Yeah, I'd say coil overheated. Might appear to work when it's cold.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
I appreciate the advice jadziasman and RoadWarrior. With so many people coming over to for the 4th, I wont have any time to mess with it tonight, but tomorrow I will. I guess I'll take the distributor off and take it down to the parts store and replace it. I'll post my results tomorrow. Thanks again for all the replies.
DO NOT replace the coil without testing it with a multimeter first. You can get a decent multimeter from Sears for $15. Any repair manual will tell you how to check the resistance in the coil.
NEVER "throw parts" at a problem and hope for the best. It's actually more economical to have it properly diagnosed by a professional than to use the guess and check method. You'll feel pretty stupid blowing $40-60 on a coil, then an ignitor, then a main relay, then whatever else someone suggests on the internet, then give up and take it to a mechanic only to find that your radio blew the ECU "backup" fuse.
I would check the main relay first since it is a simple procedure and it's a common problem. Before you pull the coil, verify spark. Again, it's a very simple procedure.
When you turn the key on without cranking, do you hear the fuel pump come on for three seconds?
"NEVER "throw parts" at a problem and hope for the best. It's actually more economical to have it properly diagnosed by a professional than to use the guess and check method. You'll feel pretty stupid blowing $40-60 on a coil, then an ignitor, then a main relay, then whatever else someone suggests on the internet, then give up and take it to a mechanic only to find that your radio blew the ECU "backup" fuse."
That's why a repair manual should be consulted. It will show you how to do the proper checks.
Coil (should be larger than the distributor, not IN it), cap & rotor. I'd replace all three at the same time. Had the exact same problem on a CRX and had to walk home about 5 miles on my 30th birthday. Quick fix once it was light and could see the issues. Cap & rotor should be replaced if they are not new and you replace the coil.
The coil is not "in the distributor" it is in the distributor cap, under the rotor. I replaced mine a few weeks ago. the coil is not huge and it fits within the distributor cap, the cap and rotor has to be removed to access the coil.
Just pull a plug or two out and see if they are wet with gas then leave it connected to the spark plug wire against the metal part of the engine and crank the engine over and see if the spark plug actually sparks. These two simple test cost nothing and nail down which of the 3 things you need are present spark - gas - air !
The air part is tested by the engine turning over easier with some plugs removed and will crank a little more slowly on the cylinders that still have the plugs inserted as the engine slows a little during the compression stroke.
Sounds to me like a distributor or fuel delivery related issue. The main relay should not affect the car after it is running, only when it's being started. A multimeter ($7 and up) can pay for itself quickly for testing car electronics.
On the never-ending quest for better gas mileage...
If all else fails check the fuel pump and also make sure your timing belt hasn't broke or stripped a few teeth off.
is the engien non interference? im betting it isnt one...if a timing belt snapped while going 80 (high rpms) im betting it would sound like a garbage disposal while he was cranking it from the smashed valves and broken pistons