Is it the Fuel Pump? (Just drove her, no parts necessary!) - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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 07-18-2007, 03:45 AM   #11
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Hey man, as you probably have noticed, our cars both are experiencing the same problems at the exact same time. I'm sure you saw my fuel pump thread. Follow as much as you can from that on any recommendations. Have you changed the fuel filter? Or is it just like rust-welded in? And believe me man, those lines are thicker than you think, they're not as thin as small brake lines. Heres the thing, SINCE I've gone through exactly this AND now mine is having starting problems, I will tell you that I've put quite a bit of money into this car, I've probably bought it all over again. It was one thing after another, an absolute nightmare. I can tell you that its GOING to happen if you touch ANYTHING under there. You will need new brake lines and you will need new fuel lines. Your tank should be fine. All involved is it worth it?

Lets go over this.

The speed bolt clips that the strap bolts go into have a nut stamped to them. You'll have to get some kinda breakneck ratchet on the nut while turning, otherwise you will be up **** creek. They will NOT come out. (Do remember to PB blaster the HELL out of everything beforehand) I learned this AFTER cutting them out. If you CAN get them out, clean em up and reuse the straps and bolts. Ok, if you NEED to cut the straps...the replacements have to be GENUINE GM, do NOT use the universal kind from the parts store. They WONT fit. Trust me. They are generally $20-28 EACH.

Fuel pump and strainer, your choice, I used a master, shes workin good. Its also recommended to have your tank professionally cleaned by a radiator shop. Total cost, probably $140-200

I would recommend replacing your rear brake lines while you're under there, if you don't, you'll have to tear it all back apart when they do fail. they're cheap to do, good idea. total cost, probably $50 DIY, $150-400 shop

Fuel lines as well, I went with high pressure fuel injection hose to replace my cut out sections of fuel pipe. It actually worked quite well, but the hose is $5/ft. Total cost, hoses, fittings and clamps? Ohh probably $30-40

Ok, odds and ends, Things you should know.
Unless its been recently done, you're going to twist off your exhaust hanger bolts when you try to remove them. I just replaced it with new bolts in a different place in the bracket...cheap, good deal. Fender washers come in handy.
The fuel filler line that goes to the tank, it sits right above the control arm and is a nightmare and a half to get off, I never did get mine off of the tank, only the filler pipe. you'll need to have alot of patience, strong hands, just kink it and PULL, it will come off one side.

Another patience tester will be the emergency brake cable fitting on the rear subframe, its quite annoying to get back on.

Other than THAT, you should be able to figure it all out. It CAN be done very cheaply if you do it right. Your choice. Good luck with this.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:43 AM   #12
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John, thanks for the words of experience. I did indeed read up on your thread. What a nightmare! With both of our cars being '89 LE'* in Garnet Red, with about 150k on the clock, and living in northern states (never realized they were such clones before, aside from yours being two-tone), I can probably expect the same set of problems that you had. Well, minus the things that I can possibly do differently, like soaking with PB days before working on it (which I have done already once).

And looking at the pictures of your car... I'd say my fuel lines at the filter are worse. Seems like the whole underside of my car is quite rusty. I'll have to see if I can upload some pictures and post them. If they turned out, I was in a hurry taking them...

But an update for the day:

I went out and tried again to start it. This time, I decided to try getting maximum voltage to the pump, by jumping the battery to our running LeSabre. Well, I got the fuel pressure up to 35 psi, using the same jumper-wire-many-times-method. However, it still would not start!

My theory then was that the engine was a bit flooded (from repeated attempts at starting, and the injectors more gushing than atomizing the fuel). Well, I pulled the plugs, and they were indeed a bit gassy-wet. So, I replaced them with another set of dry plugs, and tried again. No go. I even tried the hold-the-gas-wide-open-and-crank method of clearing a flood as described in the owners manual. Not even so much as an encouraging sputter.

So even with 35 psi at the injectors, I get no lovin' from the engine. What'* up with that? I'm starting to fear that it'* not just a fuel issue, but that the fuel pump is just the worst of a few things that are not quite right.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:30 AM   #13
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The promised pictures; sorry they seem rather random and poorly aimed, but I was in a hurry, almost late for work. They should give a general idea of the rust level of the car and it'* fuel system.

General rustiness:


The corner of that heatshield fell off in my hand. And other rust.


There'* one of the fuel fittings, covered in PB, but oh so crusted in rust. And more frame rust.


Ever-so-slightly-better angle on the same fitting:


Door jam badness:


And the other side:
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:53 PM   #14
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I'm sorry, this isn't funny, but our cars have the exact same rust in the exact same places.

Acutally your lines don't look any worse than mine did, and I also soaked mine in PB blaster every 2 days for a month Call that commitment. Be sure to let me know if you run to any snags, I'm quite experienced with the underside of these cars now.

Slightly offtopic, but how do your rear subframe mounts look?
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Old 07-20-2007, 03:11 AM   #15
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It really is unnatural how similar our cars are. Too bad you're not closer, we could have our own meet, exclusively for Garnet Red 1989 Bonneville LE'* with upgraded Delco ignitions, honeycomb wheels, 15x,xxx miles, and rust in all the wrong places.

Hmm... rear subframe mounts. Do you mean the rear of the front subframe, or the mounts for the rear subframe? Everything in the rear is universally surface-rusty, some worse than others. It'* been a good 3-4 months since I've been up front, so I don't recall the rust on those subframe mounts. Of course, that'* another fear I have for this car, since I've heard of at least two of these cars dropping the subframe and powertrain onto the pavement, due to excessive rust.

Back to the topic:

I'll have to PB some more tomorrow. Today was busy.

My brother is a mechanic. He suggested trying some starting fluid to make sure that the ignition and compression are still our friends, and confirm that fixing the fuel issue will actually return the car to drivable condition. That'* important to me, because I don't want to throw a pump and filter and whatnot into the car, only to have it still not run. I really really don't want that.

Assuming that the starting fluid starts it, I'll proceed to trying to undo the fuel filter.

If that works, and I can get the new filter on, I'll see if it starts. I have my doubts... but what they heck?

Assuming that it still does not start, I'll work on dropping the tank, replacing the pump, all that jazz.

That'* the current plan of action.

Question for the man who'* done this recently: Did you leave the flexible rubber lines attached to the sending unit, or the vehicle? Seems it might be easier to leave them attached to the sending unit..? And do you happen to know what size line wrenches it took? I have a few, but not all sizes.
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:27 PM   #16
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So I tried the starting fluid, and that did not work.

So I pulled a plug and put it back in the wire and against some engine ground while the wife cranked it. No spark. I swapped to another wire (all these wires test good, btw.). No spark. I put in another old plug that I gapped down to like .030. No spark.

Apparently there is more wrong than just the fuel pressure issue. That'* not good...

I had thought that the problem was ignition initially, so I swapped out plugs, wires, coils, and ICM, all without effect. Well, without good effect, anyway. The original plugs are back in there now (the car ran with those plugs). The wires are a tested good set that I had lying around from another car or two (tested good, and I think it ran once with them on it), the coils are what were on it, and the ICM is what was on it. It'* basically the original setup again, aside from the wires.

I checked codes, and there are none. What gives, I wonder?

Also disturbing was that while the key was on to check codes, I heard a relay going on and off randomly under the dash. It almost sounded like Morse code, the car telling me to sell it to the first unsuspecting soul who would offer me something for it.

Well I'm not going to start throwing money into a pump without first knowing why else the car won't run.

Any ideas on the ignigion? I know that about the only thing I hadn't swapped yet is the crank sensor. Can those be tested? Or are they cheap?
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:58 PM   #17
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Remind me...but doesn't the ICM/crank sensor have a little something to do with fuel/spark being initiated?

W/o reading all of this.. do you get fuel prime at all?
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:43 AM   #18
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Jon, good to see your'e still around.

Sounds like how my wife'* crank sensor failed. Around 60 bux and as many swear words as you can fit outta the corners of your mouth getting it back on without rubbing the balancer

We also had a very similiar failure of the ECM a few years ago, car would die at random, sometimes start right back up, sometimes not. Relays clicking around like crazy and SES light flickering randomly.

How I discovered the problem, I had the ECM lying on the floorboard looking for the clicking relay, well the hot sun heated the ECM up and it started to run fine. So I took her home (70 miles) ran flawlessly, came out later after it was parked in the shade for a few hours and NO GO. Now I started to make the connection lol.

hmmm

Took the ECM in the house, warmed it in the oven, (just the warming setting, its not the Thanksgiving turkey after all) and perfect operation. Removed and put it in the deep freeze for a bit, no start and relays clicking like crazy.

Replacement ECM was the final cure, didnt cost me anything just to test it this way though
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Old 07-21-2007, 02:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBoost37
Remind me...but doesn't the ICM/crank sensor have a little something to do with fuel/spark being initiated?

W/o reading all of this.. do you get fuel prime at all?
Bill: Yeah, it'* quite the saga, sorry.

I do get fuel prime, by the gauge, but I can't hear it run. It'* always been a quiet pump though. I only get about 20-22 PSI though, unless I use the test port by the battery, and hit that with 12v about 30 times. Then I can work it up to 35 PSI.

And yes, pretty sure that a signal from the crank sensor is necessary for spark, since that'* how the ECM knows the crank position, and determines timing. But as I recall, it'* the CAM position sensor that determines fuel timing. That would throw a code 41 though, and I have no codes.

Glenn: Nice to see you're still around as well. Being off for a little bit and busy with life, there aren't as many familiar faces around as I recalled!

I'm thinking it might be the crank sensor or the ECM, as you say. The ECM would explain the ghostly relay clickings, too. I've never had the car randomly die or anything though. I suppose there are many modes of ECM death though.

Before jumping to one of those conclusions though, I'm going to make sure it'* not my coils or ICM by throwing them all on my LeSabre. If the LeSabre still runs, I'll know it'* not those.

And the way this is going so far, it won't be, because those are cheap and easy to replace.

If I feel like junkyarding tomorrow for an ECM, does anyone know what I need to look for? What years, models might be compatible? If I recall from some other thread long forgotten, there are many ECMs that will work, as long as I swap in my little chip thing. Hopefully it won't come to that, anyway...

Thanks all. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 07-21-2007, 04:43 PM   #20
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Well, I swapped the coils and ICM into the LeSabre and it started up and ran like a champ. So we know that plugs, wires, coils, and ICM are good. That leaves the expensive, hard to diagnose stuff: ECM, crank sensor, wiring harnesses. Anything I missed in there?

The crank sensor is visually fine, otherwise it'* an unknown. Wires near the ICM look just fine (only place they've been disturbed recently). ECM looks just like a silver box, naturally.

Yeah... getting a little fed up with this. Not quite sure what to do next.
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