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Old 08-12-2012, 11:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Gremlins in my Samurai?

Took my 1988 Samurai out for a ride, had a little skip a few times and then just died, engine turned over just fine. got it towed home, checked the spark, it was fine, sprayed starting fluid in intake, still nothing. checked the compression, it was good, poured a bit of gas in carb, still nothing. Messed around with for two days after work, still nothing. On third day went out that morning, it started right up like it never had a problem! All seems fine now, but scared to drive it. Talked to many mechanics, but no answers. Is there a crank sensor that may be dirty or damaged telling it to fire but at the wrong time? lt's the only thing l can think of. This happened about two years ago but it had no spark at the time, and would start up after about 20-30 mins. Replaced coil at that time, had no problems till this happened....help!
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Old 08-12-2012, 12:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd suspect the igniter or pickup coil in the distributor or its wiring. They're responsible for the spark firing; there's no crank sensor AFAIK.

I had the same problem last month. I'd be driving along and out of the blue it'd just die and not want to start. Usually it would start back up just as if nothing happened, so I'd been suspecting a bad connection at the ignition switch or my alarm system. Then it would progressively take longer cranking times to start. Then it just died and no amount of cranking would get it started. I even ran a wire from the battery to the + coil terminal to rule the switch or alarm out; still no spark. Swapped out the distributor with a friend's and it started up faster than it ever has in the 10 years I've owned it!

Check the wiring and connectors to the distributor first.
There's a procedure on how to test the igniter/pickup coil in the shop manual. Let me know if you need it.
Try swapping out the igniter and pickup coil with a known good one.
The igniter and pickup coil is pretty expensive to buy new, but the good news is a lot of other cars use the same exact parts. I got mine from an 80's Mitsubishi pickup, just had to change out the plug for my old one.
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Old 08-12-2012, 04:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks, l may try that but what puzzles me is it had spark but still wouldn't start, it acted like it had no spark, yet it did
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