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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all -

Traced down a non-starting issue to an arcing coil wire and replaced it. Car fired up and ran (roughly) and with almost no power (struggling up small hills at full throttle). Came back home and replaced the distributor cap and rotor and now it sputters for a few seconds before dying. I have new spark plugs and spark plug wires but haven't installed them yet.

Any thoughts/suggestions?
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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354 Posts
New rotor made your problem worse because it’s dead on arrival
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #3
Swapped the new rotor out for the old one and same story - it’ll just barely idle if I keep the pedal floored
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #4
Could I have messed up the timing somehow? The distributor cap only goes on one way and I have the firing order correct on the cap (1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2). Are the plugs totally fouled from starting attempts?
 

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Firing order is ok, nothing wrong there.

Try just changing the HT lead from coil to distributor first and see what you get.

Plugs, I'd say if it's firing at all they will be ok.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the suggestion - checked the lead and I’m getting spark at the distributor (new HT lead). I swapped back to the old coil and same result - tries to idle but dies out after a few seconds. Maybe I knocked the timing off when I replaced the rotor?
 

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You can't alter timing by removing rotor, all things being equal. You have to rotate the distributor (and with it the pickup) as a whole assembly to change timing. So it shouldn't have changed during your work.

It's possible it was wrong before though, have you any way of checking timing as it is now?
 

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Thinking through, worth doing rudimentary "field timing" check.

Mark distributor body with line of white paint adjacent to #1 plug lead on cap, remove cap, rotate crankshaft front pulley clockwise until the timing mark on it at 6 degrees is next to the static pointer and check if rotor arm now points to the white paint mark.

If the rotor is opposite, turn the crankshaft another full turn and the rotor should be next to the marker paint.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #9
Thinking through, worth doing rudimentary "field timing" check.

Mark distributor body with line of white paint adjacent to #1 plug lead on cap, remove cap, rotate crankshaft front pulley clockwise until the timing mark on it at 6 degrees is next to the static pointer and check if rotor arm now points to the white paint mark.

If the rotor is opposite, turn the crankshaft another full turn and the rotor should be next to the marker paint.
Thank you - will give this a try later today/tomorrow morning.
 

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Hi all -

Traced down a non-starting issue to an arcing coil wire and replaced it. Car fired up and ran (roughly) and with almost no power (struggling up small hills at full throttle). Came back home and replaced the distributor cap and rotor and now it sputters for a few seconds before dying. I have new spark plugs and spark plug wires but haven't installed them yet.

Any thoughts/suggestions?
Just throwing this out there because I had a starting, non starting, sputtering, then dying RRC 1990. I drove myself crazy in the engine bay testing everything.... turned out I had an intermittent fault in the fuel pump... which was actually from a shorting/ spark from a burned wire at the relay connector...it was sparking and connecting to the body of the car.. I think someone had unmounted it to look and then not put it back properly .... whatever, anyway, i replaced my fuel pump and sender(while I was there) a few fuel lines that looked cracked, new relay, checked all my leads and sparks then find it up first time, ran amazing. Quiet and no sputters or shudders, - not saying this is your issue, but maybe take the fuel line off at fuel rail and have someone try the key to the second position, NOT START, and see if you're getting a good jet of fuel = or test for fuel pressure... like the pros, but I need to see that jet!!! good luck
 
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