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First Breakdown
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:00 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Closing this one out for now too. Wound up replacing the Hall sender and the coil. I tightened up the 0.060" end play on the distributor shaft too using the fiber washers sourced from advice gotten here and was able to achieve about 0.008" end play. Really running well now. Thanks for the guidance on this one.
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown (Now Second Breakdown) Reply with quote

The same apparent issue ruined another attempted vacation yesterday. We left from Oakland and were almost over 7,300 foot Echo summit when it started cuttting out. Not a miss, not fuel starvation but a sudden and moementary cutting out with corresponding tach drop but no warning lights. When this happened in Jackson 2 months ago,we were towed home. I found a broken Hall sensor plug so I repplaced it and the coil. My bad for not definitively identifying the root problem, but the van started right up and ran well on a 15 minute feeway test drive.

Yesterday, as it was bucking, we pulled over by a snow play area and it died and would not restart. All connections and grounds were solid. Fuel pump cycled normaly when the ignition was switched on. The ingition switch is 6 months old. The air flow meter has the capacitor upgrade too by the way.

After about 30 minutes of checking things and discussing options, I tried starting again. Normally I never touch the throttle when sarting, hot or cold at sea level. This time with my foot to the floor it started, cleared out some unburnt fuel and I held it at about 2,500 rpm for about 30 seconds. It was running normally. I started slowly backing out of the throttle to see if it would idle, and it suddenly died when passing about 1,500 rpm with a corresponding tach drop. Just like switching off the ignition. I repeated this behavior a couple of times. We restarted with a wide open throttle and keepng it running, turned around and headed down the mountain, tails tucked firmly.

Drove straight home, but with at least 8 instances along the way with the same apparent momentary igniton drop out, but with momentum we made it home. It idled perfectly in the driveway (of course).

One other clue. This time we noticed a loud, rough rattle/buzzing in a location that sounds to me like it's in the cluster. I thought I had an oil pressure issue at first but the gauge indicate otherwise. I have never heard the low oil pressure buzzer, so I don't really know what it is supposed to sound like. The bucking seemed to correspond with the noise while driving, but not every time. To further muddy the waters, my wife is convinced that the buzz comes from under the driver seat where the Go Westy battery isolator lives. This set up has not given me trouble. From the drivers position, it sounds like the buzz is behnd the dash 100%. My wife is convinced it's under the seat.

Questions:

Does the sudden shut off when backing out of the thottle as described above suggest an air fow meter issue?

Can a loose connection or failing relay in the Go Westy battery isolator create a power drop out in the ingition?

What is that low oil pressure buzzer supposed to sound like?

Can a bad tach cause this behavior?
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:46 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown (Now Second Breakdown) Reply with quote

It is rare, but it has happened that the tach causes ignition failures.

VERY quick and easy to test for this though. Let me know if you want to pursue it.

The air flow meter can't make the tach needle drop to zero instantly while driving.

Mark


Igeo wrote:
......

Can a bad tach cause this behavior?
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:06 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Disconnect the tach leads at the coil?
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:12 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Yes, at the coil. Post a photo of the green wires at your coil.

Normally there are 2 green wires to a white plastic connector housing.
One green wire is FROM the ECU to fire the coil.
The other green wire goes to the dash cluster where it feeds both the tach and the oil pressure warning circuit board.

Look at how the white plastic connector plugs onto the coil.
Unplug it and see that each green wire goes to a female pin in the housing. Then move the housing so only the larger green wire's female spade plugs back onto the coil male spades the connector was pulled from.

Mark

Igeo wrote:
Disconnect the tach leads at the coil?
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

So we want to keep the (larger?) ECU to coil wire connected, but not the tach/oil pressure wire. That seems like a good route to follow up on since the buzzing behind the cluster, the tach dropping and the cutting out appear related.
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:54 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

What do you think this tap might be for? Doesn't look factory.

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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:03 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

You'd have to follow the wire. Its not stock, but something that is looking for an rpm pulse. That could certainly ground the coil out if connected to some gizmo.
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:09 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Double post deleted.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Perhaps that wire was added for aftermarket cruise control.

Mark
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 1:46 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

It does have a non-functioning CC.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

I would unplug that wire from the green one.

Mark
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

The aftermarket cruise control was not functioning, so I removed the entire rats nest of wiring, cable and control box. And I disconnected that signal wire (?) from the coil. I'm also going to pull the cluster to disable the oil pressure warning buzzer since I have a gauge. I know that box control box was always powered up with the key on since it has red indicator lights. Good riddance.

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pdm777
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:49 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Following.
been chasing this issue for years.

crazyvwvanman- Why would removing the tach wire from the coil resolve this?
Interested to understand the cause/effect of the tach on this issue.

I've had the tach instantly drop as the engine misses, then dies.
It usually happens after about 3 hours of driving.
It always restarts after resting for 20 minutes.

Replaced my coil, plug wires, rotor, etc.
So far, in the last year or so, many long trips, no problems.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:55 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

MarkWard--

Please give details of how to add the MSD unit and coil !

MarkWard wrote:
MSD unit and MSD coil to try and pin down the problem. The MSD is essentially a standalone spark system. Using the signal from the ECU that would fire the coil, now notifies the MSD to fire. Essentially turning the ECU coil driver into a relay and removing all loads.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:00 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

The point of my reply was that it is simple and easy to bypass the green wire that feeds the dash cluster and eliminate the remote chance that something on that dash feed wire is the cause of problem.

Mark

pdm777 wrote:
Following.
been chasing this issue for years.

crazyvwvanman- Why would removing the tach wire from the coil resolve this?
Interested to understand the cause/effect of the tach on this issue.

I've had the tach instantly drop as the engine misses, then dies.
It usually happens after about 3 hours of driving.
It always restarts after resting for 20 minutes.

Replaced my coil, plug wires, rotor, etc.
So far, in the last year or so, many long trips, no problems.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:17 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Adding an MSD is fairly straightforward, but the one we installed on a vanagon was an attempt to isolate why the stock coils weíre failing. It was impossible to duplicate even on the dyno. Adding the MSD did solve the coil failing problem on this van. Canít tell you why. The owner is stoked to have the van reliable again.

Itís an expense you shouldnít need. You really need to diagnose when the engine wonít run. The goal is to isolate if itís fuel or spark. Pre connect a fuel pressure gauge and have your timing light ready. The gauge will let you see if you have fuel pressure and the timing light is an easy safe quick way to test for spark.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

I have installed a fuel pressure gauge and Air Fuel ratio gauge,
the problem hasn't occurred since swapping coil a while back.

I recall there was a way to wrap a neon (?) bulb around
a spark wire and it would flash when energized.

Gotta look into that, I'd rather not carry my timing light,
vans too heavy as it is Wink
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valvecovergasket
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

Just carry a spare plug, and ground it against the block to test spark. Even easier than a bulb or timing light
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:04 pm    Post subject: Re: First Breakdown Reply with quote

valvecovergasket wrote:
Just carry a spare plug, and ground it against the block to test spark. Even easier than a bulb or timing light


If you donít mind getting dirty or accidentally shocking the S out of your self. Or worse, enough fuel vapor to ignite a fire.

I wouldnít travel without a timing light in a gas engine. I once had to drive all over Orlando on a Sunday to borrow one. Cheap insurance.
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