Space wedge

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robwizard
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Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:13 pm

The name of my 480 is Space Wedge. Went to pick it up today and it had a dead battery. Took a while but managed to jump it, it then broke down twice more and is now stranded halfway up a hill about ten minutes drive from my house. Not a good start :cryhard: :cryhard: :cryhard:

Gonna put a battery on charge overnight and go give it a bash in the morning..

Watch this space!

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doingitsideways
480 Expert
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Re: Space wedge

Post by doingitsideways » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:12 pm

Ha ha ha ha!!!! :rofl:

Welcome to 480 ownership!!

Sorry, no offense intended. Bit of a baptism of fire there.

Hope you get it sorted, get some pics up if you've not gone all Basil Fawlty on it ;)

Nice name for it too :)

Steve :hopping:
"If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's an electrical fault!"
Hammers can't fix a 480!!!

robwizard
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Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:20 am

I can only hope it's a duff battery and not the start of a string of horrendous electrical faults.. :shock:

I will take the battery over tomorrow and see what can be done. When I was trying to jump it again after it stopped it felt like the starter was spinning up plenty but no spark. Does this sound like a battery? I know it's hard to tell from my limited descriptive powers but I'm no mechanic.. are there any other immediately obvious things to check? Assuming it doesn't just start straight off..

Cheers

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Slash01
Knows where Volvo is from
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Re: Space wedge

Post by Slash01 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:34 pm

If the engine wont spin, spins slowly or runs the battery down before starting, it best to get a new battery and also check the Alternator output.
To do this get a Multimeter or volt meter, make sure it's on the correct setting (you want 20V on DC current, solid line with dashed line underneath)
First collect a battery voltage with the ignition off, should be between 12 and 12.5v
With the engine running connect the leads across the battery, you should get around 14V (Some cars charge lower hence the next part)
Then turn on every electrical thing you can: radio, high beam lights, heated seats, heated screen, blower on max, fog lights, everything.
Then again check the voltage across the battery. It should be higher that the first running test, about 14.5v but defiantly over 14v.
If the readings are ok then it was a duff battery. If not then it could be the alternator, depending on what readings you got.

If the readings are good but the fault continues read on.

If the engine spins but doesn't start.
Obviously there's 3 things an petrol engine needs to work, Air, Fuel and a spark.
Make sure there's nothing blocking the air. Have a look inside the airbox, sometimes they can get full of crap. Remove the filter and leave it off until you find if it's a fuel problem or an ignition one.
Fuel is hard to diagnose at the side of the road so as long as there's fuel in the tank, leave it for the moment.
To check for spark remove a spark plug, reconnect it, hold it by the rubber part of the Lead and have someone crank the engine, if it sparks put it back and check the next.
If there is no spark on any cylinder it's likely to be the coil or the rotor arm. Inspect the rotor arm by removing the dissy cap, and make sure on refitting to refit the earth, it goes on one of the bolts for the cap.
look for scoring on the metal of the rotor and check the springiness of the connector block inside the cap.
If all that seems ok then it's probably the ignition coil.

If you decide to replace the coil it's best to replace the dissy, rotor, leads and spark plugs as well.

If it has got sparks to all cylinders then it has a fuel problem or could possibly have a management fault i.e ECU, though it's unlikely.
Most of the times a fuel problem is caused by a blocked or partially blocked fuel filter. This can also cause a car to crank a while before it fires. People should replace fuel filters at about 5 year intervals but nobody ever does.

If all this doesn't help the problem and you've fitted the above mentioned parts then you've given your car a bloody good service. But you'll have to retrieve the fault codes and go from there. Search the forum on the correct procedure to collect them.
There are always ample warnings and there are always subtle signs,
And you would have seen them coming but we gave you too much time.

robwizard
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Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:10 pm

Wow that's quite a comprehensive list! Thanks very much!

I went back today with a battery charged overnight and if anything it was even deader than yesterday :( I guess that both the batterys that came with the car could be dead though..

I will buy a new battery and have another crack at it, though at the moment it would probably be an idead to get it towed back home and do all this on the drive rather than dicking around on the side of the road.

I did notive a couple more things in daylight. Firstly the negative terminal on the battery appears to be an aftermarket one. The earth strap coming from the body has been attached in the most pikey way possible and doesn't seem to be giving a good connection. I also found that when I was trying to jump it that if I connected the jump lead to the terminal then it was only getting a charge 50% of the time but if I put the lead straight to the earth strap then it was showing dash lights etc immediately, still no start though :(

Another thing I noticed is that the speedo kind of bounced as I was trying to start it, sort of up and down going a bit wild. Also the mile counter was slowly turning.. almost as if it though the car was moving when I was just trying to crank it over. Another thing is that the fuel bar has gone down to one, when it was at two when I left it last night.. no smell of petrol though? :?

Any change in advice from what's listed above? As soon as I get it home I will put some pictures up and get this thread started properly haha.

Cheers

robwizard
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Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:18 pm

Also no warning lights on the dash other than a missing bulb which I can't see anywhere haha.

Cheers

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Slash01
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Re: Space wedge

Post by Slash01 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:18 pm

If you were connecting the positive lead to the earth strap that would explain the lights and speedo as you'll be powering everything via earth. (The speedo is an electrical drive rather that a mechanical cable) Make doubly sure the leads are the correct way round.
If you connected the jump leads correctly (positive to positive and good batt negative to body earth) start the car and always remove the jump cables straight away as this can damage the battery.
If you had it running with the jump cables off and measured the battery was only being charged 50% of the time it's likely the alternator's regulator has packed up. Though you should have a flashing battery light on the dash if that's the case.

If a pikey has had a go at the electrics then the problem could well be anywhere, though from what you say it may just be on the earth side of things.
480's are known for endless electrical problems and a nonce with a screwdriver just makes things even worse.

BTW the bulb out light will only go out after you've pressed the brake pedal. If it's still on after that then there's either a blown bulb or a faulty wire somewhere.
There are always ample warnings and there are always subtle signs,
And you would have seen them coming but we gave you too much time.

robwizard
Started learning about 480
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:06 pm

Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Fri Mar 14, 2014 10:03 pm

Just got it home! Behind ten foot of towing strap and a peugeot partner van. :D

Managed to get lights by putting in a charged battery with the positive terminal attached to the battery and the negative terminal of the battery attached via a jump lead to the engine.. no starting but hazards/lights for the tow home.

Away for the weekend now so come Monday I will begin trying to diagnose the problem.. I think some new earth straps and a battery are going to be in order :(

Hopefully the rest of the system is in good order and it's just this one bit coming of the battery that's so shit haha.. but so far not having the best of luck :D

Cheers

Rob

robwizard
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Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:27 pm

Ok so I started having a look at the car today.. first thing I did was get a battery I had on charge out to the car. I then did something of a repair to the aforementioned pikey terminal. Nothing :( Not even any dash lights.

Got the booster pack out and tried that.. got dash lights this time but that was all. Got the multimeter and tested the battery with the engine off, measured just shy of 12v.. like 11.75 or something. Measured with the booster on it and it jumped up to 12v.. so at a complete guess this battery is probably not so good either haha? I have found that if I test between the terminals I get a reading but if I test from clamp to clamp then I get no reading? Also I was previously getting a reading between the positive terminal and various parts of the engine and bay but now I'm not getting anything at all? My simple mind is blown :shock: I will have another look later when my dad is home and see if he can see what I'm doing.. might be worth chasing the earth strap to wherever it starts? Also I noticed the positive clamp some suspicious newish looking cable wired into it.. the plot thickens...

Anyone with any ideas? Please tell me them? At the moment I'm totally lost.. I can't try any of the above suggestions as of yet as I'm not even getting any power at all :(

Cheers

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glasgowjim
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Re: Space wedge

Post by glasgowjim » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:54 pm

the battery earth strap runs to the engine but on the way down it is screwed into the side of the bodywork.
With battery in place put a voltmeter across the battery terminals you should have a voltage.
Now push on the terminal clamps and hold the voltmeter connections on to the clamps there should be no significant change in the voltage across the battery .

If all is healthy with the car elctrics connect the positive terminal then touch the negative clamp against the negative terminasl you should get a small spark .

Sounds as if your battery is dying. This can happen if a battery is left fully discharged for a prolonged period of time.

Oh and do the test that Lnca has recommended (set the meter to 10Amp scale.)

Opps just realised that this is your diary section these posts including mine should not be on here.

svenska axel
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Re: Space wedge

Post by svenska axel » Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:10 am

robwizard wrote:Also no warning lights on the dash other than a missing bulb which I can't see anywhere haha.

Cheers
The charge warning light SHOULD light up when you turn the ignition on only going out when the engine starts. If it doesn't light up initially you have no field current in your alternator and it isn't working. The warning light current kick starts the alternator until it self energizes when the engine starts. It usually means the brushes in the regulator aren't contacting the slip rings on the rotor, usually because either or both are worn. Hence open circuit rotor,no warning light, no field current and magnetic field and no current induced in the outer power windings and flat battery. It is less likely that the warning light just stays on while driving like most people expect, ie brushes and slip rings ok but no output.

robwizard
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Re: Space wedge

Post by robwizard » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:27 pm

Got a spark on all cylinders now! Still not starting though.. in the Haynes it suggests that I should be able to hear the fuel pump priming.. I can't hear anything.. so that's my next stop! Will check the filter as well as has been suggested.

Getting there! :hopping:

Cheers

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