I have a 325IC, black convertible, i love the thing. I bought it for $2.6K and have put another $4.5K into it fixing it up, it's a lot (i got ripped off on the buying price, didn't know at the time) and I'm broke now but I have this awesome car.
Right now I'm working on this problem where the car won't start....it's intermittent and ONLY happens when there is direct, hot sunlight on the hood. Keep in mind, NOT when the engine is hot, for example I can drive the hell out of it, turn it off, then turn it right back on, and it starts no problem. I thought the ignition coil was bad (sunlight/heat causes expansion in coil which irritates crack or corrosion, increases resistance, can't spark), but I replaced the coil and the problem persists.
My only idea at this point is that maybe the fuel injection computer, which is located directly under the passenger side dash, above the glovebox, is failing in the heat. That would explain why it's only sunlight and not engine heat that causes it, and perhaps a bad connection getting agitated by the sun? I'm guessing here. I might try putting a white towel over it next time I park in the sun and see if that helps....
Oh yeah when it won't start, it will crank and crank and crank at full voltage, but just won't start. I've already replaced the battery and alternator. I haven't tested for spark yet because it only happens in the blazing sunlight and I haven't been able to see the spark with all that light. That's something I need to do though.
Any tips on the best way to test for this, btw? I've heard just pull a spark plug wire and stick a phillips screwdriver into it and hold the screwdriver by the handle close to the valve cover and you'll see voltage arcing.
Does it sound like I'm on the right track? Could it have anything to do with the idle valve solenoid?
Separate question: Could the fact that my fresh air blower only operates at the full force setting (4) and not at any other setting (1 2 or 3) be related to the idle valve solenoid?
Another separate question: my timing belt was changed at 105K miles. I'm at 145K now. I know I should change it before 165K. Any ways to predict, diagnose, hear, or feel when the timing belt is going? Or should I just take it on faith and replace it pretty soon?
Yet another separate question: I hear a growling, scratching sound from under the engine block between 2.5K and 3.5K rpms. A guy at autozone said it might be bad "lifters". I've been driving with this sound for about 10K miles...Any idea about that?
Sorry for the massive post......any replies to any of this is GREATLY appreciated. One day I'd like to drive this thing across the country!