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1970-1995 Range Rover Classic
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assume rotor still bad and cap bad

get a powerspark cap and rotor
 

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As above, the spark just shouldn't be running out to ground there (it won't spark there if there's no route to ground)
So definitely one of those, cap or rotor is still failing to insulate.

You're right on it, but need good components to get you out of inoperable.
 

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Stupid question ? When you look inside the distributor cap the carbon brush is in the middle isn’t it? It hasn’t fell out somewhere at some point and if it is there is it moving freely (pushes up and comes down again) or is it seized in the cap? This needs to move and touch the top of the rotor when cap is fitted to transfer the spark from king lead to the lead
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Stupid question ? When you look inside the distributor cap the carbon brush is in the middle isn’t it? It hasn’t fell out somewhere at some point and if it is there is it moving freely (pushes up and comes down again) or is it seized in the cap? This needs to move and touch the top of the rotor when cap is fitted to transfer the spark from king lead to the lead
The cap was not missing the little push button carbon button, but I did notice that lots of the contacts had white marks on them even though the cap is only a couple months old. I have just now changed out to a new cap I was able to source locally (Duralast brand from auto zone) and I will report back this evening to let you all know if this fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Okay guys, so still no luck with a new cap and new rotor. I am still getting blue sparks into the center of the cap coming from the ignition coil but then nothing coming out from the cap. Using the in line tester, I am getting 0 spark to any of the spark plugs via the spark plug wires.

Keep in mind that I was just idling in a parking lot and the car died out and never has started again.

Any other ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I did a check on on the fuses to the right of the air conditioning controls and all look good. I did notice that the B2 fuse (dome light etc) was very hot. I don’t know if that would be anything related or not.
 

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Strange :unsure:that’s not logical if the spark is going in then theory says it’s gotta come out unless something is not right inside there.
can you rig up your in line spark tester on the king lead (coil) and see if it is still sparking when connected and cranking I wonder if the ht king lead is collapsing under load?
guess the dome light fuse was hot because you had the door open and the light was on? It’s shouldn’t have any effect on your spark it’s probably a low amperage fuse anyway
did you try another rotor arm as well?
just a little test also is if you have a test multimeter check the ohms resistance from the centre of the rotor arm where the dizzy cap contact sits to the tip there should be no resistance then check from rotor arm to distributor body (with the rotor arm in place) there should be no circuit at all if there is no resistance it’s shorting out
 

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The spark cannot come out ...as was said...thru the plug wires if the rotor and the plug wires in the cap are not
Touching at the time of fire........
Or maybe this motor is different and runs on a prayer...
Also if you are continually trying to start it and the battery is depleted ... or close ... and the motor is not turning fast enough... it isn’t going to fire...
 

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Strange :unsure:that’s not logical if the spark is going in then theory says it’s gotta come out unless something is not right inside there.
can you rig up your in line spark tester on the king lead (coil) and see if it is still sparking when connected and cranking I wonder if the ht king lead is collapsing under load?
guess the dome light fuse was hot because you had the door open and the light was on? It’s shouldn’t have any effect on your spark it’s probably a low amperage fuse anyway
did you try another rotor arm as well?
just a little test also is if you have a test multimeter check the ohms resistance from the centre of the rotor arm where the dizzy cap contact sits to the tip there should be no resistance then check from rotor arm to distributor body (with the rotor arm in place) there should be no circuit at all if there is no resistance it’s shorting out
I believe you're on the right track there.

Worth a problem statement here to gain focus? The coil is making sparks, it wouldn't spark at the input terminal of the cap if it didn't have an earth route to that site as the cap is ALL insulation. Therefore, if the rotor is ok and not shorting to the distributor spindle, then the earth MUST be coming from the plugs (confirming the timing is correct) via the plug leads.
But as Cortina has put it, if the resistance is greater via the plug route than the effective conductivity of the king lead, then the king lead will dissipate the spark en-route. Making no spark plug fire.

I had one like the above, when checked in darkness with it all hooked up the king lead was like a hairy Caterpillar along its route past other components it was leaking so much through it's insulation. That one just would not run.

We will get it eventually Swaff, the combined experience on here will prevail. Just the remote working methods will take time ;)
 

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This is seriously flummoxing conundrum! Is it possible the spark is lacking enough current to push past the resistive gap from king lead to plug lead? From an electrical perspective, if the spark is of proper voltage it can jump gaps and appear bright, but if the current is too low, the power put in can be dissipated away. Coils only put out a few mA at 40,000 volts, so perhaps the king lead is actually damaged, and while there is enough current to make a spark at the end of the lead, there is not enough to make it the rest of the way to the plugs. This was a quick thought that might be wrong, have to think about the circuit logic a bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Strange :unsure:that’s not logical if the spark is going in then theory says it’s gotta come out unless something is not right inside there.
can you rig up your in line spark tester on the king lead (coil) and see if it is still sparking when connected and cranking I wonder if the ht king lead is collapsing under load?
guess the dome light fuse was hot because you had the door open and the light was on? It’s shouldn’t have any effect on your spark it’s probably a low amperage fuse anyway
did you try another rotor arm as well?
just a little test also is if you have a test multimeter check the ohms resistance from the centre of the rotor arm where the dizzy cap contact sits to the tip there should be no resistance then check from rotor arm to distributor body (with the rotor arm in place) there should be no circuit at all if there is no resistance it’s shorting out
I was to work on the truck a good while last night. I hooked up my in line spark tester and confirmed that the king lead is good...when putting my in line tester into the top of the cap and connecting the king lead to the other end of the tester, I was getting plenty of lighting up on the tester bulb.

Also, I loosened the bolt holding the distributor and had someone turn it a little each way while trying to crank just to see if that would help. Someone mentioned trying this to see (because of timing) if I could get it to hit, but never was able to have any luck.

I had a kit from Simon/Powerspark to relocate the ignition amplifier off of the distributor, so me and my dad went ahead and successfully did this. Once relocated, still getting great spark from the coil.

Seems the main thing is still not getting any spark going out of the cap and to the plugs. Can you help me a little on testing the rotor arm? I have the multimeter tool, but it has been a while since I have done any tests like this, so I am unsure what setting to choose on the multimeter- any ideas? Also, is this procedure below correct to what you've suggested (pardon my ignorance)?

1. With the rotor cap off, touch one end of the probe to the top center metal piece of the rotor and then the other probe to the little push button inside the cap and see if there is resistance.

2. Touch one probe to the metal piece on the top center of the rotor and then touch the other end of the probe to the metal body of the distributor and see if there is any resistance.

I am willing to try another rotor arm. This is the 2nd one, but both on there are aftermarket. I could buy a genuine Landrover one or one of the "red rotor" arms that Atlantic British has in stock. Suggestions? It is still baffling that all of this started by just idling in a parking lot after a 20 min drive, and then the car just died with a month old rotor and month old cap. And then another new rotor arm and another new cap didn't solve the problem.

Finally (thanks for hanging in with me!), I noticed one other thing while rooting around. I can see a little hairline crack in the plastic cap on the top of the distributor, which I think is an insulation cap covering the pickup module. Could this be the issue? I read on another forum that a guy had half of the plastic insulator completely missing and that his truck still ran fine, so I don't think this matters, but wanted to mention it just in case (photos attached).

286915


286916


286917


I REALLY appreciate everyone's help on this.

Swaff
 

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Hi,
this is really not logical if the spark is going into the distributor it’s gotta go somewhere?
when you resistance test anything you want to set it on ohms I would go for 200 upwards depending what settings you have on your meter, you should have a 1 on the screen when you turn it on and when you put the probes together it should go down to zero.
touching one probe to the centre of rotor arm and the other one to the distributor body should be no circuit ie: meter screen stays at 1 if it goes down to zero you have a short through the rotor arm!
If I read your post right checking from the cap centre to rotor arm with cap off won’t do anything ..
have you put your spark tester in one of the plug ht outlets on the distributor and confirmed nothing is coming out?
if you have no spark there is no point moving the distributor body left or right it will do nothing at all you need the spark before you even attempt to alter the timing!!
that plastic cover is a protector as much as anything personally a crack wouldn’t bother me, if you’re getting a spark at the coil then it’s being triggered by the internals.
can you check and make sure the distributor centre carbon brush is actually making contact with the rotor arm? Not sure what your pattern part rotors are like over there You should see a witness mark on the rotor.. maybe post a pic of the inside of the distributor cap on here..
another crude check conect the ht king lead from centre of distributor cap directly to an ht lead, put a plug in Hold it on an Earth and see if it sparks when cranking (this is just a test the engine won’t run of course) if you then have a spark at the plug the fault definitely lies within the distributor
Are you definitely sure there is no spark at the plugs? We aren’t chasing the wrong fault are we..
sorry to be long winded but gotta eliminate something items
 

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As above, the internal plastic cover is general protection to prevent the HT level operation interfering with the components bellow that shield. It's more good practice and design than anything, they'll run without it and not critical in this instance.

Burying new rotor, go for the red one. The one in your picture of rivetted type are notoriously unreliable.

The king lead SHOULDN'T spark when tested like that as it should have no earth route in the cap. Failed rotor arm takes it straight to earth, which is why that is still suspect. Quite a few on forum have found new rotor is dead on arrival, it'll not be a surprise if it's this.

You could test king lead spark with just the distributor cap and no plug leads connected to it at all, it should have no spark, let us know what that gives.

Some years ago and driving major route into London, GM van and it just stopped, middle lane too!! Which was the rotor. It can be as sudden as that. There's acknowledged big failure rate with current supply lines evidence on here.

I'd definitely want to get another rotor just to close that off.
 

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You know.... I bought my rover for penny’s from someone like you...
Maybe you should take it to a mechanic...
Otherwise someone may get yours for penny’s...
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Hey everyone, a quick update. I have solved the problem and some of the suggestions that the rotor was still bad (out of the box) were correct.

Just to recap, a month or 2 ago I had the truck serviced and the local shop put on a new cap and rotor they got from the local autozone or advance auto. The cap was a blue Duralast and the rotor one of the black with a rivet on top. A month of driving left me stranded one day where the truck just died while idling in a parking spot. I got a second new rotor from a local autozone (intermotor brand), and this made no difference. I was getting spark at the coil and through the King lead into the cap, but no spark from the cap to the plugs.

I ordered a new powerspark/powermax red rotor from Simon BBC (Lucas 35D V8 Rotor Arm Red) and it arrived with rush shipping to the states in just 2 days. When I put the new rotor on, the car tried to hit for the first time in weeks. After a hand full of cranks, the truck fired right up.

With this being the case, I knew the Duralast cap was not an issue, but a Rover buddy suggested putting on a new powerspark cap so the rotor and cap brands would match. I’ll keep the other cap for a spare.

I appreciate everyone that posted helpful comments (not sure why I got some of the snarky/sarcastic comments about throwing money and parts at it as I was trying everything anyone said). It meant a lot for those of you who helped me with even basic procedures as I’m a newbie and I know some of my questions were common knowledge and easy for you vets. There are a lot of very skilled people on here.

As mentioned before, I went ahead while I was working in the distributor area and did the powerspark ignition amp relocation. I viewed it as preventative maintenance and something I wanted to do anyways, not throwing more parts at it.

Thanks for helping get me back on the road and keep some cash in my pocket! I hope this thread will help someone else in the future.

Swaff
 

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Now it’s running....
Guess someone won’t be buying this one for penny’s..
Im gonna say... good job ...
 

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Hey everyone, a quick update. I have solved the problem and some of the suggestions that the rotor was still bad (out of the box) were correct.

Just to recap, a month or 2 ago I had the truck serviced and the local shop put on a new cap and rotor they got from the local autozone or advance auto. The cap was a blue Duralast and the rotor one of the black with a rivet on top. A month of driving left me stranded one day where the truck just died while idling in a parking spot. I got a second new rotor from a local autozone (intermotor brand), and this made no difference. I was getting spark at the coil and through the King lead into the cap, but no spark from the cap to the plugs.

I ordered a new powerspark/powermax red rotor from Simon BBC (Lucas 35D V8 Rotor Arm Red) and it arrived with rush shipping to the states in just 2 days. When I put the new rotor on, the car tried to hit for the first time in weeks. After a hand full of cranks, the truck fired right up.

With this being the case, I knew the Duralast cap was not an issue, but a Rover buddy suggested putting on a new powerspark cap so the rotor and cap brands would match. I’ll keep the other cap for a spare.

I appreciate everyone that posted helpful comments (not sure why I got some of the snarky/sarcastic comments about throwing money and parts at it as I was trying everything anyone said). It meant a lot for those of you who helped me with even basic procedures as I’m a newbie and I know some of my questions were common knowledge and easy for you vets. There are a lot of very skilled people on here.

As mentioned before, I went ahead while I was working in the distributor area and did the powerspark ignition amp relocation. I viewed it as preventative maintenance and something I wanted to do anyways, not throwing more parts at it.

Thanks for helping get me back on the road and keep some cash in my pocket! I hope this thread will help someone else in the future.

Swaff
Glad you got it running again! There will always be snarky opinions going one way or another, its the food that the forum gods subsist on! If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask on here, I know I've learned as much as I've shared from the collective wisdom, snark and all.
 
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