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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 01-07-2008, 02:34 PM   #1
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A couple days ago my car backfired. completely screwed up the muffler. now, my 88 bonneville wont even start. every time I try to start it now it backfires. an ideas why?
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:41 PM   #2
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Although rare in these engines, it could be your timing chain jumped a tooth or two, or an exhaust valve broke... Do you hear anyother weird noises? Did you change anything recently like spark plug wires? Can you pull the plugs to see what they look like or get it compression tested?
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #3
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My dad was telling my that the timing chain might be off, unfortunately i dont have a cherry picker to get my engine out of the chassis to check. i havent changed anything on it recently, except for the headlight i replaced a month ago, and the radiator over a year ago. i should prolly check the wires though. how do i get a compression check?
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:52 PM   #4
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A lot of normal auto shops can do it. Or you can get a compression tester. You could try pulling one fuel injector connector at a time to see if the backfiring goes away. You might be able to narrow it down to one cylinder that way.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
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ok cool thanks ill try that. my neighbor will be home in a few hours so ill ask him to barrow his cherry picker. ive heard from a few people that its more than likely the timing chain so ill try that first. man, this car has been nothing but a bunch problems for me since i got it a year and a half ago :/
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:59 PM   #6
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I'd try the injectors first. If pulling one makes it go away, I'd think the timing was fine. And the timing chain can be replaced without yanking the whole engine.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:00 PM   #7
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really? in my chilton book it says i gotta raise the engine and take the water pump and alternator off.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:06 PM   #8
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I can't remember right now if your engine would have a motor mount on that side. If there is, you'll need to support the engine from below with a jack (and a piece of wood to distribute load) and raise the belt end a bit. Or, now that I think about it, the cherry picker could be used for that. If you don't have the torque axis mount, you shouldn't have to do that at all. Just take the belt off, drain the coolant, and start removing bolts. Remember to change the oil before you start it afterwards though. It'* easy to dump coolant into the oil pan when removing the timing cover.
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Old 01-07-2008, 03:15 PM   #9
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i read the book again.. i have VIN C car so i just need to jack the front end up and remove the front right tire.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
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The timing chain is fairly easy to do, just time consuming. They should be replaced every 100k miles or so. How many miles are on yours?

Also, what kind of shape are your plug wires in? What brand are they? Are all your coils good?

Heres an excellent write-up on how to do the TC: http://www.lesabret.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=5516
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