1988GL Wagon EA82 SPFI 4x4 all stock
I'll give a full history of my experiences with the car, however whether or not all the details play into the current problem, I don't know.
From day one, the engine has idled fine, wouldn't necessarily say smoothly but undetectable unless you know what to listen for. Acceleration has a stumbling range up to about half throttle and up to approx 3000rpm. If you mash the throttle to the floor, it accelerates, I guess as most EA82s should. Once over roughly 3000rpm, it accelerates fine without stumbling however not smooth, as if maybe not enough power in the spark, maybe out of time; whatever it is escapes me. Sometime before I purchased it, one cylinder had a spark plug thread repair done shoddily, electrode of plug is appox 3/8" above where it should as the threaded sleeve wasn't installed properly.
Once earlier this past summer, the car wouldn't start one morning (starter engaging as it should, sounded like it either wasn't getting fuel or spark). Around midday, I loosened the collar around the TBI throat and lifted the air intake. Hit the starter, the engine coughed then died. I put the air intake back in place, tightened down, hit the starter and after several revolutions it came to life. Sputtered til it burnt the excess fuel. No problems for several months.
Had the same thing late September or early October of the engine not starting. Tried the same sequence as my previous experience although this time it didn't start. Ended up compression starting and once I dumped the clutch, the engine started. It started fine throughout the day. It has been starting intermittently (problems only in the morning) now for close to two months yet every time I attempt to compression start it, it has always started, until earlier this week.
About a month ago when I was fussing with it not starting, I pulled a plug wire and inserted an old cv axle roll pin in the plug wire clamp and held it close to the plug while an assistant ran the starter. The spark was weak a couple of times when it fired, strong spark one time, but for several revolutions of the engine there was no spark. On that occasion I compression started and it ran fine and started fine the rest of that day.
Now the engine won't start even when compression starting. So far, I have replaced the cap and rotor (although probably wasn't necessary). I purchased a coil as someone told me the coil may have failed and had possibly been producing a weak signal causing the stumbling under a load (didn't make a whole lot of sense as I was getting it to start by compression starting). I tested resistance on the old coil and compared to the resistance of new coil; readings are very close (maybe a needle width on the meter). I intend to return the new coil to the store. I also set up the timing light but it did not detect any spark when I ran the starter.
The symptoms have been intermittent until now. I'm stumped and am ready to take it to a shop. Hoping a seasoned mechanic can give me some advice.
Edited by Bighorncrag, 01 December 2012 - 03:30 PM.