1985 308 QV refuses to start

Discussion in 'Technical Q&A' started by LSU348, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. LSU348

    LSU348 Formula 3

    Dec 19, 2003
    Sugar Land
    Full Name:
    Started this here:

    New battery installed today. The old one (a Champion) tested as bad. I put an Optima Red Top in it. The starter spins the motor but she will not fire.

    This is an 85 QV. Dual ignition, distributors, etc etc. I am starting to worry about my alarm system. I know if I turn it on the starter will not engage. However, it may have a power cutoff line for the ignition. Any help on how to diagnose this? I never use the $#%#$% alarm, I probably need to remove it.

    I am now into an area I know little about, ignitions, coils etc. I know I have fuel. I do not have spark on either bank.

    Any clues?

    Synopsis of probolem:

    Car sat for 1.5 weeks - ran superb last time.
    Tried to start it and starter turns over motor but will not fire.
    Changed plugs to see if they were fouled. No luck. All old plugs looked great.
    Checked for spark - no spark.
    Cycled alarm on and off a few times. Still no luck.
    Tried to charge battery, would not charge, tested and found bad.
    Replaced with optima red top.
    Still will not start.
    Still no spark.
    Mechanic is out of town :p
    Right foot in withdrawel.
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  3. tbakowsky

    tbakowsky F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Consultant

    Sep 18, 2002
    The Cold North
    Full Name:
    Most alarm systems only cut starter input..not spark..but if you have a more elaborite alarm system in your car it may just do such a thing.

    I would locate the alarm box and remove it and all wiring form the car. I will be easy to wire the back up to it's orginal state as most of these alarms are spliced into the wiring. Basicly you just join the like colored wires back up again.

    But before you do that make sure all fuses and connectons are o.k. Check the connectore under the expansion tank in the engine bay. These do have a tendancy to shake rattle and roll enough to distort the pin connections.
  4. pnorman

    pnorman Rookie

    Dec 30, 2003
    Check that the voltage to the coils with a fully charged battery is 11+ volts. I had this problem and cleaning the back of the ignition switch with a good contact cleaner while cycling the switch cured the problem. I also thought it might be my alarm but it just disables the starter..Patrick
  5. GoFerrari28

    GoFerrari28 Formula 3

    Jun 16, 2004
    Ridgemont, CA
    Full Name:
    Jeff Spicoli
    I once had the exact same problem with my 1991 Ford Explorer. I had it towed to a Ford dealership where the electronics guy pulled the fuse to my alarm system, and violla (Kelly Bundy speak for voila) and it started. Sometinmes the alarms can start sapping juice from the battery.
  6. Michael Collins

    Michael Collins Formula Junior

    Apr 6, 2004
    Check the wires around the coils I think it is a green wire (wires not the HT leads), I had one pop off, same problem as you. The car will not spark if it is off, they are hidden under the rubber hoses on my car and easy to see if you lift the hose up
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  8. LSU348

    LSU348 Formula 3

    Dec 19, 2003
    Sugar Land
    Full Name:
    I will check that tonight.
  9. Michael Collins

    Michael Collins Formula Junior

    Apr 6, 2004
    Did you get it started?
  10. enjoythemusic

    enjoythemusic F1 World Champ

    Apr 20, 2002
    Full Name:
    The alarm system in my Honda will just allow a car to spin and spin but never fire up. Betcha that is the problem.
  11. Owens84QV

    Owens84QV F1 Rookie

    Oct 2, 2001
    Somewhere in NC
    Full Name:

    I just finished a complete and thorough evaluation of my ignition system after my 308 (Euro QV) would not fire the front bank. I first checked all of the plugs, then distributor wires, then coil wires, and made my way back to the ECUs. Everything looked clean, tight and well grounded. I swapped coils, ECUs to verify that those were working properly.

    My last resort based on other threads I read were the TDC / Flywheel sensors. Bingo! My front sensor was bad, but replaced all for good measure since I was in there. That fixed my problem. The rear-bank sensor is easy, the tach sensor is easy, the front-bank sensor is a PITA!!!! Hard to get to and you can't see the studs, it's all by feel.

    Hope this may help.
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