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You just didn't hold your tongue right and wiggle hard enough. At least you finally found it.


The cable just wasn't long enough. Scottie will get a laugh out of this one.
How creative Aussies can be if we need to.



 

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coil wiring harness connector towards the firewall and the engine stumbled and stopped.
Glad you finally managed to trace where the fault is, although I'm surprised a cracked connector shell/case would cause that sort of issue. If the damage isn't preventing the male pins on the coil side from aligning with the female one of the harness side I don't see why there would be a break in the connection. Anyway, fingers crossed the new coil cures the problem.

rreitz said:
I can't believe you pinpointed this down to the exact connector!
It was just the most obvious place for the fault to be given what you had just done.

charlescrown said:
Scottie will get a laugh out of this one. How creative Aussies can be if we need to.
Yeah, that's a nice "field fix". At least it was on the negative side of the battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #145 (Edited)
I'm surprised a cracked connector shell/case would cause that sort of issue. If the damage isn't preventing the male pins on the coil side from aligning with the female one of the harness side I don't see why there would be a break in the connection.
I have learned not to doubt your intuition. I can reliably stall the car by pulling on the connector/cable and reliably start it by pushing the connector/cable the other way. But I agree it may not be an issue within the connector itself. When I disconnected the male and female ends and put an ohm meter on pins on the coil male end the meter measured steady no matter how hard I pulled or twisted the connector. So the issue may be in the female end or maybe somewhere further down the cable. There is about 4" of cable on the harness end that moves before it disappears into a larger loom that it breaks out from. I will have to investigate whether something is amiss further down on that end as well. Also wondering if this could be an EMI issue. With the connector not secured in its tab on the coil mounting bracket it does float pretty close to #1 spark plug terminal post and in some cases could rest right up against it - maybe causing interference with signal lines?
 

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When I disconnected the male and female ends and put an ohm meter on pins on the coil male end the meter measured steady no matter how hard I pulled or twisted the connector.
Have you tried testing the harness side of the connector?

Try inserting a sewing needle/paper clip into the power supply terminal of the harness connector, then use one of your crock clip leads to attach the needle to your voltmeter. Now switch the ignition on and move the connector and the harness to see if there is any fluctuation in the voltage. You could try it on the two trigger terminals too. I'd imagine there will be a small voltage on those when the engine isn't running.



rreitz said:
Also wondering if this could be an EMI issue.
No, I think that is highly unlikely.
 

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I question that if it is a coil why did the engine cut out instead of run on 2 cylinders. Not likely they both have a fault. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter #148
I question that if it is a coil why did the engine cut out instead of run on 2 cylinders. Not likely they both have a fault. Time will tell.
I think we know it is not the coil itself but something in the wiring from the coil connector or into the harness. Interesting that you mentioned running on 2 cylinders. I suspect it actually did this a few times in the beginning of this adventure. The first time something strange occurred was upon start the engine was banging around and struggling to run for about 2 seconds then caught and all was well. It did this 2 or 3 times more after that in a 1 week period. Now that you mentioned running on 2 cylinders that sounds like what it was doing before it straightened itself out. The suspicious part of all this is the cracked coil connector which is in the middle of all this. Hard to believe it is not somehow contributing. I will probe some more tonight.
 

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We all wait with baited breath. I had a car that was cutting out and it turned out to be a bad connection on a fusible link. It started melting the plastic plug so that one was fixed. I have another that I recently bought that on odd occasions you start it up and none of the electricals work. Turn it off and restart and they work so that's my next challenge.
 

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Discussion Starter #150
We all wait with baited breath. I had a car that was cutting out and it turned out to be a bad connection on a fusible link. It started melting the plastic plug so that one was fixed. I have another that I recently bought that on odd occasions you start it up and none of the electricals work. Turn it off and restart and they work so that's my next challenge.
Hard failures are easy. Intermittent are nearly impossible. They toy with you to find the limits of your patience. But I'm nearly there. I checked the male and female ends of the connector and each terminal is solid. Checking for voltages on the female end with the car not running but ignition key on there is a solid 12V on pin 3 and unwavering small voltages on the two signal pins when open to the air. By solid I mean I pushed, pulled, twisted, cursed and even invented some new swear words but nothing wavered. Same story on the male end using the Ohm setting this time. The correct Ohms registered no matter how rough I got with that end.


However here is what I did find. The bottom of the male end is split from front to back in two places so that there is a flexible tongue that moves up/down and there is a small hole (missing piece) right under terminal 3 (power terminal). With the car started and holding the connector up so the bottom doesn't touch the tab it is supposed to be slipped onto it runs fine - nice and smooth. Apply just the slightest pressure to the bottom of the connector with your finger where the splits are and the car starts to stumble. Apply a bit more pressure and hold it and the car stalls. Let go of the connector and make sure the bottom is not touching anything and it starts right up. Touch the bottom and it stops. I will get a picture when wife returns from a trip (she has all the fancy video stuff on her phone - mine is a two hand hold with a 3 foot antenna and requires a strap on battery back pack to keep it running:smile:).


The Haynes manual shows the two signal lines with a grounded shield around them (a dashed box with ground connection). All 3 pins seem tight when connected so I can't quite figure out how this slight pressure on the bottom of the cracked connector causes the issue but this is where the problem is. That leads to some questions (as you can see I just can't give this up):


1) how is this shielding incorporated into the harness?


2) Is it possible that the cracks in the connector and flexing the bottom of it is somehow interfering with the shielding?


To top it all off the new coil arrived today and it looked like the FedEx folks played field hockey with it so I had to send it back and request another one.
 

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Q1 Can't answer that sometimes shielded is earthed sometimes not. I think it's all to do with the frequency it's trying to block out.
Q2 Who knows. Sounds more like an open circuit situation. If it were grounding thru the shielding it might have caused electrical damage.
Bummer with the new coil. I can't think how they could have damaged it but that's couriers. I got a set of wheels from South Australia and only 3 arrived. They have said the other should arrive today but I have bad vibes. Had a courier deliver an empty packaged once. My wife took delivery and said to me what is supposed to be in here. You could clearly see it had torn open. The worst part was I couldn't make a claim it had to be the sender so more people were involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
and there is a small hole (missing piece) right under terminal 3 (power terminal).
Upon further examination of this small hole right under terminal 3 on the bottom side of the male connector end, it appears this was caused by the connector melting in this area. That probably explains why the other cracks appeared with the connector then separating from its mounting tab. This is the area where applying sight pressure on the bottom of the connector causes the car to stumble and stop. I suspect something might have happened inside the connector to cause the 12V to go to ground maybe? However there are no ground wires in the connector, just two signal wires and a 12V input. Any theories on how this might happen?
 

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Upon further examination of this small hole right under terminal 3 on the bottom side of the male connector end, it appears this was caused by the connector melting in this area.... Any theories on how this might happen?
That is usually caused by the tension being lost on the female terminal in the connector. There is supposed to be spring tension in the female terminal that pushes on the male terminal when it's inserted. When the tension is lost the male terminal can move inside the female causing arcing which in turn causes heat. The heat in turn causes the resistance to rise which in turn causes more heat, and you end up with enough heat to melt the plastic.

I don't think the connector being loose is the root cause of your problem. But it's maybe made it easier to detect the poor interface between the male and female terminals because the connector has been able to move around so much. The worry is if the new coil comes with the connector secured to the bracket you wont be able to move that connector around to the same degree which might lead you to think the problem is fixed when perhaps it isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #154
The worry is if the new coil comes with the connector secured to the bracket you wont be able to move that connector around to the same degree which might lead you to think the problem is fixed when perhaps it isn't.
Yes - I had the same thought. On the new coil (that I had to return but another is coming) the male terminal was securely attached to its tab and does not have any wiggle room, just like the original. There is a definite click when I put the female end in the old coil. There doesn't seem to be any damage to the female end. The only way I can see tension being created is if the female end butts up against an orange gasket inside the male terminal and compresses it a bit before it clicks into its slot. Maybe this orange gasket lost its compression ability. I'll check and see if there is wiggle room on the old coil with the connectors connected. In either case I think this is the problem area.
 

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There is a definite click when I put the female end in the old coil.
The click will be the locking device on the plastic connector shell, the thing that holds the two halves of the connector together. That has nothing to do with the terminals. You could remove all the terminals from both shells and they will still click when you push them together.
 

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Discussion Starter #156
The click will be the locking device on the plastic connector shell, the thing that holds the two halves of the connector together. That has nothing to do with the terminals. You could remove all the terminals from both shells and they will still click when you push them together.
When I pull on the wires on the female end the terminals don't seem to move; they seem pretty tight. Other than plugging in the new coil I'm not sure what you are suggesting then.
 

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Back to the daily blog. With most sockets you can remove all the individual terminals and I suggest you have a look into doing that and when doing so clean and retention the female terminals to make sure you have good electrical connections. If you decide to replace any sad looking terminals it's not easy to find a supplier and lots of shopping might be needed so lets hope that's not necessary. I am sure scottie will advise how to take them out correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
ah ha ... now I see what you both are referring to. I flattened the end of a small diameter staple to replicate a male pin. When inserting into the signal pin slots in the female connector the slots put up some resistance and pin fits nice and snug. However in the 12V slot it goes all the way to the end and can be wiggled around in the slot - no resistance. This makes sense - any vibration at all that causes a momentary loss of contact will stop everything in its tracks. Once I figure out how to remove the terminal end from the connector (without destroying it in the process) I will see if it can be reshaped to provide more tension.
 

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However in the 12V slot it goes all the way to the end and can be wiggled around in the slot - no resistance.
Exactly. That is the root cause of your problem, not the broken connector on the coil.
Personally, on an older car like yours, I would just remove the connector all together. Cut the connector from the harness and from the original coil and either solder the wires directly together or use crimp on terminals. The original coil isn't faulty, so why bother replacing it.
 
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