News

Not running right

Discussion in '308/328' started by GrayTA, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    14,156
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    PDG
    So a few days ago I made a two day trip - total of about 1000 miles in my '85 308 QV.

    At one point I drove through some very heavy rains. I could barely see in front of me. Well about an hour and a half or so down the road I had a huge loss of power. The car slowed down on even the slightest inclines. It would sound really rough below 2500rpms. Then, on top of that there was little or not throttle response.

    The intial thoughts and feedback I got from a Ferrari tech was that the distributor had gotten wet. So, I gave it some time and it never changed how it was running. I fought with it the whole way home. It bogs down badly with low RPMs and would even cut itself off when I came to complete stops.

    I got it home and let it sit to see if something got wet and could dry out. So far, no luck. When I start it and it will hold idle it seems like it is only running on one bank of cylinders. There is the distinct smell of gasoline when I let it run for a few minutes. This is why I think its only on one bank.

    What I have done:

    1. I have sprayed WD-40 (as suggested) into the distributor vent holes if there had been water in there - no change.

    2. I checked electrical connections. I used a connector cleaner on most of the connections I could get to in the engine compartment.

    3. I checked out the fuse box - it looks fantastic - almost new. The connections there all seemed to be good.

    When the car is started and running below about 2500rpms I do hear a clicking/buzzing sound from the square gray boxes next to the fuse box. I believe these are the relays (correct me if I am wrong - I am new to this).

    Does anyone have any other suggestions for me to try?

    I have VERY modest mechanical skills, but am not afraid to get around this car for some reason - I see that everything is laid out pretty simply and generally overengineered for the most part. I have LOVED doing what I am doing here the last few days trying to solve this mystery. Part of me would LOVE to be a Ferrari Tech.

    Thank you for any ideas you may have.
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Doug

    Doug Formula 3

    Nov 13, 2003
    1,467
    Louisville KY
    Full Name:
    Doug
    The front of the fuse blocks generally look good. It is the backside that is usually full of heat and stress cracks.

    Pull a front bank plug and a rear bank plug to see if one is getting wet without firing.
     
  4. climb

    climb F1 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2006
    4,717
    Atlantic Beach Fl
    Full Name:
    Stuart K. Hicks
    You need to pull the plugs and check for water in the plug holes. Also take off the distributor caps and check for water. Check digiplex boxes too for water in the connectors.
     
  5. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,135
    Northen California
    Full Name:
    Ken
    I don't know how much water there is but be careful not to let the water drain into the combustion chamber, it might cause a hydro lock and damage your engine.
     
  6. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Global Moderator Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    25,337
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Chris P. Bakon
    You can use an induction timing light to check for spark on individual wires.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. surfdoc37

    surfdoc37 Karting

    Nov 19, 2004
    124
    St. Louis, MO
    Full Name:
    Mark M.
    I lost one bank from a bad speed (?) sensor. Car's in the shop or I'd check receipts for exact part.
     
  9. Paul_308

    Paul_308 Formula 3

    Mar 12, 2004
    2,335
    I also encountered 2 hours of drenching rain on my recent 2k trip, windswipes on full, barely able to provide vision of the traffic on the highway.

    Not a hint of engine problems. So something must be right besides getting lucky.

    It would be good to analyze the body entry point for this car getting water into the engine compartment soas to understand the situation. What I'm calling for is an autopsy after everything is back to order so conclusions can be drawn.

    I've also washed my car with hose on full over the bonnet without getting water where it did any harm. How much difference is there of bonnet panels over the years? Perhaps Gray, pictures of your under-bonnet etc when you get on top of things.
     
  10. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    14,156
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    PDG
    Thanks all for the suggestions. I am going to continue to work on it as I can (hopefully I will have time to get under there this afternoon and hit at it again).

    There is the distinct possibility that it is not water. I was out of the rain for a while before this problem came on. I just recognize the possibility that something in there got wet.

    The car is a QV, so it has a lot of louvrage (is that a word? - either way I like it) in the back which is all angled into the engine bay, so when I had to slow down anything could have been possible.

    The nearest Ferrari techs are probably in Dallas, although there may be someone in OKC. I hate the idea of taking it all the way to either of those locations just to solve something that should be an easy fix. I feel pretty confident I can do whatever if I can simply pinpoint the problem spot.


    PDG
     
  11. Lawrence Coppari

    Lawrence Coppari Formula 3

    Apr 29, 2002
    1,971
    Kingsport, TN
    Full Name:
    Lawrence A. Coppari
    Like you said, it sounds like you might have a bank out. Mine has done that. In my case it was the little spring loaded pin in the distributor center that transfers juice to the rotor. A previous poster suggested using an inductance timing light to see which bank is not firing. Good idea. That way you can trace it back. If you don't have a timing light of that sort, pull a plug wire and put a spare spark plug in the extender and ground it on the block. Crank engine to see if it fires. Voltage is high so don't let it bite you. If there is spark at the plug, that bank is probably ok. If no spark, get a spare plug wire and plug it into the corresponding coil and crank engine with spark plug attached at other end and grounded to block. If you see fire at the grounded spark plug, then problem is post coil. This is how I deduced my problem was in the distributor area. Someone on FChat then suggested to me that I clean the pin and reseat the coil wire to the distributor. That was my problem.

    Be advised that if you drive the car with no fire on a bank, you will eventually overheat the cat and possibly cause a fire.
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. David Lind

    David Lind Formula 3

    Nov 19, 2008
    2,239
    Full Name:
    David Lind
    I have exactly that problem w my Mondial 3.2. I haven't figured it out yet, but this PM I will get new distributor cap gaskets so I can dry those out. (I took one off, and it wasn't wet.) Funny thing is, I am often forced to drive my car in our Louisiana downpours, and this never happened in 80,000 miles ...
    I will let you know if/when I find a solution. Damn good thing we have Ferrari Chat's brain to pick, no?
     
  14. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    14,156
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    PDG
    Absolutely!! This board is fantastic for finding this sort of information.

    PDG
     
  15. spiderseeker

    spiderseeker Formula 3

    Jul 22, 2005
    1,708
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Steve
    You said- "I do hear a clicking/buzzing sound from the square gray boxes next to the fuse box. "

    ** Those are the relays,(should NOT buzz) and when I bought my car, I replaced all of the 25 year old relays (Rockauto.com) and replaced the terrible original fuseblocks with Birdman's heavy duty replacement. I've had no electrical problems since.Total cost $200 for bulletproof reliability.
     
  16. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    14,156
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    PDG
    To test the relay theory I went and pulled three of them that were the same and switched them around. Specifically, I switched the one for the fuel pump, horn, and one other I cant recall. I ended up getting the same result.

    It would start up just fine, but then drop into the non-responsive zone.

    I probably should replace all the relays anyway though.

    I dont have the self-confidence to try Lawrence Coppari's idea just yet, but that may be my next course of action.


    PDG
     
  17. spirot

    spirot F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 12, 2005
    13,056
    Atlanta
    Full Name:
    Tom Spiro
    There is also a relay in the trunk area on the passangers side. if this relay gets loose or goes bad it will make the car idle very badly, stall out, and run very bad at low RPM. also it may get wet thru the wheel well, and corrode, I would check there as well. very easy to check while the car is running and wiggle the relay... there is also a fuse in the relay, that if its blown will cause the car to run poorly.

    Best of luck tracking down the electrical gremlins.. its a pain!
     
  18. GrayTA

    GrayTA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jun 25, 2006
    14,156
    Deep South
    Full Name:
    PDG

    I visually checked those - even switched them back and forth with no changes at all. I did not find the fuse to check. Guess I will try that tomorrow.

    I dont like electrical gremlins - I just want to drive my car!! :(

    PDG
     
  19. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    1,135
    Northen California
    Full Name:
    Ken
    There's a lot info in the archives if you have time to go through it, since you think one bank is not running here's a post that may help you:

    http://ferrarichat.com/forum/showthread.php?t=233901&highlight=front+bank+dead

    Since you mentioned that you have modest mechanical skill, may I suggest that you do some readings on basic automotive theory, then move on to some advance topics on automotive electronic ignitions. Some books from the 70's or 80's will be good enough. When I started working on my truck, my dad gave me a college auto repair text book from the early 80's, I spent couple days reading it, things became so simple for me after that.

    Hope it's something simple that you find out quickly and be careful that Ferrari is very fragile try not to do more damage while fixing something. Good luck.
     
  20. Paul308GTSi

    Paul308GTSi Formula Junior

    Oct 26, 2008
    992
    Queensland Australia
    Full Name:
    Paul D
    This might seem dumb but check the air filter ....... when I got my car the air filter was covered with sanding dust and paint flecks ( some the size of pennies ) ,, , maybe your filter could have been covered in dust and the wet weather has turned it slowly to mud sealing off the air flow.

    It can't hurt to look ........
     

Share This Page