89 Rover Classic no-start issue (not my own) - Defender Source
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Old March 28th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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89 Rover Classic no-start issue (not my own)

Asking for a co-worker who recently bought an '89 RRC, and is having starting/running issues. Mechanic is trying to pull a fast one I believe.

Initially, truck had an intermittant no-start issue. Turn key, nothing happens. Mechanic replaced the starter and battery, removed a previous-owner installed remote start. Things appeared fine for a while. Had an intermittant coolant level light, I traced that to a bad sender. Also getting an EFI light, but doesn't have a diagnostic code to check, so I'm still tracking that one down slowly.

Yesterday, truck lost power at highway speed. After stopping, the starter does nothing. I offered to come help, but no luck when I looked at it. Didn't have much time to toy with it, so she called the towtruck.

Battery and alternator points all show more than 12 volts. Tried jump-starting anyways. No effect. Don't even hear the starter solenoid engage. All the accessory stuff has power.
Mechanic claims the cats are plugged. (happens suddenly at 50mph? passed emissions 2 weeks ago).
He also claims the starter is fried from overcranking, but starter never even turned.
I don't believe either one, as it seems fairly obvious to me that it's got an electrical problem in the starting system. Though I guess it's possible the starter never dis-engaged and that fried it.
I'm suspecting the ignition switch or wiring from that damned remote start.
IIRC, the pre-1990's didn't have a neutral safety switch.

Any other ideas to suggest?

-Hans
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  #2  
Old March 28th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Check the fuseable links.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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I don't know much about RR, but for what its worth I'd check the lead that goes from the alternator to the starter. If the starter isn't operating then that might be a good place to start and work back from there.

Also, if the RR cut out while driving you might want to check any MAF leads too.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 05:58 PM
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On 89 RRC's it was common for the relay for the starter to fail and cause lots of problems. Also the leads off the battery corrode often. 89's do not have fusible links that came in the 1990's. Also check www.rangerovers.com

I hope this helps
Eric
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Old March 28th, 2007, 06:11 PM
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I was thinking the same thing as well, would this be a different piece than the solenoid mounted on the starter itself?

Where is this particular relay located? I've never spent much time under the hood of an RRC.

-Hans
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Old March 28th, 2007, 06:31 PM
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I am home now without my books so I can't say exactly what one it is. But I know it is one of them that are on the passenger side under the hood mounted on the firewall under the long plastic cover.

Eric

Follow-up Post:

One other thing. If it's a 89 with that stupid little starter heatshield make sure the small solenoid wire hasn't worn through or rotted off.

Eric
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  #7  
Old March 28th, 2007, 09:37 PM
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my 89 did that. Pulled the wires off the ignition coil, put them back on, started back up. Changed leads to ignition coil no more issues...yet.
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Old March 28th, 2007, 09:42 PM
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Well, apparently the mechanic replaced the starter again, and it starts. Though the mechanic is still pushing her to get the cats replaced. I don't see how it's physically possible for a PRE-OBD vehicle to have electrical problems caused by catalytic convertors.

I'll be able to do some more digging maybe on sunday.

-Hans
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