Rough idle and now won't start - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 19th, 2011, 03:02 AM
OahuDefender
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Jason
1994 D-90
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Rough idle and now won't start

Ohk, so the rover hasn't been driven a whole lot lately. Last time I had it out about 1 week ago and it was running rough at low RPM's. I go to start it tonight and nothing. It turns over and will even hesitate like it wants to start and then nothing. It's been in a carport (so I'm pretty sure it's not water in the ignition components). When I turn the key I hear the fuel pump come on, so we can count that (and the relay) out. My first thought was maybe bad fuel. Put in a few gallons of fresh fuel along with fuel stabilizer, still nothing. Now, this could be because I'm not actually moving enough fuel through the lines to get the new gas to the engine (but not a lot I can do if it won't start).

Ideas? It wants to start, just can't get past the hesitation. Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old December 19th, 2011, 06:23 AM
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Bill Adams
66 109 sw 94 lwb
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I normally do not recommend this but to eliminate a fuel issue.
Undo the air intake hose from the throttle body. Operate the butterfly valve open and put a shot of start fluid in the plenum. Quickly replace the hose and try to start it. If it catches then fuel is the problem
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Old December 19th, 2011, 02:12 PM
OahuDefender
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Jason
1994 D-90
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Ohk thanks I'll give that a try today. Also, if it is fuel related (probably the filter because I can hear the pump operating) how do I go about depressurizing the system if I can't get the engine to turn over?

------ Follow up post added December 19th, 2011 10:37 AM ------

Latest update. Tried starter fluid at the manifold and no joy. Checked the plugs at the distributor cap and it's getting good spark. Popped distributor cap off and found some minor corrosion (cleaned it up). Still no start. So I have spark at the cap and I have fuel (or start fluid at least) and it still won't fire. Every 4 seconds or so it seems like it wants to catch, but nothing. I'm at a loss now, any ideas?
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  #4  
Old December 19th, 2011, 08:22 PM
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oil soaked filter
95 RRC 300tdi
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Yup, send me a ticket and I'll come fix it for you. .
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

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  #5  
Old December 20th, 2011, 04:19 PM
OahuDefender
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Jason
1994 D-90
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Haha, can you bring the parts with you on the plane? That might actually be cheaper than shipping them from the mainland.

Anyway, just ordered a new ignition amplifier and assorted other parts from RN. Figure I might as well tune up the ignition while I'm at it and threw in a new fuel filter to boot.

Next, once the parts get here any advice on replacing the amplifier? I've read some different things from making it sound easy to saying you've gotta pull the distributor (I'd rather not, there's better things I can think to do with my time).

Also, any tips on the fuel filter? I've heard you need to depressurize the fuel system. Is that absolutely necessary and if so it can be done by pulling the fuse correct? I'd rather not pull the relay as I've been down that road once already replacing it and getting to it behind the a/c is a real PITA. Thanks for the advice.
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  #6  
Old December 20th, 2011, 06:36 PM
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2411D90
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Bob Vogler
1995 D90 Fastback ST (Beluga Black)
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Yes, you need to depressurize the fuel system before changing the fuel filter. Remove the fuel pump fuse (or the relay, but the fuse is much easier) and crank the engine for about ten seconds to open the fuel injectors enough times to help reduce some of the pressure. Switch off the ignition, disconnect the battery negative terminal (a good idea whenever gasoline fumes are possible), and replace the fuse. You can now change the fuel filter, but there will most likely still be some pressure in the system so have rags and a container handy to soak up and catch any fuel spray. Plug the fuel lines while they're disconnected to minimize fuel leakage.

By the way, I have long been a fan of Haynes repair manuals for amateurs like me. Although there are none available for US Land Rovers, you can use the UK versions instead for most situations. For the D90, Google "Haynes UK" and order Manual 3017 (Land Rover 90, 110 & Defender). You will also need Manual 3016 (Land Rover Discovery) to cover the "petrol" engine and fuel system that UK Defenders do not offer.
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Old December 20th, 2011, 08:09 PM
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junkyddog11
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oil soaked filter
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Originally Posted by OahuDefender View Post
Haha, can you bring the parts with you on the plane? That might actually be cheaper than shipping them from the mainland.
I'll be sure to give you a shout next time I'm heading out there (I have friends in Kaneohe that I "visit" in the winter)

I pull the distributor just to to get easy access to change the amp. I'd recommend just getting a relocation kit and moving it away from the dist. Surprised that it hasn't happened already.

For the fuel depressurizing I just trip the inertia switch (behind the fuse panel on a 94) which is quicker and easier for the large of thumb. Crank the engine a bit.

Did you buy your 90 in HI?
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new expansion complete. Not only are we the only Rover shop in Eliot Maine...now we're also the biggest.

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