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Tishabet 04-30-2004 06:29 AM

Engine cutting out when I turn right....
So last night I was driving into my driveway, and as I was pulling into my spot the "master alarm" (!) light on my dash cluster lit up for a split second. I noticed it, but decided that it was some sort of momentary thing from my parking brake switch or something. It was so fast that I didn't get to see if the accompanying "parking brake" light lit up, but anyway it didn't worry me.
So this morning I'm driving to work, and I'm going around a pretty tight right curve in the road at about 50mph and for a split second the master alarm light lights up again, then goes off. Then a second later (same right curve) as I push the car a bit further into apex of the curve, the master alarm comes on again accomopanied by all of the dash indicators failing, ie my speedometer headed down to "0" and my oil pressure and voltage meter bottomed out. At the same time, my engine stops running, or at least stops firing since I'm in fifth doing about 50mph so the engine is still turning over. This all happened, from everything fine to alarm light, no gauges, and dead engine in a split second, seriously a snap of the fingers. At that exact moment I came out of the curve ( a little less g force ) and then, as fast as it happened, everything was fine again, master alarm was off, engine was purring. Everything, from the original alarm light to the engine running fine again, happened in maybe 1.5 seconds.
Obviously this worried me a fair amount, especially since the particular road I was driving is in Boston and there are walls on both sides, nowhere to go if your car breaks down.
Well, once I was on a slightly more reasonable road I decided to see if I could get it to happen again. So I took a right at a good clip and the exact same thing happened, with everything going back to normal when I got out of the turn. Turnig left doesn't seem to do it.
So there's the problem.
OK, relevant info:
Battery cables are tight
engine grounds were cleaned by yours truly within 6 months
DME relay is new from pelican, about 4 months old
Everything reading normal on gauges, 3 bar oil, full tank of gas, 12ish volts, normal operating temp
no leaks from battery tray, it's in pristine condition
1989 2.7l 944 na, 69k miles.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. The only other relevant info I can offer is that it died once in a carwash...obviously something got wet. However, today is the nicest/warmest we've had in some time, and yesterday was killer too. I highly doubt anything could be wet.... I'll dig up the post about that problem and post it here in case anyone thinks they're related.
Thanks guys!

Tishabet 04-30-2004 06:37 AM

Here's the carwash post....

FLA944 04-30-2004 07:56 AM

Remove the steering cover and look to see if the harness for the ignition switch is getting pulled and/or shorted.

All the funky guage readings can be attributed to the grounds behind the dash and/or the ignition switch


ae1969 04-30-2004 08:08 AM

- Take a look at reference sensor connections....
- Ignition switch
- Look at the starter connection... specificly the little wire.

Since it only occurs turning in one direction something is letting loose.... NOW where its occuring..... auggghh

Tishabet 04-30-2004 08:09 AM

Funny you should say that, ignition switch was one of the first things I thought of based on reading about other people's intermittent problems and their solutions here at PP. Having never worked on one or even seen one before in my life, any hints or tips? Specific weak spots/things to look for?

SoCal Driver 04-30-2004 09:40 AM

Does the alarm use a tilt sensor? If so this may be out of level or the alarm system may be damaged.

Jerry 83 944 04-30-2004 04:48 PM

Go ahead and flame me for saying something without looking at my own P. But... in the Land Rover community some times this same thing happens and it's a bad coil. Apparently a seal goes bad inside (look at coil for leakage) and you lose ignition under tight turns. I actually bought an extra coil for reasons -this being the rare reason.
Just a thought. I honestly haven't looked at my own coil; it starts and runs great. Good enough.

Don 944 LA 04-30-2004 04:53 PM

I had that happen in an old dodge truck on the backroads of North Carolina.... I thought I was stranded.

Well seems that the steering linkage was pulling on wires connected to the Clutch switch. Thats the one where the clutch pedal has to be pushed down when starting truck etc...

But, on my 944 the clutch doesn't have to be in, so I may be way out in left field on this one.

1985.0 944na
Breaking stuff daily
Have you tensioned your socks lately ???
MODS: Murphys Law addition

ilikemy944 04-30-2004 05:18 PM


Only make left turns. I know you were thinking it too.

ilikemy944 04-30-2004 09:19 PM

lol... I meant nascar style left-only turns :) hehe...

Don 944 LA 04-30-2004 10:41 PM

SPEAKING of Rednecks.....

How did they come up with the name NASCAR ???



Bunch of Rednecks on the Porch....

Camaro drives by.....

One redneck turn to the others.....

DAMN, thats a Nas Car


Gordon Rankin 04-30-2004 10:43 PM

I see your operating oil pressure but are you a quart or two low?

Brando 05-01-2004 01:05 AM

Ignition switch.


Check if there's any wires wrapped around or getting caught on your steering column (it is collapsable with that webbing patteron on there).


Never had this happen. Kind of odd.

gtroth 05-01-2004 05:34 AM

Mine's done something similar ~5 times too. Only accelerating through right turns. As if I let up on the accelerator. I don't think the ! light came on, but who knows.

Tishabet 05-02-2004 01:14 PM

Well, spent this morning working on the car, and here's what I found:
-I ran the ignition switch diagnostic from Clark's garage, and everything checked out OK. However, I would point out that, since the failure only occurs during cornering, everything was working fine in general. anyway, ignition switch seems OK.
-Oil level fine (didn't seem like oil starvation, but couldn't hurt to check.)
-reference sensors had good, clean connections and looked OK, although I didn't break out the oscilliscope.
-Checked coil, I was getting a reading of .7 ohm whereas it's supposed to be .4 to .6..... doubt it's the source of the problem, but noted it anyway.
-Steering column had no loose wiring anywhere that I could see, and before going to the garage I threw the car around some corners to see if I could get it to fail. I did, but discovered that the failure seems to be g-force related, not steering angle related.
-Last, and certainly not least, is the starter connections. I was skeptical of this one going in, becuase...well, it's a starter. I've taken it out and reinstalled it many, many times without mishap, so it didn't seem like I could have forgotten something this time. anyway, I was down there looking at it, and decided to just remove all of the wires and clean their connections, then hook it up again. It was during this procedure that I discovered what I think is the problem. So the starter has three wires, on little and two big. The little and one of the bigs are loomed together, and the other big is on it's own loom. Anyway, while pushing them around so I could wire brush them, I noticed that the big one with it's own loom was contacting one of those posts that hold on the heat shielding and such. I had the wires coming down in such a way that they were on the drivers side of the slave cylinder, between the slave and the body. This post was perfectly positioned to rub against the loom/warp which was on the lone big wire. It had worn away an honest to goodness hole, about as wide as a bic pen and straight through to the internals of the wire. Because this had happened over time, nothing catastrophic had occurred. However, I think that when I turned hard right the g force pushed the wire against the post.
So I re-routed the wires to the other side of the slave and gave a good electrical taping to the worn wire, and I think that may have solved the problem. I'm about to go out and drive it around ( I had it out for maybe 10 minutes after re-assembly) and see if I have solved the problem. Thanks to everyone for their help and suggestions...hope this solved my problem!

Brando 05-02-2004 01:29 PM

put some liquid tape on there when you've re-routed the wiring. that or some self-vulcanizing rubber tape. Plain electrical tape will not last.

Tishabet 05-02-2004 05:09 PM

I actually gave it 2 wraps of electrical followed by a shrink tube....that oughtta hold 'em!

Brando 05-02-2004 09:45 PM


Paul Glasson 05-02-2004 11:20 PM

There seems no end to the "odd things" that go wrong with these cars- well done finding it.

Tishabet 05-03-2004 04:27 AM

Totally blind luck that I decided to clean the connections and just happened to have the right view/perspective to see the problem.
Have put maybe 30 miles on the car since my last post including several hard right turns, and the problem does seem to be fixed. I am very pleased with the outcome of this JOOOEERB!

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