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Rca2000

Will a miss hurt my engine??

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On my 88 Rivieara--the engine has a intermittent miss. Sometimes, the engine will run great, with good power, economy and smoothness the 3800 is known for. But othe times--it is missing noticeably. And if in overdrive, it is VERY noticeable. I am planning to take care of this soon, probably in the next few days. I plan to replace the wires, plugs and possibly the coil pack.(it is the dreaded magnavox unit, I plan to put an accel on it).

But in the meantime--will it hurt my engine to drive it with the miss, when it occurrs?? Today, it ran perfect for about a 35 mile trip, with 3 stops. Later-- it was mising, then it quit and off and on, for the return trip. It would guess it misses about 30-50% of the time. When not missing--it runs VERY good and even idles pretty nice. I just don't want to hurt this engine, and if driving it with a miss would do so--I will not drive it anymore--until I fix it, or get someone else to do so.

The only code I can find is a e029--"history"(I reset the codes early today, to see if anything would come up. Previously, there was a eo26,27,28,29,31, and 41, but ALL were "history").

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You have to look at basic principles. You have to decide what is causing the miss, whether it is the same cylinder all the time, or whether it is moving around. Even if you have a very modern car like this where yo have to be careful about checking the spark in the old conventional way, you will find that you can get a clamp that encompasses each high voltage lead in turn and show whether that one is fireing. Next, check your compression on each cylinder with an honourable economical oriental compression gauge. (of course, you should disconect the power to the ignition on the age of car you quote.) If any cylinder has an obviously low compression, squirt light oil down the plug hole, and if it raises the compression notably, then you know the fault is leakage past the rings rather than leaky valves. Another thing that can give trouble is water that should not be in the fuel. You drain it as much as you can, then add acetone, which has both polar and non-polar affinity, and will dissolve the water in the fuel. This is a benefit to your engine, as water in either liquid or vapour form is an excellent anti-knock agent.

Considerations are different with old cars, but it depends whether you intend to keep running thus, or just want to get home. Examples: Fred Duesenberg wasdriving one of his A model straight 8's when it ran a big end bearing. He removed the offending conrod and piston, (I suspect, but have not checked on mine, that you can do this through one of the side covers), sealed the oil hole, and drove home with his straight 7. Similarly, in the mid 1960's Darien Cassidy sold a good Stutz BB sedan to a man in Sydney. When Geoff got it running it had a permanent miss on one cylinder that he just could not fix. Otherwise it ran well. Eventually he dropped the sump and found 7 pistons and an empty hole, with the oil hole on the crankpin seal similarly. I have had torehabilitate a Rutenber engine from 1919 Australian 6. I sometimes thing they used wrong spelling, and it should be "Rottenber". (Diecast babbit big end and main bearings, for Heaven's sake! WSell, they must have had a core-shift to cause a water leak, so out back of Cunnamulla in Queensland they drilled a hole in the spot between the valves, blocked it with a half inch Whitworth bolt and nut, and two lead washers, dropped out the piston and rod with splash-fed big end, and ran ever after as an Australian 5. Last example, a now elderly friend of mine and a farmer near Warragul were married to two of three sisters. During the war Keith Hardy, then young and resourcefull broke a piston in his Dodge 4. unable to get a replacement, he turned a dummy out of hard red gum, and used the car like that. Probably the only reason he could get away with that was that he probably only drove to town once a week on Market day, and his farm was only 3 miles out of town. It lay around for years after he stopped using it; then because someone came and wanted to buy it, he buried it rather than allow anyone to "get part of his family history".

I hope the above is just a little bit interesting and helpful. ..... Just sympathise with any owner of a Brush or Orient Buckboard: If they get a consistent misfire they have two choices; they canfix it and drive, or they can walk and push.

Ivan Saxton

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" And if in overdrive, it is VERY noticeable"

On an overdrive car, there is a switch that shuts off the ignition for a very breif

time to allow the transnition to shift. Maybe that is causing the trouble.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <span style="font-weight: bold">an honourable economical oriental compression gauge</span>

</div></div>

Ivan, your way with words is remarkable! You should wrtie a book.

"Ivan's Parables" You'll sell many and be rich overnight. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

By the way, I'd like to buy the first copy. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Wayne

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I'm a pretty fair mechanic, having restored several antique cars in recent years, while earlier I worked my way through college repairing IBM Selectric typewriters, served as a construciton mechanic in the Navy Seabees, and grew up in the antique car hobby.

I've repaired automatic transmissions, as well as a '35 Auburn Super-Charger and the automatic top and electric windows on a Lincoln Continental convertible, among the more exotic projects I've undertaken.

But if I were you, I wouldn't replace a thing on your engine without first running the car through the electronic diagnosis process. All the stuff you might potentially replace is too expensive to start swapping out unless you know for certain that it is bad. Unless, that is, you know the car's history and know that it is years overdue for a tuneup. There are so many electronic do-dads on even an '88 model that I think you'd be better off going the thorough diagnostic route first.

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I have a 94 Lesabre that had a lean miss especially in overdrive. I replaced the fuel filter and it helped alot.

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Well...I had the oil changed today...and much to my dismay..the idle pressure increased from about 28-35-38PSI and the 1500RPM pressure increased from about 32-35PSI to 45+PSI. Why would I be worried about HIGHER oil pressure??

Because it most likely means that the previous owner NEVER changed that old oil(and it WAS nasty lookng!!)And if he didn't even do that.......I have little doubt that he did ANYTHING else!!

SO, I got new wires and rapidfire platinum plugs to go in the engine. I was planning to do this anyway. Hopefully--this will correct the miss problem. If not...I could try a coil pack(an accel, NOT a wells!!)

BTW--at idle today(and last night) the SES light came on. I queried the computer tonight, and it sais "EO24, 27 and 28", CURRENT, and EO31 history.

What do those codes mean?? (remember--this is a 1988 Riviera, with the Magnavox ignition module.)

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