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1988 Reatta starts and idles, dies when putting in gear


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Subject puts it in a nutshell.

 

Background - car was brought to me with a bad water pump.  Replaced water pump, and at same time did a A/C service (new compressor, drier, orifice).  Car drove off, made it about 2 miles.  Heard a POP! and it stalled out, wouldn't restart.  Back it comes.  Pop was a backfire,  ICM melted down.  Replaced ICM, ignition coil, plugs and plug wires.  Car starts, runs great - at idle in park.  Drop it into gear (any) and it starts stumbling a little, then ultimately dies.  Replaced IAC with no improvement.  WTF?   lol.  

 

Any ideas?

 

Thanks for any input!

 

-J

 

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I don’t know for certain what the issue is, but under normal conditions, the ignition timing should increase from the idle reading by a few degrees when dropped in gear to help pick up the increased load. No specific reading but usually around 20 degrees in park and a bit more in gear. Check diagnostics to see if it picks up the load properly. Same for IAC counts.

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SOLVED!

 

Upon a more thorough inspection a thin strip of belt (like about the diameter of a tire plug and about 2 feet long) that had been shredded due to WP failure had managed to wind itself into the reluctor rings on the backside of the balancer.  It must have beat the hell out of the crank sensor, and about 2 miles was what it took to kill it.  Solution was to replace the crank sensor as well as the balancer since it was coming off anyways and I was leary of the reluctor rings all being perfectly straight.  Half hour job, about $100 in parts and it runs like a champ again!  Customer is ecstatic!  (This particular customer is my son, and this is his #2 Reatta that he just got and had painted.  The WP failed on his way home from the body shop.  I felt so bad for him!  But the car looks and runs great!)

 

Thanks for the replies, NC and 2S!  (Cleaned MAF, but did not replace.)

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TJ-

 

The '88 Reatta HB and crank sensor was almost scary-easy, like something was gonna explode when I was done or something.  :)  The A/C job on it on the other hand.... lol

 

-J

 

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