88 bonneville cranks but wont start - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 07-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #1
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Default 88 bonneville cranks but wont start

hello to all, - esp. them as may be able to help : )

I've got a 1988 bonneville 3.8 (vin 3) with 109,000 miles.

I replaced a MAF sensor that was intermittenly showing an error 34.

Car ran really rough when light was on, but light only came on for a few min once a month or so, then went out.

Finally the light stayed on, so I got a new MAF and light went out & car ran well.

Next day, car ran really rough for a couple blocks, then quit with no error light.

Checked cam & crank sensors and spark and saw a bit of fuel pressure (but no tester, so not sure), but I did try starting it on starting fluid and got nothing.

I'm really old & half crippled up, so it took me a few days to get the timing chest open to see if cam timing was off, but it is OK.

Will take another few days to get all back together for more tests, but I have no idea what to test next.

Did I short something while doing original test on MAF sensor???

Put in my spare coil pack when doing tests before checking cam timing.

Anything else I should check before buttoning up the timing chest???
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:55 PM   #2
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not sure what you are saying, with the cam timing. there is a magnet and a sensor, are both of those good? what about the crank sensor? i would check the connector for the maf signal too pull on the wires to check for looseness and inspect for corrosion.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:24 PM   #3
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did all the MAF testing for conns before replacing it, and as soon as it was replaced the error light went out

checked and got 6 crank signals for each cam signal before opening timing chest

not sure how to test a magnet except look for the good signal I got before opening, and then while chest was open a screw driver will stick to it

was pretty sure it was the nylon sprocket on the cam that went bad, but now I see that I put a steel sprocket on last time it went bad (forgot that after last 12 years since)

timing marks from crank to cam are lined very nicely
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:32 AM   #4
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if its wired like the new ones, i think i would look at the wiring to the icm/coil pack next then. i think the cam and crank sensors go though it and that could make it not start
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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yes, this car has low miles, as I rarely leave the house these days, but the wiring is still aging & a bit brittle

before opening the timing chest, I was thinking that I may have broken a wire somewhere while testing the MAF, or shorted something out

now that I see the timing is right, I'm thinking that again, but not sure how to test things like ESM (electronic spark control module) or some other things that may be bad

the ECM (electronic control module) seems to be happily reporting a code 12
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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things don't get no easier : (

autozone ordered the wrong gasket set, so now I'm stuck till tomorrow

also tried two diff adapters for my compression gauge in order to fit it deep into that narrow area where the plug fits - neither works, so I've got to try to drill out an old plug body & tap it to fit the gauge

then maybe tomorrow I can get it buttoned up and do more testing if anyone has any suggestions on what/how to test
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
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Has the timing set been replaced? If not, you may want to do that now, as I believe those gears were nylon.
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjolly87 View Post
Has the timing set been replaced? If not, you may want to do that now, as I believe those gears were nylon.
thanks, but I forgot that I'd already replaced with steel sprocket last time

cam & crank were lined up just right

on the plus side, I broke the porcelain out of an old spark plug & threaded the inside of its body - now I have a nice adapter for my compression gauge that I know will fit into that deep channel the plug goes in : )
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:29 PM   #9
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well, been two days getting this thing back together - my poor back just won't take all this bending-kind of work

not ready to try it yet, but while getting ready to put in crank sensor, I noticed a ding in the plastic where some kind of road debris must have hit it & a bit of copper showing thru (had proper gap at the balancer vanes tho)

before opening timing chest, I got three signals from that sensor for each turn of the crank as was expected when turning crank by hand with a 3 vane balancer, but am now wondering if at cranking speed that sensor could get erratic

bought a new one, so hoping to see some good tomorrow when I try it again
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:30 PM   #10
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all back together with the new crank sensor (that I couldn't really afford)

still won't start - cranks a lot then stumbles a couple times without really turning on its own - starting fluid doesn't help either

I scratched a mark on the harmonic balancer about at the key way which looks to be maybe 30 degrees BTDC and a likely place for cyl #1 to fire.

Used timing light while cranking and expected to see the mark about straight up, but it was way out between 1 & 2 o'clock - this seems way advanced to me, but maybe someone here knows.

anyone?
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