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Car shuts off while driving


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I took my83 for a ride and was playing a CD in the radio and I hear something like a snap noise and the radio spit out the CD.  Then a little while later the same thing happened and the car actually shut off.  I put the car in park and it started right up.  

Does this sound like a short somewhere?  The battery is about 2 1/2 years old and the cranking amps are 300 instead of the full 330. Of that makes a difference. Also recently the fog lights stopped working.

 

Appreciate any advice.  

 

Hope everyone is safe and well out there.

Regards,

 

Kevin 

 

 

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Check connections and grounds...the bane of a fiberglass car.  Check all battery and ground connections under the hood...make sure they're clean and tight.  Check the distributor connections as well.  What you've described can be related to the ignition module...at least in my experience.  I had a '78 Corvette that experienced similar symptoms.  

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I had a similar experience some years back.

I started losing electrical while on the freeway, starting with an aftermarket cruise control that suddenly shut off. I then smelled wiring burning. I took an exit just as the engine quit, coasted to a stop, popped the hood, disconnected the battery, and surveyed the damage. The problem was that the engine electrical harness was shorted by rubbing against the right-side hood latch because a nearby harness guide had worked loose and I hadn't previously noticed it. Much of the passenger-side harness was burned (including up to about two or three inches of where the thick wiring bundle exits the firewall), luckily the damage was all on the engine side of the firewall. I walked to an auto supply store and bought some wire and electrical tape and a few tools.

Took me a few hours to patch/replace enough wiring to get it running and drive 50 miles home to finish the job.

I second Gunslinger's comment about the ignition module; buy a spare to carry in the car if you don't already have one (preferably one made by Delco).

Edited by WayneC
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RQB3263/81/305.... I also have had GM powered cars/hot rods/Avanti....do the shut off thing.... I found the IGN module  to be the problem....aftermarket modules are a piece of crap... I went thru 3 of them... .I had one last exactly one mile..... i purchased several OEM GM modules and now carry spares and tools...itsa 5 minute job to replace them....the OEM ones are only available thru GM dealer or in my case Ebay.....I bought a dozen...... they also fit aftermarket distributors used on Ford 289/302 v8......  however if you have added electrical components (H4 Halogen headlights) the thermal circuit breakers on your fuse panel may trip......always at night in the worst possible place....I corrected that problem by re-wiring the headlights thru relays directly from the battery thus releaving the thermal CB of that load.... also know where your fog light switch is for quick activation when the  CB trips and the headlights go out.....its happened to me.....good luck....HAPPY HOLIDAYS .....BILL....WILDFELR.....

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I second the remark about not buying aftermarket ignition modules...they will work...for a while.  The aftermarket modules come with a lot of hype about how they make for more voltage...more power, etc.  They simply are not as good as genuine GM Delco and will not last nearly as long.  All they do is lighten your wallet and maybe come with a nice decal to put on your car to tell people what you have.

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this module thing is quite confusing. if you go to rock auto (yes, i know you can't believe it all ) they list 10 choices for my '83 305. 8 are 4 pin, 2 are 7 pin. from pics they don't appear to be interchangeable. until now i was under the apparent misconception that gm modules of that era were all the same. i also checked for my '80 350. they list the same 4 pins but not any 7 pin. can't head for the garage to count pins, we just got 33 inches, but sure am curious. can anyone put a fine line on this ?

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Different years used different modules.  One thing to remember is Avanti Motors usually bought engines in something like six month quantities for a discount...that doesn't mean they were pulled from inventory in the order they were received.  So any particular Avanti could actually have an engine from the previous model year.  It sounds like you're gonna have to pull the module from your distributor to obtain the correct replacement.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

RQB3263/81/305    WELL MERRY  CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL....even though it was one of the most depressing years of my life and no light at the end of the tunnel .... side note.... Im not a SOF but did work with the Air America guys in SEA in the 60s........oh well im glad im old and have a few close friends left and my Avanti... and my cat ...IMG_1605.jpg.61f4af1febf24caa4a5eaf8341533bac.jpg......  IGN MODULE INFO...... enclosed pic of my OEM spare module ... ALSO...if I havent mentioned it before ...my opinion...remove the AMP meter ....if its non shunted its very dangerous ...100% of the current draw passes they your panel/dash cluster.....

 

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RQB3263/81/305    WELL MERRY  CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL....even though it was one of the most depressing years of my life and no light at the end of the tunnel .... side note.... Im not a SOF but did work with the Air America guys in SEA in the 60s........oh well im glad im old and have a few close friends left and my Avanti........  IGN MODULE INFO...... enclosed pic of my OEM spare module ... ALSO...if I havent mentioned it before ...my opinion...remove the AMP meter ....if its non shunted its very dangerous ...100% of the current draw passes they your panel/dash cluster.....

if the meter fails you will likely have an uncontrolable fire/short in the panel..... I may make it to Indy in Sept....I hope...BILL/RQB3263

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did the engine shut off OR did the ignition power shut off?

If it was the engine then the dash warning lights would have come on. The same as when you turn the ignition switch on to start the engine.

If the dash warning lights go dead when the engine dies it is probably a problem with the power to the ignition switch.

I had the same problem with my Avanti, old corroded wiring to the ignition switch. A connector plug was heating up and would cause resistance.

Good luck,

Jim Wood

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Thanks will have that checked I don't think the dash lights came on but it happened in traffic so not totally sure

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Fyi my 83 came with a 350 Camaro engine - fuel injected - does that make a difference in the ignition module?  

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  • 4 weeks later...

RQB3263 81/305  First check the module out put....easy  ....use a plastic handle screwdriver and check for spark at two or more spark plugs.... no spark its probably the module.....remove the old one and match it up......i did it many times a couple on roadside until i bought an OEM module and carry spares now.... see previous pic.....good luck.....BILL

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