total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

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Rock Bus
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total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by Rock Bus » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:58 pm

Had a disasterous trip out in my van couple weekends ago -involving calling RAC out 4 times and 6 hours for 10 mile trip :cry:
Hadnt started van for a while but after few goes started up no probs - then foolishly left van for a bit (letting kids play in it on drive :roll: )

Then went to start it again and nothing - presumed dead battery -RAC out -battery charged -off i go and happy days so i thought!

couple miles down road -lost all power in van -acccelerator down but nothing -van wont start again because i presume Battery not charged so couldnt start again -RAC out again -battery charged and off i go again - 2 or 3 miles later travelling on dual carraige way at 60 miles/hour again all power went so went through all of the above again :cry:

Managed this time to get home with no problems but now van is in garage and like a big girl i am now almost too scared to get it out and go through that all again!! Especially as in my previous van after losing power like this the engine caught fire and the whole van went up in smoke :roll:

Apologies for long winded post but anyone have any ideas - FYI have electric fuel pump to assist with starting -not sure if relevant but could over fueling/flooding when trying to initially start the van have led to these problems

Any advice gratefully received!!


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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by 65southafricanbus » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:37 pm

If your battery is completely dead i.e it's not turning the engine over, then sounds more like an electrical problem than a fuel delivery one. First thing to check is the battery - if it's an old one, it's often simpler to just buy a new one. Next, could be an earth/current drain problem. Check the gearbox earth strap and your starter connections. Splits are known for dropping voltage when starting & people like Koolair do a relay kit to solve this. Next, could be your dynamo or alternator or regulator. If you're not au fait with autoelectrics might be worth getting an autoelectrician to have a look - if your alternator or dynamo is faulty then your ignition light (red one) would usually stay on. Good luck with it.
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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by Rock Bus » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:50 pm

battery should be fine - its newish
Also RAC guy checked terminals/connections and confirmed it was charging and retaining charge
If electrical fault would it just cut out as im driving along the dual carraige way??


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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by 65southafricanbus » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:06 pm

if it cuts out suddenly, and when you try and restart it, the battery is dead, it points very strongly to an electical problem. If it was fuel starvation, then your battery should still turn your engine over. Also, if it was your coil or condenser, the battery would still turn the engine over. I had the same problem of sudden cutting out and replacing the coil sorted it, however it happened again and I finally traced it to a dodgy positive feed (black wire) to the coil.
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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by Rock Bus » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:19 pm

this may be a VERY stupid question but surely if it loses power whilst im driving this suggests a fuel problem and not the battery
I wasnt operating anything electrical while I was driving so surely the battery isnt in use then???

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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by Gnarly » Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:59 am

Rock Bus wrote:this may be a VERY stupid question but surely if it loses power whilst im driving this suggests a fuel problem and not the battery
I wasnt operating anything electrical while I was driving so surely the battery isnt in use then???
If the coil is faulty, then it will cut out whilst you're moving, and that is electrical :wink:
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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by wilgartw » Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:38 am

Rock Bus wrote:this may be a VERY stupid question but surely if it loses power whilst im driving this suggests a fuel problem and not the battery
I wasnt operating anything electrical while I was driving so surely the battery isnt in use then???
the engine runs by igniting the petrol.
you need petrol, but you also need the spark (provided by the electrics)

can you answer this question: once it cuts out does the engine turn over when you try to start it. ie does it go de-dur-de-dur-de-dur-de-dur. or do you just get a click, or nothing. (sorry for the condesending question, but it has alraedy been asked twice and you haven't answered it)

Rock Bus wrote:Hthen foolishly left van for a bit (letting kids play in it on drive :roll: )
did you leave your ignition on? if so you could've burnt out the coil.

everything so far is leaning towards a coil issue. if it is smile. quick, cheap, easy fix.
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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by Rock Bus » Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:52 pm

dont mind any Q's given my own admitted ignorance

The engine doesnt turnover at all - no sound or anything

Dont believe i left the ignition on but it is a possibility (??)
If its the coil is it something even an idiot like me could sort out (if not my concern is will then have to tow it to garage)

Thanks to you all for your responses and your patience!!

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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by split999 » Fri Feb 27, 2009 6:50 pm

Anyone can change a coil.
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Re: total loss of power/fuel -help desperately needed

Post by 65southafricanbus » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:15 am

In order to turn your engine over you need an intact circuit to your starter from your positive battery terminal back to the negative terminal via the van body acting as earth. If there's nothing at all when you try and restart your engine then there must be either an interruption of the circuit or a sticking starter or a faulty starter/gearbox bush or a faulty starter solenoid. None of these would cause cutout of the engine. Doesn't sound like there's a problem with your starter.

When the engine is running, even with a completely knackered battery, you would still get electrical supply to the coil and plugs. If your engine is cutting out suddenly, then it suggests a break in the electrical supply to your coil or a faulty coil or condenser. There's no harm in replacing your coil and condenser - if the problem persists then it suggests a fault in the positive supply to your coil - it's worth tracing the black wire on the positive terminal of your coil back to the wiring loom making sure there are no damaged wires.

By the process of elimination, the electrical fault that would cause both problems could be a faulty earth or a break in the positive feed from your battery - correct me if I'm talking nonsense.

Fuel starvation does cause cutout, but tends to give you a bit of a warning with coughing & spluttering.

The devil with a 42 year + split is that you can get two simultaneous problems that totally floor you - been there, done that.
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