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  #21  
Old October 7th, 2013, 09:46 PM
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Jason England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jymmiejamz View Post
Typically you set the base idle after installing a stepper motor.
Base idle is preset at the factory and is a function of the plenum volume ... it should rarely need changing. A lot of people mess around with the base idle which is in fact merely masking other issues ...

You shouldn't touch the base idle until everything else is spot on ... and if everything else is spot on you shouldn't need to change the base idle ... IMHO
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #22  
Old October 7th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
A lot of people mess around with the base idle which is in fact merely masking other issues ...
That's why at the dealership we reset the base idle when replacing the stepper motor. Most of these vehicles have been messed with at some point in their life.
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  #23  
Old October 7th, 2013, 10:49 PM
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Chris
1994 Defender 90 Soft Top
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Man I am impressed with how many responses I've received on this one, thanks again to all that have contributed! I will answer the questions I presently know now, and am going to run the rest of the ideas by the shop tomorrow and reply on here with what they've checked, and any other updates.

Some background on the truck, I am the 3rd owner, the motor is the original 3.9L, and it has roughly 44k miles. I don't know anything about the first owner, but I know the second owner spared no expense maintaining it for quite some time. It was kept at a vacation home in the NW and wasn't driven all that much (could be part of the problem), and actually kept on a trickle charger in the garage most of the time. Required maintenance from me has been minimal (up until this point ha ha) but I have not cut any corners on service.

No plans on doing the y-pipe, dealer wanted something like $2k for the part plus labor, I quickly passed. I originally took it to an independent shop that specializes in European cars that I've seen work on lots of Rovers over the years, but they didn't show any interest in getting to the root of the problem. A friend is very involved in the local Rover chapter and said one of the best Defender mechanics is actually at the dealer so I thought I would give it a try. I'm located in Austin, TX - if anyone has any recommendations for other mechanics in this area please pass on their info.
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  #24  
Old October 7th, 2013, 11:00 PM
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Chris
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A couple more things I thought of...

I looked through the service records from the previous owner, and the only major service that stands out is in 2010 the following were replaced: new head gaskets & bolts, valve cover gaskets, end seals, holders, exhaust manifold gaskets, thermostat, spark plugs & wires.

The previous owner also installed a (sweet) stereo system that includes 2 amps, which I thought could be effecting the battery or alternator.

------ Follow up post added October 7th, 2013 10:06 PM ------

It also has a borla exhaust if that contributes anything to this conversation.

*all coolant hoses were replaced in 2010

*some work was also done to the timing system (cover, front pulley, balancer, oil pan removed, timing cover & oil pan resealed).
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  #25  
Old October 7th, 2013, 11:19 PM
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Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cellulararrest View Post
This is a '94. If there were any codes, your check engine light would be on. Was that the case? If the light wasn't on, there weren't any codes thrown. Assuming this is the original engine, it doesn't take any special equipment to read fault codes in the computer. It is a very rudimentary system (which is both a blessing and a curse) and is pre OBD-II.

This has the original engine and hasn't been swapped out for a 4.0 w/ a GEMS system, correct?

In my opinion it would be idle air control valve, bad ground in the ignition somewhere (seems likely due to the issue manifesting itself when the lights were switched on), fuel pressure (perhaps a clogged filter), or vacuum leak. Probably in that order.
The check engine light came off and on before I recently replaced an O2 sensor, since then when it has stalled out the check engine light has not come on at all. Good info re: no codes were thrown if check engine light didn't come back on...
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  #26  
Old October 8th, 2013, 06:43 AM
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Russell
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Like mentioned previously, install a new stepper motor and go from there. My truck experienced similar symptoms to what you described and it was the stepper. $40 and you can replace it yourself. It is the easiest part under the hood to change. No joke.
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  #27  
Old October 8th, 2013, 08:03 AM
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Don't buy the stepper motor from the dealership, it costs close to $400 if I remember correctly.
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  #28  
Old October 8th, 2013, 07:29 PM
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Robert Lynch
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Have you tried a different battery?

I am asking because my truck for about a year would cut off , act like it was missing, some times stall in the mornings or wet days or after I left it for awhile.

The culprit was a bad cell in the battery. Seemed to be causing either a voltage overload at times. Replacement totally cured it.
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  #29  
Old October 8th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlynch356 View Post
Have you tried a different battery?

I am asking because my truck for about a year would cut off , act like it was missing, some times stall in the mornings or wet days or after I left it for awhile.

The culprit was a bad cell in the battery. Seemed to be causing either a voltage overload at times. Replacement totally cured it.
I've definitely seen batteries cause stalling issues before, so its worth checking. One in particular was a co-worker's truck that had no problem starting, but would just stall when coming to a stop.
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  #30  
Old October 8th, 2013, 09:48 PM
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Jason England
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Try disconnecting the alternator. Run just on battery. That will tell you if the battery is the issue.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #31  
Old October 10th, 2013, 12:14 AM
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Ron
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Stalling

One more very rare problem to check for. The inside of the distributor cap can develop fine hairline cracks, sometimes between contacts. These cracks eventually fill up with carbon. When the carbon reaches a certain temp, it conducts electricity, thus creating a short between the two contacts. This can cause rough running and stalling. Let the car cool and it runs again.
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  #32  
Old October 10th, 2013, 02:17 AM
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Michael Ullman
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There is a great mechanic down here in the San Antonio area. I wouldn't hesitate to take it to them. If you want to bring it down to New Braunfels I'd be happy to take a look at it and pretend like I know what I'm doing.

I did have stalling issues in cold wether and the check engine light kept coming on. I put in a new head gasket and haven't had any problems since I did that. Well with stalling that is. I shouldn't of said anything that was like teasing the Rover Gods and I'm going to pay for that one.
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  #33  
Old October 10th, 2013, 08:43 AM
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Matthew
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I had similar issues with my truck stalling out near idle. It turned out the vacuum hose that connected to what I believe the idle air control valve was cracked and the culprit. Funny enough a very similar scenario on my ML350 was the result of a cracked vacuum line. Good luck and please share when you solve.
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  #34  
Old October 10th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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Rick Mabus
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I experienced similar issues with my truck, and it turned out to be a number of problems, not just one. And every fix made small differences.

stepper got replaced
air intake got cleaned out really good.
air filter got cleaned out really good.
coil pack got flipped so the main plug was not hanging down below.
Spark Plugs
Plug Wires
But the thing that made the biggest difference was the dist cap.

RickM
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  #35  
Old December 5th, 2013, 09:09 AM
austexrover
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Chris
1994 Defender 90 Soft Top
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I have been meaning to update this thread with the fixes that took care of the stalling problem I was having for quite some time. The stepper motor was replaced, fuel pump ground was cleaned, & it hasn't happened again since. Idle can still be a little sketchy on occasion, dropping down pretty low on its own for unknown reasons, but I'm not going to worry about it until it becomes a problem. Thanks again to those that contributed advice, it helped us get the problem fixed!
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  #36  
Old December 6th, 2013, 12:55 AM
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Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austexrover View Post
I have been meaning to update this thread with the fixes that took care of the stalling problem I was having for quite some time. The stepper motor was replaced, fuel pump ground was cleaned, & it hasn't happened again since. Idle can still be a little sketchy on occasion, dropping down pretty low on its own for unknown reasons, but I'm not going to worry about it until it becomes a problem. Thanks again to those that contributed advice, it helped us get the problem fixed!
Great to hear.
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  #37  
Old December 6th, 2013, 02:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickM View Post
I experienced similar issues with my truck, and it turned out to be a number of problems, not just one. And every fix made small differences.

stepper got replaced
air intake got cleaned out really good.
air filter got cleaned out really good.
coil pack got flipped so the main plug was not hanging down below.
Spark Plugs
Plug Wires
But the thing that made the biggest difference was the dist cap.

RickM

This !
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