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eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
2/26/18 6:33 p.m.

Well, here’s a new odd one.  I hooked the battery back up, and held the fuel pump relay with one hand, so I could hear/feel it click, and turned the key to run.  Not only did the relay work fine, but I heard the fuel pump.  With just a little bit of cranking, the truck started up and idled fine, if a little high.  Didn’t have a chance to mess with the timing, as one of the other cars needed my attention before it got too dark and cold outside.

Is this a sign the pump is on its way out (doesn’t work one day, but does the next), or could it be something else?

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
2/26/18 6:36 p.m.

What's the humidity level different? It may be a sign that the relay is on the way out

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
2/26/18 6:53 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

Probably wasn’t significantly different between yesterday and today.  It’s a fairly new relay, as I bought it when I thought that was why the fireturd wasn’t starting, and never got around to putting the old one back in.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
2/26/18 6:57 p.m.

Hmm....

How's it grounded? Do you have it via ecm control or key on control?

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
2/26/18 7:39 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

I think key on, but I’m not 100% sure.  I kept the S10 underdash harness, the VATS system only controls the fuel injectors now. 

einy
einy HalfDork
2/26/18 9:54 p.m.

If you do need to replace the fuel pump, instead of completely pulling the bed you can “dump truck” tilt the bed instead.  Remove the front 6 bolts (3 per side) and loosen the back 2, then tilt it up using a floor jack and block it up for safety.  No reason to even remove the taillight plugs.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/1/18 12:03 p.m.

Turns out the EST wire wasn't connected.  It starts up a lot easier with the weatherpak connecter fully plugged in.  Went to time it, but found out my HF timing light had given up the ghost.  New one is on order and should be here tomorrow, and the weekend is supposed to be dry, so I can make another attempt then.  May also start working on routing the loose parts of the wiring harness and attaching things (like relays, evap canisters, etc) permanently, instead of letting parts hang loose in the engine compartment.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/1/18 12:04 p.m.

In reply to einy :

Thanks for the idea.  That sounds a lot easier to accomplish with one person than pretty much any other way of getting to the pump.

einy
einy HalfDork
3/1/18 3:08 p.m.

I got to try it out on my 2003 two weekends ago to replace the evap system pressure sensor on mine.  Worked like a champ !!

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/4/18 8:22 p.m.

I got out and timed the car on Friday evening, it's now running about 3-4 degrees of advance.  It's an approximation, as it really would have been helpful to have two people doing it instead of one, as I ran around and shut off the engine before tightening the hold down.  Either way, it runs better than it had been.

Over the weekend, I moved it into the garage, and spent some time rerouting some of the wiring harness.  It's still a mess, but it is cleaned up considerably from where it had been.  The fuel pump and fan relays are now bolted to the firewall, using the holder from the fireturd.  The MAP sensor still needs to be secured somewhere.  The charcoal canisters were slightly different between the S10 and the fireturd, so I swapped in the fireturd's, although it required a little bit of finagling to get it into the stock position.  The horn is now bolted in and working, but it just sounds too wimpy.  Tempted to wire the horn's positive wire to the fuel pump relay from the S10 harness, and hook up all four tones.  I think I can get them all to fit on the driver's side under the hood.  When I did a quick check of the oil, there was a fairly strong smell of gas, not surprising given the number of times we unsuccessfully tried to start it up last year.  Nonetheless, gas doesn't lubricate as well as oil, so I ran out, got some cheap 10W30, and did a quick oil change.

Rain is forecast tomorrow, so the Miata will need the garage bay.  I think, though, that all I need to do before the truck is ready to drive around the neighborhood is secure the MAP sensor, and build (or buy) a battery tray.  May run out to a junkyard next weekend on the off chance I can score a stock one, but more likely will try to make one out of some sheet metal from the fireturd's hood. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/6/18 8:07 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

Hmm....

How's it grounded? Do you have it via ecm control or key on control?

I have to walk back my orginal thoughts on this.  I don't know if it's the ground wire (thought it was the postive trigger), but the ECM does still control the relay.

 

Well, so much for getting the truck out of the garage last night.  Wouldn't start, as it was not getting fuel.  Fuel pump relay is not working.  Here's what I did after finding that out:

Pulled relay and swapped with another.  No go.  Checked the relays and they both click when fed a 12V signal, so are probably good.

Checked ECM fuses - they are good.

Checked some of the wires - Orange has 12V.  Black/White has ground.  So, signal wires are not triggering the relays

Hotwired the fuel pump wire to the battery, and it works fine.  Also cranked the engine, and it didn't start.  Popped the air cleaner lid off, and no fuel in the throttle body, so the injectors are not firing, so either VATS has failed, or the ECM does not think the car is ready to start.  For now, I'm assuming the latter, since the ECM also controls the fuel pump relay.  I know there used to be a relay to control something (fuel or starter?) in an original VATS configuration, but I left that out when swapping the engine to the S10.

At this point, I am wondering if it is bad wiring somewhere, or if some component in the distributor has failed, and is preventing the ECM  from triggering the relay.

-For bad wiring, I have the fact that it did this same thing several days ago, and the next day it started fine (tried to start it this morning, though, no luck).  Also, spent time rearranging the wiring loom, which could have bent up a wire that was barely making contact. Also, hooked some things up (charcoal canistor, PS fluid level sensor, etc) that were not hooked up before.

-For distributor modules.  It's not firing injectors or the fuel pump relay. Is it possible that whatever is in there is failing intermittently, so allowed the engine to run for a while, but now won't work.

I have a spare distributor of unknown condition, so could swap out the ignition module, and see what happens.  Any suggestions?

Anything I do will have to wait til my lunch break or after work.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
3/6/18 8:18 a.m.

Ignition module or ground issue.  Check/clean all the grounds first. After every ground, check for start/no start.

Im betting ecm ground.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/6/18 8:20 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13 :

From a chart I was looking at, the ECM ground and the ground for the fuel pump relay are the same.  Is it possible a different ECM ground could cause this problem?

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 MegaDork
3/6/18 10:16 a.m.

Yes. Should be a ground up at the thermostat housing as well.

Always divorce the grounds when possible.  Makes diagnostics easier....

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/6/18 11:26 a.m.
Dusterbd13 said:

Yes. Should be a ground up at the thermostat housing as well.

Always divorce the grounds when possible.  Makes diagnostics easier....

You're a genius, thank you!  I didn't have time at lunch to shuffle cars around, but I traced the ground from near the water pump back to the bulkhead connector, and there were no breaks in the connection, but just out of curiosity, I jiggled it a bit, then turned the key.  The fuel pump primed.  So, either there is still another wiring issue that has randomly fixed itself, or I need to pull the bulkhead connector and check the ground connection through it.  I'll shuffle cars this evening before the rain/snow hits, then try to deal with the problem more permanently later.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
3/11/18 1:24 p.m.

Had a sunny, dry day yesterday, so I took a field trip to the junkyard.  The main goal had been to track down an intact battery tray, but also some recon for a truck cap.  The truck cap was a bust, as some idiot busted out the rear window (which was intact in the yard's online pics), but I did find an 86 S10 Blazer with a surprisingly solid battery tray.  For about $10-12, I'll take the budget hit over spending a bunch of time fabbing up something from sheetmetal that won't work as well.  Just in case, I tested the batteries I had before I installed it, since they were sized for the fireturd, not the S10.  Fortunately, they fit fine, and it only took a few minutes to install on the truck today.

As an added bonus, as I was walking away from the Blazer, I had a feeling I needed to look it over again.  Turns out it had a full set of fender flares.  Never saw a good set of them in any local junkyard the entire time I've owned the S10.  I hadn't planned on pulling any trim parts, so didn't have a 7mm socket, but someone nearby graciously loaned one to me, and I was able to come home with a full set of 1" fender flares.  They aren't the top priority, but if I can finagle them into the budget, they'll go on the truck, so it'll look a bit less odd with wheel spacers pushing the wheels/tires out. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/5/18 6:31 p.m.

Been a while since I updated, between being out of commission for surgery, and buying a Super Beetle, the S10 hasn't really been going anywhere.  It's mainly been driven up and down the driveway to clear the path to the garage bay for other cars.  Since the last update, it has gotten a truck cap, from Stampie, by way of Patrick. 

It's also developed an additional electrical gremlin.   Originally, it would occasionally fail to power the fuel pump relay when starting up.  Today, it wouldn't fire the injectors.  I think the anti-theft computer wasn't getting power.  Wiggling the wiring bundle by the bulkhead connector got it started, so there has to be a bad connection (or two) down there.  Going to have to do some diagnosis and repair before I chance driving it on the street...

...which takes me to the next problem.  I decided I wanted to run it down the cul de sac and back, just to see how the transmission is doing, since I've only driven it in first and reverse.  Well, I pulled on the seatbelt, and nothing happened.  It appears the reel for the lap belt side is jammed up.  That's when I remembered, that I was only able to remove one of the belts when we pulled the interior apart, because one of them had a torx bolt that was too rusty to turn.  It was this one.  Thanks GM, if it'd been a hex head bolt, there may have been a chance of getting it loose.

I've hit the inside and outside with Kroil, and let it soak in, but there's really no way to get a good grip on the bolt head.  I even tried to see if a hex key would fit, but no luck.  I'm guessing it'll need to be drilled.  I should be able to find a replacement seatbelt at the junkyard, maybe next weekend.

 

But the biggest news is I don't think I'm bringing it to the challenge.  With the shift in focus to autocross this year, I'd be handicapped even further, as I really intended this to be a mild custom that was still quite usable as a truck.  I 'm not inclined to turn it into a corner carver, and I really don't feel like risking ending up in last place.  At this point, as much as I'd like to finish it and get it on the road, just to use as a truck, I am considering selling it if I can't get it roadworthy soon, so I can focus on other projects.  Hopefully I manage to keep it though, as it would come in handy, plus be useful for towing the Beetle to rallycross events.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/11/18 4:22 p.m.

Minor update:  It took a while, but I was able to use an extractor(along with a bunch of PB Blaster) to remove the seatbelt bolt.  There wasn’t enough room to use a tap handle, so I just very carefully used some locking pliers, and expected the extractor to snap at any minute.  Very slow going, but it worked.  The lap belt mechanism is rusted up good.  Rather than try to fix it, I’ll make a junkyard run tomorrow, and hope there’s a good set available, along with another torx bolt.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/12/18 7:30 p.m.

Found a decent seatbelt at the junkyard this morning.  It's red instead of black, but the mechanism works, so I'm happy.  I also got the truck into the garage and up on stands, so I could pull the driveshaft and replace the seal.  Took quite a bit more time than it should have, but it is done.  I pulled the exhaust I hastily made in the failed attempt to get it to the challenge, too.  In the next day or so, I'll try to weld up a full length exhaust, and make it quiet enough to take it for a spin through the neighborhood.  Really hoping to get it going quickly, I've had this thing for ages, and haven't gotten to drive it, except moving it around the driveway and the street in front of the house.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/19/18 7:26 p.m.

Welded/bolted/clamped up a somewhat janky exhaust system, but now the exhaust exits out under the rear bumper, instead of under the frame near the passenger side leaf spring, so it has quite a bit more ground clearance.  Also, it's noticeably quieter.  Threw the junkyard seatbelt on, after liberally applying antiseize to the bolts, and took it for it's inaugural test drive around the neighborhood.  First pass, the 1-2 shift seemed rather harsh, so I pulled it back into the driveway, and wound up adding about 3/4 a quart of transmission fluid.  That seemed to help some, but it's still not perfect.  I adjusted the TV cable when I did the engine swap, but I'll do it again before its next trip out of the driveway, since it is so easy to do.

Other observations from the drive.  Not a lot of pickup, so to speak, but not too surprising, with the 3.08 rear end, and the stock convertor.  I kept the 4.3 convertor to potentially swap in for the challenge, but I may not worry about it for now.  Still, it's now got a decent amount of torque for such a small truck.  Between the steering box, overboosted power steering, and a not great alignment, there is some serious wonder steer.  Not enough to be dangerous at 25 MPH, but I'll have to see at higher speeds.  I did kind of like the drive, though, as it reminded me of my first cars (three 70's RWD V8 GM vehicles).

Problems arose when it was time to shuffle vehicles in the driveway, to move the beetle back into the garage.  I made the mistake of shutting off the truck.  Trying to restart it to pull back into it spot, the first issue showed itself - the starter was pretty heatsoaked, and could barely turn.  After letting it set for a while, the next issue arose - the fuel pump relay again.  This time, fiddling with the wires didn't seem to be working as well.  Took a bunch of tries, and couldn't get it to fire, so pulled the battery and put it on a charger, just in case it was getting weak, even though it read over 12 volts.  After a while, tossed it back in the truck, and set about getting it started.  This time around, messing with the wires seemed to help a bit, but the engine would die shortly after I let go of the wiring bundle.  After several rounds of this, I finally found what the problem likely was, and feel like a complete idiot.  It looks like I never tightened up the bolt that holds the engine compartment wiring to the bulkhead, so it was able to loosen itself, and have connections start going bad.  Once I found the right socket size (1/4", good old metric/SAE combo car), tightened it up, and was able to get it started, and back into the driveway.

If I keep it, I am pondering what it will need to be driven more regularly, and won't need to worry about a challenge budget:

  1. Most of the gauges don't work.  I'm tempted to just grab add on oil pressure, water temp, and volt gauges, rather than try to get the gauges and idiot lights in the truck working.  I have an older GPS unit I could use as a speedometer.
  2. Wiring could definitely afford to be cleaned up somewhat under the hood, now that the no start problem is (probably) fixed, I'm more willing to undertake this.
  3. Alignment - tempted to pay someone to do it, but may hold off until I can lower the front a smidge, so the back of the truck doesn't look like it is dragging.
  4. Heater/blower motor.  Really should get those hooked up and somewhat functional, even if I don't use the factory controls.  I have not bypassed the heater core, so it should be good to go.
  5. Trans cooler - if I end up using it to pull the Beetle around.  Not likely to do that until I can ascertain the health of the transmission, though.
  6. Gear reduction starter - a bit more distance from the exhaust, so less likely to heatsoak.  Add in a heat shield, and I should be good to go.  This may be the most expensive part.

 

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy UltraDork
8/19/18 10:08 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

If it were my truck . I'd definitely just go the aftermarket gauge  route.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim UltraDork
8/20/18 8:05 a.m.

In reply to Indy-Guy :

I think that is the way I will go.  If the truck were still going to the challenge, my plan had been to adapt the fireturd gauge cluster to the S10 dash, so the wiring would matchup, and I could maybe get a few extra concours points for innovation.  smiley

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