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Hello - New Member Alert!

Defender TD5, 2005, 105k Miles

Possibly chipped, EGR Removed. For the record I am a complete mechanical novice - but I am keen to learn and this is why I bought it. 

Background: I'm having issues with my (new to me) Defender 90. I've had it since Aug Last year, done approx 3k miles in it since then and it's largely been a dream to drive and own. However, about a couple of thousand miles into ownership I had an issue with the defender where it would seemingly cut out at random. It went back to the dealer I bought it from and there was warranty work carried out. They replaced the injector harness and apparently found some fuel pump wiring issues. After sorting this issue, I had the defender back and it gave me another thousand or so miles of driving. The defender was serviced just before I bought it and will be due one next month. 

The issue: Defender drives fine when accelerating through the gears, idles fine and starts fine. The fuel pump is noisy but has been since I bought the defender and hasn't been a cause for concern. When moving, at any speed and in gear, once I lift off the accelerator and the car begins to decelerate it cuts out. By 'cuts out' I mean, the orange engine warning light comes on, the engine stops running and the fuel pump is silent. If you try to start it straight after this happens the engine will turn over but not catch. Taking the keys out the ignition and waiting a couple of minutes, she fires up as if nothing happened. This is seemingly random - it doesn't do it every time you coast, but I was able to quite reliably cause it to occur twice yesterday. Quick note - there is no hesitancy in the high revs. It pulls powerfully through all gears. When travelling and you depress the clutch the engine goes back to idle and doesn't cut out. It's only when decelerating with the engine in gear.

What I've checked so far: All the relays under the driver's seat/the battery connection/oil in the ECU (there is none). The injector harness was replaced recently. The fuel pump works.

As a preventative measure I'll be replacing the fuel filter as it doesn't look to be very new. 

I'd really appreciate any advice from the Forum - I've been active on Def2 but have been told to cast my net to you guys whose advice is usually invaluable. Has anybody had the same problem? As a related question - are there any London based forum members who have a Nanocom I could borrow to check any fault codes please.

Many thanks in advance,

Othorton

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Hi and welcome.

As you've already alluded to, you really need to see what fault codes are present, anything else is purely guesswork and can end up quite expensive, if it's bringing the MIL on during the fault condition this will be logged and remain in memory even after it's self cleared.

Even if the in-tank fuel pump isn't running, the engine will still start and run, albeit with reduced power, there is sufficient "lift" from the injectors to allow this.

If the main relay under the seatbox or the crash sensor on the bulkhead drops out,  the engine will stop but won't put the MIL on, it's the same as switching the ignition off and not seen as an error.

If the crank sensor failed, that would cause the engine to stop but it's very unlikely to be "self-healing" by cycling the ignition.

It's always worth checking for any add-on aftermarket alarm wiring or mystery boxes of any kind, these can often make fault finding notoriously difficult.

as I said before, getting a code reader on there must be the first priority.

 

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I would put money on the loom being chaffed where it crosses over the top of the transfer box, particularly if it does it when you lift off and the transfer box shifts on its mounts...

Remove cubby box and access panel beneath and check the loom thoroughly.

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Thanks for the advice chaps. I'm based in the Waterloo area. I'm taking it up to Mo Saturday next where I can give the nanocom a look and to check a few things with their expertise. Dave - just a thought - the engine doesn't cut out when I de-clutch when on the move: would the transfer box not also move when the defender goes from drive to neutral?

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On 1/13/2020 at 7:51 PM, dave88sw said:

I would put money on the loom being chaffed where it crosses over the top of the transfer box, particularly if it does it when you lift off and the transfer box shifts on its mounts...

Remove cubby box and access panel beneath and check the loom thoroughly.

I had a very similar problem with my Softdash RRC some years ago and it turned out to be the loom had been touching the exhaust at some point before I owned it and had burnt through the insulation. The loom had been tucked back up but the damage had not been repaired. Every now and then when going over a bump or cornering the bare fuel pump feed earthed out on the chassis and blew the supply fuse. When I tested the loom it seemed okay as the wire was no longer earthed and the supply voltage to the pump was fine, until the next time it touched and so on.

Took ages to trace it as it was quite high up in the chassis but although this fault sounds similar, it’s strange that the pump always runs immediately after it cuts out which is why I asked my original question. Ordinarily, you would expect a fuse to blow if there was even a temporary short to earth but maybe this is just an odd case 🤷‍♂️

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17 hours ago, Bigj66 said:

 

... Ordinarily, you would expect a fuse to blow if there was even a temporary short to earth but maybe this is just an odd case 🤷‍♂️

Not necessarily, modern(ish) automotive fuses seem to have a huge overload tolerance, such that rubbing an exposed wire against a dirty or corroded metal surface can cause sufficient electrical disturbance to cause errors in the system but not pass enough current to blow a fuse, depending on what circuit it's connected to of course.

Similarly, a lot of the sensor inputs into most ECU's operate at a very low power such that a minor leak to earth or to another conductor can cause some unpredictable faults, for example the intermittently self-opening tailgate on my Freelander 2 which turned out to be due to moisture inside the switch in the tailgate handle.

Or, on one of my previous Td5 90's which would intermittently fail to start with one of the relays making a squealing noise, this turned out to be water ingress (again) into one of the multi-way "headers" under the driver seat box causing electrical leakage between 5V, 12V and ground.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all...

I've had hands on this vehicle and still no definitive solution, so I'll share what I know and have observed in the hope this can be solved....

Loom - All that's accessible from under the vehicle looks in very good order. No chaffing or breaks in the convoluted tubing that covers the loom. Checked from seat box, over rear of gearbox / Transfer box and along the side of the gearbox. (Still to lift cubby and check over gearbox)

No oil at all in ECU Plugs.

Fuel Pressure Regulator is leaking minimally but had covered the crank position sensor in diesel & oil.

Fuel pump is quite loud.

When driven, the engine just cuts on overrun. No coughing or hesitation, just dies. (So far, engine / fuel is hot / warm from a journey when this happens - Not replicated yet when cold)

When you recycle the ignition the MIL light, oil pressure and battery symbols come on as normal, but no glow plug symbol. Engine will crank but not fire.

Recycle again (Sometimes takes a minute) and the same, but with glow plug symbol, then it will run normally. 

Done so far....

Nanocom - no recorded faults.

Normal readings when running.

Throttle pots returning constant numbers through the range.

Changed fuel filter and purged. Although noisy, purged well and started after two consecutive purges.

Changed crank position senor changed.

 

After doing this we could not replicate the fault.

Oliver drove home and got most of the way and it happened again, but more often rendering the vehicle undriveable.

Big Yellow Taxi and back to me.

 

Yesterday it started fine and ran. No issues, but not able to replicate the long drive / warm the vehicle past a few miles.

FPR, air bleed valve and return valve ordered and coming to be changed this weekend.

 

I'm planning to get eyes on the rest of the loom and then aim to run it up to temp and try to replicate the problem. Assuming it isn't FPR and cuts out, and I can make it happen regularly, I'll pop in my spare ECU and see if it replicates again. (ECU ready and security learned, so quick swap and car will remain at working temp.)

If not ECU, prime suspect then is going to be fuel pump. 

 

Any suggestions why the ECU / system is not lighting the core plug lights when it won't start? Even when hot the TD5 shows this on the dash, but won't fire them etc.

Anything obvious I should check?

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try your spare ecu.
it could be the ecu failing, had a kinda similar issue of cutting out not starting recently that ended up with the ecu letting the smoke out, it had originally started with one of the caps failing which was changed & cured the problem for almost a year

 

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It seems a weird problem. Usually injector seals or fuel pump are suspect IME with cutting out but you can make the situation occur for those and with the injector seals, purging will usually lead to a restart. This seems to occur more randomly.

Can you check the fuel pressure? That might help rule out the pump.

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2 hours ago, reb78 said:

It seems a weird problem. Usually injector seals or fuel pump are suspect IME with cutting out but you can make the situation occur for those and with the injector seals, purging will usually lead to a restart. This seems to occur more randomly.

Can you check the fuel pressure? That might help rule out the pump.

The seals and injector loom allegedly done recently and there is no issue with the running or starting.. No evidence of air in the system etc. Rocker cover has been off recently. Looks like a new gasket.

Cannot check pressure without a way of measuring / adding something into the system. I don't own anything but willing to take donations :)

The ECU / sensors don't record pressure. ECU only registers fuel temperature. All other parameters are air temp / pressure /water temp related.

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Well.. One of the pressure testing kits you found arrived yesterday @reb78.

No opened to package yet but will offer feedback after the weekend.

I'll test it out on the outgoing FPR and see what that's doing / not doing and fingers crossed I won't need to drop the tank and replace the noisy pump... Bloomin hate the standard tank guard on the Td5 90....

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46 minutes ago, V8 Freak said:

I'll test it out on the outgoing FPR and see what that's doing / not doing and fingers crossed I won't need to drop the tank and replace the noisy pump... Bloomin hate the standard tank guard on the Td5 90....

personally prefer to a hole in the floor

 

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Me too Mike... I replaced the thin one that's standard as it is originally fitted from above and tucks inside the top lip of the rear Cross member.

I went for a decent aluminium tank guard that bolts up from below. Sooooooo much simpler.

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Bit of an update, hopefully solved....

At the weekend I changed the FPR, bleed valve etc in the fuel line at the oil filter block and replaced crank sensor again, although it didn't look too soiled this time.

I then took it for a long drive to get it all warmed up and to a point where I could replicate the problem.

After 35 miles I got a total cut, MIL light immediately on but dead engine.... Coasted to a hat, luckily in Lay-By.....

Waited, started and it failed again soon after.

I swapped in my spare ECU (Codes already learned for this purpose, so only a 2 minute job) and set off again. I did another 65 miles without issue.

No fault codes registered in the original ECU.

So at the moment it looks like the ECU has an issue that manifests when it's warmed up.

I'll finish the pampering with a full oil change, greased props etc. and then the Oliver can take it for a nice long run before investing in a replacement / repaired ECU. (Hopefully)

 

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  • 2 months later...

Does your temperature gauge needle fluctuate while you're driving? If so the problem could be a defective coolant temperature sender which is sending mixed messages to your ECU and the ECU thinks you have an engine overheat problem so it shuts off fuel to the injectors.

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13 hours ago, LarryK said:

Does your temperature gauge needle fluctuate while you're driving? If so the problem could be a defective coolant temperature sender which is sending mixed messages to your ECU and the ECU thinks you have an engine overheat problem so it shuts off fuel to the injectors.

thats an earth fault not a temp sensor fault

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