RPMs die, then vehicle stalls at next light. - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old August 25th, 2012, 03:30 AM
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Sam Odio
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RPMs die, then vehicle stalls at next light.

I just purchased a 1995 d90 about a week ago. Vehicle runs fine except occasionally the RPM gauge (not the RPMs) drop to 0. Once this happens the vehicle is very prone to stalling when idle. Has anyone seen this before?

No check engine light.
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  #2  
Old August 25th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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Bill Adams
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Alternator could be on the way to the grave
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  #3  
Old August 25th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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mine has been doing this lately, and for no apparent reason.
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  #4  
Old August 25th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Probably alternator
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  #5  
Old August 25th, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Dennis Lynch
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Mine started doing it 3 years ago. It's so random that I haven't bothered to fix it. That, and I don't drive it as much as I should
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  #6  
Old August 25th, 2012, 09:35 AM
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Joshua
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As others have said a dead tach can usually indicate an alternator on its way out. Check out the Action Alternator 120AMP. I have a thread on it.
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  #7  
Old August 26th, 2012, 01:44 AM
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Sam Odio
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Well I had the local auto store check out the alternator. It seems to be charging fine. The check engine light came on after the most recent stall so I'll look into that for clues.
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  #8  
Old August 26th, 2012, 06:53 AM
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Look on the display to see what code appears when it stalls, this should help you.
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  #9  
Old August 26th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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Brandon Stanley
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What type of fuel are you using?
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  #10  
Old August 26th, 2012, 01:50 PM
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I just bought a 94 and that same thing is happening. I am taking it to the shop. Hey seem to indicate hat it might be the "idle'r" if that means anything. They could be just jerking my chain because I am no mechanic.
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  #11  
Old August 26th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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BRIAN
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stall

If you haven't already... as indicated by other members on another thread... change all your fluid and filters asap. Who knows the last time it was done and it'll help you see whats happening and track down issues before they happen. I had the same problem (94 ST) and changing the fuel filter/cleaning the air filter and running premium grade fuel seems to have cured my issue. However I also have a rats nest of wiring to correct and I had to patch the engine harness (scary burnt- came in contact with the manifold at some time prior to me). I also had to take 10 (!) cheap hella knockoffs that were improperly wired (on only one battery and a warn winch). I swear she purrs like a kitten now.

If really isn't too difficult (with all the info available here), not that expensive, and worth the piece of mind. Plus you will *get* your 90 so much more...

*edit*
I've also read that if the battery has been disconnected recently the ecu needs to "relearn" it's job and can be prone to stalling...
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  #12  
Old August 26th, 2012, 03:31 PM
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I purchased the Idle air control from eBay for 30$, rather than 250$ from 'official' sources. You can probably get it from a local auto parts shop, just look for the equivalent. Mine was listed as idle air AC1. As well as changing all the filters (air, fuel), I would suggest changing the spark plugs, coil and ignition cables. If you do it yourself it's pretty cheap to do (unless you get the 10mm EMI shielded Magnecore cables like I did).

I had a similar problem of truck dying which, 1000$ and 2 alternators later, was traced to a lose ignition cable on the ignition key, since replaced by a starter button...
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  #13  
Old August 26th, 2012, 03:38 PM
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There are a bunch of things that can cause this and I have seen each of them with enough frequency to consider them all possible candidates in no particular order:

1. Stepper motor/IAC valve
2. Ignition module
3. Ignition switch
4. Throttle Position Sensor
5. Bad fuel fliter/pump
6. Bad computer
7. Bad silver relays
8. Bad coolant temp sensor
9. Bad alternator
10. Other misc wiring issues (coil and wires, cracked cap, chicklet)
11. Poorly set idle air screw

Given the tach is dying, my money is the alternator is bad and it may have taken out your ignition module. Second guess would be stepper which seems to be the most likely cause absent the tach.
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  #14  
Old August 26th, 2012, 04:05 PM
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Andrew Dance
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I had the same thing recently. Turned out to be Idle air control valve. I found one at Autozone for about $30. Don't have the exact part # unfortunately. Don't tell them it's for a Land Rover, they won't be able to cross reference it.
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  #15  
Old September 15th, 2012, 09:16 PM
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Sam Odio
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Got around to checking out the OBD...error code 48 which seems to point to the stepper motor: http://www.pangaea-expeditions.com/r...des/index.html.
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  #16  
Old November 18th, 2012, 01:17 PM
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Sam Odio
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Well took it to a mechanic for a separate issue and the ignition module was bad. He replaced it and it seemed to fix the problem - tach was fine and no stalling. However in a recent heavy rain the issue came back.

I just did the alternator - but that didn't seem to fix the issue.

I guess it's possible that the old alternator destroyed the new ignition module as well.

So a few questions:
- How does a 'bad' alternator ruin the ignition module? Every time I read the old alternator's output it was 13.5v. It seemed fine.
- How do you tell that the ignition module is bad? Last time it was obvious - defender wouldn't start. Maybe I'll just go ahead and replace it again?
- Is it easy to replace the ignition module? It seems like its just plug-and-play.
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  #17  
Old November 21st, 2012, 04:20 AM
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Sam Odio
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Ok, I have an update on this thread: when the tach dies not only is the vehicle prone to stalling, but the windshield wipers and reverse lights don't work (???).

The reverse light and wipers do work when the tach is working. All the rest of the lights and switches seem to work normally all the time.

Any ideas?! I'm pretty stumped.
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  #18  
Old November 21st, 2012, 07:31 AM
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Chris
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Start by going thought the grounds. Remove clean refit, checking wires for abrasions that expose wire.
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  #19  
Old November 21st, 2012, 08:33 AM
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Steve Maietta
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find a wiring diagram and see how those items are connected.. search out those junctions. Bad grounds have a million places to hide. The correlation btwn those things provides clues for you..

Good luck!!!

~Steve
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  #20  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Sam Odio
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Looked at a wiring diagram. Turns out the tach, wipers, and reverse light all share a common fuse. I checked out the fuse and the connection in the back of the panel had poped out and was barely touching the fuse lead. This was causing the intermittent behavior (eg tach dying while offloading).

Lesson learned: when reinserting fuses be sure to make sure the connector is not pushed out of the back of the panel.
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