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Old 08-03-2006, 06:57 PM   #1
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Default Trouble codes and vacuum leak...

I finally have the time and energy to spend on some troubleshooting that does not have to do with urgent problems that will keep us from driving the car! Woot. :P

Our '91 SSE with the 3.8 liter MFI engine had an intermittent SES light for months, which eventually became a constant one a few months ago. When I pulled them, the trouble code explanation didn't make much sense. Drivability was almost unimpaired, so I let it go in favor of a bunch of other crises.

The only problems I detect are:
  • A slight loping in the idle in drive with the brake on
    I think the rpm doesn't drop down to idle quite as fast as it should when you jazz the engine in neutral
    The cruise control shows all the signs of not having enough vacuum to operate; it loses lock if you have to climb even a slight grade (throttle open) for too long.
The trouble codes are:

41: Cam Sensor Circuit
46: Not listed...

The cam sensor thing is new to me. I've located it on the block according to the (almost but not quite useless) Chilton'* manual. Is it just a straight up replacement?

Is there a better list somewhere that explains the 46 code?

I also suspect a vacuum leak somewhere, but I've never had to track one down before that wasn't obvious, which this one isn't. Can I have some help with that troubleshooting procedure? I recently bought a vacuum testing kit, if that might be useful.

I would be thankful for any assistance digging into all this.

Be well,

Mike D.
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trouble codes and vacuum leak...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdevour
41: Cam Sensor Circuit
The cam sensor thing is new to me. I've located it on the block according to the (almost but not quite useless) Chilton'* manual. Is it just a straight up replacement?

I would be thankful for any assistance digging into all this.

Be well,

Mike D.
This worked (and STILL works) for me. It should work for you. Go Here.

http://www.6007.us/ Padgett'* Page
Click on Car Musings & Misc, Assorted Articles, Code Deciphering, and Musings, Simple Cam Magnet Replacement on a 3800
That should fix Code 41 for ya.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:22 AM   #3
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That may work, but I don't recommend that repair.

The timing cover must come off to replace the cam magnet. a 50 dollar set of gaskets, 20 dollar genuine GM interrupter, oil and filter, antifreeze, and gasket sealer are what you need to fix this. Alot of patience is good too. The only real trick is getting the harmonic balancer off, after that, its pretty straight-foreward. A haynes manual might help, or a diagram.

Now, I recommend doing this method, because its garunteed to work, and lasts a very long time. You know why doing it the cheap way doesn't work for me? Basically because oil is a petroleum product. It breaks down all plastic in an engine. That magnet casing is plastic. If the magnet breaks out, chances are 99.9 percent, the casing is brittle, and the repair will not work for long. If it does, you got lucky, and even still, you cannot garuntee it will work for long.

Take it from me, I am an apprentice, and in this trade, I garuntee my work. No offense to those who've tried it, and padgett, good, glad it worked for you all.

Anyways, thanks for letting me offer my opinion.
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Old 08-04-2006, 12:57 PM   #4
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Okay, if I'm reading you right, I need to at least check continuity on the cam sensor before I replace it. If it checks out that way, then I ought to inspect the interruptor magnet to see if it'* still there, yes?

Thanks for your help understanding this.

Do you think once I get the cam sensor working again the code 46 might go away?

Mike D.
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Old 08-04-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
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Codes are listed in Techinfo - http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...ode=cat&cat=12

Code 46 (for Viin C) is power steering pressure switch circuit
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Technical Ted
Thanks for pointing that out, Ted! Wonderful resource.

Quote:
Code 46 (for Viin C) is power steering pressure switch circuit
Well that'* amazing. Where the heck is the power steering pressure switch and what does it do? Not a peep in the (almost but not completely useless) Chilton manual.

Mike D.
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Old 08-04-2006, 10:40 PM   #7
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The switch is normally open and closes when power steering demand is high, such as when parking. This tells the ECM to increase idle to compensate.
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Old 08-05-2006, 12:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2seater
The switch is normally open and closes when power steering demand is high, such as when parking. This tells the ECM to increase idle to compensate.
That makes good sense. Where do I find this switch? Somewhere on or in the power steering pump, I suppose?

Not a peep about these details in the damned book.

Mike D.
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