'89 Trooper petrol starting problems

Hi all
My '89 LWB petrol Citation is giving me grief, and it's going to get torched before long!
Every now and then (more when I'm in the commanders seat, not so much for
the missus), it won't start. It's intermittent, but only seems to do it when there's an audience. Places like the supermarket car park, petrol stations etc.
Here's what happens:
I turn the key The engine turns and fires I release the key The engine runs as expected for apprx 3 seconds (throttle does stuff etc) then dies It's as if somebody turned the ignition off
Repeat the above, and eventually the engine starts as normal, sometimes after 3 times, sometimes after 43. It all depends. The try count seems to be proportional to the embarrassment factor. :o(
One thing I have found out, is that if I keep the starter engaged, the engine runs fine. As soon as I disengage the starter it dies.
I reckon it's one of three things:
A faulty sensor A faulty ECU A faulty relay
But due to the intermittent nature of this fault, tracking it down has proved impossible.
Has anybody else come across this? Can anybody offer any suggestions?
Many thanks
--
Pete Foster - www.xmob.co.uk



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I'm not that familiar with your vehicle but depending on how the manufacturer set the car up, I would investigate the ignition module or hall sensor that senses the position of the rotor in the distributor.
These are often intermittent and could cause the type of problems you are experiencing.
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