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c900 Grognard
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks, long time no see.

I have a few electrical questions, but first I will regale you with a sort of funny story from earlier today.

Long story short, I just did the most bootleg temporary "get the car home" fix of my life.

I was about 5 minutes from home at the supermarket, and the car died, no spark. I rigged a test light out of a wire and a spare bulb, and found that the coil wasn't getting any power.

In the interest of getting home before all the good parking spots were gone (5-6pm), and to get the groceries in the fridge, I ran a jumper straight from the battery to the (+) side of the coil. I also noticed that the negative alternator wire had broken off, so I wrapped that around the post a few times and tightened it down. I found this odd, but moved on.

Then I got it started and running, and discovered that the alternator light was on, which it hadn't been before the problem happened. I remove the jump box once it's going, one of those ones you charge at home then keep in the trunk, and the car dies. Great, I used all the juice from the battery while testing, and the alternator of course won't keep the car running since it's on the fritz.

So here's the "fix" - I get the car started with the jump box again, look around to make sure no one is looking to see the embarrassing and dumb thing I am about to do, and proceed to lodge the jump box inside the engine bay, get the hood down as far as it will go, and drive home.

Now, here are my questions.

-First off, on the coil power thing: the hall sensor wiring seems fine, everything else *looks* ok (it's not one of those very corroded engine bays), the fuse box is 100%. Does this sound like the ignition amplifier? One item of interest is that 3 days ago, I had something weird happen where the radio shut off, the abs light kicked on, but the car still ran. It only lasted a minute and then everything was normal. This same thing happened just before the car died this time, except it obviously didn't fix itself.

-While I was troubleshooting the alternator thing, I tried jumping the negative ground straight to the top engine ground, and still got the charging light. There is power to the (+) side when the engine is off so that wiring must be fine. What else is there to the circuit that I'm missing?
 

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c900 Grognard
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3,713 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, I'm pretty sure it's the ignition amplifier.

Has anyone had a bad ECU cause this? That would suck.

Also, would it be irresponsible for me to rig up a on/off switch with an in line 30A fuse which would enable me to bridge the coil directly to battery from inside the car? In other words, will I likely have a car fire or damage other electrical components? I only want to do this while I source the amplifier.
 

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c900 Grognard
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well car is fixed.

I went to do the alternator first, just to get that healthy. I realized that I bodged the wiring of it yesterday by attaching one of the ground wires (the one from the intake manifold) to the smaller +12 post ("+D" I think it's called), which is why it wasn't charging. Well that was dumb, wasn't it.

So I fixed that and tried firing it up without attaching ignition coil jumper wire, just to see what happened. And it worked, ran fine all the way to the coffee and liquor stores.

So either I've got an ignition amplifier that's intermittently failing and the alternator thing was a coincidence, or the alternator ground wire slipping off caused some weird alternate grounding path which manifested itself in a random ignition failure.

Either way I'm getting a spare ignition module for the trunk.
 

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Also, would it be irresponsible for me to rig up a on/off switch with an in line 30A fuse which would enable me to bridge the coil directly to battery from inside the car? In other words, will I likely have a car fire or damage other electrical components? I only want to do this while I source the amplifier.
This is a bad idea.

Ignition amplifier failure can be intermittent. My last one would flake out when it would get warm, and then finally quit altogether after about a month of odd behavior. I think you can find cheap ones on eBay (~$45).
 

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Do you have a part # and/or know if they are Lh2.4 specific? I feel like thats something I probably grabbed off my departed '90 that I would have no need for anymore w/o a 2.4 car that I could send you to try out. I'll poke around the parts stash tomorrow and see if I can find one.
 

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I found 2 with part # - 0227100147

The one in my '86 is 0227100139 and after looking at the saabsite the 147 is the correct one for 2.4 cars, though it had some inconsistencies with other years and I wouldn't be too shocked if a lot of them were interchangeable but either way 147 should be right for you.

Shoot me a PM with your address and I can send it up to you.
 

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I found 2 with part # - 0227100147

The one in my '86 is 0227100139 and after looking at the saabsite the 147 is the correct one for 2.4 cars, though it had some inconsistencies with other years and I wouldn't be too shocked if a lot of them were interchangeable but either way 147 should be right for you.

Shoot me a PM with your address and I can send it up to you.
The five wire ones can easily be spliced in to work with the older models. I have a 1992 amplifier spliced in to my 1989. Works like a charm.
 

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So here's the "fix" - I get the car started with the jump box again, look around to make sure no one is looking to see the embarrassing and dumb thing I am about to do, and proceed to lodge the jump box inside the engine bay, get the hood down as far as it will go, and drive home.
Drama queen.

I've done that before. You're not a baller DIYer until you use Trident to hold the distributor cap on to make it home. Or you open the side cover and jam a 12mm wrench in the transmission to keep it from popping out of gear, cover it with duct tape to hold the oil in, and drive home on the freeway going 40mph in 2nd.
 

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c900 Grognard
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Drama queen.

I've done that before. You're not a baller DIYer until you use Trident to hold the distributor cap on to make it home. Or you open the side cover and jam a 12mm wrench in the transmission to keep it from popping out of gear, cover it with duct tape to hold the oil in, and drive home on the freeway going 40mph in 2nd.
Clearly you're not a baller DIYer either. Both of those could have been permanently fixed with bailing wire. :lol:
 
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