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'85 BRAT runs, dies, runs, dies. ????? FIXED, maybe..

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Been driving the '85 since the '86 lost a wheel bearing.


Been running good for the most part, (hasn't been driven in awhile). I'm nearing the end of the 2nd tank of gas since I started driving it everyday for work.


Totally stock as far as things go under the hood.


Fresh plugs, wires, cap & rotor, filters all around, what have you.



Today, leaving from work, it dies...... Just like I turned the key off.


Had went out and started it before the "go home" buzzer sounded to let it warm up some, ran some 5 minutes.


Take off out of the parking lot, shift to 2nd, and it dies.


Tried re-starting it,,, no go. Wait a couple minutes, still no go. Cranks over just fine, acts like no spark.


Call oldest Son for rescue ride home. Few minutes later, co-worker stops to see what's up. He tows me back into parking lot of shop, just to get me off the road.


BRAT wouldn't roll down the hill in the lot after un-hooking, so I tried the "in gear-starter cranking" trick to get it rolling.


It started!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


But died about 5 seconds later, just like you turned it "off"...


No spit, no sputter, just died............. Like you shut it off.



Didn't do much troubleshooting. Cold, windy, rainy, and I'm POed for the most part.


I'll look into at lunch break tomorrow, but if anyone has some pointers, I'm listening.............

Edited by TomRhere

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My 85 brat did exactly the same thing to me a few months ago. I ended up replacing the coil and distributor, but it still wouldn't start untill I changed the fuse, so I recommend starting there. Apparently the fuse can fail intermittently before giving it up completely.

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If you have a Hitachi distributor, I would check the ignitor module. Most parts shops will check if for you once you remove it. If it turns out to be bad, pull one at the junkyard; a new one will set you back quite a few bucks. I've replaced enough of these over the last 15 years and the typical failure mode is that the car just dies as if you turned off the ignition. 15 minutes later it'll start up and run for 2 to 10 minutes before it fails againg.

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just for ************s and giggles,check the anti-diesel solenoid on the front of the carb.a loose wire could totally screw you.cheers, brain

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Grabbed old disty, (worn bushings, be parts stash in garage, "was" in the '86), before leaving for work this AM. This disty had worn bushings in it, but engine ran.


At lunch break, I pull disty from '85 and proceed to swap parts. Ran out of time to complete the job.



Take a point and punch-out early, (HA,, punch out at 2:45PM and still had 9 hours on the clock, but I left "EARLY"), finish job of redoing disty.


Get things all in order, try starting it, and she runs....... No issues on the 32 mile trip home....




Seems the magnet in there under the bracket that surrounds the trigger on the shaft had broken. Many, many pieces of it in there.


Swapped all "believed good" parts from the worn disty into the '85's housing and she seems to be doing great. Actually,, feels peppier now, compared to how it was before this issue. Time will tell.........


I'll be posting up soon for a disty or 2 in the Parts Wanted forum.

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