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Discussion Starter #1
I have 148,000 miles. I was driving down the highway and all of a sudden, a small pop sound, and the engine was off. No warnings at all except the check engine light came on the day before. Now when you try to start, it shutters and seems like its missing but trying to start. Its is firing at times but not enough for it to run. I checked the compression on the passengers side, (right side) and its great! I tried to check codes with my snap on scanner, but its no help at all. It has good fuel pressure. The battery died while I was broke down on the highway, so now the codes are cleared and its not giving me any history codes. I looked at my crank sensor and the wires were cracked and corroded. I cleaned up the wires and recoated the rubber. Still no go. I live like 2 hours away from any dealer so thats not an option. What the hell am I gonna do? Im at a loss. Maybe the timing chair jumped a tooth but how the heck do I figure that out? Thanks for any help you can offer! Joe
 

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My 4.6 did the same, then overheated. Was a new engine for me
I do hope you have better luck. Was similar mileage.
 

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Unfortunately, without codes or more details of what happened, I don't think there's much we can do to help you with diagnostics. If it was that sudden, and you heard a popping noise, have you checked all your fuses and relays? That sounds like it could be a blown fuse or relay, but that's just a guess. At the very least if you find a failed fuse that's a really good clue on where to start troubleshooting.

If I could make a recommendation for the future: buy a $10 bluetooth OBDII reader and keep it in the glovebox. It helps with making fast diagnostics before things like dead batteries leave you scratching your head later.
 

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Aurelia, there is no timing chain in a P38.
Errm, so what makes the cam turn then? There is a timing chain connecting the crank to the camshaft, although it's highly unlikely it's skipped a tooth, if it was that worn and slack the engine would have sounded like a bag of nails at idle. Most likely cause is the crank position sensor. have you actually taken it out and had a look at the tip and the teeth on the reluctor ring?
 

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Errm, so what makes the cam turn then? There is a timing chain connecting the crank to the camshaft, although it's highly unlikely it's skipped a tooth, if it was that worn and slack the engine would have sounded like a bag of nails at idle. Most likely cause is the crank position sensor. have you actually taken it out and had a look at the tip and the teeth on the reluctor ring?
Oops, thinking of timing belts and the Subarus I've dealt with. The V8 has got a stumpy little guy on the back of the engine, you're right. In any case, that's pretty rarely the cause of a Rover V8 failure compared to all the fascinating and distressingly frequent other possibilities. Particularly on a 98 with all the electronics, I'd bet on it being electrical in nature, given how sudden and binary the description of symptoms is.
 

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Actually it's on the front..... Compared with a Subaru, the P38 electronics are pretty basic really. There's a crank sensor that tells the ECU where on the cycle the engine is so that dicates when the sprks spark and when the injectors open, then there's a TPS and MAF so the ECU knows how hard you are asking the engine to work and finally, a couple of lambda sensors that fine tune things. For an engine to run, any engine, unless it has suffered pretty catastophic mechanical failure, it needs compression, a spark and fuel. If any of these are missing or happening at the wrong time, it won't run. Go back to basics, do you have all 3 of these and what caused the check engine light to come on? Codes don't clear if the power is disconnected, that happens every time you turn the engine off, any codes will be still there but bear in mind a GEMS P38 is only barely OBD compliant so generic readers won't always read the codes.
 

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Actually it's on the front..... Compared with a Subaru, the P38 electronics are pretty basic really. There's a crank sensor that tells the ECU where on the cycle the engine is so that dicates when the sprks spark and when the injectors open, then there's a TPS and MAF so the ECU knows how hard you are asking the engine to work and finally, a couple of lambda sensors that fine tune things. For an engine to run, any engine, unless it has suffered pretty catastophic mechanical failure, it needs compression, a spark and fuel. If any of these are missing or happening at the wrong time, it won't run. Go back to basics, do you have all 3 of these and what caused the check engine light to come on? Codes don't clear if the power is disconnected, that happens every time you turn the engine off, any codes will be still there but bear in mind a GEMS P38 is only barely OBD compliant so generic readers won't always read the codes.
His battery died. That would have cleared all the codes.
 

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No it won't. The only thing on a P38 that is cleared with a dead battery is the windows and sunroof, nothing else. Power is removed from the ECM as soon as you turn off the ignition so when a battery dies it is no different to switching the car off. Check the diagrams, there is no permanent supply to the ECM, all supplies are ignition switched.
 

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Huh. My assumptions are once again confounded by trying to transfer prior experience from other makes and models. I've been blessed that my truck only really gives me issues downstream of the engine.

In that case I guess we have a regular mystery on our hands. OP, you should probably start with checking to make sure that pop wasn't any of your fuses, then report back if any of them are broken.
 

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I got myself a 4.0 Gems and the first thing I would check is the CPS , that bugger has a very weird behaviour when goes gaga..

I replaced several, 4 in over 13 years and I know the previous owner replaced at least one.

In my personal experience I had:

  • difficult start from cold.
  • loud popping between 2k and 3k rpm
  • easy start from cold then pop and die after 15 minutes
  • the last I replaced was 3 yeas ago and it was running fine up to 1500rpm then very rough and not revving past 1800 rpm , this after 30 minutes.
I do not recall one single time my nanocom read a CPS error, my guess is they either I got something wrong with it or simply the ecm does not sense the sensor dying.

One thing I noticed is that the sensor connector hangs close to the exhaust headers so I made sure last time it was well secured (there is a plastic loop in the connector) as far as possible from the heat source and in a way the the wires could not strain as I have the feeling that heat and straining could create false contacts and maybe contribute to the fact they go bad.

Funny enough since the last time I did not have any issues , having said that.... I got a spare new in the boot, just in case...

they are not expensive and as a test I would replace it just to be sure that is ruled out. Check there is no damage on the old as it would means something mechanical happened and therefore will need more investigating.

Then if is still a non starter , you need to go with a process of elimination...spark, fuel , etc etc.

And yes I can confirm that the battery dying does NOT delete the errors... only effects windows and radio settings.
 

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I would try to think of things that pop.
CEL went on and was indicating your problem.
Coil pack, fuse , See if you can get the code.
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I think I have an issue with the CPS. I should know tomorrow. I think the pop was from it dying at high speed, like a backfire. First thing I did was check fuses and relays on the side of the highway. It was ALWAYS hard to start, and acted like it was running a little lumpy. I did coil packs, plugs and wires when I bought it a few months ago. I have put over 6,000 miles on it though. Also I have a Snap-on Solus Edge for diagnostics, but it sure doesn't do much on this '97 landy.
 

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When I forgot to plug back the CPS, and wondered for hours why the thing wouldn't start, there was no spark nor fuel.
 

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There will be no code for the CPS. When it dies the ECM has no idea that the engine is turning so it won't register a code if it thinks it has stopped.
 

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Richard- Atlantic British sells two different ERR7354's- one for $70 and the other they call original equipment for $99. Have you found that you get what you pay for when buying these CPS's?
 
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