Total loss of power - now won't crank - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old February 10th, 2007, 05:07 PM
dnp
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David
1995 Defender 90
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Total loss of power - now won't crank

OK, this cat's got one less life (at least with this owner, anyway) I finally got this thing running right (after the installation of the new ignition system - sans coil - and stepper motor); however, I was going down the road enjoying the ride, when..............nothing. All was fine and then it's as if I had turned off the key. I checked the main fuses under the hood and I checked the fuel pump fuse in the interior fuse panel. All were fine. I checked all of the wires running to the coil, and all seemed to be fine. I checked the coil wire running to the distributor, and it was seated properly on both ends. I can find no wires that have come off. Within the last few months, the following parts have been replaced:

fuel pump
fuel pressure regulator
fuel filter
stepper motor
ecu
maf
distributor
vacuum advance
ignition module
distributor cap
rotor
plug wires
plugs
entire factory exhaust

The only thing I can come up with off the top of my head is a coil (and I'm about to go get a replacement for that - hope a Beck Arnley is a suitable replacement, because that's all I can find locally) Anyone have any initial thoughts on what I might be looking at as a fix? Due to a perceived issue with the amount of voltage I've been getting to the system, I've ordered a replacement 100 amp alternator, and it should be in next week; however, I've never seen a faulty alternator cause an immediate power loss.........if I replace the coil, heck, everything I can think of on the electrical system will have been replaced....am I missing anything? Any thoughts on what might be wrong?

Follow-up Post:

Of course....not a coil to be found (OEM replacement style anyway) Can I use an MSD Blaster 2 coil? That's all I could find, but I don't want to screw anything up (worse than it already is, of course)

Please advise so I don't have to have this thing towed!
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  #2  
Old February 10th, 2007, 06:42 PM
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Hans
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Hans Haase
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So, just to make sure I have it right...

If you turn the key, does the starter engage at all?
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  #3  
Old February 10th, 2007, 07:21 PM
dnp
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David
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans
So, just to make sure I have it right...

If you turn the key, does the starter engage at all?
Yes, the starter engages and easily turns the engine over. Other pertinent information: I checked all critical fuses, and all seem to be fine. Also, when I turn the key to the "on" position, I DO hear the fuel pump energize. What I don't seem to have is spark.

I removed the coil lead from the distributor cap and inserted a long screwdriver into the end of the lead. Then I created a very small air gap on the intake plenum with the other end of the screwdriver and engaged the starter. If this is a fairly accurate way to tell if there's spark or not (it used to be, unless something is different with newer ignitions), mine has none.

I then took all of the wires off of the coil and cleaned the terminals / sprayed the female connectors with contact cleaner........tried again, and nothing.


It seems like things are pointing toward the coil; however, from past experiences, coils either went bad or they didn't, and this thing died on me a couple of times last week. However, in both prior instances, once I came to a stop, I tried starting it again, and it fired up...........this is all of the pertinent information I can think of......any thoughts / suggestions?
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Old February 10th, 2007, 08:16 PM
dameek
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Dennis Meek
95 D90 #2826 Bought New
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I had a similiar problem a year or so ago. Your symptoms sound like mine did. I would check that there isn't a wire off at the coil. I'm not at home right now, so I can't tell you what wire it was. I found a small guage wire that had come off the terminal on one side of the coil that was preventing it from starting. At the time, it took me serveral days of absolute frustration before I found the issue. As soon as it was reconnected it fired right up.

Good Luck.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 10:27 PM
dnp
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David
1995 Defender 90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dameek
I had a similiar problem a year or so ago. Your symptoms sound like mine did. I would check that there isn't a wire off at the coil. I'm not at home right now, so I can't tell you what wire it was. I found a small guage wire that had come off the terminal on one side of the coil that was preventing it from starting. At the time, it took me serveral days of absolute frustration before I found the issue. As soon as it was reconnected it fired right up.

Good Luck.
Thanks, but I've already checked all of that and even went so far as to take the leads off of the coil, clean the terminals/connectors, and reconnect everything....I hope it's just the coil itself.....Again, does anyone have an opinion on if I can use an MSD Blaster 2 coil with an otherwise stock ignition??? Will I need a ballast resistor and if so, which one would I use?
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Old February 10th, 2007, 11:13 PM
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Hans
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Hans Haase
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I think the MSD coil issue has been discussed here in the past, but I don't remember what the conclusion was. A search should bring it up one way or another. You ma

I'd also pull off the distributor cap and take a peek in there that there's no arcing. Wipe down the inside with a clean rag, and check the button in the center of the rotor as well as the matching side in the cap.

Also, here is a link I dug up to test the coil itself.
http://autorepair.about.com/cs/troub.../aa062902b.htm

I'd also get a voltmeter in there and make sure the coil is getting any power at all.

But I have had issues in the past with coils partially failing, and have seen it happen to folks where sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

-Hans
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  #7  
Old February 11th, 2007, 12:19 AM
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Matt VA
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Simply looking at the coil, fuses and wires is a good 'at-a-glance' check. At this point you need to take out an ohm meter or other required electrical test equipment to verify your assumptions. Based on your descriptions, you are facing an electrical issue.

Start there and then post the results using a test light or multimeter so we can get her road worthy.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 10:23 PM
dnp
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David
1995 Defender 90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattGuyver_007
Simply looking at the coil, fuses and wires is a good 'at-a-glance' check. At this point you need to take out an ohm meter or other required electrical test equipment to verify your assumptions. Based on your descriptions, you are facing an electrical issue.

Start there and then post the results using a test light or multimeter so we can get her road worthy.
Just installed the coil with a new, Bosch replacement coil, and........nothing. Obviously, the problem lies between the coil and the truck and not the coil and the distributor, so I'm off in that direction. Any suggestions on current or resistance values that I should be getting to power the coil? I'm afraid I've never delved into this type of diagnostics, so I'm somewhat at a loss on what to do..........
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