Ted Davenport

1990 Coupe - Trying to raise the dead

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi All,

It has been about 6 years since my coupe has been run with any regularity, and maybe about 4 since it has been running at all (the last 4 years have been outside with a cover).  I am unable to get the car to start.  So far, I have replaced the battery, changed the oil (10w-30), changed spark plugs and wires, while spraying a little W-D 40 in to the cylinders at each plug.  Added about 3-4 gallons of gas, because the gas gauge was not showing any fuel.  Curiously - after adding the gas, the gauge is still showing empty.  Once done with those things, we tried starting and will crank, but not run - we tried a little boost with starter fluid in the air intake.  The starter fluid raised my hopes a little - it started a few times briefly, then would stall out.  Afraid to continue that route, as we were getting some backfires.  I have run the on-board diagnostics and have the E023 code, and an assortment of B codes related to Cruise control and AC.  I tried disconnecting the MAT Sensor based on the E023 code, but that had no effect.  Any suggestions on next steps?  Am I missing any details that would help diagnosis?  

Thanks for your help (in advance)!

Ted.

Edited by Ted Davenport
corrections (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I’m reading, you have a ‘cranks but no start’ issue?  To say it doesn’t turn over sounds like a no crank issue, but what you are really saying is that it will crank and occasionally fire, but no start. 

 

If that is the case, can you hear the fuel pump run when you turn the key to run?  Those old pumps hate to sit. I’ve seen many ‘ran when parked’ failures related to a sitting electric pump. You should hear it run for about a second when you first turn the key to run (not start). If it doesn’t run, check the relay first. You can also hotwire the pump for diagnostic purposes if its a bad relay. 

 

If it is running, check fuel pressure as Ronnie said. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read this and sound like it is no cranking. If so:

Play with the shifter. Try it in neutral. Also test for voltage, while in start position, at the large purple and yellow wires on the neutral safety switch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ronnie.  We will check the pressure tonight if the weather cooperates, and post results.  My son thinks it is likely the fuel pump...can't hear it when we turn the key.

 

SpecialEducation - you are absolutely correct.  I edited the post to more accurately describe...thanks for pointing that out!

 

D-a-n-I-el - appreciate the tip.  Hopefully we don't go backward.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that the fuel pumps go bad when not used for a long period of time. I had one go out on a Dodge pickup that just had 51,000 miles on it from sitting in the garage. That is why I recommended a fuel pressure check.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One Rube method of unsticking a fuel pump, is the bang on the bottom of the gas tank, with, say a rubber hammer.

Easier than dropping the tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried that several times on my truck Harry. The pump would start and run as long as I didn't turn the engine off. Once the pump went off I would have to bang on the bottom of the tank again.. It would be worth a try...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is a fuel pump (and sounds like it but might also be a clogged fuel filter). If low for a long time may have bad gas (smells bad) and needs to be flushed.

 

Gas floats also tend to stick us sits for a log time unused, full tank and driving may unstick but old gas can get very gummy (see drop tank and flush). If need a new pump I only use AC Delco, it is such a pain to drop the tank it does not pay to go cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well...Ran the fuel pressure test.  Did not have any pressure.  However, when looking around and following fuel lines we found the following.  Exhibit A - Fuel Line that goes under the air filter - disconnected.  Exhibit B - Assuming  part of the Fuel Line (is this a return?) disconnected.  Exhibit C - a random piece of what could be a fuel line just floating around loose in the engine (hanging between the Relays and Air Filter.  The question is...is it as simple as connecting the Metal line with to the line under the air filter with the random piece we found floating in the area?   Or is there something I am missing?  3 Pictures attached (if you click on them, you get the full image). 

 

I am guessing that the fuel pump is dead, or we would have a puddle of fuel.  Any insights, or comments?

Exhibit A.jpgExhibit B.jpg957023264_ExhibitC.jpg.2b06df46b25663411aa51d120eccdb13.jpg

Edited by Ted Davenport
moving pics (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty sure A, B and C are vacuum lines. I think A goes to the cruise control and B probably does too. C is a rubber connection to a hard plastic line that goes to the vapor purge tank. I don't believe they will keep you from having fuel pressure. This should help you figure out where they go. Vacuum Line Inspection

 

You should try powering the fuel pump by connecting 12 volts to the green prime connector and see if the pump runs. Doing that would eliminate the possiblity of a bad fuse or relay being the reason it's not running. Fuel Pump Prime (Test) Connector Location

 

Below is a snapshot from the service manual that show the route of the fuel lines on an '89.   On your '90 they might be slightly different.

 

Fuel Lines.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks Ronnie! 

I appreciate your help and the others!!   I guess a little back story may be interesting (but not particularly helpful).  This vehicle was purchased new by my parents, and my mother drove it for many years.  My wife and I purchased it many years ago prior to having children.  It was a daily driver for some time, and now has about 140k miles on it.  It has always been a great car, and enjoyable to drive.  When we had children it became impractical, and it was driven less and less.  Ultimately it started sitting for long periods.  At one point, we put the vehicle in my grandmother's garage at a summer home in the Poconos for 2-3 years - unfortunately the garage floor had cracks and significant dampness that rotted out all the brake lines, rotors, calipers, etc.  We spent a significant amount of money to get it back to working order and tried to integrate it back in to movement, but it began to sit again (around 6 years ago) - this time outside.  The reason we are trying to get this running again is my son is now 16 and has his driving permit (License in about a month)  He has a significant interest in the car, and has thoroughly enjoyed the work we have done on it so far, and would really get some satisfaction in getting this running (as would I).  In fact, he has quickly become more knowledgeable than I on the vehicle and this project than I.   I am not a mechanic, but am handy, and can work my way around if I can clearly see what needs to be done.  The instructions for the fuel pump seem pretty straight forward, and one that my son and I would like to tackle.  I am, however, reluctant to do that until we have these line disconnects solved.  So to better help diagnose our missing lines...does anyone have pictures of their 1990 coupe on where these lines go? Specifically Exhibit G (red arrow), Exhibit D (yellow arrow), and Exhibit C (probably located near the relay box as well).

 

Better pictures to help:

In reference to Exhibit A in earlier post.  The black line runs from under the air filter and relay boxes down (Exhibit D) under the drivers side toward the back of the car (Exhibit E).  It just ends cleanly under the Relay box.  A better picture of the actual line after I pulled it out from under the boxes (Exhibit F).  

 

In reference to Exhibit B in earlier post.  A broader picture of the other vacuum line disconnect (Exhibit G).  The Yellow arrow is where it starts, and red is where it ends with a connector, but no line.

 

In reference to Exhibit C in earlier post.  The line is not rubber, definitely hard plastic tubing.

 

Let me know if there is anything missing from my pictures or explanations that might help.

Thank you!

Ted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit D.jpg

Exhibit E.jpg

Exhibit F.jpg

Exhibit G.jpg

Edited by Ted Davenport
edits for clarity (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those lines are going to the emissions canister that is under the air cleaner.

One is the vent for the gas tank.....the fumes goes to the canister and there is a control valve in there that is controlled by the ECM that opens the valve at some point and allows the gas fumes to go the intake and be consumed.

The one going to the canister sometimes comes off and you will smell gas.......if the other one is off, it could cause the intake mixture to run lean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After sitting for that long, flushing the fuel system would be a good idea and have to drop the tank to change the fuel pump which may have gummed up. If so I only use ACDelco fuel pumps, do not want to replace again. Replace the sock, fuel filter, and blow out the lines at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Padgett. My car also set for a long time before I was able to really work on it. When I got mine it had the old fuel pre-ethanol.   I would start the car  every so often, Knowing it was low on fuel I added some one day while I was mowing. It was ethanol fuel. Car stopped running after a little awhile and could not get it to start again.

When I started working to make it road ready again. That fuel mix gummed up the fuel pump and killed it. After getting new pump in Tank Clean , lines clean, new fuel filter. Still would not start, Would start with starting fluid, Fuel pressure was good. Pulled the injectors and all were clogged.  You need to do a detailed complete inspection under the car. Engine Cradle Mounts, Fuel Lines, Drop Tank. If rusty inside replace  it.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the great advice and insight!  Hope to get to this project in the next couple of weeks.  I will be sure to provide an update, and likely come back with questions or challenges.  Any chance anyone has a picture of the emissions canister that Barney has mentioned, and the connections?  Would love to have a guide, but might be difficult to get a good pic.  Either way, thank you for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what the top of the canister looks like.....

 

charcoal canister.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Sorry for the slow response.  Haven't looked at this or the car for a few weeks.  Thanks all for your help!  Just had some time, and was able to get the lines back together yesterday.  Ronnie, your picture was extremely helpful!  Now on to the dropping the fuel tank to try and replace the fuel pump.  Today we removed the stabilizer bar - the bushings are pretty shot.  I see that D-A-N-I-E-L used to sell but recently sold out.  Are there any other options here?  Any suggestions???

Edited by Ted Davenport
Updated (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi again,

More progress.  Have everything removed, and a little discouraged on what we found.  It looks like a tremendous amount of rust.  Please see attached.  Is this unusual?  Or typical?  Are we looking at a replacement of the fuel tank, sending unit and pump? Thanks again for your knowledge!  4 pics - Fuel Pump, Top of Sending Unit, and 2 inside the tank.

Regards,
Ted

Fuel Pump.jpg

Top of sending Unit.jpg

Inside Fuel Tank 2.jpg

Inside Fuel Tank.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now