'95 D90 3.9L missing for 10' after start... - Defender Source
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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:07 PM
Status: Offline
Kevin Judice
'95 D90 SW Coniston Green
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 17
'95 D90 3.9L missing for 10' after start...

I'm new to the Defender world, new to the board despite lurking for quite a while, and only moderately capable with a wrench, so my apologies in advance if any of this sounds stupid....but here goes.

I bought a '95 D90 SW back in May with 160k on it. From looking at the service records it appears that it's had new O2 sensors installed in the last 20k miles. Since I took ownership of it, I've had the following done by a local garage:

--new cats
--plenum leaks fixed
--new seal on the xfer case
--engine de-gunked, oil changed, etc
--new plugs
--new fuel pump, sediment removed and tank cleaned while it was out
--new fuel filter
--compression checked (all ok except #8, which is at 125 psi)
--installed a bulb in the CEL slot, which was empty when I got it (ouch).

The rig runs great, for the most part now. It passed smog. It is really fun to drive, especially offroad. My sons love getting it into deep mud, going up hills, and generally raising hell.

It occasionally throws a 44 code, but as mentioned before the O2 sensors are relatively new and the connections seem good. If I clear the code via disconnecting the ECU, the CEL light remains off for varying periods of time, but never longer than a day or two...then it throws the same code. No luck sorting that out yet.

In short, from what I can tell from reading the boards, a fairly normal Defender experience so far, especially given the mileage.

A few days ago, though, I noticed it was missing--stuttering a bit--after a cold start. After about 10' it seems to run fine. From reading a whole bunch of posts on the subject, I can narrow it down to either air, fuel, or spark......which, as you might imagine for someone with limited shop skills, is not all that helpful.

My short term plan is to clean out the MAF sensor and, if that doesn't fix it, throw a new one on. Beyond that I am thinking maybe the distributor (but I don't have a clue why that would resolve after 10-15 mins) or possibly the alternator, which seems to be the original and is probably due for replacement anyway.


Thanks in advance,

PS Next couple of projects are the oil line fix (seems to have had new lines installed about 30k ago, according to the service records, but they are not the super-sturdy version sold by ECR) and a new water pump...I think. Open to suggestions here too.

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Old August 5th, 2011, 08:54 PM
rijosho's Avatar
Status: Online
1995 Black ST - Rhinolined edition
Research Assistant/Eagle Eyes
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 16,595
Trailhead4x4 for the oil cooler line kits as well and a bit cheaper, or search how to basically put the whole kit together on your own - I think it's in Hans' signature.

Originally Posted by bjf View Post
I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 03:10 PM
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joe heins
1995 defender 90
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: castle rock, colorado
Posts: 112
My experience, FWIW, If the 02 sensor is bad, you would get alot more indication than the 44 code. I have had codes for 02 sensors from other parts. When I had a bad O2 sensor, I knew it!
Although you have had alot of work done, I would go back and have fuel pressure checked again, timing and the fuel injectors checked/cleaned. The basics. Once you have verified all that then get more exotic with possible causes like a bad alternator. It is pretty easy, though, to pull the alternator belt and see if the symptoms go away.

I don't think cleaning a maf has ever done me any good, because it is difficult to get any cleaner on the wire. just an opinion, others may have had better luck.

Any easy check is the fuel filter. I had similar symptoms which progressively got worse, with an occasional backfire and loss of power. ended up being the fuel pump even though a local mechanic said the pressure was good.
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