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TrapperJohn

Sick SE - point me in the right direction

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My 90 SE isn't feeling well at all.

It started with the check engine light coming on after startup, but it went out after about 15 seconds. Was like that for about a month, but nothing else seemed wrong.

Last week I notice a brief stumble at low throttle, just the one chug, on the way home. Yesterday, it did not want to start. Not hitting on all cylinders, eventually warmed up and ran fine. Today, it is properly sick. Same startup: crank, splutter, feather the throttle, eventually warmed and hit on all cylinders, sure felt like fuel feed problems. but... after warming, it went sick again. This time, I could rev it, it would cut out, and the tach plunged too quickly before it started firing on some cylinders again. That looks like electronic/ignition problems.

Yes, check engine light is on.

So... I need to find freescan, and need to get the pinouts to make a plug, and see what that tells me. Where can I find that - was looking around, but didn't see it.

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

if your stuck you can use a long paper clip and frig the connector and get it to flash the error codes on the dash, there should be a post on this in the tech section

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Andy hosted Freescan on sourceforge back then, get it from there:

http://freescan.sourceforge.net/

For the cable, you need a bit of electronic circuitry, you can't just connect the car directly to a computer's RS-232 port.

There are schematics available here and there, it's not terribly complicated. You may find documentation on Andy's website, though it's unmaintained since he sold his Esprit years ago, so maybe some links are broken...

http://www.andywhittaker.com/ECU/tabid/54/language/en-GB/Default.aspx

As suggested above (tried to quote the author but I don't have the hang of the forum, I failed...), you can retrive fault codes manually by flashing them on the CEL on the dashboard, Morse style...

The procedure to do so is described in your workshop manual.

Edited by troutrou

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Okay, it flashed three codes at me: 24, 35, and 42.

24 - might be the speedo disconnected, I have the slipped magnet problem so I just pulled the cable.

35 - it has been exhibiting an iffy idle for the last few months. Some times it idled fine, some times it was low to the point of occasionally stalling, and I had to keep a foot on the pedal to keep it going in traffic. Thanks, computer. I already knew that.

42 - That must be the problem. Says it's running on ignition module timing, and isn't kicking over to ECM timing after starting. Unless the Esprit has a different meaning for that code... Sounds like a bad connection or loose wire. Going to be fun to find that.

Thanks, Trou, for the reminder about shorting out the ALDL plug. I should have remembered that from when I had electrical trouble with an old Pontiac.

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John,

Sounds like it could also be a bad ignition module. Do have the engine management diagnostic section for the trouble codes? If not, PM me and I'll send it to you.

You might try pulling the ignition module and coils and cleaning them up. They sometimes get corrosion in that area affecting the connections and grounds.

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I agree with the ignition module theory. The rapidly dropping tach certainly seems to support ignition failure of some sort. While in there, it might be a good idea to check the pickup coil, ignition coil and all related wiring. Testing the ignition module is about the cheapest thing to do. Not sure where you're located, but most chain parts stores will test the module for free. Just call a couple of your local stores. :D

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