This car used to belong to a local guy that recently graduated college. He drove the car daily to and from college for the past 4 years. One day it would not start, and he tried his best to diagnose it. It was not getting spark, so they changed the ICM and the coil. Still nothing. They worked on and off on the car for a few days and just gave up. Tony was looking to get into something newer.
I picked up the car this past Friday, and Dean Miller came over on Saturday morning and we putzed around with the car. A trip to O'Relys and I also changed out the module and the coil, not knowing if they were bad or not. Still nothing. Back to O'reilys and picked up a new Pick-Up Coil. Carefully marked where the rotor was pointing, installed the coil, and lined it back up and installed it. Still nothing.... Looking closely at the cap, the little pin in the center that the rotor makes contact with was gone. Another trip to O'Rileys and a new cap and rotor was installed. Still nothing, it cranks but does not fire at all.
It now has spark, verified on the center coil wire, as well as on the 3 front wires. Fuel sprays out when you press the schrader valve on the fuel rail. Also it will not run with starting fluid sprayed into the intake while cranking.
This is where I have than very sinking feeling in my stomach that it could be a timing chain...... I mean it has spark, the plugs were checked by the way, and nothing happens even with starting fluid sprayed into the intake when cranking..... This was just about the only conclusion I kept coming to
Pressing on, I checked plug wire one on the rotor, and noticed it is going to the back somewhere! The plug wires were ALL screwed up, just pulled them all off and routed then to where they needed to go. I talked to Tony, and the guy that was helping him said the plug wires were all going to the wrong places. Tony tried explaining that they have not been changed since the car stopped running. He kept telling him that they are where they have been, with the car running perfectly for the past 6 years. He still moved them all around.
So, cranking it now, it would barely pop now and then. Figuring who knows what they did to the car, I pulled the distributor back out of the car, and aligned it to cylinder 1 top dead center. It was almost 180 from where it needed to be. Now when you crank, it will run for a half a second and die. Now it seems to have moved into a fuel problem. There is fuel to barely start it, but not enough flow to keep it running. Next step is replace the fuel filter (Slim chance this is the fix) and then, if not, move on to the tank and look for bad hoses and such.
I will say Tony maintained this car VERY well, and did quite a few upgrades to it. From new front and rear sway bars, slotted drilled rotors, and tons of new and replacements such as headliners, dash mat ect. He has garaged this car for the past 6 years.
The paint on the car is in really good shape:
The Interior is almost perfect! No tears in the seats, new headliner, original clean floor mats.....
The engine bay and trunk are also in really nice shape:
I will work on the car more this week, and hope to have it running soon. I will post updates here as I progress.
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 09-23-2018).]
It is just a personal preference, but I HATE the old school Incandescent bulbs for the dome lights and the floor courtesy lights. I opened the door on Friday night after dark, when I got the car home, and immediately noticed the yellow lights. I went inside and ordered a 10 pack of LED panels on Amazon, with 2day Sunday delivery for $16. That's enough panels for all 4 dome lights, both courtesy lights, one under the front hood, and one to replace the trunk light, and still have 2 left over. I installed them today, and just went out after dark to get a picture.What a difference! I wish I had taken a before photo on Friday night.....
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 09-23-2018).]
Well this sparks a glimmer of hope, away from it being the Timing chain. When I cycle the key a few times, the car builds up to just above 40 psi on the fuel rail. Then when I have someone crank the car, it drops to around 10 psi. Not near enough to let the car run. This leads me to again think, REALLY plugged fuel filter, or lines in the tank.
Here is the pressure on the fuel rail after cycling the key a couple times:
While it is at 40 PSI, and I crank it over it runs for a half a second or so weakly, and IMMEDIATELY drops to almost nonexistent fuel pressure.
Hopefully I will get a chance to change the fuel pump and lines this upcoming weekend.
It seems to be the fuel filter after all! I replaced it, and cycled the pump it a bit to get the fuel filter full. The whole key on, a couple seconds, off wait 10 seconds and repeat. On the 3rd cycle it sounded so much like it wanted to start, I gave the distributor cap a tiny twist, and it fired right up!
Soon as it started, I grabbed my phone and hit record as quick as I could. After watching the video back, I guess the excitement had not died down before I recorded it LOL!
So, so far there was no spark, replaced the coil, nothing, Replaced the module nothing, Replaced the pick-up coil and it now had spark, but would not start/ I found the spark plug wires were ran almost randomly and fixed them, got a tiny bit of pop when cranking. Pulled the distributor again, and aligned the rotor to top dead center of cylinder one, more popping while cranking.....then nothing. Pulled the cap and found the center pin on the cap popped broke off, replaced the distributor cap. Then I replaced the fuel filter, and it almost started, turned the distributor to advance the timing slightly and it fired up!
That was a LOT of steps and a BUNCH of things combined causing it not to start. It is running now, but needs timed properly with the mark on the flywheel and a timing gun.
What a beautiful car, John! Congrats on getting it running as well.
Thanks Andy. It's gonna take me some time to get used to you posting around these parts again
Originally posted by Alex4mula:
Tony's money pit. Difficult during college. Sad he had to sell it. He loved that car a lot. A little rare for younger people. Hope later he comes back to them.
Yea, he didn't want to sell it, but at the same time, he wanted to get something more practical as an only car / daily driver. He said when he gets established, and gets a secondary car, he would like to get another Fiero again.
I just spent a couple hours detailing the car. Engine bay, front trunk, cleaning the upholstery and carpets, dash, doors ect ect.... Now that it's all clean, I can get a sense of what needs some touch up paint in the trunk area, engine bay ect ect. The upper intake flaked a bit with the pressure washer, so that is a definite repaint, as well as the valve covers and some other parts.
I am seriously contemplating taking off the suspension upgrades off of this car, and putting them on mine. This car is VERY close to stock, and mine is VERY far from stock. I can upgrade mine a bit, and get this one back to a nice stock GT.
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 08-21-2019).]
Ok, a couple pictures after detailing the car. There are a few things I need to use some touch up paint on.
Engine Bay, I certainly need to repaint the plenum.
Trunk area, what is the recommend paint for the underside of the trunk lid? It is like a dull semi gloss dark gray?
. I am restoring this Fiero to stock. The benefit is I can use the parts to upgrade my 3800 car. I already removed this stabilizer bar, and installed it on my 3800 Fiero, so question, what exactly does this bar do? I surmise that it helps with eliminating body twisting. The REAL question is is there any noticeable difference in handling.
[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 09-30-2018).]
Originally posted by JohnWPB: I already removed this stabilizer bar, and installed it on my 3800 Fiero, so question, what exactly does this bar do? I surmise that it helps with eliminating body twisting. The REAL question is is there any noticeable difference in handling.
It's called a strut tower brace. Theoretically, it holds the tops of the strut towers in alignment. You already have a trunk wall with a steel beam across the top, that does essentially the same thing. So... I'm not going to say that you won't notice a difference, but I will be really surprised if you do.
But then, it still looks badazz!
[This message has been edited by Raydar (edited 09-30-2018).]
what is the recommend paint for the underside of the trunk lid? It is like a dull semi gloss dark gray?
I would recommend one of those auto parts stores than can scan the paint with the camera they use, and then mix it and have it put in a spray can. When they did that ion my 86 they came up with a gray with blue gray tints in it and even light metallic particles.... I believe the actual underside color of our lids varied through the years.