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My 1983 930 suddenly died after a long hot drive

Hello Fellows,

After purchasing my first 930 in May, today I drove 20 highway miles to the countryside and when returning to town I got caught in 30 minutes of intense stop-and-go traffic. Outside temperature was in the high eighties and engine temperature rose to the halfway mark (usually stays at the 1/4 white mark). After having passed the traffic area and driven two miles at around 40 mph (engine temperature began to drop rapidly), my car suddenly started to loose power and within 5 seconds the engine died and the car rolled to a stop. I was able to restart the engine one last time and drive the remaining 20 yards to my driveway before the car died.

The symptoms are the following: I turn the ignition key and the starter cranks strongly . However, the engine does not start. The rear fuel pump appears to be humming (as usual). I waited four hours to see if the engine would start again after it had cooled down. Nevertheless, the engine will not start. I am not sure if it is my impression but, the negative battery cable appeared to be hot.

Would anybody have a suggestion of where I should begin? This would greatly be appreciated.

Best regards,
Angelo
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1979 911 SC
1983 930 "Special Wishes" Factory Slantnose
1988 M3 (E30) - stock!
Old 12-18-2014, 05:01 PM
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i have had this situation occur twice - for 2 different, i think, reasons…and its been about 2 years now…first time, it was a failing ignition coil at higher than normal engine temps…and the second turned out to be what is called "heat-soak" to the starter…i had replaced the original, more bulky bosch starter with the updated, smaller unit of the same P/N…went through 2 units in less than a year before my ring gear was toothless for every third start…i wrapped the latest starter in that heat deflection stuff as best i could, and wrapped a thin-walled plate of aluminum as a heat shield from the heat exchanger directly below…wish i had pics, but i don't…sounds like your situation is linked to the engine temp and its relation to those things that are less tolerant…good luck to you...
Old 12-18-2014, 06:13 PM
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Start with the basics. Fuel pump relays, battery terminals, CDI box. In that order. Hearing one fuel pump doesn't mean both are running! A hot motor won't like having to start that rich. Battery terminals loosen up and can cause all kinds of issues. Then, a hot CDI can have intermittent issues all its own. The first two can be done by anyone with an interest in their car. The third gets a little more tricky, but if you get to that, we can talk you through it!
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:12 PM
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Wholio and DSP Turtle,

Thank you very much with the guidance on where to start. I will start looking at the basics this weekend and as soon as the situation is definitely resolved, keep everybody informed.

DSP Turtle,

Excuse my ignorance. What is the CDI box? Sorry.....


Best regards,
Angelo
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1979 911 SC
1983 930 "Special Wishes" Factory Slantnose
1988 M3 (E30) - stock!
Old 12-19-2014, 12:20 AM
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The CDI box is mounted in the engine compartment on the drivers side. Silver/Grey in color with ribbing. It has a large connector on the bottom of it. The CDI box (Capacitive Discharge Ignition) is the piece that sends the high voltage to the distributor for firing your spark plugs. You can check if it is working by pulling a plug and holding it near metal in the engine compartment and look for a spark. They go bad all the time. Luckily we have a place in South Florida that can rebuild them. Sometimes it is as simple as a melted ground wire inside that you can resolder if you are comfortable doing that. Usually just take it off and mail it to them. But... check the other stuff first!!!
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:13 AM
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Are you sure you have gas (if you don't my wife has plenty and she is killing me).

First thing is Make sure you have spark.
Pull a plug and connect it to the plug wire and ground the plug while someone starts it.

Check fuel pumps.
Remove the connector from the upper rear of the air flow meter (afm) and remove both fuel pump relays. Turn key on. Put one relay in and listen for pump. Remove relay and put In other socket to check other pump. It's not good to run one pump at a time for very long.
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88 BMW 325is 200K+ SOLD
05 BMW 330CI 130K:: [__] RUNNING: [__] NOT RUNNING:
08 VOLVO V70 190K:: [__] RUNNING: [__] NOT RUNNING:
90 B2200[__] RUNNING:[] NOT RUNNING:__2000 MER E320 WAGON [] WRECKED:[]RUNNING:
Old 12-19-2014, 06:15 PM
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Good advice, but I am not sure about the whole "not good to run one pump for very long." I would say that he can run it as long as he needs to in order to verify it works. The crack pressure of his injectors should be higher than anything he does while testing so that pump is simply circulating fluid (in this case gas) back to the tank. Am I missing something about your comment? Heck, I have seen and had my own car occasionally run on one pump all the way home. Just don't hammer it and it will limp you home
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T77911S View Post
Are you sure you have gas (if you don't my wife has plenty and she is killing me).
Nitromethane?!?!?!

How much of a horsepower bump are you seeing with that stuff???

Old 12-19-2014, 11:00 PM
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I agree with the CDI diagnosis...

I had a similar problem with my '88 930. I tested and changed EVERYTHING trying to trace the problem when my car had similar symptoms as yours. With my car, one moment it would run perfectly, and the next it would cut off for no reason. The car was completely unreliable and unpredictable. It wasn't until I opened the CDI box that I realized the internals were old (shoddy) and shorting out randomly.

Good luck, keep us posted.
Old 12-20-2014, 03:19 AM
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DSPTurtle,

Once again, Thank you VERY much for the guidance regarding the CDI box. I will definitely check this.

T77911S,

Thank you for the advice. Will also check the pumps if the spark test runs well. Quick question: are the two fuel pump relays the two relays closest to the windshield? Also, what is the difference between the Red and Black colored relays? FYI, I checked mine and they are all made by Wehrle in Germany. Are these good relays?

Best regards,
Angelo
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1983 930 "Special Wishes" Factory Slantnose
1988 M3 (E30) - stock!
Old 12-20-2014, 04:38 PM
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Red has a diode that only allows electricity to flow one direction. A black can be replaced with a red but a red cannot be replaced with a black. If you buy spares, only buy reds since they can be used anywhere.
Yes, two closest to the windshield.
If you want more details like schematics and such, use the search function and type "red relay". You will have hours of reading as these little puppies have been discussed ad nauseam. Reds always work, blacks will only work to replace blacks.
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Old 12-20-2014, 04:43 PM
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DSPTurtle,

Thank you very much for the explanation. It was extremely helpful! Question: are the Red Relays sold by Pelican? I could not find them in the 1979 or 1986 930 pages.

Everybody,

Wish to give everybody some feedback of what has transpired since yesterday. Today a friend that is mechanically smarter than I am and also has a 930 passed by my home today and apparently helped me resolve the problem. Both of the battery cables were loose and after tightening both terminals and removing/reinstalling both of the Fuel Pump relays, the engine started fine again. This has left me with two questions:

1. Would loose battery cables result in the engine cranking strongly but the car not starting? Negative cable was very warm when the cables were loose. After tightening, the cable does nor warm-up anymore.

2. After I drove the car for 30 minutes, both of the fuel pump relays and the next one in line were warm (almost hot) to touch. Is it normal for the two Fuel Půmp relays and the next one in line to "warm-up"?

Any feedback would greatly be appreciated. In the meantime, I hope my problem is resolved and that I do not have a serious issue with the CD box.

Best regards,
Angelo
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1979 911 SC
1983 930 "Special Wishes" Factory Slantnose
1988 M3 (E30) - stock!
Old 12-21-2014, 04:55 PM
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the neg cable being hot would be a sign of high resistance or a LOT of current draw.
the fuel pumps pull about 7 amps each which does stress the single fuse but is not a problem for the relays. (thats the purpose of relays. provide high current loads with power without going thru switches. also provide a short cabling path to the load, usually).
the contacts could be corroded on the relays and pulling thme out sort of cleaned them.

i would also check the fuel pump fuse. clean the fuse ends and the contacts. remove the wires at the fuse block and clean the wire ends along with the screw ends.

best thing to do is the fuse mod. it adds another fuse so each fuel pump is no its own fuse and relay. i did it by utalizing the fog light fuse since i dont have any. you cant tell its been done just by looking, keeps it original looking.
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86 930 42kmiles [__] RUNNING:[__] NOT RUNNING: ____77 911S widebody: SOLD
88 BMW 325is 200K+ SOLD
05 BMW 330CI 130K:: [__] RUNNING: [__] NOT RUNNING:
08 VOLVO V70 190K:: [__] RUNNING: [__] NOT RUNNING:
90 B2200[__] RUNNING:[] NOT RUNNING:__2000 MER E320 WAGON [] WRECKED:[]RUNNING:
Old 12-22-2014, 04:26 AM
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T77911S,

Thank you very much for the guidance. I will definitely do what you mentioned.

Two questions:

1. Is it normal for the two fuel pump relays (the Red and Black ones) and the next one in line to be VERY WARM after the car has been used?

2. Should I only purchase Genuine Porsche Red and Black relays? Or can I use the Wittrin brand? Do not want to left on the side of the road due to something simple like this.

Wish a happy holiday season to all.

Regards,
Angelo
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Old 12-24-2014, 01:16 AM
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The two fuel pump relays get hot on my car but not very hot. I would call it very warm.
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:38 AM
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Oilonly,

Okay. Thank you!

Best regards,
Angelo
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1988 M3 (E30) - stock!
Old 12-24-2014, 11:43 PM
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Angelo just took the car for some blast offs came home and checked the two relays both were warm. Both fuses warm also.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:45 AM
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Oilonly,

Thank you for looking into this and giving me feedback. I greatly appreciate it.

Best regards and Happy Holidays,
Angelo
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:15 AM
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My '86 does a similar thing. Cruising along and it runs rough and then sometimes recovers and sometimes dies. Relays all tested good. My mechanic thinks it is the ignition switch. After it dies sometimes I get no "buzz" from the pumps and of course, she will not start. I have jiggled the key while in the switch on one occasion and it started the buzz so I am leaning towards the switch. I guess they are known to be an issue on the older cars. The symptoms also seem to be that of a bad CDI. About a $500 fix either way.


Thoughts?
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:37 AM
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Similar problem...checked all fuses connections-eclectical...turned out the spring-mechanical chambers were getting stuck..Put a few dropsnof mmo in the key slot with key or wd40.....all good... Gets gunked inside.
Old 12-26-2014, 11:41 AM
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