Toyota Corona engine stopped- - advice please. Page 1 / 2

speeedy1, Jul 28, 9:09am
Our car is a 1995 Toyota Corona 2.0 3S-FE auto with 215000 km on the clock.
Last Wednesday evening my wife was returning from visiting our ailing Son when the engine just died on her. I spoke with her on the mobile phone to try and determine what may have been the problem.
The engine would wind over in park and neutral. The horn, indicators, lights work. - The vehicle was brought home on a flat deck.
The next day the vehicle started and ran perfectly a number of times.
Two day later my wife used the car to visit our Son once again.
The ignition failed once again on her return home that evening. Thankfully this happened just up the road and she was able to coast to our home.
The following day I checked the car again to see if we have the same result as previous. Yes, it started up well a number of times as previously.
The next day the car only got as far as 200m down the road before conking out.
We had it towed home. I would have pushed it if I wasn't in a chair ;-)
The AA bloke told my wife there was no power to the distributor(?)
I read the manual and did a code test. Two codes showed, 12 and 13.
Testing the 4 wire connection on the distributor (pick up resistance?) on a cold engine gave 325Ohms between G+ & G- (book says 185 - 275) and 173Ohms between N+ & N- (book says 370 - 550)
We were unable to check the coil as the rotor would not budge at all.
Then the rain came.
I haven't checked the HT leads yet.
Could the problem be with the distributor on this lowish km vehicle?

peanuts37, Jul 28, 9:17am
Friend had a Corolla years ago that did similar, traced it to the coil ballast resistor. As it got warm it failed and cold was good. Removed it and never had problem again.

franc123, Jul 28, 9:32am
You've answered your own question, if absolutely certain the pickup coil resistance is way out of spec then it should be replaced, failure when hot is usually the first signal of problems there. Myself I would probably throw another complete distributor at it, it IS of the age and kms where this kind of failure is likely. An inspection and preferably replacement of the plugs and leads should also be undertaken, excess resistance in these does stress the primary components.

andy61, Jul 28, 9:36am
That happened to my sister`s Corona(which had done about 400kms), was something in the distributor- may have been the ignitor?, reasonably common problem.Their auto sparky ordered in a reoplacement part and the car still lives today much to my sisters disappointment -she wanted a replacement car!

gibbon, Jul 28, 9:36am
If the AA man said that there was no power TO the distributor, then that would suggest that there was a problem with the system before that point, ie the ECU or ignition relay. Having said that the internal resistance is out of spec so yeah needs looking into. At least a 3SFE is one of the more common engines out there, shouldn't be hard to find good spares

speeedy1, Jul 28, 11:01am
I spoke with my wife. She was told that ' there was no power AT the distributor'.
She said that the AA bloke told her there was power at the diagnostic box (by the strut tower) and no power at the coil. Does that make sense?
I enquired at Toyota about a new distributor and she asked if I was sitting down. "Yes, I am in a chair full time" ;-) Ex Japan $1800! WTH I paid $2200 when we bought it at 175000km ! Sitting down didn't make that news more welcome :-)

speeedy1, Jul 28, 11:06am
I will look up the specs and check the resistance on the leads.
Do you know, are these distributors rebuildable, or is a complete distributor required?

kazbanz, Jul 28, 11:09am
I would be talking to an auto sparky. With a Toyota of that generation I'd be betting theres an alternative part available.

bigfatmat1, Jul 28, 12:42pm
i dunno if i would be concerned with those readings being out of spec. I also would never trust the aa in making a diagnosis. Fixed hundreds of dizzies in 3sfe and its normally the coil that fails. But a sparky should be able to pin point problem in a few mins nothing complicated about the setup. FYI the resistance changes depending where reluctor is in relation to sensors

bigfatmat1, Jul 28, 12:44pm
no ballast in a 3sfe 12v coil.

intrade, Jul 28, 1:17pm
if the AA guy knows what he was doing then this is the most important clue
The AA bloke told my wife there was no power to the distributor(?)
you got to find why it has had no power.
bad power or ground or is ther bad caps inside the ecu. etc.
these things are easy its not the door lock module who kills the ignition or other data bus that kills the whole engine managment

intrade, Jul 28, 1:27pm

first thing popping out is park neutral switch to see . if it could be doing that symptoms . then look further cross one by one thing off as ok untill you found whats not ok.
oviously if it crank not starts then you got to see if it cranks in gear also . normally it should not crank at all if park neutral is the problem. You work off the list . there is not much it can be.

franc123, Jul 28, 1:31pm
It's been a few years since I've looked at one, I'm sure the coils are replaceable but that's all. It's a pity that it will be difficult to prove that it's at fault until it is faulting with test gear hooked up to it. You need to be totally certain the figures you got were in fact for the right parts.

speeedy1, Jul 28, 3:27pm
I marked the rotor location and the distributor to the head plus digital image and removed the distributor. I will take it down to the local auto sparkie. I am not sure why the rotor wont budge ? More towing fees are a cost I wish to avoid unless needed.
Being an auto, the engine wont be turned over again until the distributor is back in place ,
I will be relieved if it is just the coil. Any recommendations for reliable rebuilders in Auckland?

bigfatmat1, Jul 28, 4:27pm
Its not a gear driven dizzy only goes in one way.

speeedy1, Jul 28, 7:36pm
bfm, I am a 6V 5w lamp ;-) .
It is just the timing that I need to be concerned with when reinstalling the distributor?

speeedy1, Jul 28, 7:44pm
You are referring to the pick-up coil resistance readings Franc?
I checked them on a cold engine following the instruction in the Haynes manual ( Toyota Carina E 92-97) for the 3S-FE engine.

franc123, Jul 28, 8:04pm
Yes. You tested the primary/secondary coil resistances too?

bigfatmat1, Jul 28, 8:05pm
it only goes one way the dog is offset as long as you marked the position of the dizzy to head however you will see where bolts were. The shaft will only go in one way.

speeedy1, Jul 28, 10:08pm
No, not yet. The rain put a stop to further work; the rotor needs some persuasion to remove AND I can only be up in my chair for limited time due to a pressure injury.
All things being equal, I will give it a bash tomorrow(?). Also demag my feeler gauges to check the air gap at the pick-up coil/rotor.

speeedy1, Jul 28, 10:14pm
I am looking at that R. Thanks.

speeedy1, Jul 28, 10:15pm
I don't understand that Andy; they are brilliant cars except for. this ;-)

marte, Jul 29, 12:04am
I used to scrap scrap cars for metal.
The amount of coils I pulled apart (, a easy 100gms + of Copper ) that were burnt up inside, or showing tracking arcs, or had no oil in them.
Would be about 20-25%

I'd never mount a coil on anything but vertical, off the engine, on the firewall etc, away from heat.

gph1961, Jul 29, 7:33am
good luck getting copper out of a modern coil

intrade, Jul 29, 8:31am
yea the chinese also have the art perfected that Madman Muntz started

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