Roman Candle Tailpipe - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old April 4th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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Roman Candle Tailpipe

That's what the cop said when he saw me go by early this morning. The truck (95SW) starting hesitating/bucking/sputtering while at speed last night. It wasn't bad enough to pull over and when I got it home I didn't see/smell/feel any problems.
This morning after about 3 miles of driving, it started again and progressively got worse until it got really bad and I noticed the sparks in the rear view mirror. After pulling over, I checked underneath and the whole exhaust, from manifold back was cherry red. I'm guessing I wasn't very far at all from burning something up.
After a week of pretty much total fleet meltdown, the D90 was my only running (well) vehicle and now this.
Any suggestions? I'm waiting for later in the day to take a closer look at it, but any thoughts on what to check in order to narrow down a diagnosis?
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  #2  
Old April 4th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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glowing exaust tends to be one of several things, lean mixture, retarded timing, or a huge excess of unburned fuel entering the exhaust stream. I would start by checking the plugs for signs of excess heat and/or one that are wet with fuel. I suspect you are experiencing an ignition failure of some sort.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Dave, thanks, I'll get on that. I'm guessing one or both of my cats may have plugged up as a result of it but you're the first to point out possible causes.
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  #4  
Old April 4th, 2010, 02:51 PM
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Dave is dead on. Ingition failure would be my guess. Bad plug, bad wire etc.
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Old April 4th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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I've seen several that were just cats breaking down from age and spitting chunks out of the tailpipe / clogging the exhaust and making the manifolds glow red. The customers described exactly what you did. feels like running out of fuel. Replaced cats and all is good.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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  #6  
Old April 5th, 2010, 09:15 AM
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I think Dave and Ron are on to it with the cats being plugged up as one of the symptoms or results of ignition failure. What I forgot to mention is that I did experience a significant change in fuel mileage last week. So much so that it led me to run out of gas. I had calibrated my range to about 225 miles before I should really look to fuel up, but I ran out at 203. Then two days after that, the cats plugged up as above.
I've got someone coming over tonight to help me look at it, but I'm fairly confident that Dave and Ron are on to it.
Now with the cats being presumably plugged up, and being in an emissions controlled area, I assume I need to replace them. I've read in other threads where a "generic high flow catalytic converter" is the best/cheapest way to go. Any thoughts on that?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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If VA has similar sniffer standards to PA, it will pass without cats, err, with cats with nothing left in them.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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If it was an ignition system issue I would think you'd have a check engine light. Right?
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Old April 5th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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If it was an ignition system issue I would think you'd have a check engine light. Right?
Usually, but not always.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilfij View Post
If VA has similar sniffer standards to PA, it will pass without cats, err, with cats with nothing left in them.

Good to know, that may be the next step after finding and fixing the ignition problem.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by firemangreen View Post
I think Dave and Ron are on to it with the cats being plugged up as one of the symptoms or results of ignition failure.
Yup, that happens too. Generally cats fail for a reason and running rich is a good one, and I'm not discounting it at all, and would not have said a word if you'd also said the CEL was on.. I do get a fair amount of issues through the door and generally an ignition or EFI related rich condition will be picked up by the 02's and trigger the CEL long before damage occurs. The CEL is rarely triggered by catalytic matrix breakdown. No rich condition to trigger the CEL just a shitload of heat in the pipes and bits of red hot material flying out of the tailpipe, as well as making the engine behave as if it has an ignition or fueling issue.

Not trying to be argumentative, or the thread winner......just something else to think about.
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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  #12  
Old April 5th, 2010, 09:03 PM
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Well, I'll leave the declaring of thread winners up to others with way more experience than me. I'm new to the whole distributor thing and my first Rover is a GEMS 97 Disco that would throw a code or CEL if I farted too loudly.
This 95 D90 has a 14CUX engine management system, right? And is it less sensitive than the GEMS system? Seems to me I recall discussion about how the 14CUX system only throws a CEL if something really significant goes wrong. Help educate/set me straight.

Checking it over I found a loose and corroded coil wire at the cap and worn and melted terminals in the cap. Put the coil wire back on tight and drove it for 15 minutes. So far so good. Planning on ordering new cap, rotor, wires and plugs. Do you think I'll be okay if I wait to replace the cats/Y pipe? I don't have to have the emissions inspected until August of 2011 so if I'll be okay driving it I can wait a while.

Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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Yes, I just run the truck until the cats puke themselves out and shake the honeycomb out of the muffler if it bothers me.
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  #14  
Old April 5th, 2010, 10:18 PM
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mine came apart, clogged up and blew the head gasket on my car at 12,000 miles. Kinda sucked. Took an entire weekend to sort it. I don't see that kind of thing happening on the defender though. I will gut mine soon. I think they are getting tired at 100k. I just wonder how the difference will affect the message that the o2s are sending?
I just turned them off on my car.

???
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:47 AM
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I just wonder how the difference will affect the message that the o2s are sending?
I just turned them off on my car.

???
well, if the '94/'95 Defender is set up like the '95 Disco running 14cux, then there are no o2 sensors after the cats, just the two before. so you shouldn't see any difference or codes thrown.
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Old April 6th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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thanks
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  #17  
Old April 7th, 2010, 06:48 AM
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Well, I'll leave the declaring of thread winners up to others with way more experience than me. .
Hehehe.......so Daveb wins....Ron gets second by a nose....... and MB crashes in the first turn.

got to be good for something this week!
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

"Dedicated to the resurrection of junk through engineering?"
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  #18  
Old April 7th, 2010, 12:43 PM
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Hey now. We are *all* winners.

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Hehehe.......so Daveb wins....Ron gets second by a nose....... and MB crashes in the first turn.

got to be good for something this week!
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