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Discussion Starter #1
so i just bought this tbird, drove all weekend with no problems. Then went to go to work and got about a half mile down the road and it just shuts off on me, no warnings at all. i manage to make it into a park and try to start it and it just sits there turning over. call AAA and while im waiting, i wait like 10mins and try it again, same thing just keeps turning over like its getting no fuel or spark, even tried to pump the gas pedal a bit with no help (thinking more spark related). the battery is good and it turned over fast. so it sits for like an hour and a half and then i go back to meet the tow truck guy and he gets in, turns the key and it starts right up like a charm.

Facts:
1. car was still cold
2. my street had a lot of big puddles in the morning that i drove through
3. when it wouldnt start i could hear the fuel pump priming
4. fuel pressure safety switch in trunk was not tripped

so heres what im thinking are the possible causes:

1. coil got wet? then finally dried up. whats the fix for this? new coil? or need to fashion some kinda shield to protect it. if i dont need a new coil am i safe to drive it to work again (avoiding puddles of course), im affraid to drive it.
2. fuel pump is going bad or fuel filter clogging.
3. a bad sensor somewhere?

i guess im leaning towards the coil issue but maybe you guys have other things that coulda caused it? i really appreciate the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hello

The way I see it is don't like WORK. one of those 4 letter words.
worked fine until you tried to take her to WORK!

I think you are on the right track. I would look at your ground wires also.

Paul
lol the car has my best interests at heart, i got to stay home for half the work day :D

since the motor turned over fine but just didnt fire, am i looking for a specific ground?
 

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Sorry

Hello

I can't answer that question. My car is a race car. I race on a 1/2 mile asphalt oval.
with a 351W, 2bbl. carb on top & Dura spark II ignition.

Search my name I'm sure you will find lots of pictures.

Completely different parts.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello

I can't answer that question. My car is a race car. I race on a 1/2 mile asphalt oval.
with a 351W, 2bbl. carb on top & Dura spark II ignition.

Search my name I'm sure you will find lots of pictures.

Completely different parts.

Paul
yeah i know ive seen your car :D thanks for your help.
 

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First off, when you are turning it over does the tach move at all? If not, the problem is the crank position sensor connection. Push on the connector of the sensor and try starting again to see if that fixes it. If the tach does move, the PCM is getting the signal so it is likely something else. Before replacing anything check that you have spark at all the plugs and see if the injectors are firing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First off, when you are turning it over does the tach move at all? If not, the problem is the crank position sensor connection. Push on the connector of the sensor and try starting again to see if that fixes it. If the tach does move, the PCM is getting the signal so it is likely something else. Before replacing anything check that you have spark at all the plugs and see if the injectors are firing.
i dont remember if the tach was moving or not. where is the crank pos senor located at? well i would assume its getting spark and injectors are firing since it started right up after it sat for an hour when the tow truck guy got there. also started right up when i drove it off the tow truck in my driveway. and im sure if i tried to start it again it would fire right up as well.
 

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Courtesy of master486: Check the wiring to the crank position sensor. It has a tendency to fray with time and if they short together (there are 2 wires) the car won't fire or do anything but turnover, and if they short together while you are driving the car can stumble and die. The crank sensor goes into the block right at the front of the A/C compressor.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #9
great thanks guys ill check that out as well :D

anyone know about the coil getting wet? i know i read at least one thread about it. just want to know if i need a new coil or what.
 

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great thanks guys ill check that out as well :D

anyone know about the coil getting wet? i know i read at least one thread about it. just want to know if i need a new coil or what.
The coils are pretty high up so I don't think driving through some puddles would get them wet, but if they did it likely wouldn't damage them. You should however check that there isn't moisture in each coil connection and down in the spark plug holes and check your wires to make sure they aren't arcing. You can do this in the dark by spraying water on the wires while the engine is running and looking for sparks.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The coils are pretty high up so I don't think driving through some puddles would get them wet, but if they did it likely wouldn't damage them. You should however check that there isn't moisture in each coil connection and down in the spark plug holes and check your wires to make sure they aren't arcing. You can do this in the dark by spraying water on the wires while the engine is running and looking for sparks.
there were some decent sized puddles but i know what your sayin. i know it needs new wires and plugs and probably cap/rotor. just didnt know if i should through the coil in the shopping list.
 

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You know what, I didn't even realize you had a 3.8L until you posted the cap/rotor. Sorry for not realizing this, but the information I posted earlier about the crank position sensor is not applicable to your engine. I thought that you had a 4.6L. Don't ask me why, lol, but I did.

Now that I'm thinking of the right car, it still could be the plugs and wires or the cap/rotor. I still don't think the coil would be the problem, but if it is has a lot of miles on it then it might very well be. You should still check the tach if it ever happens because if it doesn't move, the problem could be in the distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
so i chaneg the plugs, wires, air filter, and fuel filter, which btw was the easiest fuel filter ive ever done (screw gm and their metal rusted out filter connections). drove the car for an hour and then later on at night drove another hour home. everything worked smooth. one thing though, every spark plug was soaked in fuel. im wondering if it could still be left over from when i was trying to start it, i only let it run for a minute before i parked it in the garage. or if theres something else wrong like leaking injectors or something. ill have to pull a plug again and check it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
so yesterday i go to start it in the morning, just turns over, doesnt start. i get under the hood and check to make sure the maf is plugged in, check the ign module, and the plug wires on the distributor, all looks fine. go to start the car and it starts right up. so im thinking i fixed something, but then later on im driving it coming home from autorama, and sitting there in line it dies on me instantly. but then it starts right back up. Then later on in the day i go to start it again, just turns over, so i turn the key off, try again, starts right up. WTF is going on here? im thinking ignition module? or maybe cap/rotor?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
anyone?
 

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If it was the cap/rotor it would likely happen all the time. Since it either runs or doesn't, it could be a short or loose connection to the distributor or coil. Have you checked that all the wires are in good shape and that all the connections are clean and secure?
 

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You know what, I had a similar issue w/ the 5.0 in my 84 Vic that may help. Mine was doing the exact same thing. It would run fine, then just up and die. Might restart, might not. Not sure how many times I got stranded testing it, lol... Anyways, after replacing nearly every part in the ignition system I could think of (gotta love a parts car :D) I ended up replacing the entire dist. w/ a spare I had laying around and viola! No more issues. From what I can tell, the Hall sensor or something in the pickup was screwed up and kept shutting the spark down at random times, hence the dying and no-start conditions.

If you can grab a spare, might be worth a shot to try. Remember to mark where the old dist. is ( both on the block and where the rotor is pointing) and you should be able to get the new one in pretty close, if not dead-on, where the old one was so you don't have to re-time it.

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You know what, I had a similar issue w/ the 5.0 in my 84 Vic that may help. Mine was doing the exact same thing. It would run fine, then just up and die. Might restart, might not. Not sure how many times I got stranded testing it, lol... Anyways, after replacing nearly every part in the ignition system I could think of (gotta love a parts car :D) I ended up replacing the entire dist. w/ a spare I had laying around and viola! No more issues. From what I can tell, the Hall sensor or something in the pickup was screwed up and kept shutting the spark down at random times, hence the dying and no-start conditions.

If you can grab a spare, might be worth a shot to try. Remember to mark where the old dist. is ( both on the block and where the rotor is pointing) and you should be able to get the new one in pretty close, if not dead-on, where the old one was so you don't have to re-time it.

Jay

hrm, sounds like a shot. i will try a new cap/rotor first since i want to change it anyway, then ill try the distributor idea. thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
help I'm stranded!!! so I died on me again.its been running fine for weeks and now it dies. the tach does not move. have new plugs. wires. cap rotor fuel and air filter. tried unplugging maf no change. must be something in distrubtor?? anything I can try to get me home?
 
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