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Hi all, luckily its been awhile since I've had to post something on here but my luck has run out. I was driving my '91 164S yesterday to a meeting and was about to pull into a parking spot when the engine just died. There was warning of any kind, no funny noises or sputtering,......it just died. She has been running beautifully lately without any issues. Now it won't start....it cranks fine but doesn't catch. I haven't checked to see if there is a spark at the plugs when I crank it but assuming there is would it be safe to assume a fuel delivery issue? As always thanks for any advice you might have.

Wader

'91 164S
 

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general experience has been mine that if it just dies as you describe, it's electrical in nature. good luck. chirs
 

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When was your timing belt last changed? How many miles and how many years? The belts don't break apart, they just shear off a few teeth, so it can be difficult to tell when one has failed. Can you see the camshafts turn when you look behind/underneath the cover while an associate cranks the starter?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the quick responses guys:
Alfajay:
I bought the car in December of 2013.......and the PO told me he had recently changed the timing belt (within 2,000 miles of purchase) I have put about 15k on the car so I should be within the life of the belt. (assuming he was honest) I'll have to check and see if the cam turns during cranking. If the belt goes would there be some sort of horrible noise with the rods and pistons?

Wader
 

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There should be some noise, but depending, it may not be terrible. Before you get all concerned, do the easy simple things. Check the battery voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
will do, thanks Richard
 

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....it cranks fine but doesn't catch.
Doesn't sound as if battery voltage is the issue (though checking it can't hurt).

If the PO's history is correct, the timing belt should be OK.

Could be something as simple as a connector falling off the ignition coil.
 

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I agree that it is most likely an electrical problem, as when you have a fuel problem, the engine usually runs rough or flutters and then dies in agony, lol.

Electrical, poof, it's off. Maybe check the small primary wire going to the distributor? Had that happen on the Milano, where the wire connector fell apart, the wire fell off the dist, and suddenly nothing, nada. Also had that happen on a Cooper S Mini, the wire being short, the engine rocking in fierce acceleration, the wire popping off the dist, and poof, nothing.

Place to start, anyway. Then pop the dist cap to check the innards.
 

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Any Check Engine light?

I had that happen. No check engine light. Happened like you when the engine was returning to idle. Turned out to be the idle air control valve (Idle stabilizer). Was able to restart with great difficulty. Press accel pedal to floor and it finally caught. Try some starting fluid. If no firing at all, it's prob ignition.

http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/164-168-1991-1995/206282-diagnosis-idle-faults-164-a.html

All assuming, of course, the timing belt is ok.
 

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FIRST Always verify cam timing belt is moving cam pulleys when cranking engine.

If that appears to be working remove dizzy cap and check for broken ignition rotor.

If you have an induction timing light you can check for ignition by clmping onto coil wire and see if timing light strobe pulses many times as engine cranking and then clamp it on one sparkplug wire and see if its light pulses once every six times rotor hits that wire.

Check engine services fuse in fuse box. Lots of simple tests you can make fairly easy.

As always report your findings.
 
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