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New Sounds Coming From Car by ImmortalFirefly
Started on: 12-07-2003 03:31 AM
Replies: 18
Last post by: ImmortalFirefly on 12-18-2003 01:35 AM
ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-07-2003 03:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Hey Everybody. I just had a few things about my baby that I was concerned about. FYI, I have a 86 Sports Coups 4 cyl manual.

First thing is Sound #1
When the car is on, and I'm driving down the road, when I keep the acceleration steady (not accel, or decel) I don't really hear anything. But when I accelerate, it almost sounds like a dry vacuum sound is coming out of somewhere. I have put the car in neutral and cranked up the rpm's but I don't get the same affect.....any ideas?

Sound #2
There is quite the tick coming from the engine. I have gotten a screwdriving and done a crude sound test and I have been able to narrow it down to the throttle body I believe. I'm not sure if it is the injector that is the problem, but then again I don't know much about engine work. The tick gets faster with the Rpm's, etc. Any quick tests I could do to help narrow things down a bit?

Problem #3
This one I'm more afraid of. Its not a sound.....but something else. My car sometimes when I'm driving (usually when I'm accelerating past "still acceleration", the car almost seems to cut off for just a split second, like somebody kicked the front of the car, and made it stop for just a hair. One day when I was scoping out the car to see what it might be, the engine almost killed off. I'm talkin' 99% shutdown, and then it kicked back on by itself. It has also (at intersections coincidentally), just been a little teeny studder, and then it'll shut off and I have to turn it on again. But I don't have any startup problems. When I idle, my engine does seem to kinda.....studder just a bit. Its not a smooth idle like it should be. And I don't know if this helps, but when I start up the car usually it idles high (probably around 2 1/2 rpms? (my tach is broke)) and then after about 15 seconds it quiets down to normal. Any ideas on this one?

If you guys could please help me on all of these, I would greatly appreciate it.

ImmortalFirefly

Edit: Cahrap I can't spell at night
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Practice makes perfect, but since nobody's perfect, why practice?

If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

[This message has been edited by ImmortalFirefly (edited 12-07-2003).]

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Jdlog
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Report this Post12-07-2003 03:53 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JdlogSend a Private Message to JdlogDirect Link to This Post
I am about ready to go to bed -- totally burned out -- but if you are still around at this hour, search for my name, you'll find threads where I also asked for help on similar noises in recent weeks.

The 3rd problem...I wish I could be certain but if you haven't done it already, try replacing the ignition module (it may be time to anyway). I'll check again later today.
Good luck!
...sudden brain shutoff

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Dslice
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Report this Post12-07-2003 01:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DsliceClick Here to Email DsliceSend a Private Message to DsliceDirect Link to This Post
You might want to check the catyltic converter and make sure thats not bad(plugged). It caused my fiero to have a strange intake sucking noise and major lack of power. The ticking might be normal, my 84's throttle body ticks quite loud. Stalling could be timing or a problem with the ignition coil(s) or module.
A lot of drivability problems also are caused by vacuum leak and faulty EGR valve. Vacuum issues cause strange idle problems and stalling or hestitation. And that's where I'd place my bets.
The ignition coil or ignition module might be faulty.
Have you taken the air cleaner assembly off and made sure that it's not clogged? With air cleaner off and while the car is running, does the injector seem to spray correctly. Could also be a fuel pressure problem.
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Gordo
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Report this Post12-07-2003 01:11 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GordoSend a Private Message to GordoDirect Link to This Post
Both of my 88 duke throttle bodies make ticking sounds from the injector. It is normal.
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KlingonFiero
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Report this Post12-07-2003 03:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KlingonFieroClick Here to visit KlingonFiero's HomePageClick Here to Email KlingonFieroSend a Private Message to KlingonFieroDirect Link to This Post
I don't know about the other problems, but one thing that has been overlooked for problem #3 is the IAC valve.

I would try removing it and cleaning it, do a search for the right way to do it. If you clean it the wrong way, it will never work right again.

Good Luck!

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ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-08-2003 04:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Anybody know of a good cheap cat to get for my Fiero? I've been contemplating it for a while since mine is so messed up. I was thinking about Rodney's Aftermarket one, but anybody else got some ideas? And I checked on how to clean out the IAC valve, but I found no such luck anywhere, so could somebody describe it for me? And I'm gonna check the ignition module too. Just gotta find out where it is.....I wish I knew more about where and what crap was on my car, but Haynes don't do no crap for me Anyways, thanks guys.

ImmortalFirefly

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If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

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Report this Post12-08-2003 01:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for camonClick Here to Email camonSend a Private Message to camonDirect Link to This Post
The best place to get the CAT is either from rodney dickman or the Fiero store!

Not sure about the "correct" IAC cleaning method....sorry!

Your control module is located in the distribitor cap. Remove Dist. cap and it is the black flat "U" shaped unit on the bottom distribitor plate (it is held in by 2 little screws). It has 2 plug connections on the front of it and 1 plug connection on the rear of it (near the dist. shaft)!

good luck!

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Keith F.

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Report this Post12-08-2003 02:16 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lurkerClick Here to Email lurkerSend a Private Message to lurkerDirect Link to This Post
i have an 84, but i'll assume yours is the same. the IAC is on the side of the throttle body. remove it, spray down the cone and passages with throttle body cleaner, measure and asjust as needed, reinstall with a new gasket. thee are (i think) a couple of different kinds, so you'll need to check your manual for specs and adjustment technique.
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Report this Post12-08-2003 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Hey thanks for the tips guys. One note with the dist and getting to the ignition module....

A) Will I have to reset the timing after I take off the distibutor? Because I can't really do that myself seeing I don't have a timing light...gun, whatever.

B) How can I tell if its bad? Burn marks?

And also with the IAC, what do you mean by adjusting it?

ImmortalFirefly

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Practice makes perfect, but since nobody's perfect, why practice?

If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

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Report this Post12-09-2003 12:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JdlogSend a Private Message to JdlogDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by ImmortalFirefly:

A) Will I have to reset the timing after I take off the distibutor? Because I can't really do that myself seeing I don't have a timing light...gun, whatever.

B) How can I tell if its bad? Burn marks?


A. No need to reset the timing if you can replace the module without loosening and rotating the distributor body. Just make sure to put the distributor cap and its spark plug wires back where they belong. If you DO have to remove the distributor, then mark the position it was in (both the body and the rotor). This is needed/required anyway but if you do it very precisely, you may get away with no significant timing variations.

B. Most of the time there are no externally visible signs of damage. I believe there are some tests that can be done. However, nothing can replace the dynamic environment under which a module can fail after having tested as good. Therefore, it is best to replace it anyway if you have not done so in 50k miles or so.

BTW, make sure to use the heat transfer paste that comes with the module. Spread it on the base that rests against the distributor. If no paste is included, get it. This is critical to avoid overheating of the module.

Let us know how it goes... have fun!

[This message has been edited by Jdlog (edited 12-09-2003).]

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Report this Post12-09-2003 12:12 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GraudefasSend a Private Message to GraudefasDirect Link to This Post
Regarding the IAC "adjustment": Technically, you aren't "adjusting" it, you're pushing the plunger in enough so as you don't jam the contraption into the hole, thereby rendering it useless.

Whatcha do is hold the main body in one hand, and whilst applying [inward] pressure to the pintle, kinda walk the tip in a "screw-in" circle with the other. Note that you are not actually turning the shaft, but if you imagine washing a window with a rag in a circular motion, that's what yoiu want to achieve. The books say to push the pintle in to about 1-1/8" from the tip to the body. This will allow for gasket crush and stuff.

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Report this Post12-09-2003 07:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTDudeClick Here to Email GTDudeDirect Link to This Post
Damn.........y'all have answered all the questions....quite well by the way.......LOL.

One thing, clean the IAC with throttle body cleaner on the "penis looking" pinacle on the end well. Also, clean up in the throttle bore to clean that up. Gently push the pinacle assm from side to side until you can get it to move in a few fractions of an inch.

I think that instead of vacuum noise you are hearing intake noise into the engine. Mine does it.

The idle thing sounds pretty much normal. If if worries you and you want it fixed, get with me later.Good luck!

Phil

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Report this Post12-09-2003 07:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for GTDudeClick Here to Email GTDudeDirect Link to This Post

GTDude

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Damn.........y'all have answered all the questions....quite well by the way.......LOL.

One thing, clean the IAC with throttle body cleaner on the "penis looking" pinacle on the end well. Also, clean up in the throttle bore to clean that up. Gently push the pinacle assm from side to side until you can get it to move in a few fractions of an inch.

I think that instead of vacuum noise you are hearing intake noise into the engine. Mine does it.

The idle thing sounds pretty much normal. If if worries you and you want it fixed, get with me later.Good luck!

Phil

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If you found my advice helpful, please take the time to give me a positive rating. Thanks

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ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-12-2003 01:39 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Alright, well now I'm extremely worried. Over the past few days, the problems have gotten steadily worse and worse. Now, I know I'm doing good when I can get to an intersection and NOT stall. I basically stall about 75% of the time at an intersection, and the bucking while I'm driving is getting worse. But today as I found out, does something new and even more "exciting". I was going about 65 mph and all of a sudden, my car decides not to accelerate anymore.....for about 2 seconds....and then kicks right back in. Well about the 3rd time it did it (I was going about 40mph) and it cut acceleration for probably a good 4 seconds or so, and then it kicked back in. Well about 3 seconds after that (pay attention) I hear kinda a loud bang come from the back of my car, like a backfire and a decent plume of smoke comes out the tailpipe. Then my car goes back to normal again. And probably a few minutes later it does the same thing, but the bang isn't so loud, and the plume of smoke wasn't as big. So does this help you guys out any at all? Does it narrow it down to anything cause either way I go, I'm looking at spending a good $50-$100. Thanks again for your help so far.

ImmortalFirefly

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Practice makes perfect, but since nobody's perfect, why practice?

If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

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Report this Post12-12-2003 04:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JdlogSend a Private Message to JdlogDirect Link to This Post
Have you tried any of the suggestions above? Did you check the intake area (air filter, TBI) for blockage, dirt, evidence of backfiring in the intake (as opposed to the exhaust side, which is more likely). Are you getting any ECM codes you can tell us about? Glowing exhaust manifold?

Sometimes there is no choice but the painful process of elimination according to some kind of priority. In your case, and to minimize the immediate expense I am listing some of the ideas above:

1. Check EACH spark plug -- we all forgot to tell you this before. (clean the external area around the plugs first, otherwise debris may get in)
2. Important, check the plug wires (borrow a meter) and the plug rubber boots. Look into external spark/discharges (as with glowing manifolds, check for this in dim light and you may be able to see if any electric arcing is happening in the ignition wiring, usually to ground.) Also check ditributor rotor and cap.
3. Do the IAC valve clean-up mentioned by others above...no cost to try!
-- drive and test
4. Do a check of vacuum hoses, if no problems go to #5
5. Replace the fuel filter (easy, low cost NAPA <$15, good to do anyway).
-- drive and test promptly, improvements may mean the filter and/or fuel pump are involved
6. Borrow, if you must, an ignition coil. Or at least, have yours tested (there are some checks that you can do easily with an ohmmeter). NAPA's cheap <$30
7. REPLACE the Ignition Module - GMs original would be best but NAPA has one for about $35.
-- Drive and test

Less likely culprits but possible accomplices:
- The CAT, if very bad; order the replacement (or a straight pipe for testing).
- O2 sensor may or may not be good...probably not.
- The pickup coil inside the distributor but let's not go there yet.
- buy an EGR gasket and pull the EGR valve for inspection (assuming no leaks were found when checking vacuum). If movement is restricted, see forum archives postings about ways to try and salvage an EGR. A bad EGR could throw idling off.
- A temp or other sensor throwing the ECM out of wack...but we will get to this if needed. Just mention if any smell of fuel is present when you start the car (I suspect you'd have mentioned it already).

More will surely come to mind in this group as we go along. I am beginning to think that you have more than one issue. It could be that something will fix the idling but not the sudden cut off and vice versa.

Benno

P.S. I mention NAPA because they seem to have several stores in Utah, see their website at www.napaonline.com. Autozone also has some and prices are good but I've heard complaints about parts quality.

[This message has been edited by Jdlog (edited 12-12-2003).]

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ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-12-2003 10:18 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Well now my car fails to start up. It just rolls and rolls and doesn't seem to want to turn on anymore. I would notice as my car would stall in the middle of an intersection, it would get harder and harder to start. I thought of bad gas maybe, but I just put new plus gas in there just before she "died". Its now stuck at a local Artic Circle. I'll see if I can rule out some of your findings, but I really do appreciate you helping me out.

 
quote
Did you check the intake area (air filter, TBI) for blockage, dirt, evidence of backfiring in the intake (as opposed to the exhaust side, which is more likely).

I haven't checked that yet. But I will. I've had a lot of looks at my whole throttle body and I haven't noticed any gunk buildup anywhere. But one noteworthy thing is that I cleaned out my engine ..... 2 weeks ago? and I guess that's probably when the problems really started taking effect.

 
quote
Are you getting any ECM codes you can tell us about?

I haven't checked lately (I really should have),but before all this crap I was code free. Wait I take that back. I think I checked about...1 week ago? 1 1/2 weeks? and I got code free. But I could have gotten more codes when I started backfiring.

 
quote
Glowing exhaust manifold?

I have had problems with this in the past and haven't been able to 100% cure it. I helped it out by recorrecting the ignition timing (off by 5*) but its not 100% cured. It still glows a little hint *sometimes*

1. Check EACH spark plug -- we all forgot to tell you this before. (clean the external area around the plugs first, otherwise debris may get in)
The spark plugs and wires were replaced about 1800 miles ago. So unless my little engine cleaning killed em, then they should be ok.

Also check ditributor rotor and cap.
What do I exactly check for? Cracks? Crap around em? Gunk? connected up right?

3. Do the IAC valve clean-up
Eh, its kinda hard to do that when your car is 20 miles away from you. I work and go to school constantly so I'm a very busy boy and I was gonna to it tomorrow but I'll have to wait on it I guess.

4. Do a check of vacuum hoses
I'm not a big mechanic but the only vacuum hoses I know about are around the throttle body (the teeny black ones) and .... I guess the intake hose that goes into the thermac area through the filter. Where else are major vacuum spots?
5. Replace the fuel filter (easy, low cost NAPA <$15, good to do anyway).
This was replaced.....no more than 700 miles ago. But I have run out of gas twice because for some reason after I fixed the ignition timing, it must be running cause I can't make it to about 230 on the odo without running out of gas (broken gas guage). I used to make it to 250 no problem. So it might be in need of changing again. And it only costs about $5 or $10 at checker for a fram

6. Borrow, if you must, an ignition coil. Or at least, have yours tested
K, I'll see if I can check that out....but I don't know if I can borrow one. I live in Utah and Fiero owners are very far and few inbetween.

7. REPLACE the Ignition Module
I'm thinking this, but then again, I have no idea what the symptoms are about a failed Ignition mod. All I know is they go out like Western Family light bulbs.

- The CAT, if very bad; order the replacement (or a straight pipe for testing).
I believe that I do have a bad cat. Cause it hasn't been replaced and it looks like crap (not that that means anything, but hey, it does ) I can't really tell if anything jiggles in it when I hit it.

- O2 sensor may or may not be good...probably not.
Just barely replaced about 700 miles ago and had the connections soldered correctly by a very good mechanic.

- buy an EGR gasket and pull the EGR valve for inspection
I barely replaced the gasket (about 700 miles ago....like everything else) when I got the rocker arm cover gasket. It just came with it. I also checked the EGR by doing to "blow" test and no air came through whatsoever (I did get some good black lips though)

- A temp or other sensor throwing the ECM out of wack...but we will get to this if needed. Just mention if any smell of fuel is present when you start the car
I haven't noticed a fuel smell and I'd bank that some of my sensors are outta wack. You see, my exhaust manifold (with previous owners) heated up real good, and melted plugs, wires, and whatnot around it. It happened once with me (when it got friggen hot) and it has melted the plugs near the firewall side going to the ECM fairly well but my car seemed to work fine still.

Well that helps narrow things down a little bit. I'm just kinda bummed because I don't think I've ever had a good solid month where my Fiero was running the entire time......*sigh* It just keeps sucking my Christmas money out of me. Oh well though. Thanks for your help again everybody. I really appreciate you helping me out with your responses.

Austin

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Practice makes perfect, but since nobody's perfect, why practice?

If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

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ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-13-2003 02:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
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Report this Post12-13-2003 03:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for JdlogSend a Private Message to JdlogDirect Link to This Post
GOOD ONLY IF CAR DOESN'T START: Check for spark from a plug wire to ground while cranking. (If good spark, module less likely.) No Spark?> Then, from ignition coil wire to ground (bright blue/white?). No spark: coil is likely gone. But read ahead.

Without having read all of your posting more than twice, in case I miss something, I'll give you this recent experience with my 90 Olds Silhouette minivan:

1. When it was 140k miles, I thought that it was high time to replace the ignition coil and module. NOTHING was wrong then. So, I didn't.
2. At 160k, recently, car would not start easily. Changed fuel filter because it was easy. I thought that left coil and module pending, but the car started a little better.
3. Car didn't start one morning...only the coil was available at nearest local dealer. Got it, installed it and BINGO. Perfect starts. And I thought, I still have to change that module...but didn't just yet.
4. A week later, pulling off a ramp into the turnpike at 70mph...engine died, backfired, I pulled to the side just as a trailer almost hit me.
5. Car started after cooling off for a few minutes. Now, I KNEW that the module had to be flaky. So, I drove over and got a new one to install that evening BUT...
6. ...I was in a hurry to meet a client...back to the turnpike at no more than 50mph. Car died for good, with no tools I wound up paying $90 bucks for tow truck.
7. I finally installed the module and everything is fine.

The thing that hits me the hardest is that I keep telling my friends to replace the module after 100K miles. I keep finding cars in which modules run much longer and much less. I keep correctly diagnosing this issue...but in my case, I still fell victim.

Now, that's what I call being dumb! Wanna join me?

[This message has been edited by Jdlog (edited 12-13-2003).]

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ImmortalFirefly
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Report this Post12-18-2003 01:35 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ImmortalFireflyClick Here to visit ImmortalFirefly's HomePageClick Here to Email ImmortalFireflySend a Private Message to ImmortalFireflyDirect Link to This Post
Hey this is a quick update for y'all. Well here's what I've done to my car so far and here's what I believe that part of the problem to being is.
1. I took off the dist. cap and cleaned off the "corrosion" or whatever you want to call it on the contuctors. There wasn't much, but it probably didn't give it the best of the best spark.
2. I changed out the rotor (and punction the vein in my thumb too getting it off....it wouldn't stop bleeding for 1 1/2! Went through 1 blood soaked bandaid and a paper towel oodled with little bloodstains everywhere! Why are rotors so hard to pull off??? anyway)
3. Changed the ignition module
4. I checked the spark wires and didn't notice anything to drastically horrible. But #5 I believe was my major problem.
5. Spark Plugs. In 1 I noticed there was oil in the ..... 'hole' if you will (leaking from the cap on top of the rocker arm cover, and also the gasket, which I just replaced....) So I cleaned it off and put it back in and did notice that it ran better. Then the next day, I checked #2 by chance, and it was loose! I wasn't sure if I was seeing things right but I moved the boot a bit and the spark plug seemed to rotate with it....so I cleaned out the ... 'hole' (it has leftover gasket pieces wedged in there from the rocker arm cover gasket) I didn't check 3 and 4 but nothing wiggled and no oil was leaking in that direction

Now my car seems to work fine. I also got a new set of rims and tires and I ride a lot smoother on the road. Maybe I'll show you guys pics of what my tires were like before. You might end up crying from it I'll just leave it at they were probably 80% completely bald. (I didn't wear out the tread though, that was the previous owner)

Well Thanks for helping me out guys. It helped out a lot. I still need to check out vacuum leaks so if anybody could point me in the right direction of where to check for them cause all I really know about is the throttle body ones and those aren't that bad. I also need to do a TPS check and a IAC cleaning and hopefully my car will be running like a champ!

One final thing before I go. I remember pulling off the rotor, and I'm not sure what part of the distributor it is (or if it is the actual dist.) but, I pulled off the rotor and the thing just under the rotor and in 'front' of the ignition module, was extremely rusty. Does that matter or should I work on that part of it too? Thanks

Austin

------------------
Practice makes perfect, but since nobody's perfect, why practice?

If life gives you lemons, take them and throw them at people you hate.

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