Jump to content
  • When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Engine Cut Out On Freeway And Won't Restart


Recommended Posts

On my way to work this morning and while at freeway speed, the engine suddenly stopped running. when i pulled over it would turn over, but not start, and would hear a little pop or backfire after i stopped cranking.


It has just received a new blue coil, and ireland tii distributor with "pertronix-like" electronic ignition module inside. i think one of these is the culprit? how i should test the coil and the ignition module? i have some points and a condenser i could try to set up, but i don't know if they would work with the Ireland distributor and whether the coil i have will work with them either. Any advice?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 34
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

heh.  My money's on the coil wire popping loose, but then, I was never much of a gambler...


Stick a plug onto the coil wire, ground it, and look for spark when you crank.


If it's blue and regular, check the cap and rotor over (I've had rotors fail internally)

and also see if the module's come loose inside the dizzy.  That does happen, and the

gap does matter, some.


Then it's back to basic troubleshooting- fuel, air and spark.  Check spark first, because that was what

was touched last, but that doesn't mean you're not out of gas...




good luck,



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check that your rotor is locked in position on the shaft. That was another problem when I replaced my petronix. It sat too high on the distributor shaft, not allowing the rotor to lock all the way in. The car would run fine  sometimes for days and then just quit. I would pop the cap off and find the rotor lifted slightly and spinning free on the shaft. I used a belt sander to take 1/8" off bottom of rotor. After that, the rotor locked in place on the shaft and has not come loose since.













Link to comment
Share on other sites

i really appreciate the comments, but you guys say check for spark here, and there, but i've never done this before. i need more description. spark plug to coil wire, ground it and crank is pretty confusing as that in itself raises questions for me, which end of the plug? how and where to ground safely. 


anyways i pulled the center wire from the coil to the distrb out of the distrib. Connected (touched) the electrode end of a brand new spark plug to the metal at the end of the coil wire inside the rubber boot. connected a jumper clip to the other end of the spark plug and grounded to neg post on battery. had my son turn the engine over, i heard a small zap sound but didn't see any spark. turned the plug around and tried again still didn't see a spark. wires seem to be seated tightly and all wires are snug on their connectors at spark plugs and at distrib & coil. one thing i noticed however is that the distributor cap seems to be just sitting on top of the distributor as if it's a little too small for it. i.e. the inner diameter of cap is less than outer diam of ireland distributor top. the 2 clips are holding it on but it seems too easy to move around. The mechanic reused my old one and if it is the problem i don't understand as it's worked fine up until yesterday.


i did test ign to coil and i have power at coil.


now i should disconnect all wires from coil and test resistsance at primary and 2*?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You indicated that you had the IE distributor installed.  It normally comes with a black cap with the proper protusion located to fit the notch on the distributor body.  Not sure what the p/n is but some bosch distributors have the notch in a different place, hence a different cap.

71 2002

06 330i

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had the same problem with my 70 1600 after I installed my red coil and IE distributor. It ended up that the tach wire was grounding out as it passed through the fire wall. I unplugged that wire and it fired right up. Probably something else but worth a shot. 

Edited by ryansti

70 BMW 1600 Malaga & Nevada

And a bunch of other old junk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well i seemed to have had a coil that was giving me resistance numbers when checking the primary and secondary using a multimeter, then i tried TobyB's advice and didn't see any spark. i tried reading the coil again with the multimeter and got nothing at all.


now i'm going to replace it all.


re: the ireland distributor cap - i called to see which cap they use on it (the black one they show on their website picture). he says they use OEM. I ask can you please give me the part number? he goes and checks and says its 03001.  i ask if it's a bosch? - he says yes.

if you look at their site, they don't even sell that one separately - they only show the 03010 and the 03012! i scoured the interwebs for the 03001 and it's listed for the common air cooled VW's (Typ 1 - 3). how strange...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    BMW Neue Klasse - a birth of a Sports Sedan

    Unveiling of the Neue Klasse Unveiled in 1961, BMW 1500 sedan was a revolutionary concept at the outset of the '60s. No tail fins or chrome fountains. Instead, what you got was understated and elegant, in a modern sense, exciting to drive as nearly any sports car, and yet still comfortable for four.   The elegant little sedan was an instant sensation. In the 1500, BMW not only found the long-term solution to its dire business straits but, more importantly, created an entirely new
    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    History of the BMW 2002 and the 02 Series

    In 1966, BMW was practically unknown in the US unless you were a touring motorcycle enthusiast or had seen an Isetta given away on a quiz show.  BMW’s sales in the US that year were just 1253 cars.  Then BMW 1600-2 came to America’s shores, tripling US sales to 4564 the following year, boosted by favorable articles in the Buff Books. Car and Driver called it “the best $2500 sedan anywhere.”  Road & Track’s road test was equally enthusiastic.  Then, BMW took a cue from American manufacturers,
    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    The BMW 2002 Production Run

    BMW 02 series are like the original Volkswagen Beetles in one way (besides both being German classic cars)—throughout their long production, they all essentially look alike—at least to the uninitiated:  small, boxy, rear-wheel drive, two-door sedan.  Aficionados know better.   Not only were there three other body styles—none, unfortunately, exported to the US—but there were some significant visual and mechanical changes over their eleven-year production run.   I’ve extracted t

  • Upcoming Events

  • Supporting Vendors

  • Create New...