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Intermittent Fire


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13 replies to this topic

#1 82GLF

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 06:32 PM

82 GLF 1.8L carb / Electronic ignition / Auto
Having a problem tracking down the cause of intermittent fire from the coil.

This problem occurs without warning, as if a switch was flipped. It doesn't matter if it is idling in the driveway (cold) or at highway speeds on a flat straight away. It just dies and will not restart until it decides to. This last time (last night) I tried restarting it 2 hours after it died, it would not restart. This morning I was ready to tow it home, but it fired right up.

This isn't a fuel problem or battery problem. It cranks over fine but there isn't fire out of the coil (tested with good plug and wire straight from coil). Once I see spark, I plug the coil wire back in and it fires right up. I naturally ASSumed the coil was bad, so I tried a new one......nope.

Then I removed the batt and cleaned the post's and cables / all grounds to no avail as well. When running the batt shows around 14 volts, so I'm (I know!) ASSuming the alt is fine.

I checked the coil post's and read 12volts at both terminals with key on (run position) when it wouldn't start. At the moment it's firing so I'll have to wait until it stops firing to test this while cranking.

I wiggled the ignition switch while cranking but this did nothing either.

Right now I'm not too sure what else to check for the sporadic nature of the fire problem. (relays???)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#2 GLCraig

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 08:38 PM

It sounds like your ignition module is going bad. When it won't fire, do you see the needle on the Tac moving up and down a tiny bit? It not then it's likely the module of the wiring to it. I'm actually having the same problem with my 84GL but it's not a daily driver so I'm holding of on fixing the problem.

#3 kingbobdole

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 08:51 PM

I've never had a problem with mine, but...... Would the coil ignitor make this kind of problem? Also if your getting power to the coil, but its not firing.... check signal, as in crank angle sensor.

#4 BobBrumby

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Posted 18 December 2004 - 10:13 PM

dam i should i read ur post properly before writeing a post on a diff situation

#5 82GLF

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 03:10 PM

This car doesn't have an igniter or crank angle sensor. I think that's on fuel injection.

I haven't checked to see if the tach jumps or not. Is there a test I can do for the module?

Something I just noticed yesterday...
Just before it dies, the volt gauge drops to 12 volts or a hair below and the batt light comes on. Then after a few minutes of cranking, it acts like the batt is dead. Then later, it will crank right over and start as nothing was wrong without charging the battery......

Now, I know it's not the batt since I tried the battery out of my truck with the same results. I'm not sure about the alt, but it did show it charging and the belt is good. I placed my meter to the batt and it showed I was getting a charge, even when the gauge showed 12v or less.

Also, the car still doesn't get spark even while jumping or with the batt charger on....

What could make the gauge show a low batt when in fact it isn't??

#6 Skip

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Posted 19 December 2004 - 04:31 PM

One place to check is the connector under the steering column
that feeds battery voltage to the ignition switch.

This pink colored connector is visible after removing the trim panel.

If the connection is not tight, it could be building resistance.
Thus the voltage drop and the ignition module in the distributor not getting enough power.

I have seen these melted from the heat generated by this resistance.

Another common point for resistance and voltage drop
is the connection to the main fusible link.
Seems corrosion causes resistance, this in turn
causes the connector to the fusible link to loose it's
"spring".
Thus making the connection more prone to resistance and heating.

Both of these could return to a good connection once the
current quits flowing.

#7 82GLF

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Posted 21 December 2004 - 02:27 PM

One place to check is the connector under the steering column
that feeds battery voltage to the ignition switch.

This pink colored connector is visible after removing the trim panel.

Another common point for resistance and voltage drop
is the connection to the main fusible link.

Thanks for the reply Skip.
I checked the pink connector, it's in good shape. Where can I find the fusible link?

Last night I changed the coil again with the new one and this time I left the condensor looking thing off the bracket. I noticed the wire was kinked pretty good. The wire is still attached to ground and the hot post of the coil (just not mounted under the coil bracket).
What IS this? I have read that it is a noise filter for the radio and have read that it's an amplifier. Whatever it is, can this cause a no spark condition?

Right now I have it running. I haven't taken it for a drive yet (afraid to) but it hasn't died yet since. (crossing fingers)

#8 Ross

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 12:07 AM

Fusible link hangs around the positive batt. terminal (on NZ models anyway). Another thing to check is the grounding of the engine & coil.
This may sound weird, but do your winscreen wipers turn on by themselves when the car dies? This sounds very like a prob i had with my '81, and it was caused by the wiper relay shorting out or something......
Or is there any other odd behavior of the accessories?

#9 yumabrat

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 04:59 AM

I had almost similar problems with my brat.... even though my brat has the old point type distributor. The symptoms were almost identical...... The solution for me was just to replace the points and condensor.

If I remember right, the eletronic ignition distributors have the module where the points would be in the earlier dist...... correct me if I'm wrong or repeating information..... I think that If you replace the module inside the dist it will fix your problem....

This is the part I think might be your problem: ignition module partsamerica.com (click the link to see the part I'm talking about)

Hope this helps
James

#10 82GLF

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 11:28 AM

I removed and cleaned the grounds as well as the coil. There isn't any accessories acting weird either.

If that module weren't sooo expensive I would try replacing it, but I can't afford to experiment......yet.

Would really like to know what that condensor looking thing is. So far, after leaving it off the coil bracket and straightening the kink out of the wire it seems to have taken care of it. It hasn't died yet and I took it for a short drive yesterday.

I hope this has fixed it so I can concentrate on that exhaust leak......the one behind that huge heat shield on the drivers downpipe! (sounds like a lawn mower!)

#11 yumabrat

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Posted 22 December 2004 - 02:15 PM

Does anyone know if the guys at the auto-parts stores can test the ignition modules?

#12 82GLF

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 11:35 AM

ttt

Would like to know what that condensor looking thing is that mounts under the coil.

I think this was the problem, is that possible?

#13 Skip

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 01:47 PM

tttt.....
that is a noise suppression capacitor
aka condenser

it filters noise that can cause static on the
AM radio band.

It can short out internally and cause
ignition problems

#14 82GLF

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 03:23 PM

AHH, thank you Skip!
That's what I was hoping.




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