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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).]
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.
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).]
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?
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.
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.
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.
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).]
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.
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.