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Having a big problem diagnosing a highway stall by NeverFamous
Started on: 05-19-2014 01:06 AM
Replies: 27 (472 views)
Last post by: 85 SE VIN 9 on 06-13-2014 07:25 PM
NeverFamous
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Report this Post05-19-2014 01:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hate to resurface other topics. Have been reading forums and asking mechanics and part stores, getting no where. This is my first forum post, as is also my first fiero.

1986 Fiero GT, 3 speed auto, 2.8L V6. 146,000 miles. stock except for exhaust system.

I was doing 65mph in the fast lane on a 100 degree day for a 5 mile journey, and the car shut off suddenly with lots of backfire while making the return home (1 mile from home).Tried to start every 15 minutes for an hour. The first two tries resulted in back fire w/starter sound (no start) the third try had softer back fire w/starter sound(no start). The forth had only a starter sound(no start). towed home.
initial inspection showed no fluid leaks or transfers (i.e. oil mixed in coolant=No/ metal shavings in oil=No/ coolant leak=No) so i checked spark plug wires. Piston #3 wire was cut and when removing the boot the wire clamp inside boot remained on the plug. so i pulled that spark plug(carbon deposits) so i set out to replace the spark plugs, wires cap and rotor. I used NGK plugs gapped to 0.045. New import direct spark plug wires, a standard T-series cap, and i cant remember what brand, but i put in new rotor.( i couldnt help but notice the pick up coil had a small fray-not replaced yet). so, now i still have no start. Some forums mention ICM (ignition control module) may be out. The V6 coil to distributor wires (2) are frayed and unwrapped from heat shield and whoever owned it before rigged it together with wire connectors, its brittle and exposed (very bad i assume).
Background to cover anything that may be pertinent : Im not mechanically savy. I've owned this car for 5 months with many things over come. New radiator, heater core, O2 censor, catalytic converter, magnaflow magna pack y-piped. new EGR gasket. Oil was changed and is due again. Tranny fluid and filter changed recently too. cant leave 195 degree thermostat that i cant leave in or the dash says i overheat (but fine without)
So we observed the rotor moving upon ignition attempt with cap off... does this mean distributer is fine?
Also observed rotor stops at different points under cap... is it only supposed to stop at cylinder #1?
Is this the classic ICM problem still or should i change tactics?
Should i replace coil to distributor wire?
Should i replace pick up coil?
How about Ignition Control Module (ICM)?
Maybe Ignition Coil?
Im lost
Im all ears, ive read and read but im ready to tackle this



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Report this Post05-19-2014 01:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Back On HolidayClick Here to Email Back On HolidaySend a Private Message to Back On HolidayEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I'm not sure if this will help you or not, before it started to backfire and die, did it seriously decrease your speed and did the temp gauge skyrocket?
If so, had this happen with a cogged muffler from a cat that deposited all the material into the muffler.

Also had my control module die on the distributor, which sounds like what your describing, suggest replacing with acdelco and make sure you use the dielectric grease under it.
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Report this Post05-19-2014 01:37 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Forgot to mention slight unidentifiable smell when stall occurred. not oil or coolant but a strange smell- thought it may have been another car on freeway. cant find that smell anymore though. Also the tach bumps like 1 or 2 millimeters when i try to start it, but not to 200rpm like i read on another forum.
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Report this Post05-19-2014 01:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

NeverFamous

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No i did not notice sudden decreased speed, just stalled (shut off). nor did i get a chance to see if check engine light came on or gauge jumps due to navigating safely to the shoulder.
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Report this Post05-19-2014 07:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for BloozberrySend a Private Message to BloozberryEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
My bet is on the ICM. Don't use dielectric grease though, use the proper heat sink compound that comes with a new ICM.

(Edit to add: don't worry about where the ignition rotor stops... it can stop anywhere)

[This message has been edited by Bloozberry (edited 05-19-2014).]

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KY87fierogt
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Report this Post05-19-2014 09:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for KY87fierogtClick Here to Email KY87fierogtSend a Private Message to KY87fierogtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would say ICM. As far as the coil to ICM wire, Phonedawgs sells replacement @ http://www.reddevilriver.com/2.html
$27 first class shipping
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Report this Post05-19-2014 10:34 AM Click Here to See the Profile for fierofoolClick Here to visit fierofool's HomePageClick Here to Email fierofoolSend a Private Message to fierofoolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Very likely the ICM. When you replace it, like said, don't use dielectric grease. Don't even use the stuff that comes with the module unless it's white. Buy yourself a tube of white heat sink compound. If the parts store doesn't have it, go to Radio Shack, Frye Electronics, MicroTech, or one of the computer stores in your area. There's also a silver version that's supposed to be much better. And before you attach the pickup coil wire, twist it round about 2 times. This will shorten it to keep you from pinching it underneath the back of the distributor cap.
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post05-19-2014 06:59 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
+1 on ICM, classic symptoms

This happened to me a second time in 85 SE about ten days ago. O'reilly's sells ICM's with a lifetime warranty. Radio Shack sells heat sink compound, about three bucks, easy to find. The O'Reilly's ICM's come with a little package of it anyway. The little screws that hold it in place are expensive, I got a magnet tool that was strong enough to turn the screws in and out most of the way at Sears for about four bucks. The screws take a 6mm socket or nut driver if I remember from last week. There should be little blue gasket thing under the old ICM, save it and reuse it, so say the O'Reilly's ICM instructions. You can get the ICM tested before you buy at many autoparts stores. You can also ask them to check the new one before you install it. All this can be done by the side of the road pretty easily.

If you get the car home or somewhere you should probably rebuild the distributor. Besides the ICM the pickup coil, and o-ring should be replaced. I think it's also a good idea to make sure the shaft has the right amount of play in the housing. Rockauto sells the right washers for pricey, but if it's way off hardware store washers are probably a good compromise.

It sounds like tune up parts are needed in your case, but often people spend a lot without much to show for it. Check for broken or brittle wiring and loose vacuum hoses.

Good luck!
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Report this Post05-19-2014 11:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero.1984Send a Private Message to Fiero.1984Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I burned up my ECM when a spark plug wire grounded on the exhaust manifold. It would run fine and then I would hit a bump and the wire would ground and the car would sputter and then run fine for awhile until I hit another bump. Finally the ECM burned out and the car would not run anymore. The first time that it happened, it burned out a fusible link and the mechanic replace the wire without a fusible link. The next time it cooked the ECM. Even after the second shop replaced the ECM, they did not find out why it burned out. I noticed that the spark plug wire was burned and replaced the bad wire after making sure that it could not touch the exhaust manifold.
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NeverFamous
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Report this Post05-20-2014 01:44 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
so today I removed the AB wire connector off was all burned up and rigged horribly by previous owner.(wire from coil to ICM) I have to order that thanks above. Icm soon, bought distributer coil today will replace. Update soon thanks guys
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Report this Post05-20-2014 10:07 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Ray_and_kevinSend a Private Message to Ray_and_kevinEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Definitely sounds like the ICM. My 88 GT did a similar thing on the way back from Ohio. Look carefully at the connector to the ICM on the *inside* of the distributor cap. Both my Fieros have massive amounts of rust inside the distributor cap and the connections for the pick up coil were rusted. It made the ignition intermittent especially when it was hot outside. Oddly, it worked pretty well when the weather was cold. I replaced the ICM, but I probably could have just cleaned the connections. It just wasn't worth the trip back to Autozone to return the new one.

Echo using the HEAT SINK grease that comes with the new one. It is white paste and helps the electronics stay sort of cool. This is nasty stuff. Wear throw away gloves and wash your hands well after using. You really don't need much. Its job is to fill in the gaps between two uneven surfaces.
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Report this Post05-20-2014 11:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
http://youtu.be/99kNWvOVd58 just a walk arround of my baby (since video i painted all the lug nut covers neon orange)
http://youtu.be/Z4eFHu-AVUM my exaust

So i heard T-storms were coming and i went to put on moon roof last night, no dome lights & no trunk pop button but floor lights work. Hoping its just the low battery, because idk if this stuff happened from that daytime stall or if its just down the line from a simple low battery(interstate) or not. ECM issue? Just mentioning in case you see a red flag that changes everything. Not to get off subject Id noticed my radio always dropping stations(before incident) and when my headlights or running lights were on my radio display would dim.-just covering anything i thought might change or raise speculation as to change tactics sooner than later! but if you have ran across other forums you thought were good that revolved around these side issues please post a link. thanks again
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Report this Post05-20-2014 11:23 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You are new to the Forum, and I have not read your thread completely so I may be repeating some advice, but any time you see lights dimming on a Fiero you should think about ground connections. In your case it's more important because something has cooked some of your wires. ICMs fail on their own, but they also fail because another component has failed too, like an ignition coil or spark plug wires. Clean and re-attach ground wires as you find them. If your spark plug wires are old, test them for resistance, and do the basic test on the ignition coil.
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Report this Post05-31-2014 11:47 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
so I replaced the spark plugs , the ICM, coil to ICM wire(took almost 2 weeks)streetfire msd coil,spark plug wires, cap, rotor... No start. Sounds like it wants to... :'(
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Report this Post05-31-2014 11:48 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

NeverFamous

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so I replaced the spark plugs , the ICM, coil to ICM wire(took almost 2 weeks)streetfire msd coil,spark plug wires, cap, rotor... No start. Sounds like it wants to... :'(
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Report this Post06-01-2014 12:13 AM 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
 
quote
Originally posted by NeverFamous:
.( i couldnt help but notice the pick up coil had a small fray-not replaced yet).


You should. Could be your current problem. If not it will sooner or later be your problem if it's starting to fray.

 
quote
So we observed the rotor moving upon ignition attempt with cap off... does this mean distributer is fine?


Nope - the dist is gear driven, and that works but the electronics in it may be good or bad. All you know is it turns.

 
quote
Also observed rotor stops at different points under cap... is it only supposed to stop at cylinder #1?


Nope it stops wherever it is when you stop cranking the engine

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Replace the Pick Up coil. Replace the distributor o-ring at the same time or you will have an oil leak

[This message has been edited by phonedawgz (edited 06-01-2014).]

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NeverFamous
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Report this Post06-01-2014 01:11 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Will do I'll report back soon!
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Report this Post06-02-2014 08:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So I'm off to read a bunch of ECM stuff...had an electronics guy come out and well great new parts but a big waste of time in the wrong area. AB terminal jump shows jack. So that smell might have been the ECM.
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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post06-02-2014 09:42 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 NeverFamous:

http://youtu.be/99kNWvOVd58 just a walk arround of my baby (since video i painted all the lug nut covers neon orange)
http://youtu.be/Z4eFHu-AVUM my exaust

So i heard T-storms were coming and i went to put on moon roof last night, no dome lights & no trunk pop button but floor lights work. Hoping its just the low battery, because idk if this stuff happened from that daytime stall or if its just down the line from a simple low battery(interstate) or not. ECM issue? Just mentioning in case you see a red flag that changes everything. Not to get off subject Id noticed my radio always dropping stations(before incident) and when my headlights or running lights were on my radio display would dim.-just covering anything i thought might change or raise speculation as to change tactics sooner than later! but if you have ran across other forums you thought were good that revolved around these side issues please post a link. thanks again


Nice exhaust!

Radio lights dimming with headlights on is how it's supposed to work. Stations dropping might be a loose or jury rigged connection. It sounds like PO wiring might be at the root of this issue. What kind of volts does the battery have? By dropping stations do you mean losing memory/clock setting? It sounds like loose ground connections could be the common denominator.

Sorry tuneup parts didn't help. That seems to be the case more often than not. A number of people have had problems with the Streetfire coils. Regular MSD coils have been recommended. I added big wires and a fancy coil (Accel), burned up two ICM's since then. Keep it simple seems to be the best advice on ignition parts for these cars.

A while back a guy burned up a couple of ECM's due to the oil pressure sender/fuel pump relay bypass circuit. Was your oil pressure gauge working? Leaking oil from the sender? Hear the fuel pump relay click after you turn on ignition and wait a few seconds?

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Report this Post06-04-2014 01:08 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Well i've gotta go get this battery charged. I pulled the stereo and found a wire that needed a dressing of electrical tape, may have solved stereo issue. Thanks all that have helped too. So I'm ordering a new Tach filter and ECM currently...the distributer was receiveing current but had no pulse, causing a neutral effect in the distributer. The OBD port was where I jumped the A/B terminal, key to on : the ECM blinked on short,then off, then stayed on. To address the previous videos, I have had too much time on my hands since the breakdown and have made my car look over the top awesome( to me) I will post a new video when I'm back up and running. (I wish my pics would post but am uncertain the correct steps) this is a real learning process.
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NeverFamous
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Report this Post06-12-2014 12:09 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
So i wanted to post an update on the current situation.(i hate when i read a good forum question,then see a short answer and the forum ends without so much as a "thanks that worked" or a "no it was the_______ in the long run") Put in a refurbished Fiero store ECM(funny they make you use the same PROM ) the tach filter replacement looks funny,but is new and installed. so i just got the distributer out. it is at a shop to have the pin driven and the pick up coil changed (so i didnt end up breaking something-would be my luck) as to the radio it was a dud. Bought a nice deck and also replaced those 4x10s. i added leds to the headlights and engine bay(awesome look-cant wait to drive again) im praying my baby starts. will update when distributer is back in. There is a car show this weekend and i hope to have my baby right there with the 3-4 other fieros i see each year.

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Report this Post06-12-2014 02:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post

NeverFamous

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At a glance,its a feast!

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Report this Post06-12-2014 09:49 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice pics....would be a little easier to see if you edit them down a little. 850 pixels wide or so..... Cars on your street look like a movie set....California weather.

[This message has been edited by Gall757 (edited 06-12-2014).]

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85 SE VIN 9
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Report this Post06-12-2014 06:18 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
Beware Fotosizer. I had it before with no problems, but after a couple crashes I tried to download it recently. Not paying attention I clicked accept too often, now I have impossible to remove nasty adware installed until my next crash or recovery.

Have you checked your fuel pump relay and oil pressure sender? If your ECM went out do you know why? The guy who posted a similar problem in the past burned up a second ECM before finding the cause. Check your grounds. That's pretty much free and might solve the problem. Your car looks nice and the new wires, coil, and connectors look good, but it sounds more like parts throwing than diagnosing. This approach doesn't usually work, IMHO.
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NeverFamous
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Report this Post06-12-2014 08:33 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
SHE RUNS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) So the Distributor Pick Up Coil was the issue. I would like some information on as to why i had a unresponsive ECM over this (bought one so its cool now) but i heard that 9 out of 10 people didnt need a pick up coil when bought and 9 out of 10 people need a icm or coil....can any one shed light on how this stuff all relates. I just want some solid knowledge on the subject.

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Report this Post06-12-2014 09:46 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
The ECM needs to know when the engine is turning over. It does that by receiving an ignition pulse every 1/3 rotation of the crank. If the pick up coil is bad the ICM doesn't fire the plugs but also doesn't send ignition pulses to the ECM.
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Report this Post06-12-2014 11:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for NeverFamousClick Here to Email NeverFamousSend a Private Message to NeverFamousEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
That makes perfect sence. I hope this forum helps the next guy. THANKS TO EVERYONE your times were not wasted & it means alot.

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Report this Post06-13-2014 07:25 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 NeverFamous:

SHE RUNS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-) So the Distributor Pick Up Coil was the issue. I would like some information on as to why i had a unresponsive ECM over this (bought one so its cool now) but i heard that 9 out of 10 people didnt need a pick up coil when bought and 9 out of 10 people need a icm or coil....can any one shed light on how this stuff all relates. I just want some solid knowledge on the subject.



Congrats! Such a sweet sound when it turns over again...

Do you still have the old ICM? Take it to one of the chains that test for free. If it's good keep it in the car. I was following my advice but wasn't sure if the one in the trunk was good so took it out. Of course that's when the installed one failed lol.
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