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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have been having some issues with my 93 Range Rover Classic County LWB. For the past month, when I start from a stop, the initial press of the gas would make the car seem like it was bogging down for a second like a stall and then it would pick up. Finally, one day at a stop sign, when I did press the gas it died and my on board display gave me code 14. After about 30 minutes of sitting, the car cranked back up fine and then I drove it for another week before changing out to a new coolant temp sensor. I also filled back up with the small amount of coolant that was lost.

I drove it another week after that, and the other day, after driving for about 30 miles, I pulled into a parking lot to check something on my phone, and after a few minutes of idling, the car completely died and would not start back up. I tried waiting 30 minutes, an hour, and then eventually tried it about 5 hours later. That was days ago and the car still will not start up. The truck has always had high idle of around 1000 RPM at hot.

A couple of months ago, I had a no crank issue and the local shop said I needed a new fuel pump, so I had a new pump and filter installed, as well as a new fuel pump relay. Here is everything that is new on the truck:

Fuel Pump
Fuel Filter
Power Steering Hoses
Spark Plugs
Spark Plug Wires
Cap and Rotor
Idle Air Control Valve
Throttle butterfly and plenum cleaned out with carb cleaner
Air Filter

It seems like I am getting spark (but how would I check if its enough?), and I can hear the fuel pump prime a few seconds when I turn the ignition on. Battery is strong and it will turn over for multiple attempts. I have tried cranking with no gas, and also holding the gas to the floor. When I first started noticing the lag and hesitation issue on pressing the gas from a start, I thought maybe there was a vacuum leak. I pushed a lot of smoke into the system and couldn't find any of the hoses or fittings to be leaking.

Any ideas on where I should go from here...ignition coil, ignition amplifier? I have found other threads that had similar symptoms, but most threads end with the original author never coming back to post how they resolved their issue. Any help is much appreciated!

Swaff
 

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It seems to me that it could be the TPS throttle position sensor that can give those running characteristics. It lets the ecu know the position of the throttle plate, and how fast you move it to accelerate. Normally on this age the ecu takes a reading from the tps (it's effectively a two track potentiometer) and while then running will use this stored voltage as baseline reference. Any continuity changes from then on in the report are compared to this, making any failure produce inconsistent fuelling.

Aside from that, the non start, try removing the fuel pump fuse and crank it with throttle wide open. If if coughs into life, stop, replace fuse and then crank it while leaving the throttle alone. It may have wetted the plugs which this routine will sidestep.
 

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1989 Range Rover Classic
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I would suspect the ignition amplifier, mine did something very similar when it was going out. It would randomly stall at idle, and sometimes bog/choke when setting off from a stop. It never got to the point where it just flat out wouldn't start, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would suspect the ignition amplifier, mine did something very similar when it was going out. It would randomly stall at idle, and sometimes bog/choke when setting off from a stop. It never got to the point where it just flat out wouldn't start, though.
Thanks for your reply! Do I need a special harness to go with the new amplifier? It looks like some places sell the new amplifier with a harness that converts a 2 prong to 3 prong connection?
 

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1989 Range Rover Classic
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Hmmmm I think it depends on what's originally on there, I found some wiring instructions online but it depends on the original setup. I replaced my distributor when I replaced the amplifier (both were original) so it came with the matching connector for the new amplifier. Sorry that's not particularly helpful...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It seems to me that it could be the TPS throttle position sensor that can give those running characteristics. It lets the ecu know the position of the throttle plate, and how fast you move it to accelerate. Normally on this age the ecu takes a reading from the tps (it's effectively a two track potentiometer) and while then running will use this stored voltage as baseline reference. Any continuity changes from then on in the report are compared to this, making any failure produce inconsistent fuelling.

Aside from that, the non start, try removing the fuel pump fuse and crank it with throttle wide open. If if coughs into life, stop, replace fuse and then crank it while leaving the throttle alone. It may have wetted the plugs which this routine will sidestep.
Thanks for the suggested tests. I tried removing the fuel pump fuse and doing the tests you mentioned, and no start up either way.

I will look into the throttle position sensor TPS. Looks like they are $300+ here in the states. Is there a way to try and clean it safely and see if that helps (once I get the car running again), or test it with a multi meter? I read on some other threads that they sprayed it with cleaner and ruined it. I have some electrical contact cleaner.
 

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The tps is a very important part...
you can mess with it and probably
Get some mental satisfaction ...
If you want your rover to run ...
A little more worry free...
Spring for the tps...
But first you might try to unplug the tps and run the motor
And see if there is a difference... you should be getting a code 17...
Have you tried useing starter fluid
To get it to fire.
 

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Where are you checking for spark, is it at the lead from the coil?

Many have been caught out on these after a rotor arm change! Some batches just do not work which you'll be wise to check by replacement before you go further.

TPS can be checked by measuring resistance as it's turned which should be smooth all the way through it's travel.
Believe it has two carbon tracks layed onto a substrate, which if worn there's no effective recovery from. I wouldn't consider using a "cleaner " as a failed one is because of wear not contaminate.
There should be a test routine available on here to get a reasonable check of the TPS to at least make better judgment.

But first it would be good to get it going to at least close off that problem. See if it responds to a switch of rotor first and post response to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I had some time today to work on it and do some testing to try and diagnose. I sprayed starter fluid into the plenum and no start.

Took off the rotor cap to confirm that the rotor is indeed turning, and it is.

I removed a spark plug wire from the engine and then plugged a spark plug into it and grounded it to the frame, and confirmed there is no spark there.

Now, the ignition coil did produce spark and I confirmed this a couple of ways I think? If the wire was removed from the ignition coil and I tried to crank the car, the actual end of the canister was sparking. If I connected the wire to the coil but then removed it from the center of the distributor, there was spark coming from the end of that wire.

With all of this, I think it’s an ignition problem and not fuel, right? The only things left to check would be the rotor and the ignition amplifier. Does that sound about right?

I really appreciate you all helping me with this!
 

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Definitely the rotor!

The coil is switched by the timing pickup pulsing in relation to engine speed, this signal generated is amplified (by the ignition amplifier) to make it stronger form, which is then used (via a power transistor) to switch the coil on and off. It's this routine that generates the spark which you've seen produced, so none of the above is inoperable.

From the coil, the spark travels down the "king lead" to the centre of distributor cap, the final stage is via the rotor to whichever plug lead it's pointing to to fire each cylinder in rotation.
When the rotor fails, the spark just dissipates to earth as the rotor can no longer provide sufficient insulation to competently pass on the voltage. In other words, the ignition system is all ok UNTIL it reaches that problem. Process is terminated right there at the rotor.

Experienced owners often carry a known good spare rotor in their car because of the quality of some supplied currently.

Definitely by a new rotor and try it then, post how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Definitely the rotor!

The coil is switched by the timing pickup pulsing in relation to engine speed, this signal generated is amplified (by the ignition amplifier) to make it stronger form, which is then used (via a power transistor) to switch the coil on and off. It's this routine that generates the spark which you've seen produced, so none of the above is inoperable.

From the coil, the spark travels down the "king lead" to the centre of distributor cap, the final stage is via the rotor to whichever plug lead it's pointing to to fire each cylinder in rotation.
When the rotor fails, the spark just dissipates to earth as the rotor can no longer provide sufficient insulation to competently pass on the voltage. In other words, the ignition system is all ok UNTIL it reaches that problem. Process is terminated right there at the rotor.

Experienced owners often carry a known good spare rotor in their car because of the quality of some supplied currently.

Definitely by a new rotor and try it then, post how you get on.
Thanks! I will try to find a rotor today and see if I can get it on and report back.

While I have all this apart, I thought about upgrading the coil to an MSD blaster 2. When I go on their website and put in my model and year, they don’t show any matches, but I’ve seen other posts where people are using them. Any thoughts? Some have said you need better wires or you will prematurely foul your plugs, and you need a resistor ballast if it’s a points style ignition (which I don’t know if mine is or not). But maybe the canister doesn’t fit my truck anyways...any thoughts are appreciated!
 

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My thought is to get it running...
Then throw money at it....
The only parts on my 92 that are new
Is the cap and rotor and plug wires...
Everything else is eather original
Or from a junk yard...
And yes plugs
 

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Mine also uses an old, original? coil too. They rarely give any cause for concern, unless you can prove definitely that it has no spark.
Ballast resisted system uses a volt coil running in series with a ballast resistor to bring total voltage spec up to 12volt combined in normal running mode. Ballast resistor is bypassed during starting routine to effectively overload the 9volt coil with strait 12volt supply. Supposedly makes a hotter spark to assist cold starting. You don't need this type.

I don't feel it'll do anything to help with a "high performance " coil and should be fine on standard type.

I very specifically use silicon/ carbon HT leads, NGK BPR6ES plugs, which are set to the absolute minimum specified gap on my current 3.9ltr.

As already posted, if you get it going, we can then give you a logical view on remaining problems from there.

Post what you get with replacement rotor, hope it's as simple as that.
 

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If your coil is merrily sparking away it probably doesn't need replacing, but whenever it does I've had good luck with my MSD coil (below). It's been on the car for 5 years now and never had an issue.

 

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If you are considering further improvement works around the dizzy I would suggest a new amp and relocation kit. The amp can overheat and cause the cut out issues you have described. Whilst it does seem the rotor may have been the issue relocating the amp is no bad thing. Relocation kits are available. I have placed my amp on the inner wing by the coil (coolest place on the engine bay). You do have to remove the dizzy to do this job though so timing will need resetting. This is a typical kit but make sure you get the one suitable for your vehicle.

After market rotors have been known to be bd from new. The better OEM spec rotors are well worth that little extra cash. Don't be tempted with cheap crap.
 

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The points raised above are good, and the WSM has test procedures, which are very helpful. Try to get it started and running before throwing multiple new parts at it (potentially complicating diagnosis).

I worked through a extensive no-start a few years ago. On separate occasions I had a bad HT lead (coil to cap) froma new plug wire set, and bad fuel injector fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay so I put on a new rotor today and still no start. The battery is still strong and it will crank forever, but no start. When I remove the king lead at the cap, it is getting spark to the center of the cap, but still no spark to the plugs. The cap is new but after market...would that be my next try?
 

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It is eather the cap or timeing...
Replace the cap ... i get mine at autozone...if still no start try adjusting your timeing just a bit...
Mark it where it is ...
Loosen it just enough to turn the distributor and turn it a tiny bit....
But if you have a helper.. one of you start the motor and the other turn the distributor slowly to see if it will hit...
When mine does this... I do this by myself... it is old shade tree mechanics
Stuff ....
But if you are getting fire to the top of the dizzy ... the fire isn’t getting from the rotor to the plug wire... that is the timeing .., the rotor passes the plug wire in the distributor... at the same time as the fire.. ...
A modern miracle...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Do you have an inline spark tester? Cheap from amazon, you can put it inline for each lead and it'd flash when a spark goes through, much easier to tell than having to unplug leads and ground out plugs on the engine to see if they fire.

Hey I do have one of these and I could not get it to light up for any of the leads...sorry I forgot to mention that I had tried this, but thanks for the tip!
 
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