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Old 28-02-2014, 09:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Canberra
Car: 323 Astina BA 1.8L
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'96 BA engine hesitation/stuttering


Looking to tap the forum wisdom for explanations on some subtle hiccups that have stumped both the local mazda service centre and another local service centre. Firstly, when the car is cold, immediately on taking to the road - usually straight after changing into 2nd gear, the car loses power sharply, literally hesitating/stuttering down the road due to spurts of acceleration before settling down. Reliably occurs and takes about 5 seconds to settle down. Once warmed up this does not recur until the next time I drive it when cold. I've noticed it tends not to happen after battery has just been fully charged and reconnected (yes I apply Vaseline and ensure clean terminals & solid connection) but can happen the day after (as it did this week - batt volts were ok).

2nd issue is when the car has been driven for an extended period, particularly in summer or on a hot day, the car hesitates and stutters off the line. This thread sounds very similar. http://www.astinagt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21097
I have checked my old sparks and noted the brown discoloration spoken about, the apparent solution here was to change out ignition leads. A difference in my case is that under normal use which is 20-25km commutes, this problem does not present at all.

Keen to get your ideas & thoughts as to what is worth checking & changing out, cheers.
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Old 28-02-2014, 09:51 PM   #2
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Car: 1997 BA "The Red Baron"
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the bit when its cold sounds pretty normal , mine does it if i dont baby it, which u probs should while cold.

the 2nd i think mine sort of does that ,never really seen whether it does in on long and short drives, but i was told over-fueling at idle and i have the brownish spark but leads havent changed that, when it starts farting around pull over and quickly disconnect the engine temp sensor and see if the problem goes away.

it still could be the heat making the leads expand and a hole opening up its just a smaller hole and takes longer to open
plugs might be the go aswell

i normally get around that problem by holding the revs a 2k then just dumping clutch of the line, No wheel spin just great take off,

we could possibly both need new dizzy/coil

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Last edited by BrownDog; 28-02-2014 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 28-02-2014, 10:31 PM   #3
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I'd say the electronics in your distributor are dying.

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Old 28-02-2014, 10:34 PM   #4
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first one - check alternator is supplying 14.4 volts.
but it also sound like issues i used to have with a very worn bp engine and crap oil. just didn't like being driven cold.

second one - could be any part of the ignition system. leads, dissy, coil etc.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:01 PM   #5
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>97' V6 MAZDA 323 S3|Sunroof|18"x8" RX8 rims|Custom Cold air intake|klze headers, 100cpi cat, resi delete, Apexi back box|Top Gun Leads/NGK Platinum Iridium plugs|Soundstream Sound|Lowered on yellow speeds|Whiteline heavy duty swaybar|cusco front strutty|momo steering|short shifter|Lantis door sills|
This is my girl sxc isn't she? http://www.astinagt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18139
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:20 PM   #6
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A belated thanks to those who responded!

FYI... 2nd issue was solved when I bought a timing light and discovered that the ignition advance was incorrectly set to 14 (by local service centre).
Reset to 10 and problem disappeared.

1st problem is still crops up now and again but not near as bad as it used to be. I suspect better battery maintenance (clean tight battery connection) might be the reason. Haven't looked at dizzy, but that's the first place I will look if the problem gets worse.

Yes alternator is confirmed to be supplying 14.4V.
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engine, hesitation, stutter, stuttering

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