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Didn’t run when parked (Sputter resurrection - and a ?)


kaptanoglu

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It is embarrassing, now that I look back at the timeline.  Waaaaay back in March, I had a dead battery, but was able to get going from the spot in front of the coffee shop with a lucky, top-of-a-short-hill parking spot.  Bought a new battery, end of story……

 

….until it died again a few weeks later, and this time needed a push down a busy street to get going.

 

”Didn’t you check the alternator, you dumba$$?”, you ask yourself, already knowing the answer.

 

I swapped out the battery (AutoZone said the old new one was dead beyond charging, and graciously gave me another (Optima Yellowtop AGM), and finally put ‘er up on a jack to inspect the alternator.  I replaced most of the alternator a couple of years ago, keeping the old front end to maintain the bracket and pivot orientation.  It is one of those with a jumper between the 3 hold plug and the back of the alternator, and, lo and behold, the jumper was missing —- Easily fixed.  Should start right up.

 

Nope (more detail here)

 

We we’re getting closer.  Two mistakes I made:

  • When I put the bracket that supports the throttle body/tuna can back on, I must have moved the ground strap to correct spot on the bracket.  As a result, I could see the ground strap bolted to the block, but was it good?  (No, it was not).  I couple of washers later, and now I have a good ground
  • Something I hadn’t seen on the starter thread (above) was any connection from the alternator, though someone did indicate I needed an ignition connection — After poking around, I found a female spade connection off a wire running from the back of the alternator to (I don’t know where) - Plugged that onto the same spot as the trigger wire from the ignition (same terminal, different spade), AND THE STARTER WORKS …. It is also possible that the old starter also works, but just had a wire that fell off, but I’m not going to dwell on that possibility (Thanks to Terry and Barney for helping me get this far).

 

Did it run?  No it did not run.  Actually, it ran a little, but I cut it off after a minute or two because I suspect long running w the front end on jack stands is not ideal.  Even worse, I had another new problem.  The throttle linkage seemed okay when pushing on it in the engine bay, but the throttle pedal would push and not return.  I dug into those threads, and was expecting foam jamming up the pedal linkage.  However, with another foot mashing it while I was under the car, the splined rod from under the pedal was slipping inside the clamp to the linkage.  I would never have guessed if I wasn’t looking at it, but a few squeezes with a 10mm, and THAT IS FIXED

 

NOW, it cranks great and turns over, but then immediately dies.  It is firing, since I can get a rev out of it, but once I turn of the starter it just cuts like the fuel stops.  After doing some searching, it sounds like a fuel problem (most likely candidates, clogged screen in the tank, clogged fuel filter by the radiator, dead fuel pump, old gas).  It WAS parked 9 months ago w <1/4 of a tank in it, so who knows.

 

What I’ve done so far:

  • Tested the fuel flow with the key on but the car not running (easy enough since it currently doesn’t run) - I collected gas from the hose that runs into the KFish, and collected ~ a pint in ~30 seconds.  I didn’t time/weigh, as I was just looking to see if it was decent flow or a trickle.  This SEEMS to imply that fuel filters/pump aren’t the problem
  • Added 5 gallons of fresh gas to the tank (that probably has < 2 gallons in it)

 

Current hypothesis/results:

  • It’s bad gas
  • I just need to keep cranking it/starting …. sputter, sputter .. until we cycle new fresh gas all the way through the system
  • I kept at that until I was about to pass out in the garage, and the battery died — Now it’s on a trickle charger

 

NEXT STEPS/QUESTIONS:

  • It MIGHT be fuel flow
    • Inspect the screen in the tank
    • Test fuel flow (fuel pump running) vs a spec (if I can find the spec)
    • Replace fuel filter
  • It MIGHT be bad gas
    • Keep cranking until I’ve done enough

 

Thoughs?

74 2002tii (Sputter) - Not entirely stock - Over 18K miles since full restoration in 2014

15 BMW X5 diesel (the bombed out roads of Houston finally won)

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13 minutes ago, Son of Marty said:

Is the K fish belt intact? What is your fuel pressure? It sound like you just running on the cold start system.

 

KFish belt appears to be intact (had my son peek at it after loosening the cover while I cranked)

 

No idea on fuel pressure

74 2002tii (Sputter) - Not entirely stock - Over 18K miles since full restoration in 2014

15 BMW X5 diesel (the bombed out roads of Houston finally won)

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38 minutes ago, kaptanoglu said:

NOW, it cranks great and turns over, but then immediately dies.  It is firing, since I can get a rev out of it, but once I turn of the starter it just cuts like the fuel stops.

Does this mean when the key is let to Run from the Start (crankng) position, the engine dies?  If so, is there +12v at the coil positive with the key in the Run position?

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A radiator shop is a good place to take a leak.

 

I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I'm really good at it.

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2 minutes ago, jimk said:

Does this mean when the key is let to Run from the Start (crankng) position, the engine dies?  If so, is there +12v at the coil positive with the key in the Run position?

 

That’s what it means.   With the starter engaged, it’ll keep going.  But when left on Run, it’s done.

 

I don’t know — I’ll go check

74 2002tii (Sputter) - Not entirely stock - Over 18K miles since full restoration in 2014

15 BMW X5 diesel (the bombed out roads of Houston finally won)

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31 minutes ago, kaptanoglu said:

 

That’s what it means.   With the starter engaged, it’ll keep going.  But when left on Run, it’s done.

 

I don’t know — I’ll go check

 

Unless I am checking the wrong spot (possible), we may be onto something.  Voltage from the pos side of the coil (shown, if I am pointed to the right thing) and a strut stud (neg) was only 1.7v, which seems comically low.

 

Even worse - it seems I am going backwards.  The battery showed fully charged so I gave it another crank.  Fuel pump comes on, but w a turn to Start, nothing but a click/clank at key release, which now makes me think that is the starter solenoid releasing.  WTF!?!

6D0BA23A-196C-4C86-9E58-B31CE1EB1B0F.jpeg

74 2002tii (Sputter) - Not entirely stock - Over 18K miles since full restoration in 2014

15 BMW X5 diesel (the bombed out roads of Houston finally won)

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54 minutes ago, kaptanoglu said:

 

Unless I am checking the wrong spot (possible), we may be onto something.  Voltage from the pos side of the coil (shown, if I am pointed to the right thing) and a strut stud (neg) was only 1.7v, which seems comically low.

 

Even worse - it seems I am going backwards.  The battery showed fully charged so I gave it another crank.  Fuel pump comes on, but w a turn to Start, nothing but a click/clank at key release, which now makes me think that is the starter solenoid releasing.  WTF!?!

6D0BA23A-196C-4C86-9E58-B31CE1EB1B0F.jpeg

In other words, the picture you posted provides a big clue.

 

You should check the ballast resistor circuit, which is the path taken by the primary coil positive/terminal 15 circuit when the ignition switch is in the "on/run" position. This is bypassed when the ignition switch in the terminal 50/starter position, so it is possible that there is poor contact somewhere in the terminal 15 circuit, maybe bad ignition switch, faulty ballast resistor, something like that. 

Chris A
---'73 2002tii Chamonix w/ flares, sunroof, 15x7s, LSD, Bilstein Sports w/ H&R springs, upgraded sway bars, E21 Recaros
---'86 Porsche 944 Turbo grey street/track car

---'81 Alfa Romeo GTV6 rescued from junkyard, Lemons Rally/"GT" car

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If the engine is only running when the key is held in the start position, then chances are pretty good that it's not really "running" but just being turned over by the starter motor.  Just for fun, check to make sure you're actually getting spark(s) at the plugs.  It may be firing on one or possibly two cylinders, or the spark is really weak--not enough to keep it going once you release the starter. 

 

You want a nice blue spark at the plug, not a little wimpy yellow one.  If no spark at the plug, work your way back to the dizzy, then the coil then the low voltage (12v) supply to the coil.  

 

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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4 hours ago, kaptanoglu said:

 

KFish belt appears to be intact (had my son peek at it after loosening the cover while I cranked)

 

No idea on fuel pressure

John confirm the belt is good it could be fixed in place and still have failed…

Don’t let the fear of what could happen

make nothing happen…

 

  

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Sound to me like the coil is only getting +12V when the starter is cranking.

Did you check the connections on the starter and trace the wires to the external resistor relay?

 

825736489_BMWIgnitionCircuit.thumb.jpg.4b0df8ec472e418da02db0137322642a.jpg

 A car with an external resistor (like yours) is basically the same as the later cars ... except instead of a resistor wire to the coil (+), you trigger the resistor relay by connecting a wire from the remote starter tap (see above) to the #86 relay tab.

The #87a relay tab connects to the external resistor, and the #87 relay tab connects to the coil (+).

If all is connected correctly, you get +12V to the coil when the starter is cranking, and +12V to one side of your external resistor.

The other side of the resistor is connected to the coil (+).

 

Sorry, don't have a sketch of what I'm talking about, but will be happy to make one if needed.

 

Best,

John

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I appreciate everyone’s suggestions.  I will dig back in when I have a break later this week and answer some of the questions.

 

Thanks a ton everyone.

 

 

74 2002tii (Sputter) - Not entirely stock - Over 18K miles since full restoration in 2014

15 BMW X5 diesel (the bombed out roads of Houston finally won)

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