Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » July 26th 2015, 12:01am

This is a long-standing issue with this van and I feel no closer to figuring it out than when it first cropped up years ago.

The symptom is the ignition will cut out randomly at which point doing a power cycle (assuming the engine is still turning) will usually get the ignition going again.

I have recently tried connecting the battery directly to the coil via a switch to eliminate any possible issue with wiring or the ignition switch. The van is still having issues.

The ignition module has been recently tested. Also, it can happen on a cold start so it's not due to overheating.

I have two CPUs (one firmware) so if its that, it somehow affects both of them.

HEEEEEEEELP!
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby FrugalAstro » July 26th 2015, 12:30am

Ball wrote:The ignition module has been recently tested.


There is only ONE way to test an ignition module - swap the failing one for a known good one.

Auto parts store testers are a tool, not a guarantee that your possible failing part is good.
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 26th 2015, 2:09am

I agree with the above. Testing isn't always the best. It may test good and be bad. It is intermittent like you said.

I been testing the silly coil in mine for years. It had a slight surging at steady cruise speed every once in a while. It got worse and popped in the exhaust.

I tested it OHM'ed it and it read fine. Hooked a spark plug and spark plug wire to it and it had a changing color to the spark. Got a new coil because I was just tired of screwing with it. Took a gamble. That was it.

So as previously mentioned only sure test with electrical. Is swap in a known good one.
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Lumpy » July 27th 2015, 12:49am

Ball wrote:
The symptom is the ignition will cut out randomly at which point doing a power cycle (assuming the engine is still turning) will usually get the ignition going again.



What is a "Power Cycle"?

I recommend working on cars from Wit's beginning, not end.


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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 2nd 2015, 10:39pm

I think, at long last, I identified and fixed the issue. We'll see on tomorrow's drive.

It appears my alternator was arcing at the terminal. It took hours to remove it (due to the arcing screwing up the threads). Had to rotate the alternator instead of the nut, which did wonders for my back which I threw a week ago. I then re-cut the threads with a die and made a custom nut to fix.

DSCN0633.JPG


custom.jpg


(Power cycle means to turn the power off then on. Used more in computing like power cycling a router)
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Lumpy » August 3rd 2015, 12:30am

Zebras are fast becoming extinct around here.

... :bouncy:


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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 4th 2015, 7:15pm

DAMN IT! :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

The problem persists!
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Sailing_Faith » August 4th 2015, 8:00pm

Ball,
I am sorry you are having this problem... What a PITA!

Sounds like your troubleshooting is sound, I do agree with the others though. I am not a parts changer, but there is no way to test an ignition module for an intermittent fail
Ire like you are having.

Replace the ignition module as the next step.

Good luck!
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 4th 2015, 11:46pm

So you want me to buy a 3rd ignition module, and if that fails buy a 4th, and 5th...
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » August 4th 2015, 11:52pm

You pretty much covered the spark section. Have you tried running the engine with a fuel pressure tester on it? Checked the injector plugs. There one more connector outside the plenum where it plugs into the wiring harness between the injector and the harness. Could be pressure or connection. Loss of gas causes misses also.
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 4th 2015, 11:57pm

Why would the CD box lose signal from the ignition module if the fuel injector stopped working? Honest question
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » August 5th 2015, 12:00am

Ball wrote:Why would the CD box lose signal from the ignition module if the fuel injector stopped working? Honest question

It wouldn't. If it is all new you tell me why isn't it working. I just offering other options.
If your dead set on it being a spark issue. ECU going out, and power supply to everything are the only 2 things left.
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Lumpy » August 5th 2015, 12:12am

Again, I recommend getting to the other end of that "Wit's" continuum. Fighting with mechanical devices guarantees failure for one side or the other. Want to guess which side?


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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Sailing_Faith » August 6th 2015, 7:25pm

Ball wrote:So you want me to buy a 3rd ignition module, and if that fails buy a 4th, and 5th...


You had not said that you had changed it. You said;

....The ignition module has been recently tested. Also, it can happen on a cold start so it's not due to overheating


Easier to help if we have the whole picture.

Best of luck,
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 6th 2015, 10:48pm

Yeah, sorry, it's been posted elsewhere and I'm getting them mixed up.

I have two coils plus a CD ignition. I have two CPUs, but only one firmware. I have two distributors. I have two ignition modules, both tested as good.
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 7th 2015, 5:30am

So I was in the middle of a long-winded reply when I think I just made a breakthrough.

I've been inspecting the wires for rat gnawings and moving them around with the engine running and managed to kill it! I've tried this before, but never found a way to kill the SOB.

I think I got a bad wire or arc going on. Cautiously optimistic...
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Sailing_Faith » August 7th 2015, 6:00am

Hang in there! I can sympathize, I just had to run down this kind of problem in the midst of a road trip!

I hope that you found it!
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 7th 2015, 6:32am

Yeah, sounds like my life. I've replaced the water pump, fuel pump, toe link, and many other things on road trips. The worst one was blowing two side walls in a canyon in the mojave. $1,000 error of judgement there :D

I found one bad looking wire. I'm driving out. We'll see what happens (fingers crossed)
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Ball [OP] » August 11th 2015, 8:01am

Egh, maybe a need a new van :banghead:
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Re: Ignition randomly cutting out; At wits end

Postby Sailing_Faith » August 11th 2015, 8:08am

Ball wrote:Egh, maybe a need a new van :banghead:


Ok, hang in there< !

What is it doing now? What have you had done?

Any codes? Can you record a short video on your phone of just how it is failing?
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