XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

Died Like I Shut Off The Key

 
  #1  
Old 06-20-2014, 10:18 PM
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Default Died Like I Shut Off The Key

We were out and about the other day with Nix, and on the way home, about 5 miles from the house, she died like I had shut off the key. She was still still sputtering a bit, Just enough to get safely off the road, but I had glanced at the tach at the first cough, it said Zero. I've never known that to happen in any vehicle.

By the time the flat bed arrived, 45 minutes or so, we had crossed off running out of gas and a failed fuel pump (I know how an engine acts when it's fuel starved, there was no backfire); none of the wires had fallen off the ignition relay or the cap. So that left the only possibility, the coil on the top of the HEI distributor cap must have died.

It was probably as old as the conversion, 1986, and I've had a coil fail on my work truck and if acted exactly the same.

The driver mentioned several times what a pretty car Nix is. He also knew the proper way to pull her up on the truck without dragging her tail. She appreciated that.

When we got her home the driver offered to help us push her up the slight incline into her stall. He was a working guy, handling tow hooks and chains but Nix tolerated his dirty hands on her boot (I had to steer). Besides, she knew it was necessary and I would clean off all the greasy hand prints (my husband's included) as soon as possible. (It has to be a real emergency for a girl to allow a guy to push her around without fighting back.)

We found a test procedure online; unplugging the wires and checking for voltage here and there, and with the dead tach and it was confirmed the coil had failed. He ordered one, it arrived next day.

It seemed like a good idea to clean and lube the internals of the distributor which required pulling it from the engine. I didn't like that much but I don't know any other way to do it as it's on the back of the block.

The advance weights were stiff. I also discovered the vacuum pot was seized. It's on order.

And then there was the fun part of getting the drive gear back in the exact position it came out so the key would go into the slot. I've always despised Chevys for that and the possibility of moving the oil pump. In my Dodge truck the gear stays on the pump and you only have to match up the slot. Easy Peasy.

Everything actually went together better than either of us expected. It only took me 2 tries to get it right, and she was on the road again by the end of the week running stronger than ever.
(';')
 
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:32 AM
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At the risk of being scolded for posting something about my car that ISN'T wrong, it's Pre-Show week here, and we're very excited.
Finally you get to start a thread about problems with your XJ like the rest of us,glad it was nothing serious with Nix.
 

Last edited by o1xjr; 06-21-2014 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:53 AM
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Good Lord, not Nix.

OK, back on teh road, good diagnosis.
 
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by o1xjr View Post
Finally you get to start a thread about problems with your XJ like the rest of us,glad it was nothing serious with Nix.
Yabut, Clarke, I was trying to be encouraging! That's why I didn't post anything until it was fixed! Also because I had figured out the problem.

When ya grow up on the farm ya kinda sorta learn early how to be self sufficient. No one even suggested looking asking Google for a fix when the tractor got a belly ache. Early intrenched habits die hard.

Although I have learned that Google is my friend.
(';')
 
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Grant Francis View Post
Good Lord, not Nix.

OK, back on teh road, good diagnosis.
Thank you, Grant!
That means quite a lot coming from you.
(';')
 

Last edited by LnrB; 06-21-2014 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:26 AM
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Thank you, Grant!
That means quite a lot coming from you.
A compliment from GF is like an autograph from Fangio,makes you feel good.

That's why I didn't post anything until it was fixed! Also because I had figured out the problem.
Post straight away then if you can't figure the problem the answer should be on your PC by the time you come back to ask.
Like you, I grew up in an environment where you fixed what you have with stuff you have already got. My dad was too tight to pay someone(or never had the coin),and being in the transport industry roadside breakdowns and no mobile phone was an incentive to fix on the roadside.
Many times as a child I was pointed to the light in the distance on a farm somewhere to go ask a farmer for some wire or tape or whatever was needed to get home. More often than not, he would bring his tractor or ute down to the road to give us some light.
 

Last edited by o1xjr; 06-21-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:49 AM
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LnrB:


Good tech and descriptive writing. Kudos!!


Yeah, Chevrolets not common to me. but, the few times, I've pulled the distributor, it was fun to get them back in in time. As the tang is square on and the drive is not a square cut gear unit, one has to predict the effect of turning as the teeth engage. A couple of degrees before the desired final position. Installing sans cap and with final rotor position marked helped a bit. Wiggling the rotor as one pushes down helps.


A lot like patting oneself on the head while rubbing one's belly at the same time.


Way back in about 1948, school mates Billy and john and I went to Cloudcroft, New
Mexico in Billy's "T". Great sport in climbing via winding gravel road to the top. Two peed rear axle to shift up and down. Nightfall came as we decided to cross to Ruidoso on he back road. Clunk, and it quit. Engine locked solid!!! Dropped the pan. No carnage there. Opened the transmission inspection cover, wowee. Magnets adrift from the magneto and whacked the coils but good. Off with the "hogshead. Yuk. Pull and cut wires. Fished out magnets. Oh, oh, the balance is way off. It will shake itself to death before we get home to El Paso!! One choice, cut and remove them all. Done by flashlight. Three pretty smart and strong kids got it done. Further, oh, oh!! The magnets function as a pump to delver oil to the front of the motor. Not now they don't. so, add he two cans of spare oil. Put it together. Hand cranked and it fired. Still shaky on the oil issue. Found roadside gas station with big 55 gallon waste oil drum. closed, but no matter. Put in some waste oil. Now, it pointed down, it smoked if revved!! Billy put the exhaust manifold in uipside down and it exited out front??? good. It runs and must be oiling. Hard to see as the smoke blurred the dim head lights.


But, we got home at day break. Jusat about time enough on Monday AM for me to bathe, change clothes and go to work at my summer job at a dry goods store.


Drats, Billy and John slept!!


Carl
 
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Old 06-21-2014, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by o1xjr View Post
A compliment from GF is like an autograph from Fangio,makes you feel good.


[...]
I have never heard the name Fangio, Clarke, so I had to ask Wikipedia; which makes your comparison all the more meaningful.
(';')
 
 
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