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Old 11-14-2003, 06:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Anyone ever has mechanical car questions, ask me in here :)

Hi, I'm relatively new to posting on these forums, although I've had an account for ages. I thought I'd make a thread which would help people out.

I'm a bit of a petrolhead, I used to work in engineering, and I know a lot about cars & engines.

If anyone has car trouble or needs advice on car related stuff (including makes & models or mods) then ask away in here, and I'll help you out to the best of my ability.

I can explain the mechanical workings of anything about an engine & drivetrain so that even a retard could understand it. If you ask me how things work I should be able to tell you.
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Old 11-14-2003, 07:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
gal
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I have a 88 Ford Sierra which makes clunking noises.. I'ts European, so I guess you're not familiar with the engine, but I've heard this noise from other Sierras this age. It sounds like there is one clunk per revolution, althoug I can't be sure.

I've adjusted the valves, but the sound is still there. I noticed rather heavy wear on the cam, maybe that's it? I haven't even considered changing the cam though.. seems complicated to get the timing right when assembling. And the old piece of junk isn't worth taking to a repair shop.
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Old 11-14-2003, 08:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Canada
OK thanks for the offer....

I have a 4 cyl Isuzu pickup. The O2 light was on so I replaced the O2 sensor, but the light is still on.

It was suggested that I disconnect the battery for a while to let the system reset, but since my terminals are stuck to the batt, I have not done that yet, because I will have to replace the battery clamps in order to do the job.

What else can be causing this light ????
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by gal
I have a 88 Ford Sierra which makes clunking noises.. I'ts European, so I guess you're not familiar with the engine, but I've heard this noise from other Sierras this age. It sounds like there is one clunk per revolution, althoug I can't be sure.

I've adjusted the valves, but the sound is still there. I noticed rather heavy wear on the cam, maybe that's it? I haven't even considered changing the cam though.. seems complicated to get the timing right when assembling. And the old piece of junk isn't worth taking to a repair shop.
Is your engine the 2.5 V6 or the 2.0 inline 4 ? We have Sierras in New Zealand you know.

It's more than likely that a cam bearing/bearing journal has worn out, which explains both the clunking noise and the wear on the camshaft. The shaft's obviously now got a bit of play which it shouldn't have. That problem's going to get worse and worse. If the engine is overhead cam, it probably wouldn't be hard to replace the camshaft/shafts doing it... unless the wear is on the bearing surface itself.

It may end up being more cost effective to buy a replacement head, it's easy enough install by yourself using a workshop manual too.
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if its efi, the fuel system may need to be cleaned, same goes for the sensors, if they are dirty, then they can make your car go into a rich condition, and can mess up the o2 sensor.
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Old 11-14-2003, 09:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Tirian
I have a 4 cyl Isuzu pickup. The O2 light was on so I replaced the O2 sensor, but the light is still on.

It was suggested that I disconnect the battery for a while to let the system reset, but since my terminals are stuck to the batt, I have not done that yet, because I will have to replace the battery clamps in order to do the job.

What else can be causing this light ????
It's possible that somewhere in the circuit for your O2 sensor (or neighbouring circuits) that there's a faulty earth. You should check that all earths are clean & touching properly. If it's not an earth, then you could also have blown a fuse. Although this is unlikely to be the case, it's still worth checking your fuses.

If neither of the above helps, then the O2 light is telling you that your engine isn't in tune. I'm not sure whether the O2 light is saying there's too much air in the exhaust or too little, however. I'd assume it means you're running too rich. Does your exhaust smell like petrol & smoke a bit ?



Electrics are a bitch, I've fixed just about every problem in my own car except this one thing which I cannot solve. When they've been on for a significant amount of time, my headlights begin to flash on and off repeatedly, seemingly at random. I suspect it's a resistor or some other small component in the circuit for the lights, simply overheating & not working, until it cools enough and works again momentarily.

Last edited by Mettler; 11-14-2003 at 09:40 PM..
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Old 11-15-2003, 07:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
th O2 light? Isuzu's have a light specifically for the O2 sensor? or is it the MUCH more common Check Engine/Service Engine Soon light?

if the latter, there are LOTS of reasons why it could be coming on, one of them being the O2 sensor circuit. But, as you were told, disconnecting the battery for a minute or two will wipe any codes stored in the computer's memory. Another way to do this would be to remove the fuse that protects the circuit that supplies power to the computer.

If the light still comes on after a battery disconnect, then you will need to pull the trouble code that is logged in the computer. This can often be done fairly quickly at a parts store (usually for free) or by most shops that do engine/tuneup work (usually for about $20 or so). Once you have the code, you will need to determine what it means.

For example, if a trouble code indicates that there is a problem with the O2 circuit, that does NOT necessarily mean that the O2 sensor is bad, just that the response the computer is getting from that circuit is either out of the expected range or even non-existant. The circuit in question needs to be checked. Even if there is no problem with all the wiring in the circuit, there can be other problems besides just the sensor that can throw this code. For example, if one of the cylinders is not firing correctly (say a bad spark plug or wire) then the unburnt gas/air charge is going directly into the exhaust (where the O2 sensor is located) and can throw an O2 code, even though the circuit itself is good.

So, in other words, dont just throw a sensor at the problem and assume it will solve it. Proper diagnostic procedures must be followed to be sure that you are treating the source of the problem and not just the symptom.

good luck
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Old 11-16-2003, 02:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Sea-town
I've got a 95 Volkwagen Jetta GL that the engine light comes on. Is this something that I can fix or do I need to take it to the shop?

(It runs fine by the way)
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Twizzler,
This is an easy fix; get a one inch piece of black electricians tape, apply directly to the plastic cover on the dash board. Problem solved!

Good Luck
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Old 11-17-2003, 02:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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FYI - the sensor was bad on the Isuzu - all cracked ceramic etc. when I pulled it out.

I've done plugs, but not rotor / wires, so since they are suspect (due to shear age) anyways, I think I'll go there next.

Thanks for the replies all.....
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Old 11-17-2003, 04:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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How many posts do u have to have to gain access?
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Old 11-18-2003, 04:54 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Uh, access to what ?
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Old 11-19-2003, 09:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I'm from Sydney and I drive a Suzuki Swift GTi. I think I need new wheel bearings. Any idea how much this costs, and whether I can install these items myself?
BTW, great service you're offering
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Old 11-20-2003, 05:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm looking for a car to drive at my local dragstrip.
I want to race in the stock division, just for fun/hobby!
I'm far from being a highly skilled mechanic.
what type of auto would you suggest that would be:
easy to maintian
less expensive for repairs
good response and handleing
fun to drive
The track has a domestic and foreign class
so as long as the car was a production car it can race
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Location: Initech, Iowa
My car's making a funny noise up front...what's wrong with it?

********** Just kidding **********

I've got a Jeep with a 4.0L I-6 (1999) 4x4. It has about 60k miles on it. For a '99 it seems everything under the hood looks about the same as cars did in 1980. Questions: Does this thing have a timing belt or chain and do I need to replace it any time soon? Does this thing have sealed wheel bearings or will I need to pack the bearings soon? I think the distributor on this thing still has points and a rotor. I haven't looked yet but did replace the plugs and wires and the setup looked like something from the old days...so was just wondering if I should get some...
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Old 11-20-2003, 11:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Location: Initech, Iowa
Quote:
Originally posted by potato
How many posts do u have to have to gain access?
To gain access to enlightenment you'll need to post at least 25,000 times in the Tilted Politics section. If you're talking about access to car knowledge I haven't a clue...
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Old 11-22-2003, 07:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
gal
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mettler
Is your engine the 2.5 V6 or the 2.0 inline 4 ? We have Sierras in New Zealand you know.
...
It's a 4 cylinder inline, overhead cam. Thanks for the tip, I think I'll look around for a new head.
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by End User
I'm from Sydney and I drive a Suzuki Swift GTi. I think I need new wheel bearings. Any idea how much this costs, and whether I can install these items myself?
BTW, great service you're offering
I'm from New Zealand, so I'll give prices in NZD.

When I needed a new wheel bearing for my car, the bearing would have cost $120, plus the labour for replacing it. My mechanic sourced an entire new brake with bearing in it for $90, and it was quicker to swap over.

Check it out whether it'd be easier with you car just to get a whole brake disc unit.
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by alpha phi
I'm looking for a car to drive at my local dragstrip.
I want to race in the stock division, just for fun/hobby!
I'm far from being a highly skilled mechanic.
what type of auto would you suggest that would be:
easy to maintian
less expensive for repairs
good response and handleing
fun to drive
The track has a domestic and foreign class
so as long as the car was a production car it can race
What you basically want is a combination of the following criteria:

The vehicle should be as light as possible
The engine must have the most displacement possible (how many CC/litres the engine is)
Not a honda

You can then get a bunch of minor modifications done, including replacing the exhaust system with a freer flowing one. Replace the standard air filter box with a pod unit, or replace the whole intake manifold. (This will depend on whether your car's carby or EFi.) If you get a carby engine, you'll need to find a carby to match the aftermarket intake manifold. The next logical step would be to look into getting an aftermarket camshaft/set of camshafts, & upgrade your fuel system to match.

Basically, you want an engine to breathe as well as possible & be able to rev harder & displace more fuel/air mixture at once. If you get a car with a bigger engine, you'll automatically be able to produce more grunt straight off, and exponentially more as you mod it.

Last edited by Mettler; 11-22-2003 at 11:35 PM..
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Old 11-22-2003, 11:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Dibbler
Does this thing have a timing belt or chain and do I need to replace it any time soon?
It's more than likely to be a timing chain rather than a belt, but you can only really tell by having a look. The timing chain housing is usually covered up under a plate at the front of the engine. Don't go pulling this off yourself, get a mechanic to do it. Usually this plate is part of the water pump housing, and you don't want crap to go spilling everywhere.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dibbler
Does this thing have sealed wheel bearings or will I need to pack the bearings soon?
I dunno, that's specific to your vehicle. Jack the car up and wiggle each wheel side to side vigorously. There shouldn't be any play in the wheels... if there is, then you'll need new bearings.
Take a wheel off and remove the centre cap piece from your disc brake (if you can), and have a look inside it to check out you wheel bearing.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dibbler
I think the distributor on this thing still has points and a rotor. I haven't looked yet but did replace the plugs and wires and the setup looked like something from the old days...so was just wondering if I should get some...
Well, points and rotor aren't exactly that bad. It's just one way of doing it. Just take off the distributor cap and look how worn away the metal contacts are inside the housing.

Check to see if the points are still flat on their contacting surfaces, or whether they've started melting & forming irregular raised spots.

Turn the engine over by hand (if you can) until the little cam inside the distributor housing is pushing the points to maximum cam lift, and then find out what your correct points gap clearance is meant to be, & use a feeler gauge ot check this.

If your sparkplug leads look old and cracked, replace them. 8mm leads are more than sufficient, I run 8mm leads on my modded V8.

Check your sparkplugs one by one... if they're really dirty, covered in carbon etc, then replace them. If they're mildly dirty, give them a bit of a clean with a rag & put them back into their respective cylinders.

You'll be amazed at the difference in performance and fuel efficiency with an engine that's got proper ignition happening.

If you're really worried about having points & a rotor, then fork out some cash for an electronic distributor unit. They just replace the innards of your standard distributor housing. It takes away much of the mechanical aspect of the setup.

Last edited by Mettler; 11-22-2003 at 11:47 PM..
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:21 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Location: Philly
I've got an 86 corvette with a 350 TPI. I've opened up the exhaust, and am getting an aftermarket cool air induction system. I plan to add a 160 powerstat and a performance chip.

To get maximun HP for the money, what would you think the best next step is, manifold/headers or camshaft? Is this something I can do in my garage with basic tools?

Thanks for your great offer of answering our questions!
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Old 11-23-2003, 10:16 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Location: CT
'93 Lincoln Town Car - Executive Series w/ Limo package (not stretched, but can be done)
4.6L OHC and 4sp auto OD transmission
Transmission is new, engine is original. Almost 200k miles
Nothing modified

Diagnostic computer reveals the folloiwng:
-Cylinders 3,5,8 failed cylinder balance test
-Error codes point to lean air/fuel mixture due to faulty EGR valve
-Coolant temperature sensor is running at higher than maximum allowed voltage.

Two major problems:
1: When the engine is warm, antifreeze will leak out of the cooling system as quickly as I put it in, but water won't. This is mind-boggling. I'm going to flush the radiator, refill, and check for leaks tomorrow.

2: The enging backfires severly after it is started. The problem is worse on humid days. If I put it inot neutral and floor it for 10 seconds, it seems to clear up. If driven normally, it clears up after 2-10 minutes of driving (about the same tiem that the engine warms up.) The problem briefly disappeared when I replaced spark plugs (not wires,) then got worse, got better again when I whacked the EGR valve with a wrench after two error codes pointed to a sticky EGR valve. The problem also improved briefly after I replaced the fuel filter.


I need a new car, don't I?
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Old 11-25-2003, 03:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Location: norcal
yes, i recommend one with a carbureator and no egr
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Old 11-26-2003, 04:48 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
EGR valves have been around since the mid 70s, perhaps earlier. good luck finding a car without one.

as for carbs, they are obsolete technology. certainly, they are effective, but fuel injection, particularly sequential port injection, is much more effective and efficient.
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:39 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by gonadman
I've got an 86 corvette with a 350 TPI. I've opened up the exhaust, and am getting an aftermarket cool air induction system. I plan to add a 160 powerstat and a performance chip.

To get maximun HP for the money, what would you think the best next step is, manifold/headers or camshaft? Is this something I can do in my garage with basic tools?

Thanks for your great offer of answering our questions!
I'd recommend first and foremost that you get a better intake manifold, a freer flowing one. This however, will be useless without the headers & exhaust to go with it.

It's all well and good for more air to be able to fly into the engine, but that won't happen unless more air can flow out as well. You want to increase the flow throughout an engine in all areas, leaving no bottlenecks.

Basically, get the aftermarket intake manifold (I can't recommend any brands for your car sorry, do some searching, I have an Edelbrock Performer on mine), and get 4 into 1 extractors at the same time.

You should be able to fit your new intake manifold by yourself at home... I'd recommend buying new gaskets for it to seal it properly though, as air leaking in past the manifold can prevent the engine from running fully in tune.

The extractors/headers may not bolt directly onto your current exhaust piping, so that's why you may need an exhaust specialist to fit that for you. If you do want to fit it yourself, you'll probably need to undo an engine mount on one side, jack the engine up from underneath, then feed the extractors up from under the car and bolt them to the head... for both sides of course. That's how my extractors were fitted.

When these are both fitted, you'll need to retune your fuel system... or possibly even upgrade the injectors & fuel pump to ensure the engine is getting the right fuel to air ratio mixture. When my new full exhaust system was first fitted to my V8, I already had an aftermarket intake manifold & carburettor, however it was out of tune because it wasn't dumping enough petrol in to match the now higher airflow. (I've since tuned it .)

After those mods, I'd recommend upgrading your ignition system to have electronic spark timing, bigger coil, better quality spark plugs & bigger leads. 8mm to 10mm leads should be fine for your application, my engine has 8's. You'll be amazed at the power increase just by giving the engine better spark. You can get these MSD coils which spark several times during the combustion cycle, ensuring complete burning of the fuel.

After that is where you'd want to get your performance cam, as this is a slightly more intense mod which will cost a bit more money to buy & install. Shop around and make sure you learn about cam specs, what valve lift, duration, & the timing figures all mean. You shouldn't just get any old performance cam, you want one to match the characteristics of your engine & take advantage of the increase air flow.

With all the above mods, your motor should be able to produce anywhere between 300 to 450 horsepower, largely depending on what kind of cam you get & how high you can rev the motor.
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:45 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Sion
as for carbs, they are obsolete technology. certainly, they are effective, but fuel injection, particularly sequential port injection, is much more effective and efficient.
And I suppose this is why many successful dragsters still use them ?

The technology is indeed older, and is indeed all mechanical. This does not make it inferior. The difference in efficiency between a high performance carb and fuel injection is so negligible that it's not even worth caring about. The only real difference comes in every day road cars, where the typical carb car will be less efficient.
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Old 11-26-2003, 06:52 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by MrSelfDestruct
]I need a new car, don't I?
Sounds to me like your electrics are up the shit.... you should get an auto electrician to check it out.

But yeah, a new car wouldn't hurt either <:
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Old 11-26-2003, 07:28 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
Quote:
Originally posted by Mettler
The only real difference comes in every day road cars, where the typical carb car will be less efficient.
exactly. thanks for proving my point.

dragsters, nascar, and other types of racing are NOT the norm. they represent less than 1% of all cars and drivers worldwide. for the general public, fuel injection IS superior technology.
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:40 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Do auto-manufacturers design the car so that the CHECK ENGINE light comes on at certain intervals to get you to go to the dealer ?
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Old 11-27-2003, 01:47 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Location: In the room where the giant fire puffer works, and the torture never stops.
Quote:
Originally posted by bobw
Do auto-manufacturers design the car so that the CHECK ENGINE light comes on at certain intervals to get you to go to the dealer ?
not that it has been proven, yet. However, some cars DO have a warning light w/regard to time for an oil change (Caddy's with the Northstar V8, IIRC) that most shops dont know how to turn off, even after an oil change.
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Old 11-27-2003, 08:33 PM   #31 (permalink)
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There hasent been a factory car out of detroit with a carb since the 80's.
YOu may want to inspect and replace you entire emmisions system, as it is fairly aged and is at the end of its life cycle. This system should be listed by a sticker on your hood or on top of the radiator.
Alos, check you TPS sensor on you throttle body, and while you at it, clean the throttle body, a dirty throttle body can lead to all sorts of problems.
Different sensors to check include-
MAP/MAF sensor
IAT sensor
TPS sensor
IAC solenoid
Some of the emissions stuff are-
EGR valve
PCV valve
Carbon Can
If you have any lights on the dash, a code scanner from pep boys has the ability to clear most of them out. For soem of the higher dollar cars, a more expensive unit is required.
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Old 11-29-2003, 01:28 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Location: Wisconsin...
Quote:
Originally posted by Tirian
OK thanks for the offer....

I have a 4 cyl Isuzu pickup. The O2 light was on so I replaced the O2 sensor, but the light is still on.

It was suggested that I disconnect the battery for a while to let the system reset, but since my terminals are stuck to the batt, I have not done that yet, because I will have to replace the battery clamps in order to do the job.

What else can be causing this light ????
My friend has the same truck i'm thinking...his is carburator and has an o2 sensor....solution cut the smog pump belt it got rid of the warning light and the truck runs perfect
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Old 12-01-2003, 01:14 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I know that it is possible to take a B18C1 and rewire it to run on an OBD-0 ECU. However, the stock B18C1 runs off a OBD-1 ECU. Now, the question is this; do you know the main differences between the two ECU's, and how would you wire the B18 to run on an ECU that doesn't support VTEC?
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:22 AM   #34 (permalink)
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My wife's '97 Saturn developed a "lurch" when braking to a stop. Then her temperature guage stopped working. then she had problems startng the car. All are probably unrelated, but occured within a couple of weeks of each other. I could start the car, but I had to mash on the accelerator, as if it were flooded, then the engine would catch, sputter for a bit, build the RPMs, then start to run fine. I replaced the fuel filter and it ran fine, for about two days. Now it will start only when the engine is completely cold. Any thoughts?
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Old 12-02-2003, 04:09 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Heh I'll attempt to confound you!

1997 2.4L Cavalier (engine is a Quad4 descendant)

When the tank gets low, at about 1/8th or lower, the fuel starts to cut out. Doesn't seem to be able to suck that last bit of fuel out, could still be a gallon or more in there.

When I accelerate hard uphill or if I brake hard and then immediately try to accelerate away with 1/4 a tank or lower.... same thing. Can't get to the fuel.

Damn thing just has trouble getting fuel if the tank is low.

Fuel pressure is good. I hooked up a fuel gauge and left it overnight. Didn't lose pressure.

I think that's all the info I got...

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-2003, 05:53 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
Quote:
Originally posted by EleqTrizi'T
Heh I'll attempt to confound you!

1997 2.4L Cavalier (engine is a Quad4 descendant)

When the tank gets low, at about 1/8th or lower, the fuel starts to cut out. Doesn't seem to be able to suck that last bit of fuel out, could still be a gallon or more in there.

When I accelerate hard uphill or if I brake hard and then immediately try to accelerate away with 1/4 a tank or lower.... same thing. Can't get to the fuel.

Damn thing just has trouble getting fuel if the tank is low.

Fuel pressure is good. I hooked up a fuel gauge and left it overnight. Didn't lose pressure.

I think that's all the info I got...

Thanks!
sounds like either you have a bunch of dirt in the tank, or the fuel pick-up is in a bad location.
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Old 12-05-2003, 12:30 PM   #37 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I just replaced the rear brake shoes on my wife's Chrysler minivan and I am unsure how to properly adjust them. I adjusted them until they were just barely touching the drums (actually seemed they were just scraping in one place). I went forward and backward about 20 times so they would self adjust. However, when I apply the parking break it does not work. In general the car seems to brake fine but these cars typically use about 90% front.
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:51 PM   #38 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Location: Deep South Texas
2001 chevy prizim--front disc brakes....just replaced the pads with some from AutoZone...and I have had this problem before.---
with pads from this source.--the rotors are smooth but I get this grinding sound when I use the brakes. The sound really transmits up into the car...any ideas on what makes them so noisy??
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Old 12-12-2003, 12:33 PM   #39 (permalink)
Psycho
 
Location: Dreams
The Car:
1996 VW Jetta GLS 2.0L 4banger

The Problem:
ONLY WHEN ITS COLD
Horrible rattle that sounds like its under the drivers seat.
It is only there when I accelerate or if im at high or low RPMs
If I run the car for a while(hour or so) it goes away.

When I had my snow tires put on I asked them to take a peak and they said they didn't see anything loose.

I'm thinking it is something with the CAT... Any Ideas?

Thanks
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I know not how I may seem to others, but to myself I am but a small child wandering upon the vast shores of knowledge, every now and then finding a small bright pebble to content myself with. [Plato]
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Old 12-19-2003, 05:05 AM   #40 (permalink)
Upright
 
Location: NZ
Quote:
Originally posted by Sion
fuel injection IS superior technology.
Minimally superior
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