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Old 01-14-2004, 15:49   #1 (permalink)
rnm
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EB engine stops on highway

In the past 3 weeks, a friends normally reliable standard EB Falcon GL (auto, 3.9l EFI (not MP), petrol, travelled 160k km) engine has stopped, without any signs of a problem, 3 times while travelling normally at highway speeds (80 to 110 km/hr), in the past 1500km. On two of these occasions I was present, so upon pulling over and immediately trying to restart the engine it turned over normally but refused to start and this repeated again after waiting for several minutes. However after 10 to 15 minutes, the car started normally and proceeded without problems. (on the other occasion the driver did not try to start the engine, except immediatley after stopping when it wouldnt start, so then waited until the service technician arrived about 1 hour later, when it also started normally)

Unfortunately the road service technician we called was not able to arrive in that critical 10-15 minute period, and seems unlikely ever to. His advice was that the fault was the "ECU chip", or a faulty fuel pump which (perhaps overheats and stops?).

The problem has so far only happened on hot (30 to 35C) days (air conditioner was not running as its comprresor is inefficient and needs replacing), on longer distance highway driving (not around suburbs), but this may be only because this has been most its environment since the problem first occurred. About one week before the problem first started, the car had a regular 10k km service and CD player installed by reputable mechanics. Petrol tank was between about 1/4 and 3/4 full for all 3 faults.

I am interested in:
1. what may be the cause of this problem;
2. what tests I can do, to identify or eliminate possible causes, either now or more particularly if it happens again (given a mechanic is not likely to be available in the 10-15 minute fault period). I have a digital multimeter and a few tools and can therefore check some electrical items.

thanking you in anticipation of assistance

rnm
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Old 01-14-2004, 16:03   #2 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Ignition coil ?
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Old 01-14-2004, 18:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

i had a similar problem with a vl that i was fixing for my friend it turned out to be a faulty fuel pump... hope it helps..
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Old 01-14-2004, 22:40   #4 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Does it stop dead or cough and fart a bit before it stops?

First one could be coil or second one possible vapour lock, although that is pretty rare these days.

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Old 01-14-2004, 22:51   #5 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

rnm, had this exact same problem not too long ago at all. Turned out to be the little module that drives the distributor. One minute I'm driving, next minute, DEAD. Pull over, car cools down, try starting again and voila, drive a few kilometers, car DEAD again. Eventually it just died entirely. My mechanic simply went to Repco and bought the module, a Bosch brand, installed it and she fired up a treat.

Now, whilst this could be the cause, I'm not saying it is as the module was around $90 if I remember correctly and took a few tricky hours to remove the old one and install the new one.

BTW, I had RACV called out when it happened, there was petrol being injected when trying to crank it over but NO spark. That was the sign. The engine was cranking no problems. Also check to see if you can hear the petrol pump fire up in the back when you click over the keys without starting the car.

Hope this helps,
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Old 01-14-2004, 23:16   #6 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Yep all the above check fuses in correctly the fuel Relay under your header tank..The colour may change but mine was green.. Let us know how you go...Check leads and cap..Coils can be a pita..
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Old 01-15-2004, 18:34   #7 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Same prob with my old EB, it was never cured, didnt matter whether hot/cold cruise/accelerate idling, it just died but fired up again almost straight away.

A mechanic tried plugs, leads, dizzy module, ignition switch, map sensor etc.

Car was written off in recent hail so i never got to the bottom of it, but i know someone else who is having an identical problem.

Fuel pump was next thing to try but it would be interesting to know what it was
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Old 01-15-2004, 18:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Check/change the fuel cap. It has a two way pressure valve that allows fuel to escape on hot days as it expands (espcially if the evaporator line is kinked) and air to enter the tank as fuel is used. If it does allow fuel to enter the tank the car will stop as the pump can't cope. If faulty the usually only cause a problem when it's hot and the valve is opening and closing. Do you hear air entering or leaving when you unscrew the fuel cap on a hot day. If so that's a good sign the valve isn't working.
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Old 01-16-2004, 02:40   #9 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

It sounds like classic symptoms of Ignition Module (TFI) - keep in mind when getting it replaced to specify that you want a BOSCH module (there's a cheap alternative that is apparently crap) - and also, if the module is replaced then the Hall Effect device in the dizzy should also be changed. The whole job should not take a competent auto electrician (or even a motor mechanic for that matter) any more than 1.5 hours at the absolute most - it should be much more like an hour.

Module should be something like $80 but I'm not sure what the Hall Effect gizmo will cost (it shouldn't be as much as the module).
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Old 01-16-2004, 03:08   #10 (permalink)
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Re: EB engine stops on highway

Check here http://www.therangerstation.com/TFI_Diagnostic.html and test the TFI module before spending the $80. Also if you know a little about electronics the resistancec shown on that page can help you repair the TFI. The can be opened and there is a common diode and resistor that fails.
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