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Guest Message by DevFuse

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86 GL 10 Turbo EA 82 stalls and won't start

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6 replies to this topic

#1 swcv



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Posted 30 March 2014 - 05:53 PM

1st off, I've never been much of a car guy, but I had a 98 explorer sport that was getting old and was not great on gas so I started looking for weird stuff on Craigslist to replace my Explorer with. So about a month ago, I bought an 86 GL 10 Turbo from a kid for 1500.00 that ran pretty well I thought. The brakes don't really work, but I figured that I can make it a DIY job and start to learn how to repair cars on my own.

I drove the car for 2 weeks and it ran great and I loved having the turbo. I started looking on the internet and saw all the cool stuff guys do with these and got pretty excited.

The car has a digital dash and the fuel light is always on. I figured I would fix that eventually too. One day, I had to drive about 40 miles more than normal, and I guessed that I had enough gas. I was picking up a friend and once that was done I started looking for a gas station. Well, I ran out, but was able to sputter into the gas station very roughly, and filled it up. Back on track! Just ran out of gas, but lucked out and it wasn't an issue.

Te next day I had to make the same commute. On the way back it felt like I ran out of gas again. I walked a block and put like 3 gallons in. Never got it to start again. It would start for a second and then just die out. I ended up getting towed home. It sat in my front yard for a week while I watched YouTube and read. I didn't have a lot of time so I got a rec from a friend for someone who would come look at it cheap. 5 minutes after he got there he got it running.

He heard something click when he turned the key to the on position, and opened up the ECU under the steering wheel. He said that the red light coming on meant that the cars alarm was being set off for some reason, and we needed to reset the computer. So he unplugged the wire set closest to the driver seat from the ECU and plugged it back in. It worked and it ran great. He left the paneling covering the ECU exposed in case I stalled out again. And he said if it happened to just unplug the same one and it would reset it and it would work. And it happened again, and it sort of worked. And it happened again, and now it doesn't work at all. It cranks but will not turn over.

After reading as much as I can grasp, and searching and watching videos, I am now a little more understanding of the ECU. I pulled that out and had a friend who is an electrical engineer test it out. He says it's all good.

So, what is my next step?

I will say I bought the car from the second owner who had it for 2 years. It had 175000 miles on it but he said that the original owner swapped out the old motor. I know it has turbo, but the newer motor that was said to have 40k miles on it only says EA82 and not EA82T. Not sure if that matters, but wanted to be as detailed as I could.

I appreciate any advice for a next step that you can give me.

#2 wagonist


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:13 PM

It was a known problem over here (we only got turbo EA82 for the 1st series) with the fuel pump earth wire, which runs back through the ECU.

I had this problem also. Disconnected that wire & simply earthed the fuel pump to the body instead.


Super cheap & easy fix. At least to try first.

#3 MilesFox


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 06:37 PM

if it's not a fuel ground issuewiththeecu. it could be the engine tem psensor if the car fails to start when warm, but will after it cools off. Another suspect could be the ignition amplifier module on the coil bracket. this can fail intermittently, and work again once cooled off.


There is no alarm reset, or alarm at all for that matter in the ecu. the blinking led is an o2 monitor, and also displays the engine codes when you plug in the test/read connectors.

#4 ruparts


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Posted 30 March 2014 - 08:37 PM


  + 1 on the coolent temp sensor, the connections often get corroded or the sensor can be bad.  look for any bad area in the intake air tube , maf to turbo and turbo to throttle body,  check carefully , sometimes there is a hose cracked, or disconnected and makes a bad vacuum leak. 

 Miles said the coil bracket amplifier but i don't think they had those in the 86 model.  it could be the fuel pump ground they did have issues, if it will start and run sometimes, that may not be your problem.

 have you checked the ignition rotor to see if it is loose on the shaft, i think those models had a set screw that holds it in place and they sometimes come out.  if it is firm on the shaft ,  crank over the motor and watch to see if it is turning,  if it is not then you have a bad timing belt.  when you try to crank it does the coil wire to distributor send spark repeatedly,, check this stuff and likely one or 2 will get you going.

#5 swcv



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Posted 31 March 2014 - 06:22 AM

Thanks everyone. Going to test everything mentioned the next chance I get. Forgot to mention that I getting a 12 code from the o2 sensor in the ECU, but the research I did here prior to my post indicates that's prettying a bunk error.

#6 Gloyale


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:24 AM

There is no alarm reset, or alarm at all for that matter in the ecu.


The light the OP talked about is not an alarm.......


BUT>>>   there is an alarm on the Digidash turbos for overrevving........take it to 6500 rpm and it will beep at you!!  no kidding.....not his problem but interesting......



To the OP......definately check the disty rotor screw.

#7 Cougar


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Posted 31 March 2014 - 11:30 AM

The O2 sensor is located in the exhaust system, not the ECU. Code 12 has to do with the ignition switch START position. Common issues for the engine not starting up with these cars are broken timing belts, faulty pickup sensors inside the disty, and faulty igniters, if you have one.

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