RangeRovers.net Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 1991 Great Divide is my daily driver, and has been running strong all summer. Never had any issues with cranking, and it usually fires up after the first, maybe the second turn, like clockwork, every day.

I parked it one afternoon and ran inside a store for maybe 10 minutes. I come back out and find that the truck just keeps turning over and over but will not fire, and therefore, is now a road block wherever it sits.

I did hear a soft "puff" during one of the cranking cycles coming from under the truck (like a soft pop), but no more sounds except the starter turning over and over.

Mechanic checked fuel and spark, and said there were no issues there.

We ended up replacing the timing chain and put a new distributor on it, but that wasn't the issue.

Perhaps someone with more experience with me can suggest some potential electrical/other mechanical issues? I think my biggest issue is finding a mechanic who knows about these cars (and doesn't think it's a Toyota when I pull up).

Thanks for any suggestions.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,805 Posts
Wow, straight from a no start situation to a new timing chain and new distributor? Did he at least test the coil or swap in a known good unit? When he said the fuel and spark had no issues did he just see spark or was it a healthy sharp spark? Did he test for fuel pressure or just assume that fuel coming out of the rail meant is was all good? Did yes test for injectors firing or just pump/rail?

Something here is just not adding up... except your invoices from this mechanic.
 

·
Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yea he isn't a RR mechanic, but heard it turning over and seemed to immediately think it was the timing chain. After that and the distributor, I said just stop and hauled it out of there. It was a local shop and the guy has done work for me in the past, but no on Rovers. Fool me twice, shame on me...

I'm working on finding another shop to take it to that has at least worked on them before, but honestly everyone's first reaction is no thanks, it's too old (I even called the nearest Land Rover dealer). The truck is in great shape (this aside) and has been running strong ever since I bought it, tight up to this issue.

I did fill up with gas about 4 hours before this happened, but never had any issues until I shut it off and then came back out to it.
 

·
Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
1,413 Posts
Wow, straight from a no start situation to a new timing chain and new distributor? Did he at least test the coil or swap in a known good unit? When he said the fuel and spark had no issues did he just see spark or was it a healthy sharp spark? Did he test for fuel pressure or just assume that fuel coming out of the rail meant is was all good? Did yes test for injectors firing or just pump/rail?

Something here is just not adding up... except your invoices from this mechanic.
x2, wow makes me think next time I receive a coolant leak I shall suggest trans replacement.
 

·
Premium Member
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
310 Posts
Wow, straight from a no start situation to a new timing chain and new distributor? Did he at least test the coil or swap in a known good unit? When he said the fuel and spark had no issues did he just see spark or was it a healthy sharp spark? Did he test for fuel pressure or just assume that fuel coming out of the rail meant is was all good? Did yes test for injectors firing or just pump/rail?

Something here is just not adding up... except your invoices from this mechanic.
Agreed x3. That's awfully dramatic. I'm going with fuel pressure as well, and I'd at least check it. Did you guys check timing before you pulled the cover off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
I would have stared by replacing the distrutor cap and rotor

And went from there
 

·
Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the insight.

I guess the issue was 1) mechanic who is not at all familiar with these things, and 2) he said he was getting fuel pressure (maybe just from the rails), so he ruled out pump.

The guy who ended up fixing it was purportedly familiar with 'european motors' (I've fast learned this likely means BMW/Mercedes, and NOT Land Rover), and heard it turning over and said it was definitely the timing chain. After I ordered one from Atlantic British, he said it was GTG except for now, a distributor.

Like I said, I take the blame for listening to these guys.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,805 Posts
It's not a matter of the mechanic not being familiar with Range Rovers. Unless there has been a catastrophic failure, there is never a point where diagnostics would call for a new timing chain or distributor for a simple immediate no start. Now I am not saying Classics don;t have quirks. Newer rigs should have the distributor module relocated to a cooler location under the hood, something as simple as a chafed wire under the passenger seat can foul the ECU... etc. WHen you get down to it you have nothing more than an early 60's Buick engine with EFI installed. You have far more to trouble shoot with the fuel delivery than you do the basics of the engine.

Remember the basics, SUCK SQUEEZE BANG BLOW. You have suck, most likely the squeeze is just fine and there is nothing to worry about with the blow. You just have to work out the bang now. :thumb:
 

·
Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Most likely it is fuel or spark. If it was something catastrophic like the timing chain there would have been some horrible noises and the motor would have stopped itself. If you think you have a spark, then give it a gutful of ether (aerostart or similar branded product). If it fires on ether then you have a fuel problem, most likely the fuel pump or fuel pump relay given that it was running until you turned it off. If it was an ignition module it would be more likely to fail with a hot motor and come good when things cool down. If it doesn't fire with ether and you can hear the pump running when you turn on the ignition (it runs for three seconds to pressurise the system) then there is a diagnostic in the manual for the ignition system. I would check the HT lead with a timing light to start with to see if there is any sort of spark. If no then you are looking at the coil or the module. If yes then look at the rotor or distributor cap.

cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Now you might have a timeing problem
If it's still not starting
 

·
Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
128 Posts
have you considered/tried the ignition module? that was the problem on my '95. just flat out wouldn't start one day.
 

·
Premium Member
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
1,482 Posts
If you haven't done so already, download the RAVE, there's a sticky for it in this forum. As others have mentioned, diagnose, don't guess at it. RAVE has that info.

You said in your OP that the mechanic had checked fuel and spark, do you know exactly what he did to check?

Johnno mentioned using ether to check the spark, you can also use carb cleaner, which is less volatile. Spray into air cleaner, then try to start. If it fires right away, then quits, your spark is most likely ok, meaning the problem is in your fuel system. If it doesn't fire, you need to start with the ignition tests.

For fuel, it's not enough that you can hear the pump working, it also needs to be supplying the fuel at ~34-37 PSI at the rail. Since yours is a '91, you may need to cut a tee into the line to measure PSI, unless a PO already did this or used a later model fuel rail with Schrader valve. If you have this, you should see a Shrader valve on the right side of the plenum on the rail.

I had a similar issue where my '95 ran fine, then one day refused to fire, except with ether. It had a new Genuine fuel pump assembly as well, but the root cause turned out to be the fuel pump. Keep in mind, this was the second new Genuine fuel pump that had been installed in less than 3 months. The first one ended up getting clogged with debris in the fuel line. I ordered a new, much cheaper Allmakes fuel pump assembly, and it's been fine since.
 

·
Registered
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to all.

He could never get it to start on ether.

Does this mean it's a problem with ignition?
 

·
Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Well I'd start checking the ignition on the strength of it. There is a procedure in the manual for this.
You have an advantage as you aren't chasing an intermittent fault, although it sounds as though your mechanic may have gone this path and identified the distributor.
 

·
Premium Member
1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
Joined
·
310 Posts
The problem now is that you could have a few problems now that the chain has been changed and the distributor pulled. Your mechanic added variables.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
27,805 Posts
Your mechanic needs to be a variable... of zero. I've been thinking about the level of boobery that has to be reached for any professional to jump right to chain and distributor.

If I were in your shoes I would bite the bullet and learn to turn a wrench. It is very simple to remove a timing cover and inspect timing marks to verify the "mechanic" did a correct job. It's not fast, but does only take the very basic of tool and a lazy weekend.

Once you verify the chain is installed correctly turn the engine and verify distributor placement. again, super basic and easy if you follow most any V8 write up anywhere. The trouble is that is is super easy to get the distributor 180degrees off or one tooth off because the shaft turns during install. When you add in that you must align the shaft with the oil pump it does get tricky, but can be done. No special tools are needed.

Unless the timing chain is proper and distributor correct you can beat around under the hood until you are buried and there will be no proper spark to fire the old girl up.
 

·
Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
The static timing should be easy enough to check, take the spark plug out of number 1 (right hand side front if you are facing the engine), get someone to turn the motor over to the TDC mark with a big spanner on the nut on the front pulley, and put your finger over the spark plug hole to confirm it is on compression stroke. The rotor should be pointing to the number 1 lead position on the distributor. If it is pointing in the opposite direction then you are out by 180 degrees, pull the distributor and fiddle with it until the rotor is pointing in the right place, if you are out by a tooth ditto more fiddling although I would have thought that if it was only a bit out it would probably start anyway. Once you get that sorted, it should run and you can set the timing using a timing light.

It seems a bit hard to believe that the mechanic wouldn't have checked this or that he didn't line the marks up to make sure the chain was fitted properly, but who knows?
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top