Starting issues - Truck wont Fire/Catch (Wet?) - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old March 27th, 2015, 08:24 AM
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andre
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Starting issues - Truck wont Fire/Catch (Wet?)

I'm having issues starting my 95' D90. This issue completely intermittent and was first noticed 1 last week, and again yesterday morning, and it SEEMS to be related to when it rains. Last Saturday AM after a very rainy night, it would not start, I played with it for hours (plugs out, checked spark, air, gas), nothing. Sunday AM after warm/dry sat night and sunday AM, went back to the car, fired up normally and ran normally for the entire week until Thursday AM (again rainy Wednesday night), same problems.

The issue is that when I try to start the car, the engine turns over, it wont "catch".

Things I've done
- checked/cleaned the distributor

- check for spark on 2 of the wires by pulling the wires off the plugs and w screw driver next to engine say visible spark (yes low budget test, but gotta work with what you got)

-pulled 3 of the plugs on the driver side manually inspected

-pulled off the air hose and sprayed "starter" into the intake

-covered the intake to "choke" when trying to start
Things I've noticed
-covering the air intake to "Choke" the car makes no difference, and I do get good suction

-when trying to start the car, there is definitely a smell of gas (petrol depending on how British you want to be)

-There is no difference in "sound" when turning over the engine if or if not you are on/off/pumping the gas.

-when I turn the key to position 1 prior to engaging the starter, I hear the primer pump engage

- there has been a lot of moisture/condensation inside the engine compartment

- there seems to be water making its way into the floorboards of the drivers side through the fire-wall - possible from a less than good job done weather-proofing when I had my clutch worked on and the pedals weren't sealed properly <--- maybe indicating that somewhere water is running into engine compartment then to clutch pedal assembly?
1) Can there be something that is getting wet that stops the car from starting?
2) Does the "strength" of the spark really matter, and how could I possibly test it? (bear in Mind I live in Manhattan and there are zero car shops for me to get my hand on real car tools)
3) Is there a


It just never fires/catches... Would love to hear any suggestions as what to


Thanks


PS its a 95 D90 NAS w/ 4.6L Gas engine
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  #2  
Old March 27th, 2015, 08:50 AM
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Every time this has happened to my range rover it was because of the ignition coil. Double check the coil itself, it's ground, and the wire running between it and the distributor.
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  #3  
Old March 27th, 2015, 08:54 AM
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yes, the "strength" of the spark matters, but only up to a certain point, after which erosion occurs faster than usual.

what was the gap on the three plugs you pulled?
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Old March 27th, 2015, 09:06 AM
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The connection to the ECU is probably the problem.

It runs from the -ve side of the coil, via the chicklet near the MAF and onto the ECU. If this connection is problematic ( high resistance when damp ) then the ECU won't fire the injectors. They only get fired when the ECU gets this spark signal and knows the engine is therefore running.

This voltage should be about 9 volts. It's a pulse from the spark so easiest to test it with a probe with a light ... you should see it pulse with the engine running.

see 15 on the diagram ... it's a white wire with black tracer and goes to pin 39 on the ECU. The zigzag represents the chicklet resistor.

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  #5  
Old March 27th, 2015, 10:57 AM
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You should have a good 1/4 -3/8" bright blue spark. if no spark and you think it is wet check the connections around the coil. You can even troubleshoot using a hairdryer around that area and then check to see if you have spark after you dry it out good. If no spark then move to the distributor. I got my D90 started once when it was real wet using a leaf blower!
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Old March 27th, 2015, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRover View Post
You should have a good 1/4 -3/8" bright blue spark. if no spark and you think it is wet check the connections around the coil. You can even troubleshoot using a hairdryer around that area and then check to see if you have spark after you dry it out good. If no spark then move to the distributor. I got my D90 started once when it was real wet using a leaf blower!
A spark is required but next step is to ensure the signal is getting to the ECU. Without that signal the ECU won't turn the fuel pump on.

The first buzz of the fuel pump is to prime the rail for a second or two. It happens every time you turn the ignition on.

The second buzz is the one you really need ...

And as for having a really strong spark ... It helps but the engine will start on a weaker spark ... If you have spark it should be ok.
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  #7  
Old March 27th, 2015, 11:49 AM
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Sounds so familiar. I'm in the middle of the same thing-or very close. For me it started happening at the WR
Take a test light. With ignition on. does it light up when connected to both sides of the coil?
Now with someone cranking the engine, and the test light connected to the black/white wire off the coil, does the light flicker/vary in brightness?

Now don't do what I did a couple of days ago, run the tests then forget to take the key out of the ignition and flatten the battery......
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I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #8  
Old March 27th, 2015, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
Sounds so familiar. I'm in the middle of the same thing-or very close. For me it started happening at the WR Take a test light. With ignition on. does it light up when connected to both sides of the coil? Now with someone cranking the engine, and the test light connected to the black/white wire off the coil, does the light flicker/vary in brightness? Now don't do what I did a couple of days ago, run the tests then forget to take the key out of the ignition and flatten the battery......
Then do the same at pin 39 on the ECU ...
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #9  
Old March 27th, 2015, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
Then do the same at pin 39 on the ECU ...
I am getting a pulse on the black white wire when cranking...
__________________
A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #10  
Old March 27th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
I am getting a pulse on the black white wire when cranking...
all the way to the ECU?
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Quote:
Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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  #11  
Old March 27th, 2015, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sad_story View Post
I'm having issues starting my 95' D90. This issue completely intermittent and was first noticed 1 last week, and again yesterday morning, and it SEEMS to be related to when it rains. Last Saturday AM after a very rainy night, it would not start, I played with it for hours (plugs out, checked spark, air, gas), nothing. Sunday AM after warm/dry sat night and sunday AM, went back to the car, fired up normally and ran normally for the entire week until Thursday AM (again rainy Wednesday night), same problems.

The issue is that when I try to start the car, the engine turns over, it wont "catch".

Things I've done
- checked/cleaned the distributor

- check for spark on 2 of the wires by pulling the wires off the plugs and w screw driver next to engine say visible spark (yes low budget test, but gotta work with what you got)

-pulled 3 of the plugs on the driver side manually inspected

-pulled off the air hose and sprayed "starter" into the intake

-covered the intake to "choke" when trying to start
Things I've noticed
-covering the air intake to "Choke" the car makes no difference, and I do get good suction

-when trying to start the car, there is definitely a smell of gas (petrol depending on how British you want to be)

-There is no difference in "sound" when turning over the engine if or if not you are on/off/pumping the gas.

-when I turn the key to position 1 prior to engaging the starter, I hear the primer pump engage

- there has been a lot of moisture/condensation inside the engine compartment

- there seems to be water making its way into the floorboards of the drivers side through the fire-wall - possible from a less than good job done weather-proofing when I had my clutch worked on and the pedals weren't sealed properly <--- maybe indicating that somewhere water is running into engine compartment then to clutch pedal assembly?
1) Can there be something that is getting wet that stops the car from starting?
2) Does the "strength" of the spark really matter, and how could I possibly test it? (bear in Mind I live in Manhattan and there are zero car shops for me to get my hand on real car tools)
3) Is there a


It just never fires/catches... Would love to hear any suggestions as what to


Thanks


PS its a 95 D90 NAS w/ 4.6L Gas engine
actually, going back and reading this again, doubt my suggestions below will help. Have you considered new plug wires? Is your distributor cap ok and not carbon tracked?

------------

remove the stepper motor from the plenum and see if it will start with it out. It should start and run about 2000rpm. Of course don't let it continue like that if it does fire.

also check the vacuum line to the fuel pressure regulator. If it's gone or broken it will flood out.
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  #12  
Old March 27th, 2015, 12:29 PM
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I had the same exact thing happen with me and my '95 disco. New plug wires fixed mine for good.
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  #13  
Old March 27th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leastonce View Post
all the way to the ECU?
I'll have to see......
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #14  
Old March 27th, 2015, 04:10 PM
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andre
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Thanks ...will put it all to the test this evening, and revert back
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  #15  
Old March 27th, 2015, 05:10 PM
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andre
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Well... Thanks for all the inputs... Was looking forward to trouble shooting this and permanently eliminating the problem.... Problem (ironically) the truck started right up!
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  #16  
Old March 27th, 2015, 05:12 PM
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Putting mine on a charge overnight. This is what weekends are for....
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #17  
Old March 27th, 2015, 05:55 PM
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Don't tell Andre but I stopped by during my lunch break and fixed it for him.
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  #18  
Old March 27th, 2015, 06:25 PM
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Lol... Well thanks for the fix ....

Well after a little help from Josh and Jason, there seems to be a good candidate for the problem. Seems the weather proof cap for the roll-over cut-off had come off ... That and leaves/twigs in the hood gutter might have been dumping water in it....

Fingers crossed .....
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  #19  
Old March 29th, 2015, 05:54 PM
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So Battery recharged, I go to the truck this morning fully expecting nothing to happen.

Dammitall. It started on the button.

How am I going to find this fault if it keeps hiding from me?
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A friend of mine runs a land rover / range rover specialty repair shop. Based on his experience, they are capable of stopping anywhere, anytime, at any cost.

I don't know about the brakes, only their unreliability.
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  #20  
Old March 29th, 2015, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
So Battery recharged, I go to the truck this morning fully expecting nothing to happen. Dammitall. It started on the button. How am I going to find this fault if it keeps hiding from me?
Can you describe the fault?

You said it was like andre's??

Do you have access to a Rover Gauge? It would be useful to monitor the fuel pump relay, the AICV position and a few other bits like coolant temp.
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Soapy water / KY jelly, etc. is is basically a must. Yes, good idea to remove trim panels - only takes 5 more minutes to do so.
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