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1987 model 328 GTS / sudden power loss / stall

Discussion in '308/328' started by Joe Stanton, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. Joe Stanton

    Joe Stanton Rookie
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    Aug 18, 2020
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    Central Coast area of California
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    Joe Stanton
    Today driving back from a meetup the car suddenly lost a lot of power, perhaps half. Then it stalled out at a stop light, started again, still weak, stalled at next light, etc. Continuing drive home, feeling like car was "limping" along, all of a sudden felt like it got kicked in the rear (thought I heard a "thunk") and all power was restored. Suspecting fuel injection is dodgy, but am seeking ideas from anyone who might have experienced similar?

    I should mention I've owned this car now for ~3 weeks and is my first Ferrari.

    This was posted in another forum by mistake earlier. My apologies, thanks for your patience with a newbie to the forum and the Ferrari world.
     
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  3. ferrariowner

    ferrariowner Formula Junior

    Feb 21, 2014
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    Sounds like you lost one bank of cylinders, if that's the case, don't drive it until it is resolved. It can cause a fire.
     
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  4. PT 328

    PT 328 F1 Rookie
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    May 1, 2005
    3,439
    You should also check your spark plug extenders for any pinhole sized burn marks. I had similar symptoms and found one of my plug extenders had a burn mark. I replaced it and all was back to normal.
     
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  5. st@ven

    st@ven F1 Rookie
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    Aug 4, 2008
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    You lost a bank for sure. Check connections around both coils. It is ignition,100%

    Do not start messing around with the fuel system. It is not the problem
     
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  6. Joe Stanton

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    Thanks, I do not see or feel anything loose, but will keep looking.
     
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  8. Joe Stanton

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    Thanks, this sounds like a simple but maybe time consuming little project. Now to find a shop manual.
     
  9. dfratini

    dfratini Karting
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    Dec 31, 2003
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    Daniel Fratini
    Doesn't sound like your plug extenders since they usually fail one at a time and almost never cause the car to stall; just run rough at idle/low speed. Most likely one of your two coils....just need to determine which one it is since the coil modules are about $700 each. Unless the coil has failed completely, in which case it will be easy to determine which bank is not firing the only way to diagnose is to drive it until you lose one bank then immediately get into the engine compartment and find out which bank is not firing.
     
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  10. Joe Stanton

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    The sound I heard after power restored might have been fuel in cat suddenly detonating, sounds like I might have dodged a bullet.
     
  11. Joe Stanton

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    Determining which one failed might be difficult because engine dies if I get off gas. Which is a good thing I guess due to fuel in cat / fire possibility. What is best source for such parts. Ricambi? Looks like coil part got superseded with one shared with some other cars like 412 and TR from same era.
     
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  13. dfratini

    dfratini Karting
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    Since it is an electrical issue it will continue to be intermittent until it fails completely......which could happen at any time or never. That is correct the coil is a generic 80's replacement coil. Once the car dies quickly pull the plugs...you should have unburned fuel in at least 1 of the cylinders. One other way to solve the problem is buy 1 coil and replace 1 of your existing coils and see if that clears the problem....if not you know it is the other bank. Certainly not 100 % it is the coil but that is the most likely culprit.
     
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  14. Vonbarron

    Vonbarron Formula Junior
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    Aug 26, 2014
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    Loose crank position sensor
     
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  15. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
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    #12 DGS, Sep 20, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
    Depends how your idle is set.
    I did experience loss of power and stalling at idle from bad plug extenders, but there were a few that weren't 100% as well as the one gone completely.

    But bad coil or bad plug extenders don't tend to come back.
    A loose coil wire might, or possibly a foreign object in one of the distributors or a failing distributor rotor.

    There's a slight chance could possibly be the O2 sensor protection relay in the rear deck area.

    Intermittent problems can be tricky to find. Few problems in a car "go away" by themselves.
     
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  16. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
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    Something very similar happen to me many years ago on my '87 GTS. A member of this forum suggested I check the wires from the coils to the distributor. As there was plenty of length of the wires, I removed each from the distributor, cut about 1/2 inch off and reset them. The problem immediately went away and never returned. This might be your problem too. Problem is electrical, not fuel.
     
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  17. mike32

    mike32 F1 Rookie

    May 13, 2016
    3,202
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    If you have a coil on the way out , you might develop a misfire. Drive the car from cold and as soon as you get a problem, get out of the car and feel both coil packs. If one warmer than other then that one on way out. Mine would go about 2 to 3 miles then misfire etc.
     
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  18. Joe Stanton

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    Thanks for the info. Looking into a replacement coil. Ricambi requires core exchange, so when I do this will be down for likely a week to 10 days, they say 3 day turnaround, though, but there is still shipping time. I did check this morning the two coil connectors and one came off like my old wedding ring, the other one was much more of a tug and wiggle affair to get off. Putting it back on, still loose fit. So thinking I have a sloppy connector. So as in computers, 90% of all problems are cables, maybe that will be true here as well. Will test drive and when/if fails again check that connector for sloppiness. BTW, is it recommended to clean these?
     
  19. Joe Stanton

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    Not yet road tested, but seems to be a loose coil connector to rear bank. It came right off with no effort, the front one was as it should be, tight and required a tough tug to release, and then I noticed the design is to press the top of clip to release the metal retainer clips grip on the receptacle. So I used a screw driver to bend the retainer clip on the loose one back into shape observed on front one, and it went on and was tight and required the same press/release to get it off as the front. Thinking someone else might have inappropriately removed it in the past and mangled the clip, and my long drive from San Diego to Pismo probably vibrated it enough to loosen it so that all it needed was one good pothole. Will road test for a bit and report back if anyone interested, thanks to all for the insights, gave 'Like' to all responders. :)
     
  20. Joe Stanton

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    Believe in fact it was a loose connector. Thanks for the insight.
     
  21. Hinecker

    Hinecker Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2011
    362
    Afternoon Joe,
    My car did the same when I first bought it. Parked to the side of the road and with engine idling, I unplugged and plugged the connectors going to the ignition modules. One at a time of course... suddenly the cylinder bank started working. Has not failed again until today(that was ten years ago).

    Hope this helps.

    John.
     
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  22. Hinecker

    Hinecker Formula Junior

    Mar 14, 2011
    362
    Joe,
    These coils and modules are used in many Fiats. Superformance U.K. has them.
    If it's the module, I have an extra one, you can have it for free.
    It's aftermarket, yet works ok, I've swapped it and can't notice the difference.

    John.
     
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  23. Joe Stanton

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    I appreciate that! Will drive the car a bit this week to see if the loose connector was truly the issue. So sounds like I'll be eating lunch out a few days as an excuse to hit the road, sounds like a win-win hopefully.
     
  24. Joe Stanton

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    The car has been fine since getting that rear coil connector properly secured.
     
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