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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 06-07-2007, 12:20 AM   #1
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Default Starting Problems

My 92 SE, which my son has been driving, has developed a problem starting. Sometimes it just will not start.

Last weekend he was out of town and the car would not start. It turned over fine with no obvious problems. The next morning still no start. I drive the 65 miles to where he is and check for fuel pressure at the rail, it was ok with a good spray from the regulator. I check for spark at one cylinder and it was ok. And then it started fine. We tried it several times with two different keys (checking the key pellet) and it started fine. He drives it home, and it will not start later that afternoon.

The next afternoon it started up like normal, which is very quick. Yesterday he drives it to town with no problems and on his way home it starts acting up and he leaves it in a parking lot. He said it didn't want to run well, and he had to work the gas pedal to keep it running.

Tonight I changed the fuel filter - just in case that could be the problem, check again for fuel pressure and spark -- all seemed ok. It just turns over with no hint of ignition or of wanting to start.

I'd appreciate any ideas. I'm not sure if it has any codes, its OBD1 and I couldn't remember how to get the codes out this afternoon. I've made the assumption that the fuel is ok, and that the crank position sensor is working since I do get spark. I did not check all 6 of the coils (its the motorola ICM and pack) The coil pack and ICM has been replaced before and isn't that old and doesn't have the obvious signs of damage like the old one did (that burnt electronics smell and cracked case).

I've got to do something to get this out of the parking lot. Will the cam sensor prevent starting? Could the crank sensor be that erratic? Is there a way to check the ICM?

Thanks

Clark
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:24 AM   #2
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Clark..

I'll hit the most common items.

You mention it won't start...but it is cranking.

Fuel pressure, you absolutely need to know what the pressure reads. Merely checking and finding some pressure at the schrader valve is not good enough. The car needs ~30psi to start up.

Spark..if you saw it.. we'll say that'* good enough.

Check the ground buss under the carpets by both front doors. They will be taped to the wiring loom and corrosion can cause the car to stall/run poorly/give trouble starting.

Check the battery connections...loose or poor connections have been linked to the same conditions.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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Thanks Bill, I have been having that nagging thought that it may be fuel pressure related, hence the fuel filter change. I need to see what I can locate at the local auto parts store to measure fuel pressure.

I did swing by the parking lot this morning and check for codes. It flashed a 58 which is related to the PASS key system if I'm not mistaken. I need to do some research on this and find out what work-arounds, repairs, or fixes there may be for this.

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Clark
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:14 AM   #4
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Don't worry about the Code 58. It is a bug in the '92 PCM, and doesn't bother anything.
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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Thanks Bonneville92V688. I had just been searching the forum and had concluded that code 58 was "normal" to see. I guess it'* back to checking on what the fuel pressure really is.

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Old 06-08-2007, 11:38 AM   #6
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Just an update here. I purchased a fuel pressure tester and on my way home yesterday I checked the fuel pressure. It was about 45 psi with the key on and after 2 minutes had only bled down to about 42 psi.

And it started!! I'm not sure what that tells me yet as by the time I got home - about 15 miles - it was running rough, not holding an idle, and dying on several occasions, but it always restarted. I had left the fuel pressure gauge in the other vehicle so I don't know what the fuel pressure was doing during all of this. It could still be an erratic fuel pump or a gremlin in the ignition circuit I suppose.

At this point I still haven't pinned down why it didn't start or why it developed the staggers after running a while.

Ideas or suggestions welcome.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:43 AM   #7
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Go after the battery connections (pull off the boots to see the problem that may be there) and clean the ground bus connectors under the carpet next to each front door sill. Your fuel pump may be getting intermittent power or an intermittent ground.

These two items (as the other Bill mentioned) are typically a 'first thing to try' with your symptoms, because in our experience here, about a dozen cars a month can suffer from symptoms caused by these possible problems. This is a good preventive action at the very least, and should be done anyway.
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:09 PM   #8
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I will certainly check out the battery connections and cables for the effects of corrosion and for the integrity of the grounding points on both sides of the interior compartment.

I appreciate all of the guidance and wisdom offered by this forum.

Clark
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