Sputtering and power loss..

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Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Fri 21.02.2014, 01:22

On my way home from work today, my car did the oddest thing. I was just driving along, same as I have done for about 3 years in this car now, at about 75-80 miles and hour. My car suddenly lost power and started sputtering. It didn't turn off and I was able to get home with power returning intermediately... Looked under the hold to check the spark plug wired because it felt like this once before when I had the shifter cables adjusted and the mechanic knocked one of the plug wired of the lead under the coolant tank. But they were all connected and the sputtering continues on and off. What's the most likely cause. I don't be leave the CAS has ever been serviced by the looks of the casing? Maybe the culprit - I'am not so sure. Ideas. Thanks in advanced.

-James
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 21.02.2014, 01:29

Check for any fault codes (paperclip method in the WikiLEC) to help you narrow things down.

Unfortunately it could be anything from Coolant sensor to CAS/HES to coils, coil plate, wires, fuel pump / fuel filter to FPS.

No reason to assume the worst, start at the beginning and see what you find.
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby steve matthews » Fri 21.02.2014, 02:37

Ding Ding $10.00 on wet coils.

Steve - been their done that several times
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Fri 21.02.2014, 02:51

Coolant is low, topping it off as soon as it cools. What's the procedure for wet coils? Thanks for the leads.

-James
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 21.02.2014, 03:26

Remove, Dry and clean all of the electrical connections, reinstall or replace, whichever is appropriate.
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Fri 21.02.2014, 04:40

Tonight I wear the dunce cap :bonk: I ventured onto YouTube to see what could cause a misfire. The first video I watched taught me how to identify the missing cylinder. So I started pulling the spark plug wires from the plug to check which was misfiring, by listening to the engine idle drop. I worked my way down from the outside plug and the misfire stayed until I went to pull the last wire from the plug nearest the trash can air filler, when I pulled the wire the spark plug nearly came out with the wire! The plug was not screwed into the cylinder. Just laying in there, so I grabbed my plug torque wrench and screwed it back in, I turned it as many times as you would a brand new plug - a lot of turns! Until tight. I reattached the wire and no more misfire. I drove around the block a few times without a single hesitation or misfire. I think I am back in business! That was a bit scary :twisted: I will keep you posted if I settled the issue, just hoping the cylinder thread was not the reason the plug wiggled free :shock: -Thanks for the leads!

-James
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby steve matthews » Fri 21.02.2014, 13:29

:cheers:
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby Rambo » Fri 21.02.2014, 18:54

So, how come the coolant is low ?
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Fri 21.02.2014, 22:35

Well drove it on the highway this am, and although didn't totally loose a cylinder I am still hearing some grumbling I didn't have before this. Especially at idle. Not quite a miss but a roughness and mini sputtering sounds when I let go of a rev and idle lowers. :poke: I am going to try the paper clip to see if I get codes, I didn't get an engine light before, during of after my spark plug incident.
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Fri 21.02.2014, 23:08

I would replace all of the spark plugs making sure they are gapped the correct amount.

The plug that was not tight will definitely be suspect, but you should verify ALL of the plugs are perfect and properly installed.

The question remains: You said the coolant was low. Where did the coolant go? Can you explain how it was suddenly lower than it should have been?
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Fri 21.02.2014, 23:47

Paper clip test was inconclusive. 12 after bloody 12 (10X)!!! So no codes... What's that mean? It's purely mechanical then?!?

Very good question about the coolant... Where could it have gone.
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Sat 22.02.2014, 00:08

The M100 uses a primitive version of OBD1 and it isn't very good at figuring out when or why the car runs poorly.
The code storage is also limited, so you will have to think "outside the box".

Start by assuming the coolant left via the header tank, so check the cap and tank for any signs of issues (repair as required), clean and dry the coils (spray brake cleaner works quite well, but you need to unplug the wire connections and plug wires and thoroughly douse the pins and sockets. Blow dry to remove any contaminants and force dry everything. I found it easier to remove the coil pack assembly to clean and dry mine, but everyone has their own preferences. Don't forget to top up the coolant.

Replace the spark plugs. You don't need $25.00 plugs.

The standard plug for the M100 NGK BKR6E (around $2.50 on eBay) will work fine, but the electrode gap IS critical, so make sure the plugs you get are gapped correctly (.08mm or 0.031inches). WIKILEC

You can NEVER trust a NEW spark plug to be gapped at the correct value, so you ALWAYS check and reset them as required.

It doesn't hurt to consider other places the coolant could have leaked from: Heater valve, thermostat housing, water pump, loose or cracked hoses, electric supplemental water pump all come to mind quickly.

After each step, drive the car. Has anything changed? Maybe you will get mode hints from the car...
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby tigerdog » Sun 23.02.2014, 03:08

Hi James!
I have an Elanscan cable and laptop, if you'd like to hook up and take a look. Very odd the plug being loose; whomever installed it maybe didn't torque it properly. I also would replace the plugs - the NGK iridium-tipped plugs can be had quite cheaply from O'Reilly auto parts (check the cross reference.) Neither of the stock pre-gapped plugs has the correct gap for the Elan but that's easily (if carefully) adjusted. Plug wires, custom made in your favorite color, can be had from Kingsborne Wire Werks in San Marcos. They may still give a LEC discount.

I'm also wondering why the coolant is low. A dribble from a dying expansion take will wet the coils enough to cause such behavior. Failure to catch the cracked tank can lead to catastrophic failure and overheating at the worst possible time - like stuck in traffic in the middle of the narrow bridge crossing 163 into Balboa Park. Don't ask me how I know. :shock:

PM if ES sounds useful.
Doug
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Sun 23.02.2014, 10:51

Thank you for the leads, spent the day at the shooting range so tomorrow I will be tackling the coils. Thanks for all the information. I will keep updating. Thanks everyone. Tiger dog thank you for the offer, let me try the other solutions then go from there.

-James
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Re: Sputtering and power loss..

Postby GoM100Go » Thu 20.03.2014, 21:32

Update:

I let the car sit a couple weeks because I was honeymooning with my new Rand Rover Sport... I went to work on the Elan and changed the plugs cleaned the fuel system, I replaced a small coolant hose that goes to the metal pipe that leads to the turbo. After I did a paper clip test which showed nothing...again. Well it's not stuttering anymore, no power loss, turbo spools nicely. No power issues after a week of commuting 15 miles to and from work. Heavy beach traffic last weekend, I even had the fans come on several times and it did not falter. I have confidence in my Élan once again. Although I may have developed an OCD in that while idling (no revs) I can still hear a little odd noise reminiscent of the original sputter that came with the power loss. Now, it sounds like my buddies 1990's Porsche 911, almost like a VW bug while idling. It's not quite yet back to normal. It livens right up when I press the accelerator, no falter at all. When the RPS return to idle I can hear it again. It cruises 90-100 miles an hour without a problem and acceleration is great. How can it do that without a fault error if it's not running right. I am going to my exhaust guy so he can take a look at maybe an exhaust leak? Because the VW sounding exhaust notice is coming from the rear of the car and not the engine itself. Thanks for the input so far.

-James
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