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NCReatta

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Burning smell, water pump starting to grind a bit.. Are these related? The burning smell smells like burning rubber (though no burn-outs in my past :eek:)

Are these related?

Also, perhaps another clue...

I posted a little while back on rough idle on my '89 (problem child/money pit).

Now, it just runs rough all together.

I'll accelerate quickly from a stop light or something, and normally it'll bog down a little and not run smooth. But recently, it's gotten to the point where it seems like it's not firing on all cylinders. It will choke up, and almost backfire (did once.. don't ask me how I managed to back-fire a fuel injection engine, cause I have no idea).

Anyways, just looking for a bit of help.. thinking I need to do an ignition system overhaul (plugs, coil pack -doing Delco upgrade- and wires)

Thoughts?

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Marck, I start my diagnosis of that type of problem by putting the engine under load at low RPM. In a safe location, start the engine and allow it to warm up to operating temperature. Then put the car in gear and hold the brake tightly while pushing down on the accelerator pretty hard. If the engine starts missing (jerking) it is likely caused by the ignition system. If the engine starts hesitating like it's loosing power or or surging (without the feeling of jerking) it is likely to be a fuel delivery problem.

For me troubleshooting the ignition problem is the easiest. Usually you can replace a handful of parts, (ICM, spark plugs, plug wires, CPS) and cure the problem. If I suspect the ignition as the problem, the first thing I do is use a spark tester (below) to see if I can tell which wire is not firing correctly. You just lay it against each plug wire and observe the flashing light on the side of it. It can help you pinpoint which cylinder is missing. It can help you decide which parts to start replacing first. It's a simple little tool that every mechanic should have in their toolbox.

I find fuel delivery problems harder to troubleshoot. The best place to start is by checking the fuel pressure. Without the correct fuel pressure you can replace all the sensors and ECMs you want and the problem will not go away. Once you know for certain you have enough fuel pressure you can start reading codes and data in the ECM to point you toward the component that is causing the problem.

Lisle 26900 Spark Plug Wire Tester

gInTHW7nHzEtrJeR76SK1AXW6qhM-BCxeqUfX1Kdn_-jzA_5mQ4CpuTeANCRkWtfafYd7QPoqTHTcCpr380a26LCU1OMmr8DCHIR2a-12qZki6tTM7a3vDZJ6P4zOXwAwMj17sX02mWYklox9RpDuI2qwWnew3oHnn51641BKYrOIlP7Y2zRCV5r8SH4-hLreQ

$6 online

Lisle 26900 Spark Plug Wire Tester : Check spark plug wires without piercing the wires. Light flashes indicating sound wire.

I hope this help.

Edited by Ronnie (see edit history)
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I do something similar with cheap HF spark testers (usually use 3, one for each coil). That stopped/load test is a good one just do not do for long - transmission heat will go up and after X seconds (I forget how long) above 1500 rpm (?) and zero mph a code will set/engine may go open loop.

That description of missing vs no power is an excellent test just do not do for long, just enough to be certain.

BTW am biased but suggest at least 8mm plug wires routed around, not under, the alternator and Rapidfire #14 plugs at .060" with a Delco ignition, #3s at .045 for Magnavox. Also any time I change plugs also change the O2 sensor.

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Thanks for the help guys!

Now with the water pump grinding.. and the burning smell.. do you guys think these may be related?

Take the belt off and turn the pump by hand to see if it has a rough bearing trying to lock up. If it's rough replace the pump. Easy job.

Check the tensioner while the belt is off. If it's binding it could allow the belt to slip causing the burning rubber smell.

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On a 3800, water pumps seem to last about 80,000 miles. I usually spend more time cleaning the surface than turning wrenches. As long as you have a short 18mm socket with a 2 foot handle, it is easy.

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Check the tensioner while the belt is off. If it's binding it could allow the belt to slip causing the burning rubber smell.

I just changed the belt with one to bypass the A/C Compressor (way cheaper than fixing it). The tensioner seemed to be fine and dandy then..

Could the burning smell be associated with the backfiring somehow? :confused:

Thanks,

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When my a/c compressor seized (#2 is in and getting 42-45F at outlets on 94F day) there was quite a bit of smoke. Belt looked fine and got home with clutch disengaged but is now a "spare".

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Guest Recian

it's a possibility but not likely. Depends how much is coming out the seep hole. If it's coming out enough to be burned on the timing cover but it'll be a burning coolant smell. That's a smell you dont mistake kinda like a burnt clutch. Also the water pump should be replaced if it's making noise. The clearance is pretty tight and mine has gauges on the timing cover from a bad water pump in the past so dont let it get out of hand. If it gauges bad enough it'll keep the pump fro flowing properly and you know what happens from there. Burning smell could be caused by ignition misfires, a plastic bag stuck to an exhaust pipe, a leaky valve cover gasket or intake manifold gasket or leaky tranny pan (it'll blow back and hit the exhaust)

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Guest daveagain909

Marck, my car was running badly, a month ago, I thought it was the transmission, was ready to turn my 90 coupe into a parts car, then decided to do a tune up with new wires and spark plugs and new air filter, everything is great now. runs like a champ, try a tune up 1st, as for the smell, are you sure you put the bypass belt on right, sounds wrong to me, or was it making the burning rubber smell before? Ray thought it needed a tune up,

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I'll check the tranny pan.

It was making the burning rubber smell before I changed the belt. I'll try to swing by Advance tomorrow and get a water pump, and some new plugs and wires. I replaced the air filter not long ago (about 700 miles).

I'll see if Advance has a spark wire tester too.

Thanks again guys!!

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