Electrical Gremlins- Post rain storm - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old June 15th, 2008, 10:08 PM
JJB622
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Jimmy Baker
1997 BRG D90
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Electrical Gremlins- Post rain storm

Well I left the 90 outside overnight with a bikini top on during a rainstorm. I had put a tarp over it but apparently that wasn't enough. Today, when I went to start it, it initially refused and produced a clicking sound. I connected the terminals to another car to jump the battery. It finally started up after I had revved the other car up a lot.

I was able to drive it at speed, but the gauges aren't functioning (fuel, tach, speedo, odo, cooling) and the headlights aren't working. The dash was backlit and the headlight indicator was on but no lights. A picture of a red battery remained on the diagnostic screen.

Any ideas? I'm hoping it's not the ECU.

Thanks.

Cliffnotes: Left out in rain. Car wouldn't start today. Jumped it; started up and drove it but gauges don't work(fuel, tach, speedo, odo, temp.). Red Battery icon displays on dash.

Follow-up Post:

Other things I thought of:
-The running lights do work
-It didn't sound like it was even turning over until I got it on. I made it back home thankfully, but it won't turn on since.
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  #2  
Old June 16th, 2008, 11:48 AM
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Scott
1997 D90 ST #1444
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I had the same problem yesterday... I went wheeling on Saturday, it did rain, but not bad. I made it back to my parents, being there for the Father's Day weekend. I worked on a few things and then went to head home... It took forever to get it started, no cranking noise, no response, the gauges were not working and the battery light was on. The radio and start up tones worked fine. Finally got it started after giggling the key a million times. Almost like the ignition switch was bad.

As i pulled into my driveway, the truck just died, and would not start again. I had to winch it into the garage. Tried to start it this AM, with no success. Tonight, I am going to check out all the fuses and relays.

I will let you know what I find out, please do the same.
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  #3  
Old June 16th, 2008, 01:08 PM
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John
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Check your ECU!! Water has a tendency to find its way there and can run havoc with all kinds of symptoms. Water particularly can get there if it was "relocated" to the passenger footwell for an AC installation.

Was your windows off, ie half-doors?? It is particularly at risk in that scenario.
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  #4  
Old June 16th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Robert Bees
1994 D90 #8
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I second that. I had exactly the same issue last year, and ended up burning out my starter trying to get it going. I ended up removing the ECU, taking off the cover and letting it air dry for a day or two. Since then I have found a spare ECU on this very forum for the next time such a problem occurs...
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  #5  
Old June 17th, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Loic Fabro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJB622
I was able to drive it at speed, but the gauges aren't functioning (fuel, tach, speedo, odo, cooling) and the headlights aren't working. The dash was backlit and the headlight indicator was on but no lights. A picture of a red battery remained on the diagnostic screen.

Any ideas? I'm hoping it's not the ECU.
Could be a wet ECU, could also be a failing(failed) alternator. With a weak battery, you start loosing gauges and at some point the engine stops. Lucas does not like water.
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  #6  
Old June 17th, 2008, 11:38 PM
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David
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I am newer to Land Rovers than probably most on this board (owned my 90 ST for about 18 months), and I gotta tell ya, every time I read a thread about our off-road, all-weather, supposed-to-be-bulletproof trucks not starting, etc. because they got WET? I just find myself chuckling! Having had Land Cruisers, Jeeps, Broncos, and Blazers in the past, it would be hard to imagine an instance where they would have been hampered by anything less than a river crossing level of wetness.

I really love this truck (even with all its quirkiness), but I'm sometimes curious as to how Land Rovers gained the reputation they have! Let's face it, it's pretty incredible to think that some have reported difficulty in starting their 90s after something as simple as washing their trucks! An MG? OK, I can go with that. A 4x4 Rover? That's just a mystery to me. .................anyone else here have the same opinion?

All that being said, I have also found Rover owners to be about as loyal a group as any I've seen. Despite any/all shortcomings these trucks may have, it's not at all uncommon to hear statements from owners like "Yeah, I gotta work on it all the time and it gives me a lot of trouble.......but I love my 90 and I'd never even consider selling it.".........surprisingly, even as bizarre as I find some of the "issues" with these trucks, I sort of feel the same way about mine. Of everything I currently have, I think I'd be least likely to sell the Rover.....

That's a hard one to explain.............
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  #7  
Old June 18th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Charles Galpin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnp
That's a hard one to explain.............
Yup. I Stopped trying a long time ago. Just run with it
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  #8  
Old June 18th, 2008, 08:49 AM
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Tyler
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Run no top all summer rain or shine only things that don't start are the radio after 5 years of baths.
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Old June 20th, 2008, 04:33 PM
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So did you solve the problem?
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  #10  
Old June 22nd, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Jimmy Baker
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Hey Scott,

No unfortunately the D has just been sitting for the week. I did notice that once I recharged the battery, the headlights worked--the gauges seem to be the only thing not functioning. I think it could be an electrical short. I'm just going to bring it to my Rover shop to save myself Lucas aggravation. I'll keep you posted.
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  #11  
Old June 22nd, 2008, 04:02 PM
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no avoiding lucas aggrivation - sorry.
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  #12  
Old April 12th, 2009, 03:44 AM
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Javier Velador
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I'm running into the same issue. The first time, it took a few hours before it actually started. The second, it took about an hour.

The last rain must have really screwed something up because it just refuses to start. Hoping it's the ECU or something easy.

For those that have had the same problem, was it the ECU?

Thanks...
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Old April 13th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Loic Fabro
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Not sure if you had the same cause, so, here is what happened on mine ('95) soon after I got the truck:
- after a good rain (and probably a week of not going anywhere parked outside) the truck would not start. Soft top was on (i.e. no water on the inside or the ECU or the ignition switch or etc...) The starter would quick in, engine would turn, engine would not start.
- if you let it "dry" for a few days, it would likely restart like nothing happened.
- if I needed to restart it (like I had too on a Friday night leaving for MAR....), I'd borrow my wife's hair dryer, unplug the park plugs wire, distributor cap, coil wires and air dry all that for a good 1-2 hour.

How I fixed it? Not 100% sure! Here is the quick tune-up, I did though (and the combination or part of it fixed it):
- replaced spark plug wires
- replaced distributor cap + rotor
- replaced coil
- put di-electric grase on the spark plug, distributor and coil wire boots (i.e. sealed from moisture)
- replaced spark plugs (likely to not have helped, they looked great)

Now you need to be a bit more precise when you say "it just refuses to start".
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I have an ex MoD and an ex wife. The two no longer conflict with each other.
Quote:
it is not hoarding it is selective collecting
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1996 Discovery NAS
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  #14  
Old April 13th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Mike
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I removed my ECU and reinstalled in the same location (under the passengers seat) with longer stainless steel bolts and 1" long nylon spacers to elavate it from the locker floor.


Cheers...
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  #15  
Old April 15th, 2009, 01:32 AM
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Javier Velador
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Cool, thanks for sharing your experience.

In each case, it would sound as if it was about to start, misfire, then not start at all. I just waited a while and it would start as if nothing happened. This time, nothing has worked. Tried

-using another ECU
-checking distributor
-checking for spark from coil, it's there
-check all relevant fuses
-I can hear the relays clicking
-The inertia switch was not tripped

Now I want to check fuel line pressure, but I don't see a valve as I saw on a '95 Disco this weekend.

So now I'm thinking fuel pump and/or filter.

Thanks again!
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  #16  
Old April 15th, 2009, 08:24 AM
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Matt
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Sounds very familiar to a problem I was having. Often when it would rain or if there was a lot of condensation from large temp changes, my 110 would not start. I had a bunch of false starts on things I thought fixed the problem, but sooner or later the problem would return. At the peak of frustration I had it towed to the dealer, where after much head scratching the diagnosed it as a bad ignition module. I was very skeptical but told them to go ahead and replace and if the issue reappeared, I would be back and none too happy. Well I am probably going on 6 months without any issue. Knock on wood, not only have I not had any issues with the rain/wet weather, but I also did not exerience any of the hard starting issues this winter as temps dropped into the single digits and below. Hope this helps.
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  #17  
Old April 15th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Both the original posters had 97 D90s listed in their profile. The ECU on a 97 is under the hood on the RH fender (unlike a 95 where it is under the passenger seat) so rain in the ECU is unlikely for a 97.
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