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Old 08-21-2004, 02:10 PM   #1
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Default Crankshaft Sensor and Harmonic Ballancer

Alright boys (and girls), my car'* showing signs of a bad crankshaft position sensor. At any given attempted start (regardless of cold engine, warm engine, etc) it can take up to 3 tries to turn it on. Somtimes it takes 1, 2 or (rarely) 3. Once it does turn on it runs just as good as always.

I got a replacement crank sensor (it comes with a bracket) but I have a question or two before installing it:

For the record, mine is an '87 Bonnie.

My 87 service manual'* instructions on installing the sensor indicate something regarding checking for a .030" air gap between the interrupter ring and the sensor.
How do I measure the air gap when the ballancer is covering it up?

Also: Do I have to use the new bracket or can I just use the old sensor bracket?

I guess that'* all of my questions. Oh, i bought a puller just in case although my chilton'* and my Service manual do not mention a puller for my particular year.

Thanks a bunch:

Mike Diaz
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Old 08-22-2004, 12:30 AM   #2
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Well I was rained out today when i went outside to do the job so maybe next time but: I noticed that my oil leak (i've had it for years) happens to get some oil on the crank sensor, ALSO: my problem only started the other day when i topped off my oil with a bit too much oil (which must lead to higher oil pressure which must lead to more oil lieaking).
My theory is that enough oil/grime mix got onto the cam sensor that it interfered with the sensor'* ability to catch a good signal from the ballancer'* interrupter rings.

To test my theory i got a paper towel and tried to wipe down the crank sensor as best i could without removing any parts (not even the ballancer itself) .
Bingo! Has started EVERY time since. I guess problem solved. I'll look into sealing that oil leak.

I might change the sensor if the problem comes back, will keep any/everyone posted.

Thanks for the help (for those who read the message I guess)

Mike Diaz
87 pontiac BONNNEVILLLLE!!!
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Old 08-22-2004, 12:33 AM   #3
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did u check the wiring harness for burnt wires?
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Old 08-22-2004, 01:52 AM   #4
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all the wires are covered in grimy oil, i't take a bit of cleaning to check ffor that, i dont think that'* the case tho since its up an running now after cleaning. thanks tho!

mike Diaz
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Old 09-06-2004, 12:32 PM   #5
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I am having cranking issues too with my 87. See my post Car Just Dies. I am going to change the connector next.
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Old 09-06-2004, 03:15 PM   #6
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Hm good luck with it, i'm glad mine was just not sensing the magnet due to too much oil on it from my leak.. strangely enough it only took the worst wiping i've ever done to fix it! all i did was take a paper towel and barely even dab the top of the sensor! (i didn't want to get my hand dirty at that point because i was just trying almost anything to see what would happen and had somewhere to go so i just did abad job!) and it has yet to fail since. Good luck with changing your connector (mine'* covered in oil!)
I bought a brand new GP Sorenson crank sensor (comes with sensor bracket too) and it cost me about $18.00 bucks U.*. (if you want it PM me, and we can work something out but i do believe you are on the best track by saying you are going to buy an AC DELCO one! In any event i'll keep checking your thread (My car keeps dying) for your responses.

Mike Diaz
87 Pontiac bonneville
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