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'89 engine dieing (help)

  #1  
Old 11-02-2008, 03:37 PM
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Default '89 engine dieing (help)

The last 3 or 4 time driving, the engine would die (like it is out of gas) and it would be hard to get it started again. I just added cert. gas treatment to gasoline and it ran for about 10- 15 minutes and died. It would not start so I waited about 30 minutes and it cranked back up and died 5 minutes later (vette resting now) I don't trust it to drive right now. It also has a rattle in front of engine that kinda sounds like a pully but I just don't know. Any suggestions is greatly appreciated! Thanks! Mike
 
  #2  
Old 11-02-2008, 05:49 PM
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Default RE: '89 engine dieing (help)

Mike,
Firstly,I don't think the problems are related. The rattling at the front of the engine is most likely to be the tensioner pulley,somewhat likely to be the water pump and possibly the AC unit clutch. Get yourself about a 2-3 foot long piece of 1/2 or 5/8" hose,put one end to your ear and point the other end to the various components on the front of the engine,you could very possibly locate the culprit with reasonable certainty.
The dieing problem is a little more complex. Do you have a way to read the trouble codes in the ECM? Do you have a way to read the fuel pressure at the rail? All of this information can tend to point you toward the problem. For example: Loss of fuel pressure could mean,bad pump,bad relay,bad ECM,plugged filter,and maybe half a dozen other things. First of all,change the fuel filter and then if I needed the car pretty bad, I would change the fuel pump. All this is with the understanding that I am a "backyard" mechanic,hoping someday to earn a "shadetree" rating.
If these relatively entry level tasks are beyond your mechanical ability level,then you are probably going to spend some time pacing the floor in the repair shop waiting room. Good Luck!
Ron
 
  #3  
Old 11-02-2008, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: '89 engine dieing (help)

I had a new fuel pump put in the tank about a year ago for about a grand.If I thought it would make it back to that same garage that put in pump, I would take it back to them. But if fuel pump was bad would it continue to crack and run for short periods? No, I have no way to read the codes. What does ECM stand for. If car would make it to auto zone I believe they can check the codes otherwise I just don't know. Thanks!! Mike

Mike
 
  #4  
Old 11-02-2008, 09:54 PM
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Location: Battle Mtn NV
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Default RE: '89 engine dieing (help)

It could run like that if the pump quit when it got warm. The ECM= Engine Control Module=the computer. My '84 did that for awhile,then one time it wouldn't restart at all 'til I replaced the computer. Sometimes a plugged tank vent can act like this,loosen the filler cap and see if the problem goes away.
I was really hoping somebody would come along that knew something,I'm VERY challenged around all this computer and electronic stuff,all the things I'm suggesting are just standard stuff,there might be something really simple causing your troubles? Is the fuel pump relay a plug-in type? If so,maybe you could get one and try that,shouldn't be more than $20 or so?
Ron
 
  #5  
Old 12-06-2008, 12:38 AM
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Default RE: '89 engine dieing (help)

Finally,autozone sold me a bad ECM. Vette back on the road and running. Thanks so much for all your help!!

Mike
 
  #6  
Old 12-06-2008, 05:23 PM
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Default RE: '89 engine dieing (help)

ORIGINAL: partsman41

Mike,
Firstly,I don't think the problems are related. The rattling at the front of the engine is most likely to be the tensioner pulley,somewhat likely to be the water pump and possibly the AC unit clutch. Get yourself about a 2-3 foot long piece of 1/2 or 5/8" hose,put one end to your ear and point the other end to the various components on the front of the engine,you could very possibly locate the culprit with reasonable certainty.
The dieing problem is a little more complex. Do you have a way to read the trouble codes in the ECM? Do you have a way to read the fuel pressure at the rail? All of this information can tend to point you toward the problem. For example: Loss of fuel pressure could mean,bad pump,bad relay,bad ECM,plugged filter,and maybe half a dozen other things. First of all,change the fuel filter and then if I needed the car pretty bad, I would change the fuel pump. All this is with the understanding that I am a "backyard" mechanic,hoping someday to earn a "shadetree" rating.
If these relatively entry level tasks are beyond your mechanical ability level,then you are probably going to spend some time pacing the floor in the repair shop waiting room. Good Luck!
Ron
Looks like you just graduated. Congratulations!

[sm=icon_cheers.gif]
 
  #7  
Old 12-06-2008, 06:17 PM
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Default RE: I spoke to soon

I put new ECM in and it ran good while driving it around for about 30 minutes. The next morning after running it for about 10 minutes it went back to the same problem: When I give it gas it dies!

I believe it got a power surge of some kind to the ECM (probably damaging it again). Any suggestions is appreciated!! Thanks!

MIke
 
  #8  
Old 12-07-2008, 12:57 AM
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Default RE: I spoke to soon

Thanks DV8,but it looks like we were a little premature on the matriculation! Oh well,back on the stool in the corner.
Mike,I'm feeling for you brother,looks like you have "one of those problems". Anything inductive has the ability to create a voltage spike that could kill the ECM. Like relays,ignition coil,starter solenoid, heater motor,fuel pump,horn,most of them have a diode across the coil to stop the spike. The ONLY way to see that would be an Oscilliscope hooked to the + 12 v somewhere,and then you probably wouldn't see it, it would happen way too fast. So.......................................what do we do? Can you get a pretty good voltmeter on the alternator output? Read both DC and AC, there are some things in an alternator that could put a pretty nasty AC voltage on the DC line,I've never seen it happen,but I didn't have a decent meter. You should read VERY little AC,there will be some,but not over a volt or so. Could an AC voltage ride on top of the 12V DC? It's really neat to put an o'scope on an automotive alternator,you can see all that stuff in there doing it's job(or not) Try to get your meter near the ECM on the +12V and turn stuff on and off and watch for some reaction on the meter. An analog meter would work better for this than a digital. I think I mentioned this before,but if anything was worked on or changed just before the problem cropped up that would be a good place to look. DON'T GIVE UP! And don't fall on your sword when the solution turns out to be something so ridiculously obvious that a six-year-old would have seen it! If that has never happened to you,you haven't worked on very many man-made devices!
Good Luck!
Ron
 
  #9  
Old 12-07-2008, 05:19 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 42
Default RE: not fixed yet

I put new ECM in and it ran good while driving it around for about 30 minutes. The next morning after running it for about 10 minutes it went back to the same problem: When I give it gas it dies!

I believe new ECM gone again. Poor pulse again. Any suggestions is appreciated!! Thanks!

Mike
 
  #10  
Old 12-07-2008, 10:47 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Battle Mtn NV
Posts: 337
Default RE: not fixed yet

I understand there is a "learning period" for a computer when it is first installed on a car or after it has been TOTALLY without power for awhile(more than 5 minutes or so. Could it be OK until it "learns" enough to decide all the problems are too much and shuts the car down?
This is talked about in the "dieing slowly" thread.
Ron
 

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