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Discussion Starter #1
Was driving home... just got on the highway... and bam! Was that a backfire?! No acceleration... couple more hesitations and
I shut it off and curbed it. Wouldn't start when I tried it and still wont. It just turns over and burps every 6 or so cycles, sometimes will bump over once... I have driven this car for the past 21,000 miles, has 144,500 on the clock and this is the first time it left me stranded.

Took compression cold starting with the odd bank, got about 3~5 compression strokes (I think).

8-130 7-120
6-115 5-112
4-132 3-120
2-135 1-120

Am I out of the woods mechanically? Was thinking my timing chain might have broken, but I am getting compression on all cylinders... Thought about the head gaskets, been loosing coolant at about a half gallon every 750-1000 miles. Maybe 6 & 5 are the leakers?

I put new Magnecore wires on it, new Bosch coil and installed new plugs. Previous owner had allegedly replaced the distributer, vacuum advance, cap and rotor, they look to be Atlantic British (red rotor and their cap). I swapped with a used genuine Lucas rotor, no dice...tried a different cap, still no dice. So, I checked the coil and shocked myself... put the redtop battery on the charger and went to bed..tried in the morning with no luck too.

Had an extra used MAF, tried that... why not? No change.

I'll be looking to swap ignitor chips tomorrow, but will probably try to figure out how to bench test the extra one I have. Its one of the kits that mounts the chip away from the distributer. Prolly will take a stab at bench testing the MAF too.

I even pulled the tube off the vacuum advance and tried to actuate the diaphragm. It would move and hold vacuum for a few second but immediately leak off, this normal?

I know its probably something simple I am overlooking... or... is this just Lucas messing with me?
 

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It should start and run on those pressure readings, maybe not the best but sufficient. Some basic field checks to do

Take off dizzy cap and crank it to see if you've lost cam chain, rotor obviously should be going round when turning motor.

Get a screwdriver and put it onto fuel tank neck, put your ear on screwdriver and get someone to turn on ignition (don't crank it) you should hear fuel pump run for about five seconds then shut off as it primes the fuel rail.

If its not running fuel pump, take out air filter and spray some ea-z-start into it to see if it'll run, will confirm you're looking at fuel supply.

Male sure you have spark at both king lead arriving at dizzy, and then make sure you can also see it at a plug lead or two.

Consider failure of King lead, it'll stop it dead. Plug leads you just get misfire. Even though new and it's rare, you can get a failure there that will stop you.

If fuel pump doesn't run, you can use a jumper in the fuse box to go from cigarette lighter supply side to fuel pump fuse supply side. This will bypass ecu, relay etc switching of pump toughie you a quick and dirty get-you-home fix. It'll be ignition controlled but should be debugged later to correct fault. Let us know how you get on.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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you have established spark at coil, do you have spark at spark plugs? how is your fuel pressure? when was the last time you replaced fuel filter?
test procedures for complete ignition system including amplifier/module can be found on rave, do not rule out pick up coil failure. this is the plate inside distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The rotor arm is spinning.

I ordered a new set of genuine copper plugs, rotor, and cap just to rule them out as the culprit.

I forgot to mention that I do have the RoverGauge software...The fuel pump would run on command and continuously. I will be getting a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to verify good pressure. I have heard of vacuum causing the tank to collapse, might look into that...

Also used the RoverGauge to check the TPS and it gave a 0% to 100% reading without jumping around...
 

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Don’t know if this will help
But on my 92
If I have the gas cap on too tight
It will cause a vacuum lock
It will just stop running
I now just leave it a little loose
When it first happened it took me a for a loop
As it was running great
 

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I had the identical problem happen to me last year with a 1995 RRC, it was the ignition module/amplifier. I was driving along exactly as you were and it just died and i rolled to the side of the road.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover Classic
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The rotor arm is spinning.

I ordered a new set of genuine copper plugs, rotor, and cap just to rule them out as the culprit.

I forgot to mention that I do have the RoverGauge software...The fuel pump would run on command and continuously. I will be getting a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to verify good pressure. I have heard of vacuum causing the tank to collapse, might look into that...

Also used the RoverGauge to check the TPS and it gave a 0% to 100% reading without jumping around...
the vacuum collapse is a myth, what really happens is the tank does not breathe and vacuum locks and pump fails to pick up, until vacuum is released, so many other issues need to align correctly for it to happen, purge valve fail safe mode is open, fuel caps breathe, other emissions lines are always open fuel pump needs to be very fast with out return, fuel temp must rise higher than atmosphere pressure.
if all of those line up and close then you have your concern.
 

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I had the identical problem happen to me last year with a 1995 RRC, it was the ignition module/amplifier. I was driving along exactly as you were and it just died and i rolled to the side of the road.
Had a similar die on the freeway except mine were the wires running to the amp got toasted by the exhaust manifold.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well this sucks...

I tried swapping in the ignition module relocation kit and I no longer have any spark at the coil. The test by holding king lead to block shows nothing.

Looking at the wiring diagram for the coil, I cant tell how 12V is actually supposed to get to it...

Of the 4 posts on the coil I have it wired as such:

Positive side:
Capacitor
One leg of Diode ERR4019

Negative side:
White wire from MAF loom
Other leg of Diode ERR4019

Is the white wire going to the MAF loom supposed to be 12V switched?

Using diode check on the Fluke I got OL one direction and 0.5V the other, both legs. Not sure if this is correct.

I also don't have 12V at the coil with the key on or off, positive or negative side. I checked all the fuses and they are good.

Is there a way to bench test the ignition module?
 

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Wire into loom of MAF is usually pulse feed to ecu. So when running it gives a count to ecu for engine speed.

I'll look at mine later to give more detail, but coil ignition usually work by supply to positive of +12v from ignition circuit so that you can switch motor on and off. You can arrange temporary supply for this straight from battery if you suspect key switch.

Earth to coil is the line switched by ignition module for firing, cut the earth continuity and the coil produces a spark, establish earth and the coil is replenished.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The power feed to the ignition module from inside the alternator loom has to be run to the coil if using the relocation kit. This took me longer to figure out than it should have. I went ahead and grabbed a parts store cap and rotor to do testing, but it still would not run!

I thought maybe I stabbed the distributor wrong when I put it back from fitting the dummy ignition module. Turns out I had stabbed it wrong, as in not all the way in... which sheared the cam gear... :evil:

Luckily I have a spare, but I wasted my weekend hunting a bone head fake news "electrical vault" and then really mucked it up.

I guess this is my chance to replace the timing chain and front seal...
 

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Fake news
Electric vault
Sounds like you don’t need any help
Mucking it up
Your doing a good job all on your own
I don’t see why you would be asking
For assistance
Since you feel you know how to fix it already
So
Fix it
 

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I had something similar with the backfire (which was caused by air leaks) which took out the MAF. Just thought worth mentioning. Good luck with the repair.
 

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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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Don't get down on yourself. You did a great job diagnosing and chasing the issues. It came down to a mechanical failure. You did the easy inexpensive stuff first and moved to the harder more expensive. Good on you mate.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Timing chain, cover, and gear replacement went well. Everything was stripped off the front of the engine and cleaned up before reassembly. I went ahead and inspected the oil pump, gears, and bypass valve while I was in there. Everything looked good, reassembled with petroleum jelly. The lower end gasket kit came from Turner Engineering and seemed to have everything and more than I needed. There still is a steady stream of oil coming from the oil pump area. Could be a crush washer not properly seated or perhaps I missed an o-ring? Are there any o-rings on the timing cover or oil pump block?

Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement everyone. The original no start issue seemed to stem from the ignition module or cap and rotor as all have been replaced. Good to know it wasn't a mechanical issue (originally), just annoyed with the leak now... Best bet I will be carrying an extra ignition module, cap & rotor, and coil from now on.
 

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If you get a year out of a cap and rotor
That’s good
Anything after that
If it stops running
Replace those first
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Truth Mikieman, its been a minute since I have worked on distributor V8s. I should have at least remembered the coil lead to the rotor arm check. That one is a simple test to see if your grounding out through the distributor shaft. My last truck was a Nissan Diesel and my other cars have been coil over plug.

The oil leak is all sorted now, just needed to re-torque the timing cover bolts and let it get up to temp. The crush washers were actually fine, yes I used a new oil pump gasket. The leak was coming from the area where the block oil galley starts. I suppose the o-rings in my kit are for the other style cover?

I'm not sure if its the new chain or generous advance I gave the timing (10-12 degrees), but the engine is ticking along the best it has since I started driving it. It has been fun getting to know this Rover a bit better, but I am glad to have it back on the road. There will be some spare parts getting stashed in anticipation for the next round. And, on an upbeat note, I also just finished refurbishing my factor radio, amp and sub. No I can put my dash back that some ******* tore out last year...
 
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