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lsfinn1
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« on: December 28, 2011, 01:41:16 PM »

Hey ya'll --
Just joined and hoping for input on several technical / mechanical issues.  There are too many things to list in one post and it's hard to know where to begin, so I guess I'll start with an introduction to the car --- 88GT 2.8L 6 cyl. automatic with 135,000 miles, purchased in 1998.
The current mystery problem (started back in the summer) is major hesitation or bogging when the gas is pressed too far / too fast - otherwise she drives great (as long as I don't try to pass).  It's almost as though it has a 'fur ball', but neither my current mechanic or the mechanics at pontiac can figure it out. My mechanic has replaced the muffler, replaced the injectors, disconnected the CSI, removed the cat and disconnected the EGR (no more code 32).  I cleaned a few easy to reach ground connections and added a new ground.  Although the 'clog' seems a bit improved, it is still there.  Any clues? confused?
I also have a question about the oil.  My mechanic said the car is burning oil (wiped black soot from tail pipe) and I should be using 20/50 oil. (What do ya'll think?) I've never seen any smoke coming from the exhaust or oil dripping below the car.  I check the oil regularly and it is never low.  About a year ago, J Lube reported a leak when the oil was changed. So Pontiac added dye to the oil, but found nothing. The same J Lube said there was water in the oil when they changed it a few months ago, but again - no drips seen and mechanic thinks it was condensation.  Should I use 20/50, add stp, etc??? :confused:
Other issues -- Minor coolant leak - needs a new radiator and new plastic overflow tank (I installed a new heater core last year), A/C does not work and needs upgrade.  Alternator belt needs to be replaced (I just ordered an automatic tensioner).  There's more, but this is getting too long --

Any input ya'll can provide would be greatly appreciated.  
Thanks and Happy Holidays --- Laura ^^0^^  (sorry about typos)
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Laura S Finn

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avengador1
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2011, 03:08:01 PM »

I would have the fuel filter checked and replaced if it hasn't been done. You also might want to check your fuel pressure. If you have the original fuel pump it might need to be replaced as it nearing the end of it's life. You also should have the throttle body and it's passages cleaned. All of these steps will help freshen up your performance. How old are your sparkplugs, wires, distributor cap, and O2 sensor? These all should have been replaced as part of a complete tune up.
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lsfinn1
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2011, 04:21:17 PM »

I looked through my records and the problem actually began nearly a year ago and was initially accompanied by difficult / failed starts.   Back in Feb, Pontiac replaced the distributor, cap and rotor, upper plenum gasket, manifold seal, ignition coil, repaired corroded vacuum lines, and added new plugs (fouled?) and wires. They also ran some diagnostics, which I can attach to another message if anyone wants to see the graphs.  The starting issue was corrected, but not the 'clog'. 
The CSI and cat were removed in March. Added injector cleaner to seven tanks of gas. Also tightened the air filter cap after I noticed it was loose (found and removed a few oak leaves - could that be important?).  The muffler, fuel rod and injectors were replaced in April.  The plugs were replaced again in June along with the ECM, temp sensor, fuel pump and filter. The EGR was disconnected also.  The June repair occurred after the car died on our way to Jacksonville.  The rpms dropped to zero while driving on i-95.   
Don't know if it's relevant, but I installed a new accelerator pedal back in July 09.  I'm not sure about the O2 sensor or throttle body - I'll investigate those further. 
Thanks for the help ya'll-- Laura 
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Laura S Finn

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« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 04:45:27 PM »

there we go people we can have a tech day here with the 88, so we help the fiero and the owner .
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 01:20:46 AM by blackgtfiero » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2011, 05:40:18 PM »

The 2.8 V6 called for 5-30 oil.  20-50 is far too heavy for the narrow oil passages of that engine.
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lsfinn1
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2011, 09:59:05 PM »

Thanks Lar,
I've always used 5-30, but current mechanic suggested thicker is better for older cars and hot climates to prevent / slow leaks. (?) Also said an engine overhaul should be considered due to burning / leaking oil.  I've not seen any evidence of leaks or burning oil. Am I being led astray?
I forgot to mention the car does run a bit 'rich' like it's not burning all of the gas. I could swear there's a 'fur-ball' or 'clot' somewhere that needs to be coughed out. 
A new issue as of a few hours ago - the trunk switch stopped working. rolleyes so I had to open it with the key and noticed the trunk light was totally missing (I know it was there 2 days ago, because I twisted it off so it wouldn't drain the battery). She also has a blown fuse and a totally dead battery. dead Hooked the charger to the battery and will check again in the morning. 
Mind you - the trunk switch quit the same day the mechanic tried to tighten / change my alternator belt (due to squealing).  I planned to watch and learn so next time I can do it myself, but after beating on the bolt for awhile with no success, we decided it should wait until I can leave the car.  Maybe a wire was pulled etc?? I ordered the tensioner hoping it will prevent this in the future (throwing belts is not uncommon, last time was Fathers Day 2 years ago -- I never made it to their house).  That time a friend was trying to help me change the belt, but we had the same frozen bolt problem and I ended up towing it to a nearby mechanic. 
Sorry for the wordy post -- I appreciate ya'lls help.  Thank you. shy
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Laura S Finn

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« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2011, 10:10:19 PM »

I ordered the tensioner hoping it will prevent this in the future (throwing belts is not uncommon, last time was Fathers Day 2 years ago -- I never made it to their house). 


What type tensioner did you order?

http://home.windstream.net/dodgerunner/Fiero1_files/BracketInfo.html

Maybe
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Frank Martin

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lsfinn1
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2011, 11:15:13 PM »

Hey blackgt -- What's a tech day? 
It's nearly impossible to find a mechanic that knows anything about Fieros (or cares) and every mechanic I've been to HATES to work on this car.  I'm never sure of what they're doing, I'm not even sure that they're sure of what they're doing -- heck, even the Pontiac mechanics are stumped by the 'fur-ball'.  confused? I figure 'if you want something done right, do it yourself' (within reason and if possible ^^0^^) -- so I'm trying to learn. 
I've been trying to DIY the last few years. A few years ago I knew absolutely nothing about cars, never changed my own oil or even a flat tire.  Still haven't done either, but I've learned how to check the engine codes, fuses and most fluids. AND with a little help (mostly moral support and guidance from a few PFF members),  I've installed a new gas pedal, a new heater core and helped a friend install new end-links.  We also retrofit the battery tray a couple of weeks ago. 
However, I am not a mechanic and always have questions.  PFF has been a lot of help.  I wish I had found this group sooner, I had no idea there were so many Fiero folks here in central Florida.  cool
So my big question is -- what should my triage / attack plan be in order to keep this car running another 20 years??
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Laura S Finn

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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2011, 11:17:06 PM »

Hey Dragon --
Yes, that's the one! smile
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Laura S Finn

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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2011, 10:51:08 AM »

I'm going with a too rich fuel condition
Indicator #1 major hesitation under load
Indicator #2 soot in the exhaust

Plus timing  wink

Keep your oil at factory spec

Deck lid light and fuse are an easy fix (Their are other ways of turning it off)

A Tech Day is when we make an appointment to get together and wrench on someones car - Usually requires beer hot dogs or burgers  wink

I'm sure Stan will jump on here and square all this up for us  biggrin
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 10:53:05 AM by Pappy » Logged

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lsfinn1
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2011, 01:13:44 PM »

Hey Pappy,
Thanks for your input on this.  So --- what does one do for a 'too rich' fuel condition?.  confused?

In response to avengador -- I checked my files and the throttle body was cleaned and TPS replaced by my current mechanic in June.  I believe the O2 sensor was checked at the dealership several weeks earlier.  Pontiac did a lot of trouble shooting and had it several times in Feb / March last year.  I'll post a summary of what they tried a little later -- but gotta run right now.   
I really appreciate ya'lls help -- Thank you and Happy Holidays!  smile
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Laura S Finn

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avengador1
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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 02:47:01 PM »

The O2 sensor tells the ECM how the fuel is burning. If it isn't working correclty it could make the engine run rich. It should be replaced every couple of years because of the environment it resides in. Another cause of rich running could be the fuel injectors themselves. This could happen if they get stuck open.
You can have the injectors rebuilt and matched here:
http://www.cruzinperformance.com./
Or you can get new ones from www.fierostore.com
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2manycars
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« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2011, 07:41:29 PM »

OK, I love this game. Time for me to put in my 2 cents.  tongue

Reading back through this post, seems like "the mechanic" has basically changed a bunch of parts (how's your wallet these days)! but I don't see that anything's been diagnosed?

Also, the suggestions on oil, and removing emissions stuff is "old school" crap without trying to figure out the problem.

I'm in with Pappy and Avengador1 for running too rich. BlackGTFiero just wants a Tech Day so we can party and work on his car too,  OMG/Shocked but hey, I'm down with that anytime!!  :confused: but I digress.

I'd throw a meter on it and see what some of the readings are before changing anymore parts. (Sorry, went back and read through the post again - you have some charts from Pontiac? Those would help). How many miles have you driven this thing since all the part changes? I'd like to reset the computer and let it relearn from zero. I'd check the timing again just for fun as well. I'd be curious to do a compression check to address the oil thing also. You said you don't seem to be losing oil (you check it regularly) and don't see any leaks. These engines are old though, and the valve seals go. Might have some leak down from old seals. (Would show with start-up and oil smoke which you're not seeing though)?

You said new plugs in February and changed again in June? Were they black from running rich, or gunked up from oil fouling? New wires, new distributor, new plenum gasket, new injectors . . . hell this thing should be purring like a kitten! The cat's gone and EGR disconnected - no clogs there. I'd be curious to inspect the fuel filter. Our gas tank's rust out, and that can clog a filter in no time!

I'd get a few heads together for some systematic diagnostics with everybody being able to "hear" the motor and should be able to resolve in short order. Most of what I'd do is "no dollar" stuff, just running through the numbers first. Then it's beers and pizza all around!!  dead (Some serious dollars there - I've seen these guys drink and eat)!!  wink

Marc

Am I starting to write like Stan?! . . . please say no!!
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    • 84 SE - loaded, son's car
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    « Reply #13 on: December 29, 2011, 07:47:42 PM »

    Umm....

    no?
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    Pappy - Crusty old retired MSgt
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    « Reply #14 on: December 29, 2011, 09:10:48 PM »

    I also have an 88gt mine however has the 5 speed getrag.  I also have the rich condition with mine that I have not been able to figure out.  Now my problem is the throw out bearing is very bad  OMG/Shocked and I need to replace the stupid thing.  This however requires dropping the entire cradle to do it.  I would love to get e tech day together if any of you fiero guys would like to jump in and help change the entire clutch, plate, flywheel and the offending bearing. 
    This could be a serious tech day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  If not I must do it myself which will take several days......
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    88 GT 5 Speed..awaiting its new 3.4 heart, 86 GT  built 2.8 auto...
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