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Pritchard 08-19-2003 06:01 PM

Help!! Two questions...
I need some help. My '74 2.0L died this morning on the way to work. Just off the interstate offramp. Dead, dead, dead. It was running just as always. No problems at all. Then dead.

Had it towed home after work and found the fuel pump relay was bad. Swapped in a known good relay and now have fuel pressure (30 psi, for my 2056cc), and spray from the two injectors I pulled to test. I have spark and 145 lbs. of compression on the two cyls. I checked. I am assuming that all four (cyls. and injectors) are OK since it has been running great. Battery has a full charge. The car still won't start.

Even though I have FI, could I have flooded the engine while trying to start it many, many times? (after I replaced the relay of course)

As to why the relay went bad. The voltage has been jumping around quite a bit (12.5 to 16 volts) when measured at the battery terminals. My voltage regulator is only 1.5 yrs. old. Could the higher voltage spikes have caused this relay an untimely death?

I will try again in the AM to start the beast. If you have any ideas, please let me have them.


David Pritchard

PS - I checked the CHT and it is within specs.

Dave at Pelican Parts 08-19-2003 06:35 PM

First, don't assume you've got fuel from all four and don't assume you have good compression in all four. I've been fooled by assuming the one cylinder I didn't check was OK...

You can flood the engine with FI. I've done it. It's not easy, mind you... Do you get fuel coming out of the exhaust when you crank the starter?

Check for spark. This is the easiest thing to have go away suddenly...

If your voltage readings are off of the stock voltmeter, they are almost worthless. The 16V would actually make me nervous, as usually the actual voltage at the battery is higher than shown by the gauge. Once you get it started, use a real voltmeter across the battery posts themselves to see what the charging system voltage is. It should stay between 13V and 14.5V at all times--close to 16V is too high and will boil your battery...

The battery should give you 12.65V with the engine off. If it doesn't, it is discharged or down on water or something else is wrong.


Pritchard 08-20-2003 04:24 PM

Hopefully all is well
Just got in from driving around the block a few times and all seems well. Discovered that the spark I was getting was very weak (not enough to trigger the timing light). So I put in an old coil and she fired right up.

Took out the new'ish VR and put the old VR back in and voltage at the terminals is still fluctuating between14.7 to 15 volts. It used to hold steady at 13.6 volts. I am hearing a strange whine towards the front of the engine (alt. bearings?). Could the alternator be on its way out? How would I know? Could a voltage surge have fried a relay and the coil?

Any ideas?



Dave at Pelican Parts 08-21-2003 08:03 AM

It's possible, I suppose, for a voltage spike to take out things like coils and relays (which have small coils in them).

The VR is used to limit the voltage put out by the alternator. So generally, if the voltage goes too high, the VR is the primary suspect and not the alternator. The whine could possibly be the bearings. Or it could even be something that isn't a problem.

I suggest cleaning up the ground point underneath the relay board, and cleaning the alternator and VR connections on the board as well. That might help... Might not, though.


Pritchard 08-21-2003 08:54 AM

Thanks Dave
I'll check the grounds. Been so upset by all that's going on that I forgot some of the simple things to look for.


PS-Is there anyway to test a VR for its max. voltage? Just curious.

914GT 08-21-2003 09:54 AM

Make sure your battery posts and terminals are bright and shiny clean too. Doesn't sound like you're having starter problems but seeing the wild voltage variations at the batt terminals is suspicious. Might be some resistance going on there.

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