Any auto mechanics out there?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by jacobs, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    I have an 87 Range Rover that is going through ignition modules like crazy and they are not cheap. I also burned up 2 ignition coils. I can't seem to locate the problem. The Range Rovers had a problem with ignition modules getting too hot and burning out because they were right next to where the radiator hose connected to the engine and it was on the back side of the distributor. They made a relocation kit to remedy this problem and I bought one of them. This seemed to do the trick and I was just beginning to trust the vehicle when it burned out another module. The only thing I haven't tried yet is running another ground from the block to the frame and putting a 12 volt resister before the ignition coil.

    Has anyone run into a problem like this before? What causes and ignition module to burn up after 500 miles? The modules have a 1 year warranty from the place I order them from and they deal strictly in Rovers. He said I've gone through more modules than all the other customers combined last year! I think there are going to cut me off pretty soon!
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    No experience on a Rover here, but have you had the charging system checked for over charging?
     

  3. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    In its new location, does the module feel warm or hot to the touch after being in operation for a few minutes.

    Would approach the problem in a couple of different ways.

    1. Control the ambient temperature in the area of the module. Could be add more heat sinking to its mounting area or even install a small aux fan and blow cold outside air on it continuous. How you duct the air is important, maybe don't need the fan, if you can scoop duct some air via a rig designed to get it thru normal car motion. Remove the module from seeing ambient under hood (bonnet ) temperature by some means. Datsuns and many Japanese cars locate the module in the passenger compartment is that possible here. Some even put it under the back seat. Most it is in the passenger footwell.

    2. Could be just a screwed up design. Is this common in Rovers with the module relocated? What is a typical life time? Dodge Omni's had a similar problem in their distributors and it was flawed design, aluminum in the cap / connections. Just had to know to clean the puppy every few thousand miles. Went thru a lot of caps compared to cars using copper / brass.

    3. If the problem is electronic in nature, can be bad. Think along the line of what can isolate it. Same deal in the old Omni's, some compacts, they used a limiter resistor. It was a common source of ignition failures. Always kept a spare in the glove box. Yup, maybe trying to get a better ground will help.

    Would try to cool it better in some manner, mounting on a big copper heat sink plate and blowing cold air on the combo might be a good fix if the real underlying cause is heat related. Also look at how much it vibrates in its present location. Heat and vibration are the big killers of electronics. Moving the module into the passenger compartment might be the best if possible.
     
  4. Bob_W_in_NM

    Bob_W_in_NM Well-Known Member

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    You might want to see if you can post your question in some forum in the United Kingdom that deals with Rovers.

    I know several old R.E.M.E. (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) types, but none of them were vehicle artificers. Otherwise, I'd forward your post to them.
     
  5. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    Great idea! I'll check that out.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The components on this ignition system are not Lucas brand by chance are they? As a former Jag owner I became aware that Lucas is better known as the Prince of Darkness! Their designs and components are crap. I have one tractor with a Lucas alternator on it now, guess which tractor has electrical problems. I would convert the vehicle to another ignition system if it is Lucas.
    PS, referencing the response over at Homesteading questions here is how to determine the coils windings,
    The coil can be ruled out as a possible cause by checking it's "primary" and "secondary" resistance with an ohmmeter. Primary resistance is checked between the positive and negative coil terminals. As a rule, primary resistance should be two ohms or less. Secondary resistance is tested between the high voltage terminal and the negative terminal. Secondary resistance should be high, ranging anywhere from 8,000 to 20,000 ohms. The exact specs will vary from one application to another
    Ignore the + and - on the coil as some systems with a + ground have the coils labels reversed.
     
  7. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    You may need an electronics technician rather than an automobile mechanic. A friend of mine had the module die on their Tracker. New prices went up to $600. We found a couple of shops that rebuilt the modules. They saved several hundred dollars by sending the module to a shop in NJ to be fixed rather than buying new.

    One thing you can bet money on when it comes to automobiles is that the manufacturer will spec the cheapest components they can and still get the car off the dealers' lots and have some enough remaining life to hold their warranty costs to their estimated level. What that means is the electronic components in your module aren't the same ones the military or someone else who requires reliability would spec. If you can find someone who will repair your module, you can ask them to use a part that has a greater heat resistance that the parts speced than the manufacturer.

    You will have to be innovative to find someone who'll fix the module. One place to try is a shop that troubleshoots and repairs printed circuit boards. Try talking to some local places that "repair" computers. I'll bet none of them do more than remove and replace entire boards but they may have access to a source. There used to be a monthly large format newsletter/magazine that covered the computer repair industry. That always had ads for businesses that repaired boards. You might try someone who still repairs TVs. Anyone still doing that is likely to be someone older that has considerable troubleshooting skills.

    Good luck.
     
  8. ex mek

    ex mek Member

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    Check the charging first , bad engine earths are usual on the V8 rover, that confuses the alternator and hense causes over charging and that takes the modules out ,
     
  9. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

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    Do an internet search and get onto one of the specialized Land Rover forums... those folks there deal with the vehicles all the time. Chances are that if your particular vehicles has a problem, others there have experienced the same thing. Posting here is great for general stuff, but for specifics, there are better forums.

    cheers,
     
  10. jacobs

    jacobs Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the help. I've got some good leads to follow and will certainly check them out.
     
  11. freez

    freez Member

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    Running another ground can never hurt and it may solve the problem.

    Be careful adding resistors as this can damage wiring. Sounds Like you may have a short to power instead of a short to ground before the module.

    Check integrity of the wiring and connectors.

    Look for corrosion (a bluish green color)

    With the ignition module there should have been a silicon-based paste.
    Did you install this paste?


    (I have a mechanic in the house today and this is what he said to do)

    Good luck

    freez