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  #1  
Old August 17th, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Great, now she won't idle again....

I thought I had this solved a couple months ago, but now I'm not so sure. I did find a bad ignition rotor and disconnected ground wire at the time, but even then it didn't start until I let it sit for a couple weeks without trying to run it.

Now, I'm back to not idling well. If I keep it above 1500-2000rpm, it burbles a bit but runs nice and strong. I try to let it idle, and it stumbles and dies after about 30 seconds.

I did pull the computer and check for water damage, and did see some. I cleaned off what corrosion I found, and it started and ran great. I shut it off, and an hour later it's back to the same crap. I'm wondering if it was a computer problem, or resetting the computer made it ignore the problem for a while. No codes being thrown at all.

What next?

-Hans
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  #2  
Old August 19th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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hans have you checked for vacuum leaks around the intake manifold? (and everywhere else) bad leak might cause this rough idle....?

good luck, im in the same boat : (

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  #3  
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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MAF wire?
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  #4  
Old October 15th, 2008, 11:54 AM
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Well, this long/sad story has not yet ended. Soon after the idle problems began again, it just wouldn't start anymore. And I haven't figured it out yet, I just had to take a break and not work on it a while..... otherwise I was ready to throw a lit highway flare on the front seat, and be done with it. It hasn't run in two months.

Long story short, it will not start. Starter spins fine. But it's only rarely firing any of the cylinders. Fuel pump runs fine, and I have pressure. New cap and rotor. Swapped the air and fuel filters. I have spark both at the coil and at the plugs. I've tried multiple ECU's. No trouble codes. Running through the long diagnostic procedure, everything checks ok that I can test (can't test injector patterns of course). I'm fully and totally stumped on this one.
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  #5  
Old October 15th, 2008, 12:03 PM
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Does it run with the MAF unplugged?
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Old October 15th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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Just tried it again, and no difference with the MAF unplugged.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Ugh. Not a good sign.

Does the check engine light come on and then go off after 5 or so seconds when you turn the key?
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Old October 15th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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Yep. Dash lights come on as normal when I turn the key.

I'm actually fixing my battery charger right now, I'm only getting 11.5 volts right now from it...... and the spare I have in my jeep is dead. So I want to charge up the spare and swap batteries to see if that may help. The battery in the Defender is an optima, but it's about 10 years old or so.

I'm also wondering if I may have burnt up another ignition rotor, which was possibly the problem earlier in the year when I had the same issues. Which of course prompts me to wonder what caused 2 rotors to fail on me.

-Hans
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  #9  
Old October 15th, 2008, 01:03 PM
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Hmmm.

I would just start swapping parts until it ran. Do you have a spare distributor?

I know there was a bad batch of rotors a while back, possible you got a couple?

Ron
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Old October 15th, 2008, 01:43 PM
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Well, the first one ran for months before failing. The only reason I had even changed it in the first place was that I dropped the old one and broke it, while doing my head gasket. The most recent one ran for about a month or so before developing problems.

I've also changed the ignition module over to a GM HEI and moved it to the fender. I'm considering just switching everything over to a Mallory distributor and running all new wiring for the ignition circuit. But first I'll try the battery swap I think, it's a long-shot but I'll take what I can get. If it's only 11.5 volts with the key off, I can only imagine how low the voltage gets when cranking. (silly me, just remembered I put a voltmeter in the dash too ::::slaps forehead::: )

-Hans

Follow-up Post:

Oh, and just a followup to the original problem.

Started off as just a bit of a rough idle. Then got really rough. Then wouldn't idle without keeping the RPM's up. Then went to not running, but stumbled a lot when trying to start. Eventually progressed to not firing any cylinders. So it's not like there was a sudden failure, more of a gradual progression over the course of a day or two.

-Hans
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  #11  
Old October 15th, 2008, 05:05 PM
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Well, doesn't appear to be a battery issue. Got the voltage back up into range, still no-go.

-Hans
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  #12  
Old October 15th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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Did you check the timing?

The dizzy could have come loose and lost timing.

Do you have the stock ignition amp to swap back in?

Like I said I would be really temped to find someone else with a similar truck and swap parts until it worked.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 05:42 PM
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It had been working with the new amp, I don't have the old one anymore...... swapping wasn't kind to the original wiring.

Timing is still good.

I just printed out the factory diagnostic procedures, going to run through them again. Right now I'm leaning toward a nice new Mallory Unilite, Coil and fresh wiring all around. Worst case, It's an excuse to buy something I wanted.
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  #14  
Old October 15th, 2008, 07:01 PM
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You could also drop it off at the dealer and they will tell you what's wrong, and then you can fix it.

Follow-up Post:

...and there's that little solenoid thing that it bolted into the side of the MAF that fiddles with idling. Pull that thing, make sure it moves, and the wires are making good contact. Replace it upside down.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Today, I have done the Happy Dance! :

I finally freaking found it! Had it fired up and running nice and strong today, with the problem clearly identified. The vacuum advance module on the distributor, or maybe the mechanical, either way it's the distributor advance mechanism throwing the timing out of whack and jumping around through some wild swings.

I hadn't been able to check the timing, since it wasn't running, so I just made sure to NOT touch it through the whole problem. I figured it was good before, and I hadn't touched it at all, there was no sense it knocking it out of whack and not being able to adjust it later with the engine not running. So, trying to test the HEI module I put in there, I swapped the reluctor wires as just a random guess. And it fired right up! The kicker is, when you swap those wires it moves the coil timing about 10 degrees or so.... and that put it back into a running range for the engine timing. Of course, the rotor DID fail after all when I was in the process of setting the timing again, the conductor arm fell off the base. So I need parts now, but at least I have identified which ones.

Now that I've been thinking back, the last couple times I tried to set the timing it had been a real pain in the ass. The spot I have to move the distributor to set the timing is right around where it knocks into the thermostat neck, so I constantly find myself moving the wires one spot each way to tweak it. Last few times I tried to adjust it, I could never get it where I wanted it..... like it seemed to be jumping all around the place. I had also found the vacuum can was somewhat loose, so I had tightened the mounting screws as well.

There's no way it could have jumped this far just by the distributor moving because
A.) it was locked down tight still.
B.) it has a very limited range of movement before bonking into the thermostat housing or intake, and it should have run through that whole range.
C.) the initial symptom of having to run at high RPM's now makes sense, because that would swing the mechanical advance around and change the timing.

Anyways, I'm in a good mood with an end to this problem in sight, finally.
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  #16  
Old October 16th, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Good news!
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Old October 16th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij
Good news!
Yep, gave me the perfect excuse for that Unilite distributor I wanted :-)
Now I can patiently wait for the new stuff to arrive and start prepping the engine bay for it.
And oddly enough, I had money set aside just for land rover improvements.

Oh, and it runs now too. (or did, until that rotor broke)

-Hans

Follow-up Post:

Oh, and the tech guy at Century Performance..... yeah, he's a rover guy for sure. And knows his stuff.

Quoted all the part numbers from memory for me, when I wanted to confirm which one to get. Gave me the straight deal, made sure I wasn't spending extra money on stuff I didn't need. So far I'm very happy with their service.

And here's the parts listing for the new distributor and stuff.
Distributor 4768901 (Unilite... listed for leyland V8's)
Promaster E-coil 30440 (non-resisted so I can go with a hyfire box later)
Ballast resistor MAL-700
E-spark module 6100M (going to swap out the older style that came with it, no sense on not doing that)

Now to get a post up for the old parts.
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  #18  
Old October 16th, 2008, 02:01 PM
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Thats good news Hans
I've been reading this and wishing I could suggest something that would help. My little experience/knowledge about mechanical crap wouldn't help you that much. Hopefully soon everything will be sorted out and done.
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Old October 16th, 2008, 02:17 PM
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I know what you mean Gery, for some reason I'm always getting stuck with the unusual problems and it drives me nuts. But hey, at least it adds to the knowledge base for everybody else. I would have never expected to have an advance mechanism cause a problem like this.

I'm also almost certain that this is the same cause as my other no-start problems this summer, I was never confident that I had actually solved the problem and never knew what I did that made it run again. I just came home from vacation, and it started up again. My guess is that it was getting stuck with a lot of advanced timing, and I just don't have the patience to deal with the Lucas distributor anymore and the constantly failing $25 rotors I've been suffering through.

-Hans
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