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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:20 PM
Bama 90
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1995 D-90
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Posts: 1
Runs great, then sudden death

Hey guys, obviously im new here so go easy on me!! :-) This is my third rover so im not a total newb. Gears, axles and all that off road stuff is no problem with me but anything involving wires just kills me! Please help.

Mine is a 1995. 90% of the time it runs great but three times now it just straight up dies while driving. Im talking just a smooth stretch of road. No hills, bumps, sudden braking, no rain or anything. Doesnt matter hot, cold, wet or dry. Just runs great, then 100% dead. Pull to the side of the road, turn the key off and it will restart and act all normal for several days.

Also, about 1 out of every 5 starts nothing will happen when I turn the key. No click or anything. Then try again and its perfect.

My first guess is that the ignition switch is bad but with it running, I can wiggle it, hit the steering wheel and it wont act up.

Any help would be appreicated.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 11:32 PM
Streaky's Avatar
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1994/D90 NAS
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Portland, OR. USA
Posts: 38
I'd start with checking your battery ground. Then look at your coil/distributor. ?
But I'm just guessing... others?
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Old January 13th, 2011, 01:16 AM
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Neill Thornton
1984 D90 300 Tdi / 1965 Series IIA
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Location: San Diego, CA
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When the truck dies, do you lose everything else, i.e. radio, gauges, headlights, etc? Or does the engine just stop running?
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Old January 13th, 2011, 01:32 AM
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chris snell
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Chris Snell
87 Ex-MOD 110
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,439
Definitely check the coil. I had this problem when I was a new Defender owner. The little spade connector on the coil came loose and would cause the truck to die immediately. You can replace this connector with a ring connector if you like.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 09:50 AM
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mark kellgren
in between D's in an 04 D2
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 6,531
I also suspect the coil. fuel starvation is quick loss of power, but not instant death. Coil is the only thing that would kill all cylinders instantly. That said, coil issues have nothing to do with the ability of the starter to turn, so I would also suspect some kind of loose connection between your ignition switch, starter solenoid and starter. It's a pretty simple circuit and should be easy to isolate.

good luck. Coil and distributors are the reason I went to be at night thinking about diesels.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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1997 D90 ST #1444
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Location: Georgia
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Is this a black ST? I think I saw it a couple years back in the parking lot of the hospital. Nice looking truck.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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1994 D90 300tdi #730, SIII 88
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: chester,nj
Posts: 673
I'd swap out that ignition switch and check all conections. Those switches can have an intermittent failure.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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Owen Jones
Yellow`95 D90 ST #2188
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Superior, Colorado
Posts: 140
Ive had very similar things happen - on two occasions - with three different faults.

The first was caused by a loose connector to the inertia switch. Thats the small black box on the top driver's side of the firewall in the engine bay. It has a rubber boot on the top for the reset switch. A good clean and re connecting the harness plug took care of it.

The second time was a real misery. The first cause was that the plastic end of the ingition switch came progressively loose and caused intermittent starting and cut out problems - with increasing frequency. A new switch improved it but didnt completly fix it. the final fix came with a new HD ground cable from the battery to the frame and the transmission.
"I think you need a little weatherstripping - right here..."
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Old January 13th, 2011, 03:03 PM
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Neil McCauley
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Neil McCauley
94 ST, 97 ST, 93 110
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 2,366
I had that exact same problem! Turned out it was the white wire with the stripe that goes from the fuel pump relay to the fuel pump. That wire goes through the harness and through the chassis so if its corroded you can't even see it. Also the connector at the right rear fender well was also corroded as well. After bypassing it everything went fine until I started having problems with my coil (I'm sure I burned it out while putting the ignition in the 2nd position to listen to the stereo) I grounded the fuel pump straight to the chassis and bypassed the harness ground.
A guy told me one time "don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat from around the corner"

Robert Deniro
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Old January 13th, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Mike Deery
1984 D-90
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Hicksville, New York
Posts: 399
Had a similar problem with my 200tdi. I don't know if the gas engines have a fuel shutoff solenoid like the diesels, but that was the source of my misery. It cause the identical problems you describe: instant dead shutoff of power, and an intermittent start problem. Replacement resulted in an instant resolution of the issue.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Jake K.
95 D90 SW
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Deep in the Dirty South
Posts: 341
10 to 1 it's the ignition switch. Try starting the truck and then wiggle the keys around in every direction and see if it cuts out on you. Don't hang your kids stuff'd animals on your key chain! Heavy key chains can cause the ignition switch to loosen up more than normal and make things touch that shouldn't be touching. Check ALL grounds very well....especially the one on the back side of the driver's head.
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