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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year, I had a local turbo buick guy rebuild my engine. I also wanted him to do an internal balance. I supplied 90% of the parts (gotten from ATR before they went under), including the cam which was a street/strip cam. Well, after a long seven months and a couple of thousand dollars, the engine was finally done. My son and I dropped the engine only to find that it would not run. It would start and run for about two seconds and than die. I checked all electrical parts, making sure that they were all good and set right including the tps and cam sensor. I even replaced the entire wiring harness. Still no go. I made sure that there were no vacuume leaks and all and still no go. I also tried to call the guy that built the engine, but he went AWOL; I had been had, big time.

I was told that there was a timing problem between the cam and the crank. I took the timing cover off and the crank timing was off by one tooth. I reset the timing and put it all back together only to find that the car would do the same thing; run for two seconds and die. A friend said that the cam might be degreed? What the h311 is that? I really need some help here. Not to mention an honest mechanic.
Thanks in advance.
 

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jacksorroche said:
Last year, I had a local turbo buick guy rebuild my engine. I also wanted him to do an internal balance. I supplied 90% of the parts (gotten from ATR before they went under), including the cam which was a street/strip cam. Well, after a long seven months and a couple of thousand dollars, the engine was finally done. My son and I dropped the engine only to find that it would not run. It would start and run for about two seconds and than die. I checked all electrical parts, making sure that they were all good and set right including the tps and cam sensor. I even replaced the entire wiring harness. Still no go. I made sure that there were no vacuume leaks and all and still no go. I also tried to call the guy that built the engine, but he went AWOL; I had been had, big time.

I was told that there was a timing problem between the cam and the crank. I took the timing cover off and the crank timing was off by one tooth. I reset the timing and put it all back together only to find that the car would do the same thing; run for two seconds and die. A friend said that the cam might be degreed? What the h311 is that? I really need some help here. Not to mention an honest mechanic.
Thanks in advance.
Do you have spark?.
Do you have fuel pressure?.
Do you have a niod light?.
A noid light plugs in where an injector would go, and then flashes to indicate of the injector is getting a signal to *fire*.
Are you sure you have the cam sensor set correctly?.

You need compression, fuel (proper amount), and properly timed spark for an engine to run.

Degreeing a cam, is *tuning*. IF you have the marks lined up correctly, then it should at least run.

The engine intially runs on the ignition module, and then the ecm takes control over the timing. Might try a spare ignition module, if it fails the spark test after *2* seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have fuel pressure and the injectors are firing correctly. I have checked the cam sensor twice and its good.
The ignition module is good, but I'll try a spare in the morning.
Anything else?
 

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jacksorroche said:
I have fuel pressure and the injectors are firing correctly. I have checked the cam sensor twice and its good.
The ignition module is good, but I'll try a spare in the morning.
Anything else?
Do you have a good constant spark?.
 

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can you give it throttle before it dies?
The ECM will need to Learn the settings of everything.

Last rebuild I fired it wouldn't idle until I kept it running for a few mins.

Good luck
:6:
 

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did you happen to change injectors or anything like that. 1 tooth off the engine should run, what type of valve train is in it? Adjustable? Too tight maybe? Correct chip for your injectors?
 

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What chip are you running? I have a chip with an anti-theft feature that prevents the fuel pump from staying on unless a special sequence is done before starting. I believe the system will pressurize when you turn the key to "on" first but then turns off after it starts. If you don't do the sequence it runs for a few seconds and dies...

Next time check the fuel pressure after the car dies. Leave the key "on" so you don't reset the anti-theft feature.

Even if its not an anti-theft feature it sounds like some sort of fuel delivery problem... Maybe fuel filter?

Here's a link to a cheap fuel test gauge that can give you some indication of what's going on. It just screws into the test port on the fuel rail and can be held under the wiper blade so you can see it from the drivers seat...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm running a Turbo Tweak chip with no anti theft setting
Spark is OK, I can put the foot on the gas and it will run, so the ecm has learned the settings as well.
Fuel pressure is constant even after the engine dies.

Could the problem be in the heads? The heads are Champion Heads that I got off ebay. They did seem like a good deal at the time.
 

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I think Doc pretty well covered it. If the timing marks are lined up, I doubt the engine, itself, has anything to do with the current problem.

If it fires and runs for a couple of seconds, I would then be looking on the electrical side of the issue.

Troubleshooting is covered on my site under Troubleshooting.

Hopefully you don't have an antitheft chip as mentioned by someone else and your battery is fully charged.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't get it. I have a new wiring harness from Caspers, and all other electrical components are known good. Could it be a ground? This is an 84 Hot Air conversion to IC. Before the conversion I did switch the ecm to the 86/87 style and switched to the electric fan. It all worked great until now. I also noticed that when I had run the engine (keeping it running by pushing on the gas) the fan didn't run when the engine got hot. Could this be something?

I'll look on your web site Steve. Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate EVERYBODIES help on this one. You guys are great!
 

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You said you could keep it running by pushing on the gas. To me, this means that there is a tuning problem, most likely, and not a basic mechanical problem with the engine. (Although if the cam drive sprocket starts to come loose from the cam, an sbc loses power but keeps running- for a while) So I would start with the TPS/IAC settings, and a check for major vacuum leaks. If you have a scan tool, (like a ScanMaster) the readings would help with diagnostics.
The fan is triggered by the ECM, the A/C, and by a switch in the intake manifold, near the throttle body, and it works through relays, so there are a number of things that might keep the fan from starting. But probably not related to the engine not running right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One last thing, I did put a vac brake system on. So, do I have to terminate the unused electrical power master brake connections in any way?
 

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Are you saying that you can keep it running by giving it gas now? Or was that before?

I never get it, but, eventually I figure it out... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry Steve, I guess that I am expecting everybody to read my mind.

When I start the car with no foot on the gas peddal, it will catch right away and run for about two seconds and die. If I put my foot on the gas, it will keep going but I do have to keep the gas peddel depress a little.
 

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Have you done a compression test on it? If it has decent compression on each cylinder, I think that will eliminate the engine for the moment.

If it has decent compression, then it is time to look at the firing order to make sure the wires are on the right plugs, etc. or there is a major vacuum leak.

When you keep it running, what is the vacuum reading? :)
 

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If it will stay running with you foot on the gas but not idle either you have a vacuum leak or the throttle position sensor is way out to lunch. I did head gaskets on a 87 a few years ago and I knocked the TPS down to about .2 volts when I had it upside down on the bench cleaning the gasket surfaces.
Don't forget to run it at 2000RPM for half an hour to break in the cam unless you put a roller cam in it. Otherwise you'll be tearing it town again right away.
 

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Any progress yet?
I think it may have been better to try the "Please help me with my problem" post before posting that you got ripped off.

Also, do you have a scan tool? How are you getting you TPS readings? Do you have any kind of smoke coming out of the tailpipe? Can you post up your readings if you have the scan tool... :6:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Steve, a friend of mine looked at the vac with a guage. Although he said that the guage was all over the place, he did say that there was plenty of vacuume. I have since checked all the vac lines and check valves and all looks good. I'm not sure of where else to check for a vac leak. I'll try and do a compression check sometime this week. One last thing, before I tore it down to check the crank timing, I was able to keep the engine running (of course by keeping the gas on) and I did see my heater valve close 90% of the way after the car ran for about a minute. However, after I let the car die, the heater valve immediatly went back open, like there was a major vac leak, but I still cannot figure where it could be. All the lines and check valves are new and the vac resavoir is known good. I have also changed it out with another one. I'm stumped on that one.

FastRegalWE2, yes you are probibly right. I guess that after working on it all month to no avail made me loose my temper and I blew it off the wrong way. My apologizes to anybody that I may have gotten mad. It is not my intension to rub anybody the wrong way, especially whan you all have helped me out so much.

I do have the tps set to 4.43 volts. I set it using a voltameter

Thanks again for the help guys. I really appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
FastRegalWE2, by the way, there is no smoke, but it does smell like it is running rich. I'm not sure why, my chip is made for the injectors that I have in it. I am going to have to get a scanmaster sometime this week.
 
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