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bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
2/12/21 3:00 p.m.
rslifkin said:

Thinking about it, have you confirmed it's actually a fuel problem and not something like a dying ignition coil?  Especially if it gets worse when the thing gets warm. 

This is what I was thinking aswell. Isn't this of the era with the ignition module sitting under the coils? I tested and sold so many of those working in the big box parts store in the late 90's. 

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
2/12/21 3:03 p.m.

Hol' up, we're saying a 1991 Buick that was engineered in the late 1970s and first sold as a new car for the 1982 model year is MODERN?!

Look, this was 70s/80s GM which was guaranteed to be bean-countered, badge-engineered, built-by-drunk-and-high-workers'd quality when it was new. And here we are thirty years later, having bought a kinda-running car for $700 and complaining that early-era fuel injection using thirty-year-old parts never designed for ethanol-based gasoline and driven 3,500 miles a year doesn't work very well?

I get it, it's frustrating and yes, lots of other cars are better-designed for the sake of parts replacement. But a fuel pump is not "routine maintenance" so... objectively it may be easier to acknowledge that a thirty-year-old fuel system may take some diagnosis to make run right.

Cheap cars are always going to need work.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/12/21 3:32 p.m.

This thread is hilarious. As alluded by many here, we're really blaming the manufacturer for a 30 year old vehicle that was 8 years into its model run when it was new and was just purchased for $700? Any engineer that was involved with the design of this vehicle and its fuel pump is, at minimum, 52 years old at this point and more likely they're between 62 and dead. 

RichardSIA said:
 

The real problem with this Brick is that it is too new to use my S.E.A. but also too old for a modern scan tool. No easy way to win.

 

This is the biggest issue. By far the worst era of vehicle. Not old enough to be simple. Not new enough for a decent scan tool. I had an 81 Malibu wagon that was a nightmare of computer-controlled carburetor. Think two barrel Quadrajet with computer-controlled metering rods. It was horrible. 

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
2/12/21 4:32 p.m.

So you think car companies run by strong personalities have fewer engineering/design issues?

Have you been around a Tesla? I see and hear about a fair number of engineering issues.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/21 4:49 p.m.
RichardSIA said:
Keith Tanner said:
JBruin said:

Following this thread as I am having similar issue with my Camaro. 

RichardSIA I am with you on the distain for computer controlled vehicles.

When we're done complaining about the neglected fuel system on this 30 year old EFI car, we can talk about the constant fuel system problems in my neglected 35 year old Mini with an SU and a mechanical pump. We can also talk about the accessibility of the pump...

I may have a spare engine core that would fit, not sure if the Mini and later Austin/Morris versions are the same. S.U.'s are easy, and I bet the Mini pump is a snap compared to dropping the tank of this Brick. Even if you have to pull the grill it's at least something you can stand up for, not laying on your back.

Never worked on a Mini, have you? The engine is backwards. The fuel pump is up against the firewall near the bottom so you need to lean waaaaaay over and squeeze under the bonnet. Even if you take the bonnet off you're basically working at shin level while standing up. Nowhere near the comfort level of lying on your back. And the pump is not rebuildable. If it gives me trouble one more time there's an electric going in.

As for SUs being easy, well, the concepts are clear. But it's black magic getting one to actually work properly. This damn car hasn't run properly in years, so I don't want to drive it, which means the fuel gets older and it runs more poorly as everything gums up. If it was fuel injected, I'd have all sorts of stuff I could check and measure instead of basically sniffing the exhaust to see if it's running rich and hoping I have the right magic three letter code on the needle and that the needle hasn't worn.

Running a couple of tanks of gas through a neglected car does not clear up all the deposits that formed when it was sitting.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/12/21 4:49 p.m.

I'm eating popcorn now hoping keith chimes in again. 
 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/21 4:51 p.m.
mtn (Forum Supporter) said:

I'm eating popcorn now hoping keith chimes in again. 

Nope, I know better than to try to fix "i read on the internet bah humbug" with actual experience. This thread has made me more embarassed to own an old Land Rover than a Tesla.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/21 4:56 p.m.
RichardSIA said:
yupididit said:

In reply to RichardSIA :

What's a real car? I want one

Made before Gov. Org. decided they have the authority to dictate design parameters. Made when a strong personality at the helm made the decisions, not bean counters or "Focus Groups".

Think of Lotus and Colin Chapman, Jaguar and Sir William Lyons, Shelby Cars and Carrol Shelby, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov...........

....and you believe that?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/21 5:40 p.m.

My mostly analog Mini (no points, I'm not an animal!) is actually one year newer than my fuel injected CRX. They're remarkably alike to drive. The big difference? The CRX starts and runs every time even though it's got 2-3x the lifetime mileage. And it runs sweetly, no futzing around with chokes, cleaning the plugs or pumping the throttle before starting up or anything. Turn key, motor away, enjoy. If the Mini had EFI like that, I'd get to drive it.

It says something that I know exactly where the fuel pump is on the Mini but I have no idea on the Honda :)

johndej
johndej Dork
2/12/21 5:45 p.m.

Feel like this is relevant, stollen from meme thread

 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/21 7:25 p.m.
RichardSIA said:
Pete. (l33t FS) said:
RichardSIA said:
yupididit said:

In reply to RichardSIA :

What's a real car? I want one

Made before Gov. Org. decided they have the authority to dictate design parameters. Made when a strong personality at the helm made the decisions, not bean counters or "Focus Groups".

Think of Lotus and Colin Chapman, Jaguar and Sir William Lyons, Shelby Cars and Carrol Shelby, Bill Mitchell, Zora Arkus Duntov...........

....and you believe that?

You have strong evidence otherwise? The men I named above did not have the major influence and decision power over the products they produced? Engineers under them did not report to them for approval?

Add Henry Ford the first to the list.

Colin Chapman relied heavily on his engineers, and there were many instances where he vetoed their ideas to disastrous results.  (I forget if it was the Esprit or the Europa, but there was famously a suspension crossbrace that he insisted was not necessary and stamped and whined until they removed it.  And the suspension collapsed almost immediately on the car's first test drive.)  Kind of like Porsche in that timeframe, it was largely a case of engineers and designers getting their way while making it look like "the boss"'s idea.

Carroll Shelby didn't design a damn thing, he was another idea man.  His most famous car was someone else's car with someone else's engine and his bravado and bluster in getting the two together.

I'm unfamiliar with the exploits of the others other than Zora's famous letter (basically, "hey Chevy let's race cars", and his "30-30 cam", which was Porsche engineered cam lobes on a Chevy stick.

 

There's a lot of fawning and lore, maybe half of it made up and the rest exaggerated, around individuals' exploits.

03Panther
03Panther SuperDork
2/12/21 7:35 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I had not seen your CRX before... went to profile to see what ya had (thanks for having a current garage!)

Back in the early/mid *0's my girlfriends brother had one the same blue. we liked it enough, we bought a 86 si in black. One of the few brand new cars I ever owned.Fantastic car.

Miss that one.

How long have you had yours?

(sorry for the hi-jack, RichardSIA)

ShawnG
ShawnG UltimaDork
2/12/21 11:02 p.m.

TBH, your pump sounds ok. Even if the pressure was a bit low, it should run fine until heavy load or high rpm.

I think your problem is elsewhere in the system.

90BuickCentury
90BuickCentury Reader
2/13/21 6:53 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Is the hanging green and white wire with the plugged dirty end on the passenger side between engine and firewall? If so, I think that is normal... I own a few of these cars and they all seem to have that random disconnected wire.

I have an OBD1/2 scanner. It will give basic info readout on OBD1 such as voltage, RPM, coolant temp, vehicle speed, engine codes, etc. Paid $280 for it, but it has adapters for OBD1 GM, Ford, Mopar, Toyota etc, and it works on all my OBD1 and OBD2 cars.

Service manuals are cheap on eBay, like $20 or less with shipping. I have a couple.

A-body.net is a forum dedicated to the 82-96 Buick Century, Olds Cutlass Ciera, Chevy Celebrity, and Pontiac 6000. They also have a FB page that is more active. Lots of good info on those sites.

Also, could be injectors? Or a bunch of other things. Injectors are easy to access and can be tested with an Ohmeter. I think 12 Ohm is spec?

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/13/21 9:07 a.m.

Sounds like the regulator is working as well, being that pressure goes down with vacuum applied to it.  At this point, I'd be thinking either injectors or ignition.  Or something electronic intermittently flaking out.  But the basic "get fuel to the injectors" parts of the system sound like they're working fine. 

Carsandbikes
Carsandbikes Reader
2/13/21 9:24 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I have owned nearly 30 cars in 50+ years of driving and never had to drop a tank.  The closest that I ever came was when I removed and replaced the switch/lever under the fuel tank on a motorcycle for switching in the fuel reserve.  2 years from new and the gasket started leaking like a sieve.

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
2/13/21 10:45 a.m.

Some people think Kelly Johnson designed the A-12/SR-71 by himself. Even he admitted Ben Rich and the thermodynamisists has as much to do with it's success as anyone.  

Also, don't buy a 67 automobile. The government finally won and made them install side marker lights. Stupid interface. 

Endless pursuit of the next big thing is just as bad as hopelessly clinging to the past. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/26/21 7:32 a.m.

For something that intermittent, I'd be tempted to disconnect, clean, and reconnect every engine related electrical connector you can find.  Maybe one is just a little loose. 

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/26/21 7:37 a.m.

Mmm computer cars 

wae
wae UberDork
2/26/21 7:39 a.m.

No power to injectors makes me think that the +12VDC input to the injectors is broken, - bad relay/fuse/connector/wire - the part of the computer that controls the injectors has failed, or the sensor on the engine that tells the computer how fast the engine is spinning has failed.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
2/26/21 7:57 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

Rlsfkin has it right. It was a common issue with Jaguars during the labor issues. Factory line workers would tighten a few wires loosely . Just enough to ship it. Then normal vibration would loosen things and poof failure.  
   Maybe an assembler lost an argument with a manager. Maybe a previous mechanic was rushed who knows who to blame. 
Frankly it doesn't matter. You'll spend a lot more time trying to find fault than it actually takes to fix the problem. 
 

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
2/26/21 7:57 a.m.
RichardSIA said:

When not running there is no signal to the injectors according to my newly purchased (an)NOID light.

When you have no injector signal check if you are missing the + or -. You should have 12v+ whenever the key is on, and flashing negative when cranking. The negative is hard to check with a test light, but if you have the + you know - is the problem. 

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
2/26/21 9:43 a.m.

If you don't have a crank sensor signal, the fuel pump won't run and the injectors won't cycle.

When you have no injectors, see if you have spark.  Injectors can't work if there is no crank signal to tell the ecu the engine is turning.

 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
2/26/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to RichardSIA :

If you've ever got a reason to buy a computer based car in the future, shoot for 96 or newer, up into the early 2000s.  They're no more complicated than the older ones, and in some cases simpler (as they were able to simplify some of the vacuum driven emissions stuff, etc.).  But more importantly, the ones in that range are MUCH easier to diagnose.  If you ask them correctly, they can often point you pretty close to what's wrong.  The early computer driven stuff was still somewhat in the learning phase. 

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