Motor just randomly shuts off. please help! - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 12:07 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Hi everyone,
I just started experiencing a problem that I am having trouble resolving. My car has been running great all season. However, I was driving home from work the other day, cruising at about 30mph about a mile from my house and my car just shut off. As I coasted trying to figure out what just happened, the car fired back up on its own about 5 seconds later with out me doing anything. The car didn't sputter or run rough at all. It just flat out shut off as if I lost the ignition. I have since been able to duplicate the issue in the driveway. The car starts and runs fine. After having it idle in the driveway for a few minutes it just shuts off. One turn of the key and it fires right back up as if nothing happened. If I let it run for a bit longer she will shut off again. It obviously seems electrical since it runs fine the whole time its running. Does anyone have any ideas on what could be happening? any tips on troubleshooting.
Thanks,
Greg

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 12:20 PM
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Tom
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Tell us more about your ignition system. Is it stock?
Time is often related to temperature with electrical gremlins.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 12:25 PM
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

what kind of car is it?? can you give us more details?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 12:29 PM
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Kevin
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

I had a 77 formula firebird that was doing the same thing at one point turned out to be a little wire that goes into the module under the plate in the distributor. The wire had broken right at the edge of the module so was really not noticable but every once in a while a little bump in the road could cause a loss of ignition, I would pop the hood mess around and close the hood and it fire up again. took months to track it down got love intermitted problems . good luck with it.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Its a 68 Camaro with a mild 383. Holley 750HP VC carb. the ignition system consists of a MSD Billet ready to run distributor, MSD blaster II coil, optima red top battery and a power master starter. I've got about 3K miles on it so far.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 01:05 PM
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

is your coil mounted vertical?
if it is mounted horizontal the internals overheat .
oil filled coils need to be mounted vertical to cool the winding properly.
high heat in coils = high resistance .
or you MSD dist is bad.
I would change coil first


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 01:12 PM
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Alan
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

I had the same problem with a 71 VW. Turned out the 12V wire to the coil was broken inside the the insulation. That one haunted me for months before I was running the engine at night and saw arcing from the lead to the engine shroud which wasn't apparent in daylight.

I was so relieved to find it as I was leaving for the east coast in that car 2 weeks later.

alan
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dawg View Post
is your coil mounted vertical?
if it is mounted horizontal the internals overheat .
oil filled coils need to be mounted vertical to cool the winding properly.
high heat in coils = high resistance .
or you MSD dist is bad.
I would change coil first
I do have my coil mounted horizontal. I have another coil I could try out to see if the coil went bad. Hopefully that is it. Would the coil heat up that quickly? The car will shut off within a few minutes after starting.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 01:40 PM
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Mine did that and found a frayed wire inside the distributor in my Unilite system. New module solved that problem for me. The wires had contacted the center part of the dizzy and rubbed thru the wire coating. Sometimes it wiggled just right to dead short, motor stopped. Then it started and ran fine for awhile, very intermittent. Id look for frayed wire and the coil issue as mentioned too. Get it verticle

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by click View Post
Mine did that and found a frayed wire inside the distributor in my Unilite system. New module solved that problem for me. The wires had contacted the center part of the dizzy and rubbed thru the wire coating. Sometimes it wiggled just right to dead short, motor stopped. Then it started and ran fine for awhile, very intermittent. Id look for frayed wire and the coil issue as mentioned too. Get it verticle
I'll replace the coil, fix the coil mounting and check the wiring inside the distributor. If anyone has any other easy things to check, I'm all ears.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 03:16 PM
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Alan
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

Well, you are on the right track. It sure sounds electrical. If it were fuel related, the engine would cough and buck a bit. A sudden and complete shutdown is almost always electrical in nature.

alan
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 15th, 09, 04:00 PM
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

About 20 years ago mine started doing that. Worked on all kinds of fixes all summer long. Nothing worked. The car would go about 50 miles on the highway and just shut off. I finally found it. In the bulkhead connector, on the engine side of the firewall, a pin was out of its receptacle and laying sideways in the large bolt-on primary connector. Yep, the purple ignition wire. And it had been that way from the factory for the previous 20 years. I'd not touched it.

One owner 69 Camaro,(yep, bought it new
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Jul 29th, 09, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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Greg
 
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Re: Motor just randomly shuts off. please help!

I have an update on my suituation but nothing has changed. I bought an new MSD blaster 2 coil and changed it so its mounted vertically. I started the car in my driveway this morning and it shut off again within 3 minutes. I took it for a quick drive and the same thing is happening. I was cruising at about 30mph, 2200 rpm and it shuts off. I put the car in neutral and turn the key and it fires right back up. Occasionally, when it dies, it will reignite and continue running. Looking at my gauges as this problem is happening, they all go dead yet I still have 12 volts to them since the guages were lit. Would a bad ground somewhere cause this? What grounds should I look for. I made certain that I have a good ground at the coil.

I did check the wiring under the dist cap and that seemed fine. I have not checked my purple wire at the bulkhead as Fred suggested but I will do that this week.
please help!!

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