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1987-1991 Parley with regards to your 1987 to 1991 Bonneville, Olds 88 or Buick Le Sabre Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 08-27-2004, 01:59 AM   #11
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i get the impression the shifting issue is the vac. modulator (the little cylindrical fixture on your trans with a vacuum hose coming out of it.
However, DONT take my word on that and don't buy a new one till your'e its that. Many trans shops do free inspections on transmissions, take advantage of that! They'll tell you wahts wrong and you can leave without paying a dime!

Seeing as how its not your alternator or battery thats causing it not to start (maybe you can get your money back on those if yoru old ones are still good... maybe not :() i guess your starter would be next place to chheck seeing as how its not activating at all. Starters can be bench tested for free at many auto parts stores (of course this means you have to remove yours) but willwren has a better first idea which would be cleaning the cable contacts, cuz it may be that your starter'* connections are grimed up or something to the extent where it can't get power from the battery... of course that'* a best case scenario.

As for will saying that the ECM has a rev limiter at 4000 rpm... i clearly remember revving mine in neutral or park to above 4000.. as stupid as that is i have done it before (but come on who hasn't revved their engine at least once!!! ) But i may be wrong.


Trans fluid is a great indicator of your trans shape... just pull out the dipstick and get some on your fingers and feel for any grittyness and smell it to see if it smells nasty and burned, also dip the dipstick in, pull it out and rub it on a white paper towel and check its color, it should be a medium cherry (maybe a little darker) but nothing dark brown or black!!!

When my vacuum modulator went out my car had a rough time idling (without stalling) and downshifts were really felt due to a large JOLT.

In any event it'* unlikely that the trans problem has anything to do with the no-start problem.

I read on a seperate post that the transmission oil cooler actually warms the fluid rather than cools it, you can find an oil cooler at most auto parts stores for around 40 bucks (U.*.) and its a straight forward install, but again, lets stick to starting the car, and then seeing what'* up with the trans.

Mike Diaz
'87 Bonnie.
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:25 PM   #12
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zack_odom
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Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2004 10:09 pm Post subject: I did that stuff you guys said

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Okay.....So I cleaned every single contact, and replaced every single fuse , i could think of.the cables to the starter, alternator, battery, all good firm conections, no breaks or anything suspect. the Transmission thing I only revved the car up to see if there was gonna be smoke out the cherry bomb, ( there was) and i did not do it to beat her up, She'* great.
I have had this car for less than two weeks, and I wanted to keep it
Cause this is the first big V-6 i have ever had, plus it '* got a moonrof

1987 SE

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Old 08-27-2004, 07:36 PM   #13
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take a multimeter to the starter leads and see how much voltage its reading (should be about the same as that recorded at the battery, this should at least tell us if the starter is getting electricity.

If it records 0 at the starter then there must be some wire cut or something... if the voltage is good at the starter, i'd assume the next step would be to get the starter out and bench tested at a parts shop that does it.

.. i've changed the starter on my '87.. its not too bad to remove the 2 bolts holding the starter in place (after removing the flywheel / torque converter cover... the heard part is slipping the starter out.. I had to remove the header nuts and loosen the bolt at the collector flange so that i could temporarily slide the headers a few inches out of the way thus allowing me to slide out the big ol' starter...

Sorry for the low outlook :(
The worst thing is there is always the chance that the starter isn't it! however... since the starter isn't even clicking.. which is weird enough on its own.... man i dont know you're in a real bind here..

mike diaz
'87 ponbon
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:02 PM   #14
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Z-man. Read your PM'* ASAP. I have a hare-brained idea........
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:37 PM   #15
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My idea is pretty wild.........but it could solve some of his problems VERY swiftly.
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Old 08-28-2004, 02:25 AM   #16
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Dunno about the "3" but the "C" Proms I have looked at have a fuel cut off at 6000 rpm and 125 mph. Of course you are unlikely to ever reach six grand on one...
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Old 08-29-2004, 06:08 AM   #17
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This car may never start again. DrJay and I spent over an hour working on it and found numerous serious electrical problems, including melted relays, shorts or high resistances to ground on hot leads, and a freshly fried alternator.

I did manage to get it to crank by jumping with my car, then shorting the starter solonoid terminals, but the wiring is so screwed up from the battery to the ignition switch, it can't be done from inside the car at all.

He'* got alot of wiring to chase down and repair, then replace the alternator again.
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Old 08-29-2004, 12:29 PM   #18
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mine did something like this .. but it was the P/N safety switch... (or atleast that part of the switch) ... which was really weird cause it ran fine before I parked it 4 months before, I thought the battery or ignition had died... we spent 3 hours going through scematics and chasing/checking wires (nothing was burnt/fired) it was just the p/n safety part of the switch on the trans... I've got that part of the switch bypassed right now, just so I can start the car and move it to keep things from getting all gummed up... I can't put plates back on it till October and before I drive it, I need to do the fluid changes and tune up stuff, so I'll put a new switch back in then. (my cruise, interior lights, power locks and drivers door all function properly now though )

anyways.. the point of my ramble is... could his p/n safety caved just like mine decided too except his decided to take the ignition with it? (short right out instead of just peacefully stop working?) ...

It'* really crappy to hear this happening to someone cars, maybe if we figure out what the cause was we can see how far the damage may go (into connecting circuits)
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Old 08-29-2004, 01:59 PM   #19
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Thanks for your help on the phone, Don!

Heavy, if his P/N switch is faulty, it'* the LEAST of his problems. He has incorrect wiring and melted crap under the maxifuse cover.
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Old 08-31-2004, 09:10 PM   #20
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Omigwad.....This thing is completley screwed. I finally decided to pull apart the wiring , becuase my mechanic at the chevron , told me that The wiring on the car was completley one-off, which means that the bastard that sold it to me, knew what'* was wrong with it...... So i tore into the wiring, I have been up for three days straight since J and wren left, trying to find the short, and every single wire behind the fuse panel is burned, so I guess i have to part her out, this sucks, because, i love the car, I will try to find a 1996-'95 bonnie, SSEI hopefully.... Thank you every one for all your help, I don't know what I would ahve done with out this place, and without Wren, J, and every one who posted to help me....
But Wren, and J acutally took time out of thier busy lives to come to seattle and help me try to figure this out.... That means more to me than words can say....
Thanx-
Zack
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