what?
I suppose I'll also have him replace the fuel filter for good measure.
Any other thoughts or ideas?

Thanks very much for any ideas or advice.

Kind Regards,
Art Vigil
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'95 RRC Brooklands/TWR Edition 3.9V8
'97 D90SW NAS #2426 - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'95 D90ST NAS#2620 - Original owner
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  #2  
Old June 29th, 2010, 12:29 AM
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Ignition module, bad relay, bad fuel pump, bad connections at fuel pump--sounds like something on that order.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 12:18 AM
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Thanks Ron, I'll start there. It's weird, it ran today for about six miles then stalled. About 15 minutes later it started right up and the fuel press was exactly where it should be.
~Art
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Former owner of:
'95 RRC - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'72 Series III 88" NADA Turner 2.25 petrol (Lovely Rita)
'95 RRC Brooklands/TWR Edition 3.9V8
'97 D90SW NAS #2426 - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'95 D90ST NAS#2620 - Original owner
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  #4  
Old June 30th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
Ignition module, bad relay, bad fuel pump, bad connections at fuel pump--sounds like something on that order.
Hey Art, do you mean "Ignition AMPLIPIER Module"???
Thx, HB
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  #5  
Old June 30th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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I do mean the ignition amplifier module PN STC1184
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Old June 30th, 2010, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
I do mean the ignition amplifier module PN STC1184
Sorry i meant Ron. Do you know how to test it to see if it's bad - voltage test I assume?
thanks,
HB
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  #7  
Old June 30th, 2010, 03:34 PM
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I don't know, as I just swap in a spare.
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Old June 30th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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Does any body know how to test the ignition module?
HB
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Old June 30th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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That part is in the neighborhood of 10-15 pounds Sterling in the UK. 115-130 Dollars here - what the hell?
Think I might need to call the relatives in London...

Thanks for the help guys, keep the suggestions coming.

Best,
~Art
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'95 RRC - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'72 Series III 88" NADA Turner 2.25 petrol (Lovely Rita)
'95 RRC Brooklands/TWR Edition 3.9V8
'97 D90SW NAS #2426 - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'95 D90ST NAS#2620 - Original owner
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  #10  
Old June 30th, 2010, 09:30 PM
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$75 for new lucas from roverguy. (bought one) I think he charged ~$25 for used (bought two as chicky burned out both spares when she had her issue with the shorting wire on the starter). Buy lucas or genuine (which is lucas) there are some weird aftermarket ones floating around.

Ron
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  #11  
Old June 30th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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Fuel starvation ... crappy fuel lines .... replace fuel filter!

Make sure the fuel is clean and flowing nicely before randomly swapping out the minions of the prince of darkness - You don't want to add variables to the diagnosis ... like adding in a faulty component.
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Old July 2nd, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Fuel starvation ... crappy fuel lines .... replace fuel filter!

Make sure the fuel is clean and flowing nicely before randomly swapping out the minions of the prince of darkness - You don't want to add variables to the diagnosis ... like adding in a faulty component.
I think you'd be having more random intermittant problems if this was the case, same with the fuel pump. If it runs then stops over and over, it sounds electrical, like heat buildup.
It can't hurt to replace the fuel filter and check the lines, but I like Ron's idea of the ignition module and would also recommend looking at the distributor. There is a part inside (pickup coil, I believe?) that when fails shows the same symptoms as the ingition module. It's a pain to get to, I'd just source an entire used distributor. If you need to get on the road, you might want to replace them both to get the vehicle home.
Let us know.
HB
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  #13  
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:28 PM
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Did you ever figure out the cause?

Something similar happened to me last year and it turned out to be a bad O2 sensor.
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  #14  
Old July 6th, 2010, 09:55 PM
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If it is a bad O2 (or MAF), unplugging the MAF will make it run ok.
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  #15  
Old July 6th, 2010, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmityD90 View Post
Did you ever figure out the cause?

Something similar happened to me last year and it turned out to be a bad O2 sensor.
The short answer is: maybe. The mechanic working on it replaced the ignition rotor inside the distributor and the preliminary road tests seem to show that the problem is fixed. He's planning to try a 22 mile trip tomorrow to make sure.
I'm heading out there (it's about 120 miles from Denver) on Saturday with a new (used) ignition module and complete distributor in hand, just in case. The O2 sensor and fuel pump are fairly new, we're pretty sure they're not the cause. I had him replace the fuel filter for good measure, but I don't think it's the cause either.
The vehicle seemed to do fine on the highway but started to experience problems when there wasn't much airflow under the hood and heat had a chance to build up. Once I let it cool down it'd start right up and run for several minutes until I'd slow down and let it idle for a couple of minutes, then it'd stall. It really does seem to be heat related. I'll update once the vehicle is safe at home.
Thanks for asking.

Regards,
~Art Vigil

PS. Ron, I greatly appreciate your help - When you make it to Denver, the beer's on me.
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Arthur M Vigil
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Former owner of:
'95 RRC - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'72 Series III 88" NADA Turner 2.25 petrol (Lovely Rita)
'95 RRC Brooklands/TWR Edition 3.9V8
'97 D90SW NAS #2426 - 3.9V8 Rimmer Supercharged!
'95 D90ST NAS#2620 - Original owner
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  #16  
Old July 7th, 2010, 01:07 AM
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Heat related is most likely ignition module or the "chicklet" (search on this site) in the wiring harness on the white and black wire.

I will PM you my cell. I am about 50/50 getting people running on the side of the road.

Ron

PS make it a wild turkey on the rocks and you got a deal!
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