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Old 11-11-2017, 05:18 PM   #1
mark244turbo
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Default Volvo 240 B230F suddenly stalls while driving

I recently bought a '87 volvo 240 with LH2.2 and chrysler ignition.

It idles smoothly, it runs smoothly and then all of a sudden the engine dies while driving.
While freewheeling i am looking for a safe place to park the car without blocking the traffic.

Then i have my usual routine:
Turn a few fuses in the fusebox (especially 4 and 6)
Wiggle with the plug leads, press on the rotor cap, wiggle with the contacts on the ignition coil.
Jump back in the car and it's good for another 30 miles.

I have replaced the plug leads, rotorcap, rotor and spark plugs.
I have replaced all the old fuses in the fuse box.
But the occasional dying isn't cured yet.

Other suspects:
- 25A fuse near coil (checked)
- Fuel pump relay (not yet checked)
- Hall-sensor (connector and wiring is in decent shape)
- in-tank pump and in-tank fuel filter.

What else may cause this sudden death engine problem?
Brick15: Clogged fuel filter, fuel pump or mass airflow sensor
Speedn..j: Look for spark after it dies (migth be difficult to hold the plug leads while cranking, when you are stranded alone, otherwise good suggestion).
Kjets On a Plane: Did you shim the pins on the plug of the Chrysler box?
Khrrck: Loose connection on the distriubutor hall sensor plug harness (checked the connector and cable and both seem to be in good condition).
Khrrck: Wiggle all the connectors and cables until the engine dies (I will try that!!)
DrHutch: Battery cables with cracks. (checked, no cracks, but battery cable was not fixed tightely)

Next problem: Slight stumble with cold engine pulling away in first gear. Also slow engine respons when pressing the throttle. Car accelerates fine, but has slow engine respons.
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Last edited by mark244turbo; 11-12-2017 at 06:28 PM.. Reason: added building year + responses
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:18 AM   #2
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Also possibly a clogged fuel filter, the fuel pump itself or the mass airflow sensor for starters.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:29 AM   #3
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When it dies do you have spark afterwards?
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:30 AM   #4
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Year?
Did you shim the pins on the plug at the Chrysler box?

88s don’t suffer from it as much (same pattern plug but 88 plug/box is deeper), but 81-87 mopar especially do.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:46 AM   #5
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I had very similar symptoms. Mine was a loose connection at the harness plug on the distributor Hall sensor. Took it apart, adjusted the connectors gently with a pick, and used some contact cleaner and dielectric grease for good measure.

I found the problem by just opening the hood with the engine running, then wiggling every connector that I could reach until the engine died. I'd suggest that as a quick and easy test before moving on to the more difficult stuff.

I also cleaned up my Chrysler box connector just to be on the safe side. Be careful with the plastic on that one, it's 30 years old.
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:27 AM   #6
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How's the 25 amp fuse and its holder underhood? At all crusty? If yes, maybe consider replacing it with one of the GM style holders, like what iPd sells.

I'd also disconnect the battery, then clean the contacts on the fuse block. Had a similar issue with the '92 a few years back. Randomly would stop running, typically while driving at 50-60 mph down a road. I'd pull off, spin fuse 6, if I could touch it (usually was quite hot to the touch), and the car would fire back up. Sometimes, it would not start after sitting for a while. Same problem. Once I cleaned the contacts, it has started every time I hit the key and remained running until I turned the key off.

-J
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Old 11-12-2017, 05:38 AM   #7
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When you wrote "hold the spark plug", I assume the English translator was in error, or you were joking, right ?
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Old 11-12-2017, 07:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brick15 View Post
Also possibly a clogged fuel filter, the fuel pump itself or the mass airflow sensor for starters.
I need to check that out. It certainly wouldn't hurt replacing the fuel filter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedn_j View Post
When it dies do you have spark afterwards?
I don't know. I haven't been able to check. It's hard to hold the spark plug lead and crank the engine at the same time, when you are alone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjets On a Plane View Post
Year?
Did you shim the pins on the plug at the Chrysler box?

88s don’t suffer from it as much (same pattern plug but 88 plug/box is deeper), but 81-87 mopar especially do.
It's a 1987 volvo 240.
I don't know exactly what you mean by shimming. But i will certainly take closer look at the chrysler ignition. Inspect, clean and make sure the pins are properly seated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khrrck View Post
I had very similar symptoms. Mine was a loose connection at the harness plug on the distributor Hall sensor. Took it apart, adjusted the connectors gently with a pick, and used some contact cleaner and dielectric grease for good measure.

I found the problem by just opening the hood with the engine running, then wiggling every connector that I could reach until the engine died. I'd suggest that as a quick and easy test before moving on to the more difficult stuff.

I also cleaned up my Chrysler box connector just to be on the safe side. Be careful with the plastic on that one, it's 30 years old.
Another good advice. I've read about the LH2.2 distributor plug breaking of or the hall-sensor wire coming out of the bottom of the hall-distributor shorting against the distrubutor. But i pulled the connector plug, cleaned it with contact spray and inspected the cable, which seems to be in good condition.

Good suggestion to wiggle all the connectors to see which one is causing the engine to stall.

And i will clean the connector on the chrysler ignition. Gently prying it out gently and spray with a little contact spray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John242Ti View Post
How's the 25 amp fuse and its holder underhood? At all crusty? If yes, maybe consider replacing it with one of the GM style holders, like what iPd sells.

I'd also disconnect the battery, then clean the contacts on the fuse block. Had a similar issue with the '92 a few years back. Randomly would stop running, typically while driving at 50-60 mph down a road. I'd pull off, spin fuse 6, if I could touch it (usually was quite hot to the touch), and the car would fire back up. Sometimes, it would not start after sitting for a while. Same problem. Once I cleaned the contacts, it has started every time I hit the key and remained running until I turned the key off.

-J
The 25A fuse is looking fine. It was a bit dirty and there was some crud inside the fuse holder. I cleaned the fuse and holder with some contact spray.

I have replaced all the fuses in the fuse box a few days ago, because turning the fuses inside the fuse holders was enough to get me going on several occasions. I sprayed all the contacts with contact spray. But it's not a bad idea to clean it more thoroughly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Mattik View Post
When you wrote "hold the spark plug", I assume the English translator was in error, or you were joking, right ?
No it was my own translation mistake. I meant the spark plug leads instead of spark plugs.

Holding the spark plugs while cranking is a bad idea!

Last edited by mark244turbo; 11-12-2017 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark244turbo View Post



Other suspects:
- 25A fuse near coil (checked)
- Fuel pump relay (not yet checked)
- Hall-sensor (connector and wiring is in decent shape)
One of these is my primary suspect....especially the fuel relay, and all of them are easy to check.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:52 PM   #10
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So when I bought my 87, mine was doing basically the same thing. I replaced spark plugs, wires, fuel pump relay. I was banging my head for days. Then I looked closely at my battery cables and they had tons of cracks and just terrible looking. I didn't know why this would affect the car when it's driving but I made some new ones and never had the problem since. It's worth a shot.
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:57 PM   #11
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Good call on the battery cables. I just looked at the battery cables. I was able to move the + cable around the battery pole. A few turns with the 10 mm wrench and now the battery cables are fixed tight.
The battery cable looked ok.

There's also this consistent slight stumble when pulling away with a cold engine in first gear. When you release the clutch and press the throttle, there's an initial stumble and then the car goes. The first 100 meter in 1st and 2nd it has some hesitations especially at low rpms. Also on acceleration you press the pedal firmly, the engine is slow to react, but then gradually picks up speed.

I know the B230F isn't a very sporty engine. But giving the M-cam and high compression i'd expect a fast responding engine with lots of torque in the low rpms and no usable top end power.

So maybe it is a good idea to take a closer look at the fuel supply (in-tank pump, filter, etc.)

Stalling seems to be more frequent going uphill (coming out of a tunnel or driving up a viaduct)

Last edited by mark244turbo; 11-12-2017 at 05:40 PM..
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Old 11-13-2017, 04:39 AM   #12
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The stalling going up hill makes me suspicious of the in-tank pump, but there could also be issues with main pump and/or filter. Clean Flame Trap has many good points in this article:

http://cleanflametrap.com/transferPump.htm
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:46 PM   #13
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Wiggle test all the wiring and see if you can get it to stall or sputter.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:49 PM   #14
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Replace the engine speed sensor.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:32 PM   #15
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Yesterday i tightened the battery cable and today i drove 100km (60miles) without stalling the engine. It may be to early to say it's solved now, but it is certainly looking good.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:06 AM   #16
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Sounds like my buddy's Hundyia Enterouge hmmmmm ?
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:58 PM   #17
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Another day without stalling. The problem seems to be gone after i cleaned the fuel pump relay and tightened the battery cable.
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Old 11-15-2017, 02:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZVOLV View Post
Wiggle test all the wiring and see if you can get it to stall or sputter.
Good advice.
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