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ol' yeller

It Never Fails Part II

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Spark testers are available at any parts stores (NAPA, etc) for under $10, usually.

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

If you have a pair of vice grips you can block the throttle plate open a bit at the manifold. Problem is that for several tests it has to idle in the 600-1000 rpm range. Over 1500 for a length of time (forget how long) will set a code.

Getting into the realm of the abby-surd, a crank balancer that has shifted on the shaft comes to mind but the "C" engine has a woodruff key to prevent that. Was the balancer removed when the crank sensor was changed ? Did it act differently afterwards ? I cannot think of a good way to check the timing if the balancer has slipped, that is the reference point..

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I had to change my harmonic balancer, it is 2 pieces that will seperate, I could turn the belt by hand because of this, of course it would chage the spark timing, it did start and run a few times before it finally would not start at all, would fire but not start

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" Have you tried having someone hold it open while you pull plugs one at a time and seeing which affect anything ? A failed coil could act that way.

.

I do not recommend this. 9 out of 10 times, you get can get away with it, but it is that 10th time; you get sparks trying to jump around in places where they do not belong and there goes your ignition system. Ouch!

Use the spark tester instead.

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Or could just replace it. Or get six of these. (best when on sale for $2).

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Or could just replace it. ).

Yes, the shotgun method is an alternative, but, particularly with electronics, if you swap in a part and the engine is still not fixed, do you look elsewhere, or did you just replace a faulty part with like? You can end up getting into a real tail chasing scenario quickly. Best to do as much troubleshooting as possible so, that armed with as much information as possible, only the faulty part is repaired/replaced. This keeps time and costs down while limiting the possibility of collateral damage to systems that were innocent bystanders.

Analyze, troubleshoot, analyze, verify, repair/replace, verify.

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That is why everyone should have more than one Reatta (or Reatta and Riviera, Bonneville, etc) That way I can compare and test a part before swapping. (Why my 92 TranSport was the testbed for the Delco before it went on the Reatta).

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That is why everyone should have more than one Reatta (or Reatta and Riviera, Bonneville, etc) That way I can compare and test a part before swapping. (Why my 92 TranSport was the testbed for the Delco before it went on the Reatta).

Another reason I hated to sell the Bonne..... Jim

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That is why everyone should have more than one Reatta (or Reatta and Riviera, Bonneville, etc) That way I can compare and test a part before swapping. (Why my 92 TranSport was the testbed for the Delco before it went on the Reatta).

I can barely afford the one I have. LOL :D

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As you can see by my signature, both mine are even same years. This way I only need one repair manual and I can easily swap parts back and forth.

Also helps on inventory as well...

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Cheapest place to get the test gear suggestions being thrown at you is Harbor Freight. Hope you have one nearby.

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I ran my Reatta without paying attention to the heat factor when the system isn't properly "venting" and melted the EGR...the Catalytic converter was dust when we removed it...so it was overheating the engine with the blow back.

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OK, another wasted Saturday. I did the Padgett upgrade to the ICM, no change.

I pulled the head pipe from the exhaust system and ran the car, no change. The CAT looks like it has been replaced at some point.

I put a vacuum gauge on the engine, duct taped it to the firewall so I could read it while in the driver's seat. The car fires up great when you first hit the key. I had 20" of vacuum at start-up. The car then begins to stall right away (within 2-3 seconds), vacuum dropped to almost 0 as the car stalled. If I feathered the throttle to keep it running the vacuum goes back up to 20" and stays there. To keep the car running I have to feather the throttle and keep the RPMs up around 2500. If I just try to hold the RPMs at 2500 without feathering the throttle the engine will die.

I then pulled all the plugs (new ones I just installed a few days ago). They were all black and gas fouled. I cleaned them up, reinstalled them, ran the engine for about 2 minutes, and then pulled them again to check. They all looked like they did right after I cleaned them. I bought a spark plug tester but working alone makes it sort of useless as I can't observe the light and keep the engine running at the same time.

Then I decided to rerun the diagnostics to see if there was any changes. It showed no E codes No B codes but it then showed an 033H (I think H means a history code). I can't find that code in my service manual.

Here are the readings again after about 2 minutes of running, key on, engine off.

E01-.44

E04-54

E06-23.8

E08-70

E10-12

E11-20 (not a typo)

E12-0

E16-0

E17-0

E18-0

E19-128

E20-128

E21-0

E22-150

E23-18

E98-3

E99-9044

Does anyone know what an 033 code is?

Where do I go from here? I haven't replaced the TPS, the EGR or the coolant sensor. I also have not replaced the plugwires. I am also wondering if the vapor canister could be causing these issues? Am I looking at mechanical issues like valve train, camshaft wear or something else?

In the next few days I'm going up to the local parts house to see if they have a test kit to check my gas to see if I have water in it as I seem to have eliminated everything else.

I'm at a complete loss at this point. The wife is making noises about wanting her half of the garage back. I may just push it out to end of the driveway and let it rot.

Greg

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Have you ever ran the car with the large plastic hose that connects between the MAF sensor and the air cleaner removed to see if the engine is spitting back through the intake? You should also hear an odd sound,sort of like an air compressor chugging if the valve timing is off enough to cause your problem.

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QUOTE, They were all black and gas fouled.

From the little I know the engine has to be running very rich. Have you checked for a blockage between the throttle body and the air inlet? A collapsed air cleaner? I wonder why the 02 sensor is not sending a rich trouble code. Good Luck.

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A couple of quick points. When I replaced the CPS I inspected the harmonic balancer carefully as well as the crank key. It looked great.

Ronnie, I haven't run it with the big plastic hose disconnected. On my F250, if this is off, the engine won't run. I can try that and I'll report back. The thing is that the engine really doesn't run very well at all.

I agree it shows an overly rich condition. I hope someone can tell me what a 033 code is. I cleaned the MAF and throttle body a couple of weeks ago and didn't see any obstructions. The air filter was also recently replaced.

To recap, new crank position sensor, new cam position sensor, new MAF, new ECM, new plugs, rebuilt (all 6) fuel injectors, Cleaned all grounds, tested alternator (good), used Delco ICM and coils (Padgett upgrade), all with no change in running condition. I am really discouraged. :(

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I understand how you would be discouraged. I wish the car was here. I like a puzzle and this certainly is one.

I can't find anything on a code 033 for a Reatta. Below I have listed some OBD1 codes. I don't believe the 3.8 uses a MAP sensor.

If the plugs are getting wet consistently, the following things can be responsible.

  1. Too much gas is being injected. -I doubt this is it
  2. Bad fuel, maybe water contaminated, that won't burn -possible
  3. Weak or no spark to ignite the gas. -possible (could be plug wires as you mention
  4. Not getting spark or gas at the right time. (valve timing or CPS system still has problems)

Some way you are going to have to narrow down what it is. Maybe a compression check is in order. It might tell you something about the valve timing if the engine won't run to check for spitting back through the intake.

Wish I could offer more help. It is hard to do without hearing or seeing the engine.

GM OBD-1 Diagnostic Trouble Codes

For 1995-previous model year EFI-equipped GM vehicles. NOTE: Some codes not supported on all models, consult your specific vehicle's service manual for the correct trouble code list and description for your application.

DTC - 12 No distributor reference pulse (diagnostic test active)

DTC - 13 Oxygen sensor circuit open or no activity

DTC - 13 Left bank O2 sensor circuit open or no activity

DTC - 14 Engine coolant temp sensor error (high temp indicated)

DTC - 15 Engine coolant temp sensor error (low temp indicated)

DTC - 16 System voltage too low

DTC - 17 Camshaft position sensor error

DTC - 21 Throttle Position sensor error (signal high)

DTC - 22 Throttle position sensor error (signal low)

DTC - 23 Intake air temp sensor error (low temp indicated)

DTC - 24 Vehicle speed sensor error (open circuit or no activity)

DTC - 25 Intake air temp sensor error (high temp indicated)

DTC - 26 Quad Driver Module (QDM A) error

DTC - 28 Auto transmission range pressure switch error

DTC - 31 Wastegate solenoid circuit error

DTC - 31 Gear Position Switch (PRNDL) error

DTC - 32 EGR system failure

DTC - 33 MAP sensor circuit error (signal high indicating low vacuum)

DTC - 34 MAP sensor circuit error (signal low indicating high vacuum)

DTC - 35 IAC problem or idle error

DTC - 36 MAF sensor error

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Open air cleaner remove filter, look for something cloging the intake. Try running without filter and cover.

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Thanks Ronnie and everyone else. I know it's hard to diagnose and fix a car when it is 3,000 miles away from you. I have come to a decision. Tonight I shoved the car outside to the end of my driveway. I am giving up. At the ripe age of 56, I'm not too proud not to admit that my butt has been kicked. I've fought a valliant battle but that chunk of machinery is more stubborn than I am. In a few days when my friend and mechanic has the time, I'll have it towed to his house, bend over and take the wallet beating I'm going to get.

After that I will decide if I am going to keep the car. I have to admit that the bloom is off the rose right now when it comes to my Reatta. A couple of hours ago, I was thinking of parting it out and having the remains crushed.

I am a pretty fair wrench when it comes to the old stuff. I have ressurected engines that have slept for 10-20 years. I have rebuilt my '65 Skylark from the ground up into the beautiful car that it is today. This Reatta is no '65 Skylark

It has a very sophisticated diagnostic system that says there is nothing wrong with the engine. However, the engine won't run for 30 seconds without stalling. There is too much crap overiding each other to the point that it is impossible to isolate. I can't even figure out if my problem is spark or gas related. Sorry for the mini rant, but as I said before, I'm very frustrated right now. I'll open my wallet once again and hope my mechanic can fix it before I run out of money.

I'll post here what he finds and how he fixed it. It may not sound like it, but I really do appreciate everyone's help and advice. You folks are the best! I'll let you know in a week or so.

Greg

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Sorry, I just noticed the readings are with key on and engine off so I deleted some of the stuff I had written.. Can't really tell much unless the engine is running to get useful readings. Yes, the EGR can cause very poor running if one or more pintle valves are stuck open. I had something like that happen to a couple of vehicles, one had an extremely rough idle, the other idled okay but was almost undriveable as the throttle was open. Both were vacuum operated systems, different than our system, but similar symptoms. If the valves are stuck, disconnecting the EGR will have no effect, but removing the EGR to check is fairly easy. The pintles are solenoid operated and you should be able to move them easily and they should snap back closed. I didn't think of that before :-((

If I remember right, you replaced the ECM? Have your tried a replacement PROM in the ECM. Some of the open loop programming is hardwired and some is in the PROM, and Padgett could probably shed some light on that. Have you checked the (2) main engine harness connectors at the top rear passengers side of the engine? There is also a main ground stud at the same approximate location, on the engine valley side of the head. Sorta near the PCV and probably buried under the rear plug wires.

Edited by 2seater
new info (see edit history)

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I'll post here what he finds and how he fixed it. It may not sound like it, but I really do appreciate everyone's help and advice. You folks are the best! I'll let you know in a week or so.
I look forward to hearing what the problem is.

Good Luck!

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Did note that the IAC command was waaay high like it was trying to correct but as mentioned, with the engine off, it really does not tell much. I have looked up to 1992 and find mo mention of a "33" code.

I do find a "33" for a 86-88 Vin W 2.8 which uses the same PROM carrier "33 MAP sensor signal was too high (low vacuum) for 2 seconds when throttle angle was less than 2%. ".

Now checking 1990 Reatta EPROMS, all are in the 8xxx series, none are a 9xxx much less a 9044 (ED-99). Is there any chance you have the wrong PROM in the ECM ?

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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I have been following your problem since the beginning of the first thread. I put in my 2 cents and, unfortunately, the problem persisted. Don't feel bad about turning this over to your mechanic. I have done that in the past and consider it to be the same as a physician turning a patient over to a specialist.

Good Luck and let us know what has provided us with hours of head-scratching conversation.

Marc

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Found it. 16138984 ANWU, 1990 scan 9044 Federal E97 2.97 w/F97 so it is a correct PROM.

At this point I am out of ideas. Am sure it is something simple. Only thing is to go back to square one and instrument everything.

Any chance of a ECM data snapshot while it is running ?

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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