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Discussion Starter #21
Nonstarter after the hack wire jump from the battery positive to the coil positive. Again, without the jump 12.5 volts at battery and 11.5 at coil. but with the hack-jump coil now reads 12.05 volts. Now with this info behind me how do I move forward?
 

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If you've got that voltage to coil plus post, then literally the only thing to switch the coil and make a spark is pulsing the negative line. It's really that simple. Assuming the coil is ok.

Soooooo, leave the positive coil post supplied constantly, strip off the negative terminal of any wires, and do the quick connection then release with a "hack" earth / negative wire. You've just got to touch it quickly and it should fire a spark each time you do that. You can't run or start it like this but it verifies the coil is firing with the battery voltage you have.

If you get it to spark like that, then the amplifier (which should be doing this for you) is suspect, or it's connection.

Where are you trying to observe the spark?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Attempting to view spark from coil HT lead which has been pulled from Distributor and set next to Plenum has not returned any spark. I do own a inline spark tester but haven't used it as a spark next to the plenum is just as easy to see. So if I understand you correctly, either its my amp or the amp wiring. Next I'll inspect my amps wiring as the amp itself is new.
 

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Yep fine for observation of spark there.

If you can't "manually" produce sparks by hacking earth method, then the coil is suspect. If it produces spark, then the switching (amplifier associated wiring etc) is just not switching the line that goes to the negative coil post.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Unclear as to how to Negative hack the coil. So if I understand you, I unhook the coils Negative leads, position the coil HT lead to the plenum for spark viewing, connect the + & - of the battery as normal, and then run a hack wire from the negative on the coil to a 2nd person who will touch the batteries negative post on and off in hope to initiate a spark for viewing? Is this correct?
 

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Yes, nearly. As you've described but as follows for negative post.

You have to have absolutely nothing connected to the coil - negative EXCEPT the hack wire to earth .

Each time that singular earth wire touches the battery negative, it should fire you a spark out of the HT lead to see at the end.

So you've literally got to go touch, touch, touch etc and it should keep firing a spark at each go.

This bypasses any of the amplifier switching to let you see if the coil is going to spark.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Wow, my new coil is now leaking! (assuming it's oil cooled). Tomorrow I'll get a new one and then try the "Hack."
 

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So most coils are designed to be mounted upright, since they are oil-filled and can leak if installed sideways or upside down. I have an MSD gel-filled coil in mine, that is designed to be mounted in any orientation.

 

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Aah, definitely something there looping you round into chasing your tail.

Hopefully we'll get some better results with new one. Let us know how you get on.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
A little more progress. New Coil returned spark to plenum! Ran a hack wire to negative Coil post and removed the wires on the negative coil post, turned on ignition and a weak spark appeared with each touch of the hack wire to the negative battery post. Then tried to start her up but she is still a "no go". Testing the amp would be next correct? How do I do this?
 

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Good news with spark present.

Testing the amp ( switching circuit) is a little more difficult without substitute parts. If you have any access to a voltmeter that measures frequency that may show you the negative wire (white with black trace) going up and down, that would show it's working.

If it's not pulsing, then the ecu ALSO receives no signal to run the injection either (remember, it gets there via that line from - coil post into MAF loom) So you get no sparks and no fuelling, with obvious consequences.

What the amp needs to work is power from ignition, signal from the rotating magnetic sensor in distributor, good earth (it's switching this to trigger the coil) and all of this comes via the various plugs/connections. Go through anything to and from the amp to make absolutely sure there's no questions about competent contacts through these first.

As above, the simplest way to check is by substituting the amp, don't know if you've access to another?
 

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I've one of the above (standard fit for RR centre console for emergencies;) ) that measures frequency and put it across the two coil terminals.

But I don't know if it's reading frequency ( it's certainly giving me a number) of alternator supply or earth switching when I test mine with it running. I'll look at it more today to see if it's able to indicate the amplifier switching.
 

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If you confirm that there is no problem with the amp (RRLondon is right, the easiest way to test is to swap in a spare), then you may consider the magnetic pickup and internals inside the distributor. There is a plastic retainer in the distributor that can crystalize and disintegrate with time, causing issues. My dad had that issue with his disco 1 when he went to replace the rotor. Pulled the old rotor off and heard a plastic cracking sound, car wouldn't start after. Pulled the distributor and found a pile of what used to be plastic and the magnetic pickup loose in there. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
New Amp returned spark to Dizzy - But still a no go. Sounds like she wants to start sort of. Now I'm changing the scope of my possible problems to include the Distributor. Pulling the Cap to flick the Rotor returns a sort of "sticky" spring back - Not smooth. Will pull it to inspect. Will post back. Chasing my tail or chasing the voodoo?
 

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Discussion Starter #35
The "play" in twisting forward the Distributor shaft via rotor is bad. I compared it to our neighbors Discovery. The Discovery Distributor play was very smooth and snapped back easily. Also the Pickup measurement is within spec. I'm starting to think that I may have multiple problems hitting at the same time. Spark was solved and now the its the mechanicals of the Distributor. Ok so, how do I fix it? Pulling the Distributor out and lubing the shaft?
 

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Discussion Starter #36
After searching this site for "How to rebuild a Distributor" returned a post from 2007 that mentions a PDF from Rangie.com (not published any longer) that describes how to rebuild, however I can't seem to find it posted. Does anyone on the site know where to obtain this from?
 

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New Amp returned spark to Dizzy - But still a no go. Sounds like she wants to start sort of. Now I'm changing the scope of my possible problems to include the Distributor. Pulling the Cap to flick the Rotor returns a sort of "sticky" spring back - Not smooth. Will pull it to inspect. Will post back. Chasing my tail or chasing the voodoo?
Aah, ha, so now with it all hooked up but just the HT lead from the coil held near the plenum, you are getting spark? If so that means the distributor is working, plus the amp and also the coil. So the whole spark making stream.

Turning the distributor post and finding it sticky, I'd hold on that right now as it shouldn't prevent starting.

Question, was it going before this, or did you get it as non runner?

Next thing to check is for spark at one of the plugs to make sure it's now getting from the coil lead and out down it's route fully to the plugs. To do that, use a spare plug or take one out. Put it in it's lead and hold touching the plug to engine casting, then crank to see what you get. That should check the cap and rotor for you, so completing the ignition stream from end to end. If no sparks at plug, go to the next step, following.

Next step;- The distributor rotor on these is absolutely notorious for have components "dead on arrival" in the supply chain. Many have been caught out with just that simple component, substitute of known good one is the only real easy test.

If that tests out to sparks at plug, remove air filter and spray "E-Zee-Start" into intake while cranking to see if that'll get it to fire.
 

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It's really close to running by all acounts, just checking through all the logical parts should get you there soon.
 

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just another note that maybe useful... if you now have spark at plugs and have been cranking it over a lot earlier with poor or without a spark there has been a lot of fuel floating around the cylinders so change the plugs, have been there before surprising how modern fuel destroys them !!!!
 
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