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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 97 900s 2.3 that is sitting in the Post Office parking lot. Four days ago I pulled up to a stop light and it stalled. I put it in park and tire starting it but it would only turn over. I thought it was either getting no fuel or the timing belt went on it. The gas gauge was reading a little less than a 1/4 so just in case, I put some more gas in it but still wouldn't start.

The next day a friend of mine came by to give me a hand and he checked the distributor wires, took the cap off and it was quite dirty inside. So he cleaned it up and it started for a second and stalled again. So I replaced the cap and rotor and it started right up and I drove it home. It ran a little rough at first but once I got going down the road it was fine.

Then, the next day my wife went to the Post Office and it stalled again. I checked the cap and it was still very clean. Checked all the connections and the pulled the plugs (they're pretty old and really need to be replaced but I cleaned them up and put them back in.) Still doesn't start. Any ideas? Fuel pump? Filter? Timing? New Distributor?

I could probably find out what the problem is by process of elimination but I have, within the past month, replaced the battery, battery cables, alternator, tension pulley, brake pads and front rotors. And the car needs new tires before it will pass inspection. My budget can't handle the cost of a process of elimination and I'm trying to avoid a hefty repair shop bill if it's something I can easily fix myself.
 

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Try spraying some starter fluid in and see if it fires for a second or two, that will quickly diagnose if it is fuel or spark that is missing. If it fires you are missing fuel, check voltage at the pump (if none then CPS probably) if voltage then bad pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I knew I would forget some important info in my original post. Before I replaced the cap and rotor, my friend sprayed some starter fluid in it and it didn't fire. It only fired for a few seconds after he messed with the cap and rotor.

Try spraying some starter fluid in and see if it fires for a second or two, that will quickly diagnose if it is fuel or spark that is missing. If it fires you are missing fuel, check voltage at the pump (if none then CPS probably) if voltage then bad pump.
 

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Sounds like this car is a little short on past periodic maintenance.....if that is indeed the case, I would replace the plugs and the wires with correct OEM spec replacements, since messing with the distributor seemed to help.

Have you checked the condition and charge state of the battery (even though it's new)? Since you say you just replaced the battery and cables, I presume their connections are clean and tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Problem solved. There was a loose electrical connector down near the coil. The metal clip that holds it on is missing so it came right out of the plug.

I was checking the plug wire from the cap to the coil and noticed the connector laying there, not plugged into anything. I'm not sure where the clip went but as soon as I plugged it back in it started right up. Now I just have to secure it somehow so it doesn't fall out again.

Thanks all for your help.
 

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Save the clip.
Try a cable tie on the connection, these wonderful cable ties are used everywhere and are very inexpensive..a dime to a dollar each...
 
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