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Engine Died. Wouldn't Restart. Need Diagnostic Help.

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  • Engine Died. Wouldn't Restart. Need Diagnostic Help.

    Engine died while in traffic today and I couldn’t get it re-started. Had to get flat bedded home. Could use some diagnostic help. Sorry for the long winded post but wanted to provide everything I could think of that might help.

    ’73 Corvette. Pro-Flo 4 XT. New Smeding 383 engine (423HP/457Ft-lbs). New 4L60E transmission with Compushift Sport Controller which gets its TPS signal from the EFI ECU via the CAN Bus. Pro-Flo 4 XT system was installed by the engine builder and the engine was dyno tuned before shipping it to me.

    The car has about 600 miles on it since the swap. Other than sorting out a minor vacuum leak and some bad o-rings on several fuel injectors when first fired, the engine has ran very well and seemed to just keep getting better the more it learned. At around 500 miles, I set the Self Learn to medium.

    I left Home Depot to go home and the engine started but not as normal. Normally I turn the key and let the fuel pump pressurize the system and then all I have to do is bump the starter. This time I had to crank it a little bit but it started and I couldn’t tell that anything was wrong while beginning the drive home.

    A short time later, the engine died while coming to a stop at a light. I could not get it re-started. It cranked and every now and then tried to fire but wouldn’t. I ended up running the battery fairly low and finally called a wrecker. Unfortunately, I did not have the app running when the engine died.

    While waiting on the wrecker, I fired up the app and checked the diagnostics screen. Everything was green and the app gave me no indication of any problems. I also checked the fuses to the controller and they were fine. I had proper fuel pressure based on the gauge on the regulator and I could hear the fuel pump running when turning the key to on.

    None of my gauges gave me any indication of an issue. Had more than a half tank of fuel. Oil pressure and voltage were both fine as I left Home Depot. Engine temperatures were spot on. Car doesn't appear to have any power issues as I've found nothing else that doesn't work at the moment. AC was working when the engine died. Radio, Power Windows, etc. all work fine. I did hear a strange clunk noise once while trying to restart the engine but I'm assuming that was just the starter complaining as I had attempted several restarts by then.

    I put the battery on the charger and will wait until it’s fully charged to do anything else.

    I would appreciate suggestions as to where I need to go from here to diagnose this problem.

    I also have a question: Are there any logs kept that I could access to see what happened at the time the engine died?


    Thanks much,

    DC

  • #2
    Plugged Intake? Spark? "Strange clunk noise" = Something internal?

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    • #3
      Second the spark.......when cranking the motor the display should show RPM'S . That means distributor should be ok......if you have a dash tach hooked to the coil, and it shows RPM's when cranking. That means the coil drivers are working.

      Stuff you have to physically check on the ignition system: Cap ( make sure carbon button is whole ), rotor ( make sure all metal parts are complete ). Spark plugs ( see if they show spark when cranking...do more then one! ).

      Also. What coil are you using?
      At 43,861 MPH Elon Musk now owns the fastest car in this Galaxy

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BITE_ME View Post
        Second the spark.......when cranking the motor the display should show RPM'S . That means distributor should be ok......if you have a dash tach hooked to the coil, and it shows RPM's when cranking. That means the coil drivers are working.

        Stuff you have to physically check on the ignition system: Cap ( make sure carbon button is whole ), rotor ( make sure all metal parts are complete ). Spark plugs ( see if they show spark when cranking...do more then one! ).

        Also. What coil are you using?


        Thanks. It does seem to be ignition related. I'll start the checks there. I'm using the Edelbrock 22746 coil. This one: https://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-22746/overview


        DC

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        • #5
          This happened to me, the engine just died. It turned out the coil had gone out and a replacement was installed, and it started right up. Check your coil for spark

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Rickysnickers View Post
            This happened to me, the engine just died. It turned out the coil had gone out and a replacement was installed, and it started right up. Check your coil for spark

            I'll definitely check it out. I ran this by a friend and his first thought was coil or coil wire. Were you using the Edelbrock 22746 coil? What coil did you use for a replacement? If it is the coil, I want to source something locally so I can get the car running again without waiting on a delivery.

            Thanks,

            DC

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            • #7
              What's the best way to test a coil?

              DC

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rickysnickers View Post
                This happened to me, the engine just died. It turned out the coil had gone out and a replacement was installed, and it started right up. Check your coil for spark

                Coil was bad. I pulled the wires and checked it on the car at first. The primary resistance was correct but the secondary side showed an open circuit. The only coil I could find locally that was on the Edelbrock approved list in the instructions was an MSD Blaster 2 #8202 at a nearby O'Reillys. Installed it and the car fired right up. Weird thing was that after I got the old coil on the bench, I tested it again to see how it compared to the MSD and this time the primary also showed an open circuit.

                Not sure if the coil was just a lemon or if I need to rethink my mounting. With the XT intake, there was no place on the intake to mount a coil bracket and I did not have a good spot on the firewall either. I ended up fabricating a bracket to mount it to the rear of the drivers side cylinder head. Anyone think that is a problem?

                DC

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                • #9
                  I have the MSD coil mounted on the rear of the cylinder head. So far no problems.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You mount "oil filled" coils pointing up.

                    Epoxy filled. Or E-Coils can be mounted any way...but they can't be over a heat source, like headers.
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                    At 43,861 MPH Elon Musk now owns the fastest car in this Galaxy

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                    • #11
                      not trying to be a smart-ass but the factory i.e. ford and mopar were on the intake manifold horizontally so i think you cant mount it tower down

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                      • #12
                        Point system coils where never stressed like electronically triggered coils.......point coils always ran cooler, because of some type of resistor.
                        Hence why you could mount them on their side.
                        At 43,861 MPH Elon Musk now owns the fastest car in this Galaxy

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                        • #13
                          QUOTE=BITE_ME;n38554]Point system coils where never stressed like electronically triggered coils.......point coils always ran cooler, because of some type of resistor.
                          Hence why you could mount them on their side.[/QUOTE]

                          good point s lol

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BITE_ME View Post
                            You mount "oil filled" coils pointing up.

                            The coil that failed was installed in a vertical orientation. I had it tucked back toward the center of the engine to get it away from the headers. I just finished relocating the new coil to a spot I found on the firewall very near the distributor. It will be further from heat sources and will experience less vibration in that location. The only problem I have is that it is very near the hood when closed and I need to source a 90 degree boot for the coil.

                            DC

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by BITE_ME View Post
                              Point system coils where never stressed like electronically triggered coils.......point coils always ran cooler, because of some type of resistor.
                              Hence why you could mount them on their side.
                              Chrysler mounted coils horizontally on the intake manifold even after the introduction of electronic ignition in 1972. FYI
                              Last edited by jm73340; 10-10-2020, 05:06 PM.

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