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1988 Reatta not running well


ToxicRyno
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Well, I’m back… after finally getting the car started it doesn’t want to run properly.. it ran fine before it stopped running (ignition control module and coil pack) once I got it started it up, took it about two miles down the road ran fine. As I was leaving the store and getting on the road it was chugging really bad trying to accelerate. Today just took it out, ran okay for a minute, then it started to chugg only when shifting, (would still get up to speed) after slowing down for a light; the car started chugging more not going above 55. Then would chug more, and more. Any thoughts?

edit: check engine light came on e044

second edit: center cylinder in front doesn’t seem to be firing (tested by quick touching) 

Edited by ToxicRyno (see edit history)
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E044 is an O2 sensor code for lean. Have you checked the fuel pressure? What does diagnostic live data show for O2 sensor activity, ED07 (voltage) and ED18 (cross counts)? Related to this are the two fueling indicators ED19 Integrator or short term adjustment and ED20 Block Learn, long term fuel adjustment.

 

Were the coil pack and ICM both replaced? If this is a spark issue you may have two cylinders out, that would be #3 and its mate, #6. Were plugs and spark plug cables checked for quality and is there any chance plug wires were crossed on assembly?   

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13 hours ago, 2seater said:

E044 is an O2 sensor code for lean. Have you checked the fuel pressure? What does diagnostic live data show for O2 sensor activity, ED07 (voltage) and ED18 (cross counts)? Related to this are the two fueling indicators ED19 Integrator or short term adjustment and ED20 Block Learn, long term fuel adjustment.

 

Were the coil pack and ICM both replaced? If this is a spark issue you may have two cylinders out, that would be #3 and its mate, #6. Were plugs and spark plug cables checked for quality and is there any chance plug wires were crossed on assembly?   

Ed18 goes from 0 to two, ed07 is at about .3,  Ed20 reads 155, 19 reads 155. I had my moms boyfriend check and clean the plugs and he said they looked fine, and no chance of cross, I would move one wire to the other coil pack before removing a second one. Cylinder six was hard to tell, but pretty sure it’s working. And with the e044 I read that it could be anything causing a lean mixture, so I’m thinking it could be the fuel injector? I could be wrong though. 

Edited by ToxicRyno (see edit history)
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I hope you meant ED07 when you typed ED08? Under what conditions were those readings taken? The engine must be warmed up and the exhaust hot to be sure the O2 sensor is active. If that is the case, then the ED08 should have been moving around constantly or the sensor is either dead or reading a very lean mixture. This can be caused by a misfire, which may read lean, or with both the fuel integrator and block learn maxed out, the ECM is adding as much fuel as possible. A misfire plus adding too much fuel will run very poorly. Check the fuel pressure just to rule that out. Just an outside chance and it does no harm: disconnect the MAF and see if it runs cleaner.

 

If someone else pulled the plugs, does that include the rear ones? Unless done one at a time, and reconnected before moving on, it is quite easy to switch two of the rear ones, how well I know🙄

 

 

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6 hours ago, 2seater said:

I hope you meant ED07 when you typed ED08? Under what conditions were those readings taken? The engine must be warmed up and the exhaust hot to be sure the O2 sensor is active. If that is the case, then the ED08 should have been moving around constantly or the sensor is either dead or reading a very lean mixture. 

 

Yes, sorry. I meant ED07, it was going .28-.3. It was fairly warm, had been working on her and testing her. So it was was probably about 10-15 minutes after about 5-10 minutes drive that I started her up and got the readings. No check engine light was on when doing.  I will double check the plugs once I get out of work. 

Now you said ED08 should have been moving Constance did you mean 08 or 07

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It does get confusing when many numbers get bounced around at the same time🤪. I did mean that the O2 sensor reading, ED07, should be constantly moving. The usual range it circulates in is .2 (lean)-.8 (rich), with the crossover between rich and lean being around .45v. The cross counts, ED18, is the rate at which the O2 signals the exhaust is crossing over this target between rich and lean. There is no set figure for cross counts but generally the higher number, the better. Single digit cross counts at hot idle and in the teens and more while driving indicates a good operating system.  

 

Just a suggestion, but an inexpensive infrared temperature gun might save toasted fingers when looking for an underperforming cylinder🙂 Getting to the rear exhaust would be an adventure but you are on to a good and useful means to narrow the search. You can also go into the override section of diagnostics and turn individual fuel injectors on and off to check for changes in idle quality. Sometimes it is helpful when doing a balance test to disconnect the IAC after a warm idle is achieved or the ECM will adjust idle speed to cover for a dropped cylinder.

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6 hours ago, 2seater said:

It does get confusing when many numbers get bounced around at the same time🤪. I did mean that the O2 sensor reading, ED07, should be constantly moving. The usual range it circulates in is .2 (lean)-.8 (rich), with the crossover between rich and lean being around .45v. The cross counts, ED18, is the rate at which the O2 signals the exhaust is crossing over this target between rich and lean. There is no set figure for cross counts but generally the higher number, the better. Single digit cross counts at hot idle and in the teens and more while driving indicates a good operating system.  

 

Just a suggestion, but an inexpensive infrared temperature gun might save toasted fingers when looking for an underperforming cylinder🙂 Getting to the rear exhaust would be an adventure but you are on to a good and useful means to narrow the search. You can also go into the override section of diagnostics and turn individual fuel injectors on and off to check for changes in idle quality. Sometimes it is helpful when doing a balance test to disconnect the IAC after a warm idle is achieved or the ECM will adjust idle speed to cover for a dropped cylinder.

Just hooked up a fuel gauge too the Schrader valve and no pressure, and has been having trouble starting.. once it started the pressure idled at about 35 or so. 

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34 minutes ago, ToxicRyno said:

Just hooked up a fuel gauge too the Schrader valve and no pressure, and has been having trouble starting.. once it started the pressure idled at about 35 or so. 

You might have a bad fuel pump relay. Even if the relay is bad, the pump will be powered through the oil pressure switch/sender once the oil pressure builds inside the engine.

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31 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

You might have a bad fuel pump relay. Even if the relay is bad, the pump will be powered through the oil pressure switch/sender once the oil pressure builds inside the engine.

I just rcan’t placed the 02 sensor, (ended up breaking the connector off while doing it but used the old one) but it seems to be reading a lot better and giving more response. However it started (when turned car on) being high, around .5 where after letting it run for about a minute it’s setting around ‘.05-.15’ could this be caused by the fuel pump not kicking in? And is there any quick test/check I can do on the relay to see if that’s the problem?

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You said, "Just hooked up a fuel gauge too the Schrader valve and no pressure,". That's a big problem that could cause all kinds of symptoms. You need to correct that problem first and then move on to checking the sensor readings.

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5 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

You said, "Just hooked up a fuel gauge too the Schrader valve and no pressure,". That's a big problem that could cause all kinds of symptoms. You need to correct that problem first and then move on to checking the sensor readings.

Could a clogged/dirty fuel filter cause the no fuel pressure? (sometimes it does move up a few psi) also thank you so much for your time and help

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3 minutes ago, ToxicRyno said:

Could a clogged/dirty fuel filter cause the no fuel pressure? (sometimes it does move up a few psi) also thank you so much for your time and help

There is little chance that the fuel filter is causing 0 fuel pressure. Do the fuel pump tests as described on my website.

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I must admit I am not clear about the conditions under which the readings are obtained. Ronnie gave sound advice to start with the fuel pump tests. 
 

I have described the following experience elsewhere some time ago but it illustrates what I think you are describing: I recently had a Reatta that showed low fuel pressure, less than 35psi with the key on and engine off. After the fuel pump did the two second prime from turning the key to run, the fuel pressure bled off almost immediately. It struggled to start without help, like a shot of ether, but the fuel pressure never rose above 33psi with the engine running. This was enough to allow low speed driving but any aggressive throttle or trying to go too fast caused the car to hesitate and bog. As the pump heated up from driving the pressure gradually decreased. What was found later while investigating was the fuel pump had been replaced at some point but the hose used to replace the factory pulsator did not have clamps installed. The hose fit loosely and allowed the pressure to partially leak away causing all the issues. 
 

By the way, the fuel pump power can be checked by probing the green connector that hangs in the vicinity of the brake power unit. This connector runs directly to the fuel pump, bypassing everything. A test light or VOM will tell you if you are getting power to the fuel pump when the key is first turned on and alternatively, 12v can be applied to the connector to Hotwire the fuel pump and cause it to run.

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1 hour ago, Ronnie said:

Did you do all the tests? If so what pressures did you get.

Sorry, I guess I had miss read some things, I had only tested the fuel pump primer with the 12volts and it had kicked in.(So I guess the load test) which had read around 42-45 each time.  I went back and tested the primer with a multimeter and to the negative terminal of the battery and got no readings. However every now again while testing the key and messing around with some things I would notice that the fuel pressure would go up but not more than 20 psi, but didn't hear the fuel pump when this happened. Replacing relay did nothing

Edited by ToxicRyno (see edit history)
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9 hours ago, ToxicRyno said:

 I went back and tested the primer with a multimeter and to the negative terminal of the battery and got no readings.

Did you get this same result of no voltage reading after replacing the fuel pump relay? Keep in mind that the pump doesn't run continuously without the engine running. There will only be voltage on the prime wire for a few seconds each time you turn the key to the run position without starting the engine.  The fuel pressure should go up to about 40 psi hold there for at least 10 seconds after you turn the key to run if the pump is in good condition.

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10 hours ago, 2seater said:

 What was found later while investigating was the fuel pump had been replaced at some point but the hose used to replace the factory pulsator did not have clamps installed. The hose fit loosely and allowed the pressure to partially leak away causing all the issues. 
 

 

So I would have to drop the tank just to check that wouldn’t I..

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27 minutes ago, Ronnie said:

Did you get this same result of no voltage reading after replacing the fuel pump relay? Keep in mind that the pump doesn't run continuously without the engine running. There will only be voltage on the prime wire for a few seconds each time you turn the key to the run position without starting the engine.  The fuel pressure should go up to about 40 psi hold there for at least 10 seconds after you turn the key to run if the pump is in good condition.

Yes. Same results, and I had someone turn the key while checking the prime wire, and it there was no change. When I supplied 12  volts to the relay for 10 seconds it was about 40 and held. It just doesn’t seem to be kicking on from the key. 

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35 minutes ago, ToxicRyno said:

When I supplied 12  volts to the relay for 10 seconds it was about 40 and held. It just doesn’t seem to be kicking on from the key. 

Your tests  prove your pump is capable of performing as it should. That's good news. The problem seems to be with the relay not supplying power to the pump.

 

Are you certain you changed the correct relay? The connector for the fuel pump relay (one of the three relays on the firewall) should have four wires with the colors as shown in the diagram below,

 

fuel_pump_circuit.jpg

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9 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Your tests  prove your pump is capable of performing as it should. That's good news. The problem seems to be with the relay not supplying power to the pump.

 

Are you certain you changed the correct relay? The connector for the fuel pump relay (one of the three relays on the firewall) should have four wires with the colors as shown in the diagram below,

 

fuel_pump_circuit.jpg

I am pretty sure it is the correct one, however it looks like the socket may have been changed in the pass, there is electrical tape over where it looks like a new connection was made from the original wires.

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I don't want to jump into the middle of sorting out the fuel pump relay but related to that, did you try starting and running the engine with the fuel pump hotwired through the test connector? It will not do any harm and may help track down the running poorly due to fuel or spark, or maybe both.

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Just now, 2seater said:

I don't want to jump into the middle of sorting out the fuel pump relay but related to that, did you try starting and running the engine with the fuel pump hotwired through the test connector? It will not do any harm and may help track down the running poorly due to fuel or spark, or maybe both.

I had started the car with after doing the fuel pump prime connector, and I then also tried to create a connection while the car was running, but I don’t think there was one, however there was a wining noise which sounded like the fuel pump once the car was running, (was from back of car and sounded like it was from the tank) but I am not 100% sure. I also did not leave in running long at all. Maybe a couple of minutes. I was thinking about creating a stable connection with the wire and trying to drive around with the fuel pump connected like that but wasn’t sure if that was a good idea or not. 

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The prime connection can be used for testing purposes and perhaps a short drive. The fuel pump runs continuously when the engine is running in any case, but in case of emergency, such as an accident, the pump will keep running even if the engine is not, so it is not a permanent solution. With the gauge attached to the fuel rail, with the engine running, and without the fuel pump hotwired, what does the fuel pressure look like? It should be over 40 psi with the pump running and the engine off (actual spec is 43.5psi), and it should reduce to the mid 30's psi with the engine running. Blipping the throttle should instantly show an increase in fuel pressure and then back down at idle speed.  There are three paths for the fuel pump to get power; through the relay on the firewall, through the oil pressure switch inside the sender and through the test connection. It should be pretty straightforward to determine if the fuel pump is at fault or one or more of the control systems? 

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16 hours ago, ToxicRyno said:

there was a wining noise which sounded like the fuel pump once the car was running, (was from back of car and sounded like it was from the tank) but I am not 100% sure.

Sometimes removing the gas cap from the tank and listening in the filler pipe will help you determine if the fuel pump is running.

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5 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Sometimes removing the gas cap from the tank and listening in the filler pipe will help you determine if the fuel pump is running.

One the car was started it was running. I am gonna let it warm up a bit and see if it stays running

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15 hours ago, 2seater said:

The prime connection can be used for testing purposes and perhaps a short drive. The fuel pump runs continuously when the engine is running in any case, but in case of emergency, such as an accident, the pump will keep running even if the engine is not, so it is not a permanent solution. With the gauge attached to the fuel rail, with the engine running, and without the fuel pump hotwired, what does the fuel pressure look like? It should be over 40 psi with the pump running and the engine off (actual spec is 43.5psi), and it should reduce to the mid 30's psi with the engine running. Blipping the throttle should instantly show an increase in fuel pressure and then back down at idle speed.  There are three paths for the fuel pump to get power; through the relay on the firewall, through the oil pressure switch inside the sender and through the test connection. It should be pretty straightforward to determine if the fuel pump is at fault or one or more of the control systems? 

When hot wired it is at about 43. When the engine is running its at about 35. When giving gas it will increase a few psi but not over 40, but that is also me not flooring it (live close to neighbors that complain a lot)

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5 hours ago, Ronnie said:

Sometimes removing the gas cap from the tank and listening in the filler pipe will help you determine if the fuel pump is running.

At about 200 degrees the fuel pump seems to still be running (this is without taking the car out and just letting it sit) and the rpms are at abou 725-775. When I first started it it was around 1200 rpms. And worked it’s way down as heating up

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I don't know if the fuel pump problem is the primary cause of your car running poorly or not but it really needs to be addressed first. Here is what seems to me like is going on with the fuel pump.

 

Normally when you turn the key to run the ECM picks up the fuel pump relay which turns on the pump for a few seconds to build fuel pressure in the system and then turns the pump off. After the ECM senses the engine is running, via the crankshaft position sensor, it sends a signal to pick up the fuel pump relay and the pump starts running continuously through the circuit highlighted in blue as long as the engine is running.

 

You said when you tested the prime connector that you didn't see the ECM pick up the fuel pump relay to power the pump when you turned the key to run. If that is the case, your fuel pump is being powered through the contacts in the oil pressure sender AFTER the engine builds oil pressure through the circuit highlighted in yellow. With the pump only being powered through the oil pressure sender (yellow circuit) the engine will be hard to start in the morning when pressure in the fuel system has dropped over night until you spin the engine enough to build oil pressure. It might cause the engine to run poorly if the contacts in the oil pressure sensor are dirty causing the pump to kick on and off. The contacts in the oil pressure sender were never intended to be the primary source of power for the fuel pump so the power going to the pump that way might not be as reliable as it would be going through the fuel pump relay.

 

Regardless of which circuit is powering the pump, blue or yellow, you should be able to read 12 volts at the prime/test connector anytime the pump is running.

 

You really need to do more troubleshooting to determine why the ECM isn't picking up the fuel pump relay to power the fuel pump. I'm pretty certain the problem is with the fuel pump relay wiring or possibly the relay itself but there is also a slight possibility that the ECM isn't sending a signal to pickup the relay. Only testing the circuits will tell you for sure.

 

fuel_pump_circui-2t.jpg

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/24/2021 at 4:51 PM, Ronnie said:

Only testing the circuits will tell you for sure

Hey, sorry it’s been a while. Been short on time, money and energy, but I have finally got the fuel pump kicking on everytime I turn the key now to prime, and replaced all plugs and wires, still am having the same issue where the longer the car drives the worse it is able to accelerate. 

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