Am I getting too involved with this car?

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Oscar
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Am I getting too involved with this car?

Post by Oscar » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:13 am

Last night I came home, pulled up, turned the lights off and switched the engine off. In between turning the lights off and switching the engine off, it seemed to me that engine revs increased slightly. So I turned the engine back on and tested.

Engine revs definitely drop when the headlights are on, and pick up when they are switched off.

Does this mean anything significant? Should I be worried? Am I simply paying too much attention to what is going on?
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Post by Brian » Mon Feb 20, 2006 10:28 am

Hi Oscar,

Most likely it's the extra load from the alternator compensating for all the current for the lights.

If you have a voltmeter / multimeter, just connect it in the volt range, then switch on all the electrical loads one at a time and moitor the voltage and engine revs..

With a good battery and alternator, and keeping the revs up a little, you should see the volts holding about 13.00 / 13.8 or even 14.00...

Cheers

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Post by jeremy » Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:01 pm

In another post you concede the injectors need cleaning. The injection pump does have a governor section which controls the idle and if the injectors are dirty it may be the engine isn't responding to additional fuel as it should do.

jeremy

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Post by Oscar » Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:21 pm

Jeremy, Brian, thanks for suggestions. I recently turned the revs limiter down slightly too, so that may have something to do with it.

Regards

Oscar
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Post by Mr B » Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:27 pm

I'm with Brian, it's the load on the altenator slowing the engine.

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Post by Way2go » Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:42 pm

Mr B wrote:I'm with Brian, it's the load on the altenator slowing the engine.
I agree too & suggest if the idle speed is OK with the lights on then you don't have a problem. If the idle speed is too low (maybe hunting) when you switch the lights on then idle speed needs adjusting.

You probably need advice from the other diesel guys on adjustment as the procedure varies with engine types and fitments.
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Post by DavidRutherford » Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:00 pm

If the engine idle speed is reacting too much to the engine load, then it may be that the idle speed is relying too much on the accelerator pedal lever rather than the idle speed lever.

To make the engine idle speed more governer controlled, rather than power controlled, wind the engine idle speed up just a little bit with the idle speed adjuster, and then slow it down again by winding the accelerator lever stop back a bit.

Only do this a TINY bit at a time (like 25rpm) and then road test the engine, as if you do it too much, the anti-stall speed of the engine will be too low, and it may start to stall when slowing down (when you dip the clutch to come to a stop)

Doing this also means the engine is less reliant on the wax-capsule cold-idle device, and you can live with a dead one (at £18 for a new one, I can live with a dead one!)
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Post by tim leech » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:38 am

My dads 1991 19TGD had a problem with the alternator, but in this case it was pumping out too much power and kept blowing fuses and bulbs! Took ages tow ork what was up with it!.

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Post by mnde » Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:47 pm

My GSA had an old and tired alternator. The battery light kept coming on while waiting for long periods in traffic... especially if I had the lights and heater blower going. I had to turn up the idle speed to counter this, as eventually the idle would start to get lumpy and it would stall. An AA man proved to me it was the alternator, when he read the charge rate at idle, and it was below what he would expect. (Yes, I'd left my lights on and drained the battery).

Since I fitted a brand new alternator, I've had no probs whatsoever. You shouldn't have to turn up the idle to compensate for a drop in revs due to the extra load imposed by the headlights. It'll mean you're using more fuel... Check the charge put out by the alternator at your normal idling speed (i.e. when the engine's warmed up).

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Post by DavidRutherford » Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:54 pm

mnde wrote:You shouldn't have to turn up the idle to compensate for a drop in revs due to the extra load imposed by the headlights.
Which I wasn't actually advocating... simply altering the mode in which the injection pump controlls the idle speed...

Unless you weren't referring to my post.... In which case I'll shut up!
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Post by mnde » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:00 pm

No, I wasn't ;)

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Post by Oscar » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:00 pm

Thanks guys for all the input. I shall observe for a while and then check the alternator. I don't anticipate any problems with battery and alternator (although there's a spare alternator in the cellar "just in case"), I think it's probably just me mucking about with the idle speed.

O
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Post by DavidRutherford » Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:05 pm

Where's the smiley with the Zip across his mouth?

:oops:
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Post by Oscar » Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:05 pm

David asked "Where's the smiley with the Zip across his mouth?"

He drives a ZX now :D :D
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