Jump to content
Allan-Herbie

So my Countach....died

Recommended Posts

A couple of months ago I had the issue with it when I came out to start it, and it would just crank, crank and never start. Just came out a few days later and tried starting it, and it started right up. Well its been just fine for many months, until yesterday. Started up just fine, went to get gas, shut it off, turned it back on.. and on my way I went. Maybe 15 minutes later I'm at my usual turnaround point, and as I slow to a stop to throw it in reverse, it died in the middle of the road. Thankfully I was on a back road with little to no traffic. I quickly try to start it again, nothing. Jumped out to push the car to the side of the road. Sat there for like 20 minutes trying to start it. Nothing. Tried to look under the dash for any loose wires, the engine bay, wingle things around..nothing. Finally the battery started to feel weak so I decided time to call for a tow truck. Just as I finish with the call, Deuce pulls up asking what the car was doing. I say it just cranks and cranks, wont start. Go to show him, and boom, started right up. Jumped in the car, hauled ass home. Restarted several times since then with no issues. Before I figured that once the car was running I was good to go, but now knowing it might die while on the road makes me scared to drive it. And since the problem is intermittent, how will I know if I fixed it? Anyone have this issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allan, My first anny had a similar issue. I would drive around for 20 minutes and the motor would just stall. It would stall for no reason at all. I would try to start it and nothing would happen, after about 5 to 20 minutes it would start back up. It was a very annoying issue as you never knew when it would give you issues! I never found out what created this problem :(

 

My new Anny is the most bullet proof Countach I have owned. It doesn't leak any fluids and has given me almost zero issues. The only issue is the interior light sometimes turns on by itself.

 

My QV is a work in progress. I'm still working on sorting it out and almost have it dialed in!

 

Sorry I couldn't help you out but I'm sure somebody will have a good answer for you! Good luck.....this is all part of owning a Countach lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. And since the problem is intermittent, how will I know if I fixed it? Anyone have this issue?

Allan, I had a similar headache a few years ago, I would drive and at an intersection I would stop and the car would just die, and then start again, I am not the right person by far to give any advice, but in my case it was the old Magnetti Marelli Ignition coil, they seem to get old, could that be the problem?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Intermittent problems are a b**ch. I'd start with electrical, specifically verifying/replacing all the applicable realys (ignition, fuel). It's cheap, fast, the easiest thing to do, and we all know how hot those things get.

 

Have you ever replaced the fuel filters?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
George Evans has no insight?

There sould be some kind of warranty for the work they did,

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Check all the battery connections that they are not loose. For example ground/earth-link from engine block.

 

Also if there is any immobilizer system on board be suspicious. Ignition lock base, is it too worn?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time to sell me the car....

 

Real cheap !!!!!!!

 

 

 

Just kidding. Hope you get it sorted out.

 

Check for spark first. Buy a cheap ignition wire tester.

Then check if you're getting fuel. Do you hear the pumps running?

If the pumps are running and you are getting fuel and spark, the car should start

 

Best of luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had this issue years ago.... Gary B fixed it... Something about a bad wire coming off the ignition box... Did EXACTLY what you describe.... Until it crapped out entirely (and then it was easy to fix).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input guys. First off, to get George Evans squared away. It has been several years now since George completed my car. This is a problem that has crept up somewhat recently so I would think he has no accountability in the situation. That being said, he is always very helpful. His thoughts are that it must be either spark related or fuel, and his given me some tips on what to check for should it happen again so we can narrow down the problem.

 

My problem is that for it to happen again, I dont want it happening on the road, so Id like to do what I can to try and figure the problem out without it happening again.

 

Thinking back to when it happened the first time, I recall being able to smell fuel. I think I even mentioned that when I asked about it the first time it happened. So if I were a betting man Id think it spark related. My car does not have the old Magnetti box, I have the MSD coil. My fuse box, relays etc were all rebuilt to higher than factory standards by George as well. Maybe it does have something to do with the MSD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the MSD, no problems. I did have a coil go bad. It started leaking oil (it was mounted horizontally not the correct vertical position), but still ran. That being said, the msd system has a mixed bag of reliability according to several. I'm sure a quick google will produce a pile of complaints. One guy told me to always have a wrecker handy if I was going to use the msd system. If it was my car, I would replace the msd with a new box. But first check the battery. A somewhat weak battery could also be the problem. Test it with a volt meter (youtube shows how) or have it tested. It should be around 12.6 volts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

, I have the MSD coil. My fuse box, relays etc were all rebuilt to higher than factory standards by George as well. Maybe it does have something to do with the MSD?

 

 

Allen,

 

I don't know which MSD coil you are using or how you have it mounted. If it is a standard round old school type of coil it needs to be mounted vertically, NOT horizontally unless it is a MSD #8222 epoxy filled coil. The other coils are oil filled for cooling the windings and will expose some of the windings to air if mounted on their side resulting in overheating and intermittent failures until it just dies and needs to be buried. When it fails after driving, touch it carefully. If this is the problem they are usually (not always) hotter than the other engine bay parts around it.

 

With an MSD, you should be able to get a 1/2 inch bright spark from the coil wire to good ground. Position the coil wire for testing, don't hang on to it unless you wish to be enlightened! If you have a good spark, head for the fuel system. MSD boxes are not water tight either, which can cause failures from moisture (replacing mine at this very time for this very reason).

 

On the electrical side, relay contacts get corroded and tarnished over time and cause intermittent problems. Replacing them at the time of breakdown usually isn't an option (where's my damned toolbox?). I have wired in three hidden switches in the engine bay for emergencies. One normally open momentary that allows me to crank the engine from the rear of the car for checking ignition output, two single pole single throw on the right side relay box. One of these allows me to bypass the BMW fuel safety relay and pick the two actual fuel pump relays to turn the pumps on. The second switch actually bypasses both fuel pump relays which will give you fuel if the pumps themselves are good. Makes for a quick, no toolbox diagnosis of the problem area. DON'T use these switches to avoid fixing the problem, they are just for limping home on.

 

Good luck

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all the input guys. First off, to get George Evans squared away. It has been several years now since George completed my car. This is a problem that has crept up somewhat recently so I would think he has no accountability in the situation. That being said, he is always very helpful. His thoughts are that it must be either spark related or fuel, and his given me some tips on what to check for should it happen again so we can narrow down the problem.

 

My problem is that for it to happen again, I dont want it happening on the road, so Id like to do what I can to try and figure the problem out without it happening again.

 

Thinking back to when it happened the first time, I recall being able to smell fuel. I think I even mentioned that when I asked about it the first time it happened. So if I were a betting man Id think it spark related. My car does not have the old Magnetti box, I have the MSD coil. My fuse box, relays etc were all rebuilt to higher than factory standards by George as well. Maybe it does have something to do with the MSD?

 

George is top notch you sent him the car and said go threw it thoroughly to make it reliable, I am positive he did just that.

The car is old now, over twenty five years in age. If I were to guess I would say electrical inside the engine compartment.

My best guess would be something with the ignition / distributor, You are losing spark for some reason as you keep smelling fuel as stated before.

 

How about swapping out the magnetic pick ups on the distributor. It is just a guess. You can check them however that is when they are cold, when they get hot they may give up.

Your first Countach never had these issues, even in Florida as I believe you did away with the distributor and when with a crank trigger.

I myself am considering pulling the distributor and going with a crank trigger system as it is more reliable. However I am tore as I am a purist.

 

Best of luck, Vic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
, I have the MSD coil. My fuse box, relays etc were all rebuilt to higher than factory standards by George as well. Maybe it does have something to do with the MSD?

 

 

 

Allen,

 

I don't know which MSD coil you are using or how you have it mounted. If it is a standard round old school type of coil it needs to be mounted vertically, NOT horizontally unless it is a MSD #8222 epoxy filled coil. The other coils are oil filled for cooling the windings and will expose some of the windings to air if mounted on their side resulting in overheating and intermittent failures until it just dies and needs to be buried. When it fails after driving, touch it carefully. If this is the problem they are usually (not always) hotter than the other engine bay parts around it.

 

With an MSD, you should be able to get a 1/2 inch bright spark from the coil wire to good ground. Position the coil wire for testing, don't hang on to it unless you wish to be enlightened! If you have a good spark, head for the fuel system. MSD boxes are not water tight either, which can cause failures from moisture (replacing mine at this very time for this very reason).

 

On the electrical side, relay contacts get corroded and tarnished over time and cause intermittent problems. Replacing them at the time of breakdown usually isn't an option (where's my damned toolbox?). I have wired in three hidden switches in the engine bay for emergencies. One normally open momentary that allows me to crank the engine from the rear of the car for checking ignition output, two single pole single throw on the right side relay box. One of these allows me to bypass the BMW fuel safety relay and pick the two actual fuel pump relays to turn the pumps on. The second switch actually bypasses both fuel pump relays which will give you fuel if the pumps themselves are good. Makes for a quick, no toolbox diagnosis of the problem area. DON'T use these switches to avoid fixing the problem, they are just for limping home on.

 

Good luck

 

Just snapped these pics. Can anyone tell what kind of coil it is? Old or new school and mounted correctly? Weird looking at those pics, looks like some sort of a puddle in front of the coil?

20150603_192308_resized.jpg

20150603_192330_resized.jpg

20150603_192337_resized.jpg

20150603_192401_resized.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just snapped these pics. Can anyone tell what kind of coil it is? Old or new school and mounted correctly? Weird looking at those pics, looks like some sort of a puddle in front of the coil?

 

 

Looks like a MSD Blaster SS coil from what I can see. I don't have any info close by as to mounting positions for this coil, but it does appear to be on it's side in the pics. Might not be an issue with this coil, you would need to verify that with MSD techs. I don't know how this coil is cooled, so more questions for MSD.

 

Bypassing all that, do you have any spark output while cranking?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like a MSD Blaster SS coil from what I can see. I don't have any info close by as to mounting positions for this coil, but it does appear to be on it's side in the pics. Might not be an issue with this coil, you would need to verify that with MSD techs. I don't know how this coil is cooled, so more questions for MSD.

 

Bypassing all that, do you have any spark output while cranking?

 

 

 

 

 

FrankN could be right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Such problems usually happen when electronic wire or ignition sensor is overheating.

Crank position (if it got one) sensors or the connections to the box.

But it's not likely to be distributor hall sensor or spark plug wire problem. Coil wire - may be.

Checking ignition is not so hard once you figure out the signal that distributes the ignition (low amp wire from the ignition module to the coil). If it dies again, you can grab a tester and check if there is a signal from the ignition module. Likely, there won't be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On these older cars where everything is not handled by a computer there is one relatively good easy way to diagnose whether the problem is ignition or fuel related if the car dies while driving.

 

If the problem is related to fuel issues the dying happens gradually where you can feel the power going south whether it takes 0.2 seconds or 1 second but you can definately feel the power reduced before it disappears completely. If the problem is related to ignition the dying happens in an instantenous on/off manner like cutting with a knife. All power 100% there until there suddenly is none. Of course there are exceptions but if you need a first guess. If the power goes up/down repeatedly then there is just more instances to take note whether there is a clear cut or gradual kind of behaviour.

 

as I slow to a stop to throw it in reverse, it died

 

Unfortunately it sounds you were not on the gaspedal when it died so maybe you did not get a good feel of which way of dying it did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...