AMC Eagle Den Forum

The Shop => Gremlins => Topic started by: DaemonForce on October 27, 2011, 08:57:54 PM

Title: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 27, 2011, 08:57:54 PM
Not sure why this happens but I'm sure we've all experienced this in our Eagles more than any Jeep and far more than any of us really care to explain. I want to address these critical problems since they have been especially plaguing me over the years and always at the worst possible times whether they be at stop signs, the freeway, bridges, right before crawling into parking spots or my personal favorite: in the middle of turning. I'm also becoming curious as to WHY this happens. Thing is, it's not just the place and timing but how it happens that constantly puzzles me.

I would care to note that I have recently changed the fuel pump, fuel filter, fuel line, air filter, water pump and alternator. The parts that are of current suspicion to me are the fuel tank and carb.

What I no longer experience:
Early morning startup, engine starts for a few seconds, dies. I restart and all is well.
Engine does not want to work when going into gear. (Transmission failure)
Engine stalling at cold temperatures. (Air cleaner blowback)
Engine stalling within a few minutes of travel. (Coil failure)

What I experience lately:
Stalling while moving in city traffic.
HARD Stalling during long freeway trips with fog lights on. (Mimics a coil failure for about 5 minutes)
Stalling during freeway trips in very specific areas: 405 WA/OR bridges, Longview, Lacey.
Shift points are higher when cold.

During each of these scenarios my fuel tank is at about the halfway point so that rules out low fuel. My tank is almost empty at the moment and everything seems to run better right now so I'm suspicious of the fuel feeding line at the moment. Anyone care to help me troubleshoot these issues or share their sudden fails? I'm about a day away from dropping my fuel tank and clearing out any possible garbage that may be plugging the lines. If that doesn't fix things, I'm pretty much in the same place I started. x_x
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: carnuck on October 27, 2011, 09:23:54 PM
Sounds like a module issue. I tested mine by coming home from work, popping the hood and hitting it with a rubber mallet. It was like someone turned the key! Wish I knew where my extras were. (not for me. I'm going EFI next)
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: rohnk on October 27, 2011, 09:29:20 PM
I was thinking that maybe something electrical is getting hot. Ignition module like carnuck says, coil, plug wires, could also be a relay (fog light issue).

How about your battery or battery wires? Are they old, new? Might check for a loose or dirty ground connection.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: jim on October 27, 2011, 09:49:58 PM
I was experiencing sudden death in turns and sometimes while just driving at 40 - 45 mph.  Replacing the ignition control module resolved that particular issue with both the 83 and 88.  I am aware that a coil can also cause the same problem - get hot, quit, cool off, run again.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 27, 2011, 09:52:40 PM
I was thinking that maybe something electrical is getting hot. Ignition module like carnuck says, coil, plug wires, could also be a relay (fog light issue).
I need to investigate this a bit deeper. I have had several issues related to running my fog lights. I can use them, just seems like I can't use them for longer than 10 minute periods.
How about your battery or battery wires? Are they old, new? Might check for a loose or dirty ground connection.
Recently cleaned and in good condition. They better be. I just replaced the alternator a few weeks ago. I don't need to be doing that again because of bad wires.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: eaglefreek on October 27, 2011, 10:14:50 PM
I was thinking that maybe something electrical is getting hot. Ignition module like carnuck says, coil, plug wires, could also be a relay (fog light issue).
I need to investigate this a bit deeper. I have had several issues related to running my fog lights. I can use them, just seems like I can't use them for longer than 10 minute periods.
 
How do you have the fog lights wired? Do have them ran through a relay?
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 27, 2011, 10:31:19 PM
How do you have the fog lights wired? Do have them ran through a relay?
That's just it. I'm not the one that set this up so I don't know.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 28, 2011, 01:13:23 AM
So how do I go about testing this and where do I get a new replacement?

I probably have a spare somewhere but I have no idea if it's any good.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 28, 2011, 04:50:51 AM
Curious, how often do these things fail for you guys?
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: GRONK on October 28, 2011, 08:48:32 AM
Your stalling in turns and stops/hard starts all sound like carter issies coupled with vacuum issues.

Most of the Jeeps and Eagles that pull in to my shop die right in front of it.  It's on a slight hill where they have to turn and stop at the same time.  I always laugh watchin the owners on the 1st test drive after I install a 2150.  At the 1st stop sign they move 1 foot to the brake and one foot to the gas pedal.  I have to retrain them how to drive normally again using only 1 foot.

The stock coil is also part of the problem but you shouldn;t upgrade it with out upgrading the cap to a larger Ford 300 cap as the AMC cap is too small and will cause crossfire issues if you add a hotter spark.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: wagonmaster on October 28, 2011, 09:34:51 AM
i have to agree with gronk on this. what youre describing sounds alot like a vacuum issue. i upgraded to a hei dist to solve the electrical problem. 
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: GRONK on October 28, 2011, 10:44:17 AM
The ICM is actually pretty good.  The DuraSpark II is (in my opinion) one of the best ICM's readily available and cost efficient.  I have owned over 20 Jeeps/Jeepsters/Eagles(now) and have rarely seen one fail because it was bad.  I have seen them fail where faulty wiring, splices connections , bad grounds and mismatched alternators/voltage regulators were used but I can also say that for coils, radios, etc.  Remember too that most people are still running on a 20+ year old one and it definitely should be replaces before failure in my opinion.

Lets talk carb/vacuum.  I can set you up with a 2150 that will not only solve the issues but give you more power and better MPG.   2 hours and minus a million vacuum lines later, I can guarantee your stalling problems will be gone.  The carter served its purpose but there are better options available that are far more simple and efficient.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 29, 2011, 06:12:46 AM
Your stalling in turns and stops/hard starts all sound like carter issies coupled with vacuum issues.
I wouldn't be surprised. I know the carb hasn't been rebuilt in years and part of it seems to be malfunctioning. I have two other Carters like it and a Motorcraft to play around with for a while. I'm considering using the Motorcraft but I'd really like to put a Weber on here if I can.
The stock coil is also part of the problem but you shouldn;t upgrade it with out upgrading the cap to a larger Ford 300 cap as the AMC cap is too small and will cause crossfire issues if you add a hotter spark.
I haven't done this yet. I had to get rid of the stock coil about a year ago but never bothered to change caps. It seemed to run just fine afterwards but that was before I had a habit of travelling very long distances. I should probably take care of this before it leaves me stranded.
The ICM is actually pretty good.  The DuraSpark II is (in my opinion) one of the best ICM's readily available and cost efficient.  I have owned over 20 Jeeps/Jeepsters/Eagles(now) and have rarely seen one fail because it was bad.  I have seen them fail where faulty wiring, splices connections , bad grounds and mismatched alternators/voltage regulators were used but I can also say that for coils, radios, etc.  Remember too that most people are still running on a 20+ year old one and it definitely should be replaces before failure in my opinion.
I'll have to try out my spare ICM in a few hours then. This is going to take hours. The ICM plugs are so cakes with grease and dirt that it's going to be difficult.
Lets talk carb/vacuum.  I can set you up with a 2150 that will not only solve the issues but give you more power and better MPG.   2 hours and minus a million vacuum lines later, I can guarantee your stalling problems will be gone.  The carter served its purpose but there are better options available that are far more simple and efficient.
I have a Motorcraft I'm considering using but it would otherwise find its place on one of my 390 engines. Not sure if it's a good idea but it sounds like something worth trying.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: JayRamb on October 29, 2011, 06:59:15 AM
I've been having the same issue with my 87, Ella. I was on the freeway the other day and it quit. Like the key turning off. I'm going to be replacing the ECM unit. I have a NEW coil, 8mm wires, and the list goes on. I upgraded the distrib. cap last year with the Ford version. It is just like turning the key off. I had this happen 3 times now. It starts up again, but acts like it won't  start. Embarrasing when it happens.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on October 29, 2011, 08:19:54 AM
It's beyond embarassing, it's extremely dangerous. It may happen to you on the freeway but it happens to me at very nasty areas of the freeway. I need to get this resolved before it starts killing itself in road construction areas or one-lane freeway zones that join other highways. It honestly scares me a bit.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: eaglefreek on October 29, 2011, 09:40:37 AM
I've been having the same issue with my 87, Ella. I was on the freeway the other day and it quit. Like the key turning off. I'm going to be replacing the ECM unit. I have a NEW coil, 8mm wires, and the list goes on. I upgraded the distrib. cap last year with the Ford version. It is just like turning the key off. I had this happen 3 times now. It starts up again, but acts like it won't  start. Embarrasing when it happens.

Mine was doing the same exact thing. Previuosly, I had replaced the factory AMC ICM with a new parts store ICM  thinking it was causing a stalling issue
but it turned out my 6 month old  Petronix coil went bad. Fast forward 6 months and I was having serious stalling issues like you described. I would be driving and it was like I turned the key off. Sometimes it would start right up but other times I would have to wait several minutes before it would restart. One time I was taking a coworker to work and he had to help me push it through a busy intersection. Talk about embarrassing. I teplaced the ICM with a MSD box and I'm quite satisfied.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: JayRamb on October 29, 2011, 12:25:12 PM
Very interesting about the Petronix coil. That's what I put in. I wonder if the coil is getting hot and  or failing. I'll have to start with that. I didn't have the problem before I put the Petronix coil in it.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on November 07, 2011, 06:47:09 AM
Something worth thinking about: This random dying happened to me three times recently. Yesterday as I was going uphill to a stop at the freeway exit and twice a few hours ago as the needle on my fuel gauge met the halfway mark. I know there's no dirt in my tank but is it possible that something is clogging the pickup tube when I have half a tank left? I have a malfunctioning sending unit that makes the gauge go erratic every time the center of gravity shifts a little bit.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: mudkicker715 on November 07, 2011, 06:52:28 AM
It should have a pickup sock on it, so no.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: eaglefreek on November 07, 2011, 08:49:36 AM
Something worth thinking about: This random dying happened to me three times recently. Yesterday as I was going uphill to a stop at the freeway exit and twice a few hours ago as the needle on my fuel gauge met the halfway mark. I know there's no dirt in my tank but is it possible that something is clogging the pickup tube when I have half a tank left? I have a malfunctioning sending unit that makes the gauge go erratic every time the center of gravity shifts a little bit.
I thought it may be fuel tank related when mine was doing the same thing. I was considering dropping the tank to see if there was a hole in the pick up tube. However it did it on a full tank and that confirmed that wasn't the case. If you think that is your problem, get an inline fuel pressure gauge. When it stalls, pop the hood and check the fuel pressure gauge.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on January 18, 2012, 01:41:43 AM
Went out tonight and noticed a trend that has happened across the past month. My Eagle always goes through a very hard stall a few minutes after refueling. I can expect it to happen within 5 minutes of refueling. Does anyone else experience this?
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: carnuck on January 18, 2012, 02:46:18 PM
Sounds like the charcoal cannister has a crack in it, allowing raw fuel to dump in and flood the carb.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on January 18, 2012, 03:53:23 PM
Sounds like the charcoal cannister has a crack in it, allowing raw fuel to dump in and flood the carb.
If it's dumping fuel into the carb, why do I have to stomp the gas pedal several times just to get the engine to come back to life? It's like I have a lack of fuel pressure going to the carb. I'll look for an inline pressure meter. Car stalled out on a snow bank earlier today but it was an easy restart. I'm still on the fence about the ICM but I have a few extras to test that. I just need to locate the ECM at this point.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: carguy87 on January 19, 2012, 08:46:04 PM
You have to stomp the pedal to allow enough air into the engine to mix with the fuel properly.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: GRONK on January 19, 2012, 09:24:51 PM
How fast do you all need Motorcraft conversions? ;D
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: DaemonForce on January 19, 2012, 11:09:30 PM
Wait, my pedal is operating the AIR mixture? That's the most inefficient garbage ever. Screw the Weber, I'm going to a straight Carter carb. Also, it seems I have more parts to grab at Pick-n-pull. I changed my ignition module and the car hasn't died since then so I'm hoping for the best.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: marty on January 02, 2013, 06:09:10 PM
I have had a version of this w my 86 Eagle, but it only occurs when the temp is below freezing.  I have done the ECM Test bypass but all else is stock.  My stalling is intermittent and will usually only occur after the first start of the day.  I drive about 12 mi on freeway (get on about a mi from home) and it will usually occur after the first few miles on the road and while cruising at 6o mph (has occured as far as 10 mi down the road).  Suddenly the engine is just dead...shift into N, will restart while coasting (almost always on the first try) and be just fine the rest of the day.  A little unnerving not knowing when, or if, it may cut out although I can deal with it fairly well now.  Any thoughts.   
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: jim on January 03, 2013, 01:17:22 PM
I have had a version of this w my 86 Eagle, but it only occurs when the temp is below freezing.  I have done the ECM Test bypass but all else is stock.  My stalling is intermittent and will usually only occur after the first start of the day.  I drive about 12 mi on freeway (get on about a mi from home) and it will usually occur after the first few miles on the road and while cruising at 6o mph (has occured as far as 10 mi down the road).  Suddenly the engine is just dead...shift into N, will restart while coasting (almost always on the first try) and be just fine the rest of the day.  A little unnerving not knowing when, or if, it may cut out although I can deal with it fairly well now.  Any thoughts.   
When both of mine did that replacing the ignition module fixed it.  Looks like it may have worked for DaemonForce, as well.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: txjeeptx on January 04, 2013, 06:11:08 PM
I did GRONK's MC2100 conversion on an Eagle that I bought a while back just to do a quick mechanical resto and sell. In fact, that Eagle was once owned by Marty. I really liked the night and day change in performance by doing this one simple conversion. That car has moved on to another happy owner. Anyone with stalling issues with a stock carter carb, if you don't have to worry about passing a smog sniffer inspection, do the conversion instead of rebuilding the carter.
Title: Re: Random Intermittent Death
Post by: eaglebeek on January 04, 2013, 11:10:45 PM
I have had a version of this w my 86 Eagle, but it only occurs when the temp is below freezing.  I have done the ECM Test bypass but all else is stock.  My stalling is intermittent and will usually only occur after the first start of the day.  I drive about 12 mi on freeway (get on about a mi from home) and it will usually occur after the first few miles on the road and while cruising at 6o mph (has occured as far as 10 mi down the road).  Suddenly the engine is just dead...shift into N, will restart while coasting (almost always on the first try) and be just fine the rest of the day.  A little unnerving not knowing when, or if, it may cut out although I can deal with it fairly well now.  Any thoughts.   
When both of mine did that replacing the ignition module fixed it.  Looks like it may have worked for DaemonForce, as well.
Don't forget the pickup inside the distributor.... :eagle: