Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Help! My brat is dead on the side of the road.


  • Please log in to reply
26 replies to this topic

#1 Wirebrush

Wirebrush

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts
  • Great Falls

Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:10 PM

I was driving to school (college, I'm 34) when it just died like I'd turned off the key. After sitting for a few minutes it started and ran for a few hundred yards before it died again. No sputtering, it's either getting spark on all four or none at all. I tried running a jumper wire straight from the battery to the coil and it didn't bypass the problem. I had someone pick me up and couldn't spend any more time on it. What is the most likely culprit? I had an old jeep wagoneer that would do the same thing, but it had a pos Ford/motocraft ignition. Any input is greatly appriciated. I hate the thought of it sitting on the side of the road more than I'm going to hate walking back.

#2 cobcob

cobcob

    User Awaiting Email Confirmation

  • Members
  • 710 posts

Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:14 PM

Failing lead from the coil to the disty, water under the disty cap, or the rotor button worn/fallen off.

#3 bheinen74

bheinen74

    Banned

  • Banned
  • Pip
  • 0 posts
  • central Iowa

Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:19 PM

clogged fuel filter perhaps.

#4 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 19 November 2008 - 03:06 PM

If you are sure the ignition is failing then I would guess the pick up could be the problem here. I don't know if there is an ignitor or not not but if so that could be the trouble. Check for bad connections also.

#5 Wirebrush

Wirebrush

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts
  • Great Falls

Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:10 PM

It's not fuel, or cap, rotor, wires etc. because there is no power loss, chugging, miss, etc. It just shuts off like a switch. I would think a loose connection would also cause it to run erratic as well, and not allow it to start and run smoothly after sitting for a few minutes, then suddenly shut off again.

To top it off it's now beginning to snow. I've got another hour and a half before I get out of class and can go rescue it.

#6 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 19 November 2008 - 04:23 PM

Maybe someone can drive you back and wait for you as you try to get it going.

I liked your idea of jumping the coil but since that didn't work I suggested the previous things to check. Unfortunately, if one of them is bad you are stuck, for awhile at least.

One other thought, if you are sure it is an ignition problem. You can remove the wiring to the minus side of the coil and then place a wire on the minus connection. Turn on the ignition and then briefly touch and remove the other end of the jumper wire to ground (be sure not to touch the bare end with your fingers though). The coil wire should spark then when it is near a ground point. This will prove out the coil circuit at least and point to the pick up or ignitor as the trouble.

Edited by Cougar, 19 November 2008 - 04:34 PM.


#7 Durania

Durania

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,113 posts
  • Crossville, TN

Posted 19 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

Make sure no wires came undone underneath your steering column. I disconnected some connectors under the dash while going down the road once and I lost everything. It did exactly what your describing.

#8 Qman

Qman

    Happiness is... no lag!!

  • Moderator
  • 11,119 posts
  • Sumner

Posted 19 November 2008 - 05:46 PM

Try a new module in the distributor. Or just pop in a different distributor and see what happens.

#9 Phizinza

Phizinza

    Yip yip

  • Members
  • 3,867 posts
  • South Australia

Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:08 PM

When it does drive, what happens if you gun it like drive it hard?

#10 ettev

ettev

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 363 posts
  • Pottsville, PA

Posted 19 November 2008 - 07:00 PM

I still think intermittent coil problem. I've had this happen on an Opel GT I have. Drove me nuts.

#11 zyewdall

zyewdall

    Subaru Master

  • Members
  • 2,132 posts
  • Ward, CO

Posted 19 November 2008 - 08:17 PM

It's an EA81 brat, right? Sounds like a bad pickup in the disty.... I just went through this on my '82 DL, and I have heard of similar tales of other EA81 distributors when they are failing -- run fine, then suddently not. It also sounds like a bad condensor -- if it had points and condensor ignition, but it doesn't. Intermittent coil could cause that too, I guess, and is alot cheaper thing to try than the distributor if you don't have a spare on hand. I found a new distributor (cheaper than a new pickup module, oddly) from Rockauto -- $122, instead of $388 that Napa wanted for a new pickup module.

#12 edrach

edrach

    RIP 6/28/14

  • Members
  • 12,326 posts
  • Bothell, WA

Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:18 PM

If you have spark, I'd bet on the fuel filter (the one next to your fuel pump); replace the fuel separator in the engine compartment while you're at it.

If you don't have spark AND have a Hitachi distributor my money is on the ignition module inside it. Expensive to buy from the autoparts store ($100 or more) and very cheap from a u-pullit wrecking yard. Easy to replace also.

#13 edrach

edrach

    RIP 6/28/14

  • Members
  • 12,326 posts
  • Bothell, WA

Posted 19 November 2008 - 09:25 PM

-- $122, instead of $388 that Napa wanted for a new pickup module.

Yipes. Under $10 at pull a part for the module. Last time I considered buying a new module it was $90, 125, and 190 depending on how long the "lifetime" warranty was. I bought the $90 version; still ticking after 8 years! By the way, don't buy it at Schucks.....old wives' tale that says their module fails within a week of jump-starting someone else's car with yours. That's what the guy at B&B told me when I bought that $90 module when he saw my old one. After that I collected a bunch from Pull a Part and there was one in the glove box of every EA81 car in our family (four at that time).

B&B would test my "old" module for me. Just make sure he hooks up the ground clamp solidly, otherwise they "fail" every time@:o.

#14 Wirebrush

Wirebrush

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts
  • Great Falls

Posted 19 November 2008 - 10:16 PM

Well I tried a new coil and condenser and still no spark. I got it towed home and ordered a rebuilt distributor. It's got to be in the distributor guts. I swear I have a forcefield around me that destroys anything electronic. Funny thing is that I was just thinking that it was running better thanks usual when it died. I've been having carb issues since I bought it. I've got a used Weber on the way to fix that, I hope.

ETA-

Thanks for the input, especially the last few. I was just about to yank the module out of the distributor when my father suggested trying a new coil first. I'll try getting a module from the wrecking yard tomorrow, it sounds like a good idea to keep a spare on hand anyway.

Edited by Wirebrush, 19 November 2008 - 10:25 PM.


#15 Durania

Durania

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,113 posts
  • Crossville, TN

Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:01 PM

Pull the wire off the distributor cap that runs from the coil and hold it to a piece of metal and see if you have spark while someone turns it over. I had a similar situation in 2005 where my hatch would turn over but not fire. It turned out to be just a bad coil wire.

#16 subiemech85

subiemech85

    SIX STAR SERVICE

  • Members
  • 2,710 posts
  • down by the river

Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:16 PM

one time drove a ea81 with bad distributor, had to keep the rpm up real high, otherwise :dead:

tried replacing module, did not fix problem

required a good dist. from board member

#17 Uncle Ed

Uncle Ed

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 68 posts
  • Yacolt,WA

Posted 19 November 2008 - 11:30 PM

If it has the Hitachi distributor the same ignition control module was used in the following vehicles. 82-85 S-10 & S-15, 83-84 Blazer & jimmy, 80-89 Accord, 80-87 Civic, 80-90 Prelude, 87 Wagovan.... The list go's on & on, so most u-pull-it's should have a few to choose from.

#18 Wirebrush

Wirebrush

    USMB Regular

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 39 posts
  • Great Falls

Posted 21 November 2008 - 05:27 PM

I replaced the distributor with a new rebuild this morning and I still don't have spark. I'm picking up my Weber carb right now. I wish my car was running so I could get it installed and try it out.

#19 Durania

Durania

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,113 posts
  • Crossville, TN

Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:12 PM

Did you check the wire like I suggested?

#20 TheSubaruJunkie

TheSubaruJunkie

    I'M BAAAAAACK!

  • Members
  • 1,921 posts
  • Sacramento

Posted 21 November 2008 - 06:38 PM

Did you replace the coil? $20 at autozone, cheap fix if you ask me.

#21 jonas

jonas

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 975 posts
  • Oakridge

Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:13 PM

I had the same problem on my '81 Brat. Turned out to be a bad ignition switch.

#22 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 21 November 2008 - 07:33 PM

I replaced the distributor with a new rebuild this morning and I still don't have spark. I'm picking up my Weber carb right now. I wish my car was running so I could get it installed and try it out.


Since you have replaced the disty you need to place the probe tip of a test light probe on the minus side of the coil and make sure power is getting to that point while the ignition is on. You should see pulsing flashes there when the ignition is working and cranking the engine. If the ignitor is seperate from the disty then that may be the problem.

#23 ettev

ettev

    Subaru Fanatic!

  • Members
  • 363 posts
  • Pottsville, PA

Posted 21 November 2008 - 10:40 PM

I say fuseable link. Check those.


Doubtful. They are either good or bad. No in between.

#24 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

Loyale 2.7 Turbo

    The Mighty "BumbleBeast"

  • Gold Subscribers
  • 5,550 posts
  • Roatán, Honduras.

Posted 22 November 2008 - 12:17 AM

I say fuseable link. Check those.


Yes! ... I Agree, and They can be in "Between" Good and Bad, Let me Explain: Rusted Terminals.

Rusted Fusible Link`s Terminals can make them have Contact for Short Times, While Vibration can make them Loose to False Contact, even if they are Hard in their Place...

So, I Agree with the Fusible Links Idea... Also, a Starter Switch Could be too... I Suggest to Check `em Both, Just in Case...

Good Luck!

#25 Cougar

Cougar

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 6,340 posts
  • Anchorage

Posted 22 November 2008 - 03:16 PM

I had another thought about this issue. If there is an ignition relay in the circuit it should be checked also.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users