a) my experience with crank sensor failures is that the car will not start atoll. That should have been a clue that the mechanic was clueless.
b) "runs but misses" can be many things but the place to start is *always* the secondary ignition system (coilpack, plug wires, plugs). "Misses on a hill at 50-55" is usually the coilpack. You can replace the entire Mororolla (square coil) ignition system with a 92-up (still used) Delco with individual removable coils. See http://6007.us/coils.htm
- plugs right in
c) I always begin with a review of the factory service manual (fsm) for the specific problem, often there is a detailed troubleshooting chart. Since they are available for download (see http://www.reatta.net/docs.html
- engine, trans, and most diagnostics are the same as for a Bonneville) there is no excure for not having.
d) for my cars, a $35 investment in a fuel pressure meter from Sears has been a godsend, whenever there is a "cranks but does not start" problem. I connect that first. 30 seconds.
e) next essemtial item is a scan tool. For 93 back I like the OTC 2000 ($25-$45 on eBay). Make sure you get the right GM cable and a cartridge good through your year.
f) Other than a good metric tool set (GM uses a lot of 10, 11, 13 and 15 mm bolts) the only oddball tool generally needed for the 3800 is a 2 foot long 18mm flat box wrench to loosen the serpentine belt idler.