Pennock's Fiero Forum
  Technical Discussion & Questions
  1st Fiero!!! Need some help..

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Email This Page to Someone! | Printable Version


next newest topic | next oldest topic
1st Fiero!!! Need some help.. by X
Started on: 08-03-2014 09:30 PM
Replies: 27 (560 views)
Last post by: Raydar on 08-31-2014 04:14 PM
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-03-2014 09:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So just thought I'd share, that I own my first fiero and love it! Really kind of impossible not to, given it's an 88 formula. Has some issues though...
It won't start.

No, I didn't buy it this way, I've had it for about 6 months, been steadily fixing things the whole time, but for the love of baby Moses this one's got me stumped.

The ISSUE:
Engine turns over, won't start.
Things I've done:
Replaced the Distributer (WHOLE darn thing)
Checked the Iginition Module (it's good)
Checked Power to the Ignition Module (it's getting it)
Replaced Spark Plugs (4 mo. ago (checked, they're good))
Replaced the Battery (2 mo. ago (it's also good))
Checked ECM for trouble codes (get code 12 consistently)
Checked for fuel in the tank (it's good)

Oil at half full.
fuel and temp gauges pin'd out (not sure if this matters)

Various other checks that I'm not overly confident of, so didn't list.
Here's a little rundown - The car stalled out, twice while I was driving it. Both times I smelled gas when it stalled. Very smooth stall-out, engine here today, then just gone. After a few successive cranks, I began to smell gas in the engine compartment, figured the pump is working and I've flooded the thing. Rolled it home (yeah, I was lucky). Been working on it since.
Oh wise and venerable lurkers of the renowned PFF, have you and sage advice for this poor fellow?
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
Rsvl-Rider
Member
Posts: 1075
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (7)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-03-2014 09:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you've got spark and gas then I would suspect the catalytic convertor.
IP: Logged
phonedawgz
Member
Posts: 17009
From: Green Bay, WI USA
Registered: Dec 2009


Feedback score:    (23)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 290
Rate this member

Report this Post08-03-2014 10:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for phonedawgzClick Here to visit phonedawgz's HomePageClick Here to Email phonedawgzSend a Private Message to phonedawgzEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ignition Coil
IP: Logged
David Hambleton
Member
Posts: 1430
From: Stoney Creek Ontario Canada
Registered: Nov 2012


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-03-2014 10:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for David HambletonClick Here to Email David HambletonSend a Private Message to David HambletonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you want to try a used coil, the same coil was used for '85 & '86 2.5L as well as all the 2.8L.
Just makes it that much easier to find a cheap one...
The coil recently quit on my Formula & I replaced it with the coil from my swapped out death rattle '86 2.5L.
The part numbers are the same in the factory parts catalogues.
IP: Logged
un fiero
Member
Posts: 71
From: Houston, Texas, USA
Registered: Jun 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-03-2014 10:26 PM Click Here to See the Profile for un fieroClick Here to Email un fieroSend a Private Message to un fieroEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check to see if the tach is moving when cranking, if it is, ignition isn't it. When my 2.5 did something similar, I went through 4 days of checking this and testing that and it ended up being a sensor on the intake. Mine was the air intake temperature sensor but I unplugged it and whadda ya know, it started.
IP: Logged
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 12:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Dang, how could I forget that?? But yep I've checked the Ignition coil, and not satisfied with that I've had a parts store check the ignition coil. It's good. I'll try watching the tach and maybe playing with the sensors tomorrow, why on earth would it be that?? Still got a lot to learn I guess.
IP: Logged
tshark
Member
Posts: 4374
From:
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 64
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 08:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

IP: Logged
2.5
Member
Posts: 40906
From: Southern MN
Registered: May 2007


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 178
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 10:02 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So is there spark at the spark plugs?
Have you checked fuel pressure or even just a shot of starting fluid to see if it fires?

If you replaced the dist then you had a new pickup coil and ICM in the new dist right? Perhaps a wiring issue.

[This message has been edited by 2.5 (edited 08-04-2014).]

IP: Logged
Oolab1
Member
Posts: 81
From: Hudson, OH
Registered: Apr 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 10:13 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Oolab1Click Here to Email Oolab1Send a Private Message to Oolab1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Fiero ownership! I see you're from Ohio. Don't see many other people from Ohio. If I may ask, where exactly in Ohio are you?

 
quote
Originally posted by Rsvl-Rider:

If you've got spark and gas then I would suspect the catalytic convertor.


For my own curiosity, how could his problem be caused by the converter?
IP: Logged
2.5
Member
Posts: 40906
From: Southern MN
Registered: May 2007


Feedback score: (1)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 178
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 10:56 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Oolab1:


For my own curiosity, how could his problem be caused by the converter?


The catalytic converter failing can block exhaust flow, not allowing the engine to breathe out. However in this case it sounds too extreme to me, I would think it would idle.
IP: Logged
Rsvl-Rider
Member
Posts: 1075
From: Sacramento, CA
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (7)
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 11:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Rsvl-RiderSend a Private Message to Rsvl-RiderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 2.5:


The catalytic converter failing can block exhaust flow, not allowing the engine to breathe out. However in this case it sounds too extreme to me, I would think it would idle.


Back in the '80's I had a Mustang that ran one day and refuse to start the next day. Everything worked. Fuel and spark. Turned out to be the catalytic converter. It might be unusual, I don't know. But in my experience they can fail all at once.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
tshark
Member
Posts: 4374
From:
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 64
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 11:15 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

IP: Logged
Formula88
Member
Posts: 53788
From: Raleigh NC
Registered: Jan 2001


Feedback score: (3)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 555
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 01:10 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Formula88Send a Private Message to Formula88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by X:
Here's a little rundown - The car stalled out, twice while I was driving it. Both times I smelled gas when it stalled. Very smooth stall-out, engine here today, then just gone. After a few successive cranks, I began to smell gas in the engine compartment, figured the pump is working and I've flooded the thing. Rolled it home (yeah, I was lucky). Been working on it since.
Oh wise and venerable lurkers of the renowned PFF, have you and sage advice for this poor fellow?


This has me wondering. Normally you can't "flood" a fuel injected car. You'd have to have a fuel leak for that to happen.
Do you hear the fuel pump run for a couple seconds when you turn the key to "ON" before you try to start it?

Check fuel pressure?

If you're smelling gas, you either have a leak, or you're getting gas but no spark. All of your troubleshooting looks like you'd have spark. Have you checked to make sure the plugs are firing - actually observing the spark, not just checking various parts?

There's also the chance that it was something in the distributor (pickup coil, maybe) and when you replaced the distributor the timing is too far off for it to start.

[This message has been edited by Formula88 (edited 08-04-2014).]

IP: Logged
tshark
Member
Posts: 4374
From:
Registered: Feb 2014


Feedback score:    (6)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 64
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 01:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

IP: Logged
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 06:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hey OP here, I've been doing some more tests and it's only getting screwier. Please believe, I'm double checking ALL of this, trying to minimize the human error part, but this is still what I get:

With my voltmeter:
Ignition coil gets 12VDC in, puts out 12VDC!
No spark.

Tach unmoving when I crank the engine, Dashboard Voltmeter drops.

Tried adding extra battery & engine ground, disconnecting O2 sensor, no dice.
I'm pretty concerned that my ignition coil passed all its tests, yet doesn't step up the voltage at all. Isn't that its job?
Thanks for the input so far.

P.S. - just saw the last post, I changed the distributor because of this issue, problem existed before.
IP: Logged
Neils88
Member
Posts: 3985
From: Orleans, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Aug 2013


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 56
Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 06:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Neils88Click Here to Email Neils88Send a Private Message to Neils88Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You need to systematically rule out each system as the cause. In this case I would start with the fuel system since you haven't mentioned it much. You can try using some starting fluid. If it starts then you have a fuel system problem. You definitely should have a fuel pressure gauge in your toolbox as well.

Edit...of course I was typing this before I saw your latest post...sounds like a coil issue.

[This message has been edited by Neils88 (edited 08-04-2014).]

IP: Logged
85 SE VIN 9
Member
Posts: 690
From: Harwood Heights, IL, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 06:56 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A new distributor is not a guarantee of no problems, even if it's guaranteed. My PO got this distributor:



The module on this star-type distributor is stamped, "Warranty void if module removed." I've had the car twenty months. The PO is cooperative and nearby. Anyone know if these warranties are transferable? I decided the best thing was to put it back together as it was. One month later, so far, so good.

I'm from Ohio, in fact from Hudson. What part of Hudson?

IP: Logged
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 07:08 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ok, I'll take a look at my brand-spankin new distributor then... Were carbs this messy?

Anyway since it's my first listing here, just a little how-dya-do to all the Ohio-ers. I'm from Brookfield, right near the PA border. Nice place, close to Youngstown where I go to school so it fits nicely. I guess I'm like a lot of others, in that I saw a fiero once and just had to have one. Saved up enough money working last summer to buy a car, and decided to make a fiero work as a daily driver no matter what it took. Now I'm here, but REGRET NOTHING!!! Love my car even as a lawn ornament

Oh just a fyi, I took pictures and marked all the positions before taking out the old distributor. I also set the timing on the old one myself. Timing probably is an issue since the replacement, but not much of one I'm thinking.
IP: Logged
MarkS
Member
Posts: 427
From: Flemington, NJ
Registered: Mar 2006


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 07:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for MarkSClick Here to Email MarkSSend a Private Message to MarkSEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Check the little harness that connects the distributor to the coil, two wires, for continuity. These fail from time to time.

BR's,

Mark

------------------
86 SE V6 4 speed
86 SE V6 Auto
2008 G6 GT "Street" Coupe
2005 Buick 3.6 Rendezvous
2001 Olds Silhouette (AKA The Band Van)

IP: Logged
85 SE VIN 9
Member
Posts: 690
From: Harwood Heights, IL, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-04-2014 07:31 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by MarkS:

Check the little harness that connects the distributor to the coil, two wires, for continuity. These fail from time to time.

BR's,

Mark



+1

There are a lot of crucial wires in that area and they tend to get brittle from the heat. A number of threads like yours have led to broken wires near the distributor.

IP: Logged
fieromatty
Member
Posts: 393
From: colorado
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-05-2014 05:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fieromattyClick Here to Email fieromattySend a Private Message to fieromattyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
If you can't get the tach to move while cranking... I would be looking at the distributor or near it. One of the wires is shorting out near the ignition control module.

I believe you could check the cat back by having someone crank the card and putting your hand near the exhaust.

On a side note, I have had trouble with the short connector that goes from the distributor to the coil pack. Needs to be a really solid connection. Check that out.
IP: Logged
PFF
System Bot
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-05-2014 05:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks, I took a look at the wires today, and in the process broke the connector between the ignition coil and distributor - that two-prong one that plugs into the bottom of the distributor cap and the top of the IC. Looking for a replacement, btw my dad couldn't feel anything coming from the exhaust, but that's to be expected if I'm not getting a spark, right? Chugging along, I WILL post the solution to this when I get it.
IP: Logged
fieromatty
Member
Posts: 393
From: colorado
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-05-2014 08:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fieromattyClick Here to Email fieromattySend a Private Message to fieromattyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You should still be able to feel air coming out of the exhaust as you crank it. Its still compressing and pushing air out on the exhaust stroke. As for the connector, You might want to check your local junkyard. I know most don't have a fiero sitting around; however, most of them have a few 1986 cherokee jeeps with the v6... Same distributor setup which you can jack the connector from.
IP: Logged
Oolab1
Member
Posts: 81
From: Hudson, OH
Registered: Apr 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-06-2014 01:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Oolab1Click Here to Email Oolab1Send a Private Message to Oolab1Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by 85 SE VIN 9:

I'm from Ohio, in fact from Hudson. What part of Hudson?


No way! I'm kinda downtown. Like right near the schools...
IP: Logged
85 SE VIN 9
Member
Posts: 690
From: Harwood Heights, IL, USA
Registered: Apr 2010


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-06-2014 05:12 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 85 SE VIN 9Click Here to Email 85 SE VIN 9Send a Private Message to 85 SE VIN 9Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
We lived in the house just west of the high school. There were cows there. Speed limit was seventy. A guy hit a bump and flipped his Vette. One Cuda had a high-pitched whistle, could hear it coming over a mile. Another guy had a Pantera. I was hitch hiking one day. A guy from school picked me up in a pre-war Bentley. His father let him drive another one to school. World's greatest Dad, I'd say.

The Fierostore sells the connector wire or you can make one from any parts store, but not cheap either way.

[This message has been edited by 85 SE VIN 9 (edited 09-01-2014).]

IP: Logged
sardonyx247
Member
Posts: 5024
From: Nevada, USA
Registered: Jun 2003


Feedback score:    (88)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 218
Rate this member

Report this Post08-06-2014 05:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for sardonyx247Click Here to visit sardonyx247's HomePageClick Here to Email sardonyx247Send a Private Message to sardonyx247Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
did you check the fuses, and fusable links by the battery?

when you turn on the key, run postion but not start postion, does the check engine light come on? IE bulb test, (if not the ECM is not getting power or ground)

as said above, try starting fluid (or brake cleaner) in the intake, open the throttle, squirt some in, if it starts, fuel prob.

check for spark, IE pull out a plug lay it on the engine, (bare metal) and see if you get spark while cranking, another way is use a phillips screwdriver in place of the plug and hold it close to ground while someone else cranks it. try from a plug wire and the coil wire.

check your fuel pressure, if you don't have a guage any auto parts store will rent/loan you one for free, may have to leave a deposit.
same thing for a compression guage.

you only need 4 things to start ANY car. spark, fuel, timing, compression.
rule them out one by one

btw the way you can test the coil your self the haynes manual has a test useing a multimeter.

And you WILL want this, the 88 factory service manual. the troubleshooting trees WILL solve ANY problem.
http://www.captfiero.com/pa...ch%20Sheets/88SM.pdf
Enjoy
IP: Logged
X
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: Ohio
Registered: Aug 2014


Feedback score: N/A
Leave feedback

Rate this member

Report this Post08-31-2014 03:40 PM Click Here to See the Profile for XClick Here to visit X's HomePageSend a Private Message to XEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
FIXED!!!

Well that took awhile, but I promised a follow up and here it is.
2 things were wrong: Bad ICM in the Distributor, AND bad Ignition Coil -> Distributor wire. Sure made troubleshooting a pain in the @$$.
Had to replace the wire, used this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fie...em1c33a335ad&vxp=mtr
"Fiero 85 - 88 2.8 Ignition Coil to ICM wire - cable"
Just in case anyone else needs one.

Anyway, car is now working and I'm pleased as punch. Thanks to everyone who helped with suggestions, made a world of a difference.
IP: Logged
Raydar
Member
Posts: 38344
From: Carrollton GA. Out in the... country.
Registered: Oct 1999


Feedback score:    (11)
Leave feedback





Total ratings: 451
Rate this member

Report this Post08-31-2014 04:14 PM Click Here to See the Profile for RaydarClick Here to Email RaydarSend a Private Message to RaydarEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by X:

FIXED!!!


I missed this thread before.
Thanks for checking back in, and letting us know what the fix was.
So many times, we'll see a "problem" thread, and we never hear what the resolution was.

Welcome to the madness!

------------------
Raydar
88 Formula IMSA Fastback. 4.9, NVG T550

Praise the Lowered!

IP: Logged

next newest topic | next oldest topic

All times are ET (US)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | Back To Main Page

Advertizing on PFF | Fiero Parts Vendors
PFF Merchandise | Fiero Gallery | Ogre's Cave
Real-Time Chat | Fiero Related Auctions on eBay



Copyright (c) 1999, C. Pennock