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Old 10-08-2017, 07:57 AM
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Default Am I on the right track?

Good morning. New to your group and to Land Rovers.

About a month ago a woman I know asked if I would be interested in buying her 1998 Discovery I Land Rover. I really had no interest, but at a price of $1,500 USD I thought I'd take a look. If nothing else, I could clean it up and flip it. The vehicle has been sitting in her driveway for a little more than a year. She claims that when she parked it, it ran fine. The odometer shows 134,000 miles.

Last week I went to take a look. I charged the battery for two hours before the engine would turn over. Another hour and it was turning over fine, but not firing up. The first 3 or 4 turns of the key I thought it was going to start, but then nothing. At that point I joined your forum and have been reading.

Last night I found a thread about the LR "immobilization" system. I also watched a couple of videos about using the key in the driver's door lock to reset the code with a default code. Could I be onto something here?

Other than that, I'm wondering if these vehicles are so sensitive that they will not run on gas that is over a year old? If that's the case, do I need to drain and refill the tank? Or, is there an octane booster I can add to the tank?

I don't know anything about Land Rovers, though I have been a mechanic pretty much all my life. I left the business around the time computers and fuel injection became standard equipment. I drive a 1970 F100 pickup truck, and my wife drives a 1986 Toyota Corolla. I keep them both running. My knowledge of OBD-I and OBD-II is limited. If I connected an OBD-II code scanner to this vehicle will it help me diagnose the no-start problem? Or, will it only provide emisions information?

The vehicle has a lot of small problems, and a few larger problems. I'm looking at this as a fun project to keep my hands busy and not a daily driver. And, I want to help this lady if I can with the money, but I don't want to purchase a headache. I have enough of those.

Thanks for any help you can offer!

The Ford Guy
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:07 AM
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Do you hear a fuel pump running with the key in position II? If you don't that's where I'd start. The big three are Air, Fuel, Spark. If you're missing one it'll never run. If it's been sitting make sure there isn't a rat nest in the air box, check for spark, then fuel and report back.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:09 PM
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First thing I usually do is...give it a short blast of starter fluid...if it starts...you know you have spark and timing intact. Then you've not spent any time removing plug wires or plugs, potentially creating more issues. If it starts and can be kept running on starting fluid, you've pretty much narrowed your search to fuel.

Listen at the tank area while having someone turn the key on, pump should run for a few seconds then stop once it senses no revolution of the engine. Usually, listening through the fill tube, cap off, helps hear the pump motor. If you don't hear the pump running, I'd check fuses, wiring and relays. If those check out satisfactory, I believe you can access the pump by pulling up the carpet in the rear.

If it doesn't start on starting fluid, then you have to verify spark, timing, compression and fuel pressure and quality.

Good luck,

Brian.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:49 AM
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Thank you both for your reply. As I mentioned, I've been a mechanic pretty much all my life and understand that in order for an internal combustion to operate, the proper mixture of air, fule and spark are required. After charging the battery, these were the first things I checked for. And yes, I had all three. I'm thinking this problem has something to do with the on-board computer system since 1) the woman said it ran fine when she parked it a little more than a year ago, and 2) that the battery was completely drained (from sitting) and had to be fully recharged, causing something to in the electronics system to go wrong.

I'm waiting for her to call me to let me know when I can get back to it. In the meantime, if anyone has an idea, I'd appreciate hearing it.

Thanks again,

The Ford Guy
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:51 AM
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How did you verify fuel pressure? Also, I'm not that familiar with a 98, is it port injection or old style TBI (throttle body injection)? Plus, you may have fuel pressure, but the quality of the fuel may have diminished enough that it won't fire. That's why I suggested the ether/starting fluid earlier...this will put fuel in through the air intake protion of the engine and eliminate relying on the fuel in the tank or pressure issue. If it starts on ether, then you have ruled out the immobilization system, (if it has one...I'm not even sure the older Dl's had this system - which, you may be better off asking these same questions in the Dl sub-forum...they would know for sure) and a few other things like timing and compression and whether or not the injectors are firing.

If it doesn't start on ether, then you may have to dig deeper into the brains of the Dl group.

Good luck.

EDIT: Just went and found some pictures of Dl engines and they seem to be port injection. So, did you verify power to the injectors? If the injectors aren't firing, then you would have to diagnose that issue. And again...if it runs on ether...then there is a good likely-hood that the issue is with correct fuel pressure, or injectors control module not firing injectors, or fuel quality.

Also, if it's been sitting outside for a while...look for chewed up wiring harnesses (especially on fuel injector harness or mass air flow). Mice...they can be our enemy. They caused me quite the migraine on my 03's trans issue.

Brian.

Last edited by The Deputy; 10-13-2017 at 03:20 AM.
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