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Engine Problems


Butch_Cassidy

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My engine lately has been giving me a lot of problems. The car usually starts up fine. I will be driving and the engine will just shut off, and i have to coast to the side of the road. When this happens my touchscreen will display engine electrical communication problems, then low oil pressure. This has happened on 3 separate occasions this passed week. This usually happens on hot days so im thinking it might be a overheating problem. I checked all my fluids and they are all good. Then today it got really bad, stalled out in McDonald's drive through, pored water on the block and it started again. Trying to get it home, it stalled out two more times. Eventually i just had to sit on the side of the road with the hood up for a half an hour to cool off the engine, tried to start her up again and she turned over. Managed to get her home. I checked the engine really well and there seems like some oil spilled out onto the headers. Any advice on what this could be would help.

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Guest jcc3inc

Butch,

In the past year,I have had (2) problems like you just like you have. Our '97 LeSabre quit working on a hot day; after a 30 minute wait, it restarted and we took it home. This spring my '91 Reatta quit at the post ofc; about an hour later I tried it and got it home OK. In both cases I replaced the crank position sensor, and there have been no more problems. It seems that these older cars have crank sensors that quit when they are hot.

In replacing the crank sensor on the Reatta, it has adjustment to provide clearence from the interrupter. I got under the car to be certain that the clearence was OK; then I pushed in the connector and started the car. There was a notable buzzing; I realized that I hadn't tightened the clamping screw!! On installing the second sensor I was more careful. A wheel puller was necessary to get the harmonic balancer off. The right front wheel and plastic mud guards were removed. All now seems OK.

Regards,

Jack C.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">A wheel puller was necessary to get the harmonic balancer off. The right front wheel and plastic mud guards were removed. All now seems OK.</div></div>

Just a note to others thinking of doing this job:

Normally a puller is not needed to remove the balancer. It should slide right on and off if both the crankshaft and inside of the balancer are clean. Getting the bolt out can be hell.

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Getting the position sensor right is important. It has tight tolerances and if it isn't done right, you cana attempt to start it and rip apart the magnets on the sensor. I wonder if it can't expand a bit when hot to where it will run when cold, but when hot get to close to function properly, or worse, tear it apart. I believe the FSM shows a special tool needed, but I think you can see it from below and turn the motor over by hand slowly to make sure it is in the right position.

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ya just picked up the sensor, 50 bucks, I was surprised. IT says i need a brass feller gauge to adjust it right. I dont have that tool. So im going to just take it in my friends shop to get it done right. Ill post the instructions that came with the part if anyone else has this problem.

1. Disconnect battery cable and sensor wiring

2. Rotate Harmonic Balancer until the interrupter ring slot on rear of balancer aligns with sensor. On combined sensor the balancer must be rotated until both inner and outer interrupter ring slots are aligned with sensor.

3. Remove sensor mounting bolts and slide sensor assembly back and out, It may be necessary to loosen or remove the harmonic balancer to obtain sufficient clearance.

4. Examine sensor for evidence of physical damage. IF damage is noted, the dynamic balance interrupterring should be inspected.

5. Install new sensor revering the removal procedure.

6. With sensor installed use a brass feeler gauge and adjust for a .020 clearance between outer surface of the interrupter ring and the sensor. Recheck at three different locations 120 degrees apart around the interrupter ring. Torque sensor retaining bolt to 3.4 N.M. (30 in. lbs.) while maintaining light pressure on the sensor against gauge and interrupter ring. If the interrupter ring contacts senor at any point during rotation, the interrupter ring may need to be replaced.

7. Reattach sensor wiring and battery cable.

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Guest Mike_s

I've used this method in a pinch before, it might work for you.

The crank sensor has 2 slots in it for the interupers on the harmonic balancer to pass thru. Put an equal layer of blue painters tape on the outer walls of each slot, about 3 if I recall correctly, I used painters tape because it's thick, and will peel of easily if it hits a sighly bent interupter when the engine cranks over. After removing the HB and old sensor, loosly install the new sensor, as you reinstall the HB the blue tape will act as spacers and help center the sensor on the HB. At this point you can you can center the sensor on the HB interupter a bit more by feel.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 89REATTAJIM</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Ronnie, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Seems that I read the '88-'90 would normally not need a puller, but the '91 would.. Jim </div></div>You may be right Jim. I have not done any work on a '91 model. I hope someone will chime in and let us know. When this thread comes to a consensus on the correct way to change the sensor I intend to post instructions on my website for the best and easiest way to perform the work.

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I got my harmonic balancer off from my 88 without a puller/ Just a few taps with a mallet and it came right off.The bolt is a little more work, but a four foot pipe will help.

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Guest CL_Reatta

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: 89REATTAJIM</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Ronnie, I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. Seems that I read the '88-'90 would normally not need a puller, but the '91 would.. Jim </div></div>

I'm thinking your right....with the newer 3800's you need one, so it would only seem logical that they would start that with the "series I"

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Guest jcc3inc

Sirs,

On my '91 a wheel puller *was* needed; it did not come off easily or go back on easily. (I had to remove it twice).

The suggestion of using tape to center the pickup might be a good idea.

Regards,

Jack C.

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I took the reatta to the mechanic yesterday. We determined that the coil pack and coil module may be bad because when we start the engine we see sparks outside the pack. Also he said that replacing the coil pack and module is less involved than replacing the crankshaft position sensor. I'm replacing both of those today. For future reference, in the documentation section of reatta.net there is a service manual called driveability and emissions. Section C4 Ignition System/Est is very helpful and provides full instructions on replacing these parts. I believe it starts on page 109.

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Well too late here but when replacing a coil pack I always go to the later Delco Ignition with the seperate coils. Bolts right on and I believe it has a hotter spark than the Magnavox.

Also the Vin code "C" (1988-1990) 3800 does have the slip-on balancer while the code "L" (1991) has a tapered shaft. They do not interchange.

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