Mary Ramer

Smog repair for vintage car

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1 minute ago, Mary Ramer said:

Thanks for the suggestion to sell it to someone in a different state.  I don’t know how to do that.  It keeps looking like ongoing repairs may be too costly.  I might be willing to try a California cat, but I don’t know if that will help and I need a much cheaper source than I have found so far.

 

Mary, don't try anything. This is not a game of trying things otherwise you'll spend a fortune-as you already know. First get the vacuum leak fixed and after that it's test, test, test. There are test for every component and even though your car is OBD1 it still means On Board Diagnostic's which means both of your computers on board under diagnostic mode can talk to you or give you diagnostic codes. 

Now if you want to sell the car go to a place like Hemmings motor news and you give a description and photos of the car here is a link and they advertise all over the world

Classic Cars for Sale - Hemmings Motor News

 

Once you get there go to the Cadillac section then Eldorado section, this will give you a idea what people are selling your type of car for.

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I don't believe any 1983 GM car had a body control computer, just an early (slow) C3 ECM probably a 1226930 possibly with a 2732 Prom.

I'd suggest contacting the SoCal Fiero Club. Since all Fieros used the early C3 system (but don't have your built-in diagnostics) and Iron Dukes have a similar TBI system they should know how to troubleshoot your 4.1 properly. It is not difficult, just different.

 

Do have a question: with all of the parts that have been thrown at it, why do you have a vacuum leak ?

 

BTW, I had several Fieros and understand the electronics and several Caddys (currently a CTS) but never a 4.1. Am looking for an 89 Allante though with the 4.5  engine.

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Mary,

Have you contacted Auto House of Clovis yet?

Let us know the results.

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15 hours ago, KURTRUK said:

Mary,

Have you contacted Auto House of Clovis yet?

Let us know the results.

 

I contacted the auto house of Clovis first.  They said they don’t do smog repairs and referred me on.  

 

I ended up with Contreras Smog Repair in Fresno.  I take it in Monday. They are star certified & they had me call & get a $500 voucher for repairs.  If it costs more, they will pay as much as $850 towards repairs.  If it needs more than that, they can help me give it to the junkyard for $1000 (it has all new parts inside & cost me so much more than that!), or I hope they can waive the smog requirement.  

 

Thank you you so much for your referral!  I appreciate your kindness and the kindness of everyone on this forum who responded.

 

Thank you!!!  😃👍

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The way the help desk knows a problem is resolved is the user quits calling.

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Thank you!  I am trying to get used to this message system.  I was unable to post a reply to someone yesterday.  I have a vacuum egr that has been replaced.

 

16 hours ago, 54vicky said:

what is the verdict?it has been a week

 

14 hours ago, padgett said:

The way the help desk knows a problem is resolved is the user quits calling.

 

😄 No, the problem hasn’t been resolved yet!  I just couldn’t figure out how to respond to the question for some reason. 

 

Here’s the update in this ongoing mystery saga...and at the end, I explain my reasons for trying so hard to fix this car, even when it didn’t make sense...

 

The Cadillac is at the smog repair shop, but it idles too high to test or fix right now.  They want to know about the idle speed motor which has already been replaced twice.  

 

Here are some symptoms:  I have noticed after 5 years that after the battery is disconnected or drains, the car will drive fine for 20 minutes and then surge and sputter and cut out.   It has consistently done this for 5 years, no matter which mechanic thought they fixed it (they don’t drive it for 20 minutes).

 

In the last 5 years, 3 backyard mechanics and a shop have worked on it.

 

They have replaced parts, some of them 3-4 times.  Here is what I found in my receipts for the last 5 years.  And I know I have lost some receipts.  The car supposedly passed smog the day before I got it.  It drove fine around the block.  I took my back yard mechanic to check it out and he thought it was in good shape, so I bought it.  It has not smogged since then.

 

Each mechanic thought they fixed it multiple times.  I would drive it 20-30 minutes before taking it to smog.  Just as I would arrive it would start surging and sputtering again.

 

We got a code once that the ECM/prom was not getting signal. And the first star smog repair place that I just now took it to noticed some spliced wires under the hood.  He refused to accept it and sent me to A1 Electric smog repair.  I hope they can figure it out.  

 

Here are the parts I found in my receipts, many that have been replaced more than once.  And I lost a bunch of receipts.

 

5 fuel pumps, fuel pump relay, fuel pump relay connector, fuel line, fuse holder, 4 fuel filters, Throttle body fuel injectors, Throttle position sensor (twice), Throttle body gasket, Throttle body (tps?), ECM control module (twice), EGR gasket (twice), EGR valve (twice), EGR valve control solenoid, idle speed control motor (twice), JTT 2824F sensor, spark plug wires, spark plugs, AC Delco parts 214-2287 plus another part, Brake booster, Fuel Sending Unit (twice), vacuum tubing, TBI gasket, Orifice tube, crbcin, 3 V belts 219-586, air smog pump, O2 sensor, wire harness connector plug socket.  Someone re-connected a ground to the gas tank.

 

In addition to all that, after one of the earlier mechanics told me he fixed the Cadillac, I replaced the suspension as a result of the steering being loose.  I replaced the steering gear box, front Pittman arm, front idler arm, upper & lower control arm bushings, front upper and lower ball joints, steering gear seal kit, inner tie rods, outer tie rods, adjusting sleeves, sway link kit, tie rod ends, sway bar links, and alignment.

 

Several years ago, once I got the green light from my mechanic (😅) and got the suspension done, I was so exited the car was finally fixed.  I breathed a sigh of relief and joy as I drove

 it off their lot...but...the steering was still loose, and the car surged and sputtered and cut out...again...before I could even drive it home.

 

It is true I have wasted time and money on this car that I probably shouldn’t have.  I think it’s kind of like an addiction to gambling.  I keep thinking...the car starts and runs good for 20 minutes.  It has already had every part replaced in it, surely someone is going to find the source of why it surges and sputters after 20minutes.  And then I’ll have a nice running beautiful car.  And I do have an emotional tie to this car.  I bought it for my son for his 18th birthday because he was crazy about it and wanted it so badly.  And I wanted leverage past his 18th birthday.  I told him I would put the title in his name after he was tested and stayed clean from pot and alcohol for 6 months.

 

Pot and alcohol made him suicidal and we almost lost him.

 

The car never worked right and it was worthless as leverage.  But after 5 years, our son has finally been sober for 5 months.  I would sure love to surprise him with this car finally working, after he has been sober for 6 months!

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Posted (edited)

OK makes perfect sense to me, the car is special to you and live in California. It is also a very early "computer car".

 

"after the battery is disconnected or drains, the car will drive fine for 20 minutes and then surge and sputter and cut out."

When you disconnect the early Computer Control (CCC), it loses all memory and presets. It then defaults to a "safe" setting. When started after 2-3 minutes it goes into "Closed Loop" operation and starts to relearn its trims evidently that process is " surges and sputters after 20minutes" 20 minutes long. And then it sounds like it is trying to go lean suges and overheating are common symptoms of a lean condition. I am "assuming" you have a 1226930 ECM (computer) and a 4.1 V8 and it has 2 O2 sensors, one on each bank. It must be working and the ALDL (assembly line data link) operational or the car would not run so

 

"steering was still loose" after "steering gear box, front Pittman arm, front idler arm, upper & lower control arm bushings, front upper and lower ball joints, steering gear seal kit, inner tie rods, outer tie rods, adjusting sleeves, sway link kit, tie rod ends, sway bar links, and alignment. " you really need a new mechanic.

 

" idles too high to test or fix right now" vacuum leak will do that. Has it been fixed ?

"We got a code once that the ECM/prom was not getting signal" see that a lot with someone who does not understand what an ALDL connection (is not OBD-II) is.

 

I now have an 89 Caddy with a 4.5 engine (opened up 4.1) so may be able to give more pointers

 

BTW 83 Caddies of that era had built in diagnostic that are as good as most scan tools (I use an OTC 2000 with 93 "Pathfinder" cartridge). See if you can follow this video:

 

 

BTW from your parts list you had someone who had not a clue and was just throwing part$ at it. Is anyone close who can help this lady ?

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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10 minutes ago, padgett said:

OK makes perfect sense to me, the car is special to you and live in California. It is also a very early "computer car".

 

"after the battery is disconnected or drains, the car will drive fine for 20 minutes and then surge and sputter and cut out."

When you disconnect the early Computer Control (CCC), it loses all memory and presets. It then defaults to a "safe" setting. When started after 2-3 minutes it goes into "Closed Loop" operation and starts to relearn its trims evidently that process is " surges and sputters after 20minutes" 20 minutes long. And then it sounds like it is trying to go lean suges and overheating are common symptoms of a lean condition. I am "assuming" you have a 1226930 ECM (computer) and a 4.1 V8 and it has 2 O2 sensors, one on each bank. It must be working and the ALDL (assembly line data link) operational or the car would not run so

 

"steering was still loose" after "steering gear box, front Pittman arm, front idler arm, upper & lower control arm bushings, front upper and lower ball joints, steering gear seal kit, inner tie rods, outer tie rods, adjusting sleeves, sway link kit, tie rod ends, sway bar links, and alignment. " you really need a new mechanic.

 

" idles too high to test or fix right now" vacuum leak will do that. Has it been fixed ?

"We got a code once that the ECM/prom was not getting signal" see that a lot with someone who does not understand what an ALDL connection (is not OBD-II) is.

 

I now have an 89 Caddy with a 4.5 engine (opened up 4.1) so may be able to give more pointers

 

BTW 83 Caddies of that era had built in diagnostic that are as good as most scan tools (I use an OTC 2000 with 93 "Pathfinder" cartridge). See if you can follow this video:

 

 

 

 

Thank you!!!

 

I don’t understand much about cars.  But I am going to send your comments to DARYL at A1 Electric star smog repair that has my car.

 

Thank you!  😁 👍💕

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Hope he is not the one that has been throwing parts at it. Sometimes you really need a hobbiest who doesn't care about "billable hours" when dealing with a 40 year old car.

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