Defender won't Start - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 26th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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Arrow Defender won't Start

Somebody help before I buy a FJ Crusier! (The Toyota dealer offered $29K for the Defender)


Well, I'm finally going to be in the "D90 Won't Start" thread. Man there sure are a lot of them. They've proven quite helpful narrowing the list of possiblities, but I couldn't find any "wonder pills."

Anyway, does anyone know how to diagnose a bad ignition switch because this is killing me.

A good storm/rain pushed through a few days ago and the Defender won't start up. It'll crank, but no vrooom.

I've got fuel (I can smell it).
I've got spark (although it seems a bit weak)
Haven't tested for air.

I tested spark both after the distributor and coil. Coil seems to be good, but the spark is weak after the distributor. I was able to swap out the coild for another, but it still wouldn't start. I should note that I have a Crane Cam's ignition system (points-to-electric). I haven't tested the unit yet, but the diode doesn't come on when I crank the engine. Typically the diode flashes when cranking (it currently doesn't) and is illuminated when the engine is running.

So I think I've got it narrowed down to either a bad ignition switch, optical trigger on the Crane unit, or the Crane Unit itself.

If anyone knows how to test the ignition unit please let me know. Thanks!

DJ
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  #2  
Old December 27th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Kevin Houseal
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I was in the same place a month ago (thinking about the options including fj and the new j**p.) Anyway, it turned out to be the maxi-fuse labeled "headlights" if I remember correctly. I'd been checking the ignition ones over and over. I think I posted back then. Hopefully it's that simple for you too.

kh
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  #3  
Old December 27th, 2006, 11:05 AM
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Stephen Whitaker
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Despite the fact you have probably already checked for this possibilty, I feel obiligated to throw it in the ring anyway. I had the exact same problem after it rained and tried all the possibilities on the threads until I figured out that I was inadvertently flooding the engine while I was trying to start it. After getting the excess gas out of the cylinders it started right up provided I kept my lead foot completely off of the gas pedal while cranking. Old habits die hard and on my old Series II 109 I had to pump the accelerator to get it to start - definintely a no-no in a Defender.
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  #4  
Old December 27th, 2006, 11:35 AM
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Chris Davis
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You can take a 12V tester light and, at the coil, see if it is seeing the 12 volt signal from the ignition switch when turned---I think (and someone correct me if I am wrong) you check it at the coil terminal where the wire connects that goes down toward the engine (the single black sheathed wire). It has been a while since I had to check mine, but I think this is correct.

Good luck,
Chris
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  #5  
Old December 27th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Thanks guys!

This sounds bad, but I didn't think to check any of the Maxi's, I went right after the ignition system. I probably have flooded the Defender. I was pretty irritated by it not starting up the other morning and really abused it, which didn't help the situation.

I'll give these idea's a try this weekend and post back. This seems to be a re-occuring topic and hopfully will help other out with diagnosing thier "No Start" issues.

DJ
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  #6  
Old January 1st, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Question Same Problem

I was/am having the same problem. Anytime the weather turns wet I am having a problem starting. I took a spray bottle with water one dry day when it was running and sprayed the ignitionwires and distributor cap. Without fail it stalled.

Replaced plugs, wires, cap, rotor. Started. No prob. Rain today, No Start. Checked and pulled fuses.

Now, It gets very wet inside the cab (need better seal around windows...fab a better gutter system for my hard top. more on that later). The EFI gets pretty wet b/c it is down by the tow box. Does anyone think that this could be the culpret?
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  #7  
Old January 1st, 2007, 02:57 PM
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no spark at primary. I'll bet that once it drys off it will be business as usual. Then over to the shop
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Old January 2nd, 2007, 09:34 PM
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I feel like I am just keeping a good log here. Okay... all dry today no start in the morning so I took for the black sedan and went to work. came home didn't turn over. Put the kiddo to bed and then jumped back in the truck. a couple of turns and gave it some gas. .. started.

I am taking it to my brothers shop and we are going to systematically wet everything until we figure it out. . . more later
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  #9  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:22 AM
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I'm gonna guess either the ECU relay or the fuel injection relay or the ECU itself.
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  #10  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:31 AM
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Neil Steinhagen
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In keeping with the "good log" theory, I was inducted into the "won't start" club this morning, although mine just died while running. Turned out to be a bad fuse for the fuel pump. It was corroded and only about half of it came out when I tried to remove it. I could see how a broken fuel pump fuse may cause intermittent problems and be confusing to diagnos.

DJ, if you would like, I can take some voltage readings at the coil, etc. if you'd like. Might give you some aid in your easter egg hunt.
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  #11  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Thanks Neil, but I swapped out the coil with a good one and still no start/spark. I also tested the leads at the coil and I'm pretty sure its the electrical unit on my conversion is dead.

I just ordered a new one so once I get it installed she should start up.
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  #12  
Old January 7th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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I am back. I jumped in and turned and turned. I actually gave it some gas and then go time. I took it to my brother's shop and he took a quick look at it. He sprayed it down w/ water. There is a litle cup/pan under the coil that was gathering water. he removed that and it started. I am sure that this was a quick fix. maybe a new coil but, the big question is.... why did I need to gie it gas the other day before it started/ ECU? No, b/c we had no spark at the primary... I need to get this wired tight because I don't want to go through a big wet puddle or have to drive back during high tide and get stuck...
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  #13  
Old January 7th, 2007, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevewhitaker
After getting the excess gas out of the cylinders it started right up provided I kept my lead foot completely off of the gas pedal while cranking. Old habits die hard and on my old Series II 109 I had to pump the accelerator to get it to start - definintely a no-no in a Defender.
Interesting. Occasionally, I will stall and flood my engine when I get bogged down in a big snow bank. I find that the only thing that will get it started (even after letting it sit for an hour) is to put the pedal to the floor while turning the ignition. I'm fairly confident that this works because it opens up the throttle body fully letting more air in but doesn't spray more fuel into the cylinders because it's an EFI...can someone confirm?
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  #14  
Old January 9th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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chris- I hope someone has a thought on that because sometimes that is the issue with my D90 after a rain. That and won't start. So far it has been acting fine. but again I need it wired tight so that I don't have this problem in a critical situation. It is mre fn to drive with confidence.
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  #15  
Old January 10th, 2007, 11:36 AM
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Hey Chris - Yeah, mashing the accelerator pedal to the floor while turning the ignition in supposed to be the method to clear the cylinders after flooding. My fickle ol' truck doesn't seem fazed by such procedures, however.

And you're right Jason, in that it is normally more relaxing, if not fun, to drive with the confidence that your vehicle will behave - but then I've owned a Land Rover for almost my entire life, so...
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  #16  
Old January 10th, 2007, 12:48 PM
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Mine wouldnt start one day after a rain so I did some searching around and found one of the connectors behind the heater box under the back passenger side of the hood was corroded. There are several connectors there but the one that was corroded was the white one. I cleaned the connectors and made sure all of the pins were tight. I also packed it with some dielectric(sp) grease so water cant get in again.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 02:56 AM
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If it's flooded and putting the pedal to the metal doesn't work, as it doesn't in mine, then disconnect the injector trigger wire from the coil. Like someone said, it's the single black wire going from the coil to the rear of the engine. Crank it for a few seconds and the spark will burn off the fuel, sputter sputter. Reconnect the wire and away you go. It works for me if it's flooded, which it sounds like it is. Mine never has a problem after a rainfall.
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  #18  
Old January 23rd, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Robert Ragland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyrad
If it's flooded and putting the pedal to the metal doesn't work, as it doesn't in mine, then disconnect the injector trigger wire from the coil...

Good quick trick. Worked for me this morning after the truck wasn't driven for four days. Thanks.
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  #19  
Old January 24th, 2007, 01:05 AM
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Thumbs down Update

Well, I replace the ignition unit and had the starter referbed, but the D90 still won't crank. All it does is....click repeatedly.

If the D90 were a horse I would have shot it today.
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Old January 28th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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For those interested:

I had another look at the D90 and my good neighbor noticed I had misplaced a ground. So in the end both my ignition unit and my starter bit the dust.
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