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Old 23 March 2008, 14:40   #1
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Rover 214 SLi cutting out

Wonder if someone here might know.

I serviced my trustworth Rover 214 SLi 1994 a couple of weeks ago as I was starting to have trouble starting in damp weather.

I inspected all the usuals and found the Dizzy cap had a wrecked centre sprung loaded carbon contact, it was so wrecked that it fell out of the dizzy cap when I removed it, spring and all. I replaced the whole cap, rotor arm and spark plugs. Replaced the air filter and gave everything else a well needed clean up to include an oil and filter change.

Started as expected and have had a couple of hundred trouble free miles since.

Yesterday I took it out with the family to do some shopping all went well and stopped off at my Fathers house on the way back home for a cuppa.

After all was done at Dad's we climbed back in the car, started first time and started to pull away....Engine cut! Just Died. I tried for quite a number of mins to get it started and the best it would do was to Idle erraticly, so I left it there and Dad gave us a lift home.

This morning I went back to have a go at restarting it, started first time. I let it warm up a little whilst I checked under the bonnet for loose conectiond etc. I found none! Then it just died again and I had very similar problems like the night before. I left it for 5 mins to check the engine again (dizzy cap off to check, check spark plugs and leads. All back together again and started fine, revs with no load fine too. I decided to take it for a spin, first it seemed fine but up the road and as soon as load is applied it hesitates like it's trying to cut out again, things seemed to clear up again and then went bad.

I've got the car back home now, the only thing I can think of changing is the coil and leads, perhaps the crank shaft sensor. It could be the throttle control body but I've removed all the sensor connectors and squirted Penetrating fluid inside them before reconnecting.

Any other suggestions before I spend out more money on it, or take it to the garage?
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Old 23 March 2008, 14:55   #2
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Andy, could possibly be many things but to start with ,,,,it sounds like an ignition issue or ign/elec problem) also the Coils dont last forever...check the pulsar gap...make sure its clean ( think its called that) eg, the gap from where the electronic ign pick up from the central rotor shaft,( points gap in older cars) also have a look in the new Dizzy cap, any signs of the spark jumping/tracking somewhere where it should not be,, a tiny minute crack ,look very closely,
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Old 23 March 2008, 14:56   #3
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Andy

I had something similar years ago on a Volvo 360GLT(Don't ask)

Eventualy changed the fuel filter and it was fine. I cut the old one open and it was full of crud.

I've also had something similar on my EFI bike.
In that case the relay for the fuel pump was powering on and off of its own free will, and yes it took hours to find that one.

Good luck.

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Old 23 March 2008, 15:19   #4
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Thanks guys. The new rotor arm outter contact area is quite a way from the terminals on the dizzy cap, but I checked the old one two weeks ago and it's the same distance so must be right, has been running fine for the last couple of weeks anyway. I did swap a couple of relays around under the bonnet but not sure if they're the right ones, the Haynes manual is sketchy about where the main relay is, but having read some forums I understand it might be a big brown relay under the glove compartment, so I'll have a look tomorrow. It certainly could be the fuel pump relay, I've had dealings with these before on a Sierra and a Citreon, one would just cut out and not start for 30 mins the other wouldn't start at all.

This is definatly an intermitent problem and I can't seem to make it happen delibreratly. Wobbling leads and tapping relays doesn't set it off. Seems to happen more when warmed up.
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Old 23 March 2008, 15:29   #5
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I'd be checking the king lead first.
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Old 23 March 2008, 15:39   #6
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If its the K Series engine check out the club forums, these have comman probs with the ECU,also vacum pipe being blocked.

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Old 23 March 2008, 15:44   #7
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I'd be checking the king lead first.
A what!
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Old 23 March 2008, 15:46   #8
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I would also check the injectors in the throttle body on a car of that age. Have just had to have mine rebuilt. ( don't buy new ones, take them along with the top of the throttle body to a shop that does injectors, there is a fuel reguator in the top that may be the problem also, change it while your at it). You make get away with putting some ATF in the tank, which has lot's of detergent and will flush the system. However, start with a new fuel filter. Just been thru. a similar problem myself.
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Old 23 March 2008, 15:47   #9
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If its the K Series engine check out the club forums, these have comman probs with the ECU,also vacum pipe being blocked.

gaZ
Yes I have, the vacuum pipe has been checked, I guess I'm going on a spending spree soon and a process of elimination

Trouble is, am I chucking good money after bad, i've already spent loads of wonga on new exhaust, windscreen and brake components. Might be time to cut my losses.
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Old 23 March 2008, 17:26   #10
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If you do, don't buy the newer shape Rover 420 to replace it. You'll have bruises on your knees from the steering wheel. I can barely drive Liz's one.
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Old 23 March 2008, 17:37   #11
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I had a mini that did this years ago in the end.. I narrowed it down to some shorts and power loss in the HT side causing failed ignition, all you need is a slightly worn HT lead to a plug, or as JW said ..the king lead, and the whole lot can stop , and not just misfire.. check they are all isolated perfectly, and I mean not touching anything close at all, as the spark will jump a good bit if the lead has a crack in it
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Old 23 March 2008, 18:32   #12
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Quote:
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I had a mini that did this years ago in the end.. I narrowed it down to some shorts and power loss in the HT side causing failed ignition, all you need is a slightly worn HT lead to a plug, or as JW said ..the king lead, and the whole lot can stop , and not just misfire.. check they are all isolated perfectly, and I mean not touching anything close at all, as the spark will jump a good bit if the lead has a crack in it
Start it up after dark and lift the bonnet. You will see any sparks.
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Old 24 March 2008, 04:47   #13
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Start it up after dark and lift the bonnet. You will see any sparks.
I did this last night and no sparks seen. I'm going to buy a set of HT leads and a coil if I can find a local motor parts store that's open today and see if that helps.
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Old 24 March 2008, 13:16   #14
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Did a few more checks after changing a couple of other things and breaking down and being towed home by the missus it seems the engine is permanatly dead now, which is a good thing I guess as it should make diagnosis easier.

I checked the spark at the "King" lead (Dizzy end) by connecting an old plug and earthing it out and all seems OK "Sparks"! I checked each of the HT leads to the spark plugs and am not getting anything, this means the problems with the dizzy cap and rotor arm or the HT leads....Yes?

These two items where replaced two weeks ago and I wouldn't have expected them to fail so soon, but I stripped off the cap which looks OK and the rotor arm again looks visibly OK. I started to check for continuity and found it OK on the cap (buzzed through OK) but when I checked out the rotor arm I was getting a high resistance between the center and outer terminals. Now I'm guessing here as I'm no electrican but is there a Capacitor or condensor between the inner and outer parts of the rotor arm, there is some sort of resin btween the two?

The other thing that I noticed was the amount of gap between the rotor arm and the 4 terminals in the cap (approx 3mm) this seems excessive, am I right to think this?

Summary of things I've changed this weekend.

King lead
Coil
Checked all wiring
Relays
New spark plugs two weeks ago
New Distibuter Cap and rotor arm two weeks ago.
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Old 24 March 2008, 14:09   #15
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Andy

I'd say you found it.

Unless I'm completly wrong there should be no resistance across the rotor arm, so it looks like its failed.
The gap also sounds a bit too big to me.

Bet they are pattern parts!

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Old 24 March 2008, 17:54   #16
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Andy

I'd say you found it.

Unless I'm completly wrong there should be no resistance across the rotor arm, so it looks like its failed.
The gap also sounds a bit too big to me.

Bet they are pattern parts!

Nasher.

Well, let's hope so Nasher. I've spent way too long on this problem over the Easter weekend and am well hacked off as there where other things I was meant to be doing with the family.

Oh, and another thing!.......Why does it always start to rain when you walk outside to start some work on the motor?
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Old 25 March 2008, 17:00   #17
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Swapped over the 2 weeks old distributer cap and rotor arm for replacement ones and all seems OK. I'll get the Missus to drive it around locally this week and the weekend just to make sure.

Thanks for all your help.

Andy
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Old 25 March 2008, 17:21   #18
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Splendid, new equipment is just as likely to break down as old, too many times ive found that out,
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Old 25 March 2008, 18:09   #19
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Splendid, new equipment is just as likely to break down as old, too many times ive found that out,
Oh yes - especially on computers!!!
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Old 25 March 2008, 19:51   #20
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Oh yes - especially on computers!!!
Or NGK spark plugs....
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