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Old 12-01-2018, 10:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Question Really wacky issues on my 88 (again)

Hi guys,

Had some starting troubles. Replaced the fuel relay, it turns out to be that.

That was last Wednesday. Today took it out to get something to eat, and noticed the high beams weren't working! At the restaurant, noticed that high beams suddenly worked... Hour later, came out, and it just did not want to start. Let it rest a second, tried again, and it started. High beams worked. Pull out of parking lot, and you guessed it. No high beams. Made it home.

Noticed... Yup. High beams work when moving very slowly and or parked, but only sometimes. When I pull back the lever when driving, for example, the low beams do not do anything. Just no high beams. When at home and parked, I noticed that I hear a quiet thumping sound when pulling the lever, and then when it decideds to work, the usual loud click, the indicator comes on, and high beams work.

But here's where it gets even stranger. I shut the car off after I was done with my tests, and something told me to try starting it again. Turn the key, a sound like almost like a completely flat battery. Doesn't even turn over. Kind of makes a quick part of a whirring sound. Exactly like a completely dead battery. I also noticed that when the car was running, I tested the four way hazards and the dome light dimmed whenever the signals blinked. Also, headlights have always been pretty dim. New lenses and bulbs. I've always been thinking that they were just out of alignment... But maybe it's related. Does this all sound related to you guys? No start... Wonky high beams... Dimming lights... Almost like there's no power. Battery tested and good.

Don't know where to start. Kind of need the car this week but this sounds like it will be a big issue.
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:05 AM   #2
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Location: Massachusetts

assuming 240?

sounds like bad ground(s)

the no-start could also be the neutral lockout switch misaligned (if an auto)
1991 244 LH2.4 m46 293k miles with B cam advanced 4*, 935 fuel & 146 ezk, pink injectors, 2.5" exhaust w/ magnaflow straight-through & some kaplhenke suspension goodies
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Old 12-02-2018, 08:58 AM   #3
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Yes, 240. I put it in the 240 classification but should of put it in the title...

I will check grounds today.

I will look into the safety switch. Would a misaligned one cause it to make that very quick sound but no turn over?
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Old 12-02-2018, 11:57 AM   #4
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Ok, heres an update.

Read the battery voltage. 11.9 volts! No wonder it wasn't turning over at all. Jumped it and let it sit idling. The battery read 13.3 volts idling.

Left it running for 20 minutes. Checked battery again. 14 volts. So it seems to be charging okay...? Shut it off and checked battery. 12.88. seems good to me.

The alternator belt appears to be the wrong style and is cracked, and doesn't appear to be tight. Could it just be slipping at any other high rpm causing the battery not to charge? Have some spares ready to install, luckily. Could it be something else? I'll check the battery again in an hour to see if it's draining. I'll try and change the belt today.
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Old 12-02-2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Johnnya101 View Post
Could it be something else?
Harmonic balancer likes to separate. This results in outer pulley slipping under load.
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:02 PM   #6
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Voltage doesn't test battery state of charge/ "life". I use a high end digital battery analyzer. I see batteries all the time read up in the 12v range that are no good.

Your alternator also could be failing. Or the wiring. Especially the ground wire.

Do voltage drop tests. Look up how to do them. I check cables all the time with voltage drop tests. I wouldnt wanna see more than 200 millivolts drop on any of the circuits.
No Start Thread
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Old 12-02-2018, 01:23 PM   #7
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I brought the battery to Napa and had them test it last week. They said it was in excellent shape. I'll start doing a few more tests...

Update as of 2 or so hours from jumping it

Battery now seems to be a stable 12.42 volts.

Summary of findings so far...

Battery was dead after driving a few miles at night with lights on. Got home, battery dead at 11.9 volts. Jumped it and got it running this morning. Alternator first read around 13.3 volts. After 20 minutes, it increased to 14 volts.
Immediatley after shutting off, battery was 12.88 volts.
After 1 hour of the car being off, 12.44 volts.
After 2 hours, 12.42.

It seems like the battery has fully "rested" and seems to be holding a charge now.

The alternator belts definitely need to be replaced. They are kind of loose, wrong style, and all around rough and cracking. I'll start by getting the charging system gone through and tested at a shop and go from there.

Edit again

Tried spinning the alternator by hand. I can put a light amount of force and it spins. Sounds like it's the old belts.

Last edited by Johnnya101; 12-02-2018 at 03:03 PM..
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Old 12-02-2018, 02:42 PM   #8
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Location: South GA

Here is a headlight step relay diagram courtesy of Dave Barton: http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/headlightsteprelay.pdf
If you notice any wires that doesn't look right, unhook the negative terminal of the battery before disconnecting this switch, as the metal cap can pop off and touch the coils inside and start an electrical fire.
http://www.davebarton.com/pdf/headli...ymockLATCH.pdf The second page of Dave's pdf has a simplified wiring diagram as well.
The thumping noise you heard might be a sign of either one of the relays starting to fail by trying to latch?

Here is a picture of the other relay which should be on the driver's side under the steering wheel by the carpet.

How is the fuse?

You could also take the switch off of the steering wheel, clean up the terminals and ground, and do a visual inspection of all of the wires.

Last edited by durk80; 12-02-2018 at 02:45 PM.. Reason: link wasn't linking
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:12 PM   #9
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Location: North of Dallas

I think your car would benefit from a healthy dose of this:

Dave B

'84 242ti, owned since 2003. Always garaged since brand new. Old-school rounds because. B21FT, iPd Springs/Sways, SDS EFI/IGN, TD04HL-15G, T5Z trans with 0.73 OD retrofitted, 3.91 diff with G80.
Volvo seeks Divorce from Volvo Enthusiast Community: www.prancingmoose.com/#novolvo
Dave's Volvo Page: www.davebarton.com
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