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Old 05-14-2007, 09:42 AM   #1
Mark Fahey
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Default Chugging under load

I just finished a 2200 mile trip with a considerable amount of hill climbing in the New England area. The car is lugging, chugging, surging or whatever term you want to use as it goes up hills. Light throttle pressure produces no symptoms and full throttle is fine.
The car has 96,000 miles on it with a new O2 sensor, 35,000 miles on the plugs and 40,000 miles since a transmission fluid change.
I replaced the plug wires with Napa Beldens. I did this even knowing that the symptoms didn't exactly match what I thought bad plug wires would do since I haven't trusted the Taylor'* since an initial bad experience with them. On the trip home, the car ran the same although I did get over 29mpg with it.
What I did notice was that the problem only showed up as it went slightly into boost going up hills. The torque converter wouldn't unlock until the transmission would finally downshift into 3rd. My understanding was that the torque converter normally unlocks as load is detected but I never was able to see it do this.
My other thought was vacuum leak but I assumed that since it runs ok from a stop during normal acceleration, it probably wasn't a vacuum leak.
I am going to do a transmission fluid change but any other thoughts?
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Old 05-14-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
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Your trans fluid isn't a factor here as I see it.

You're talking an ignition problem. Classic symptoms. You are more likely to notice it in a high gear under load. Check your coils using the procedure in Techinfo for starters, then (at night) spray a light mist of water over your wires at idle (did I mention in the dark?). If you're arcing, you'll see it.

Make sure no wires are touching the O2 sensor as well. What plugs did you use?
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:04 AM   #3
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I went through that with a 00 SSEi. The standard "clean up the battery cables" took care of the problem. Clean those to the battery, paying close attention to the grounding strap where it attaches to the body under the seat; the positive connections at both the rear and under-hood fuse boxes, and the three bolts inside the fuse boxes that hold them down and provide ground.
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Old 05-14-2007, 12:01 PM   #4
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I can see I have some work to do. I had cleaned the negative cable under the seat a few months ago but didn't realize there were other places to clean as well. I'll also do the coil check.
I just pulled a plug which looked good and was a NGK TR55. Since the wires are brand new and not Taylors, I'm thinking there is a low likelihood they are the problem.
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Mark Fahey
Since the wires are brand new and not Taylors, I'm thinking there is a low likelihood they are the problem.
Low likelihood is correct, if you don't find the issue other places....keep them in mind. Bill Buttermore recently found a problem on low mileage Beldens.
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Old 05-14-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
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As did I.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:22 PM   #7
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I checked the coils and they were all within spec. It was somewhat strange to find that the mounting screws took a 7/32" socket on a car that is supposed to be all metric.
I also checked the 6 grounding screws for the fuse boxes and 5 out of the 6 weren't tight although I don't know what the torque spec is. Everything else was clean and tight.
None of the plug wires were touching the O2 sensor wiring. I'll still do the spark plug wire test at night.
It will be harder to test the car here in the flatlands to see if anything has improved but on the other hand, the original problem may have been there for some time without me ever knowing it.
Thanks for the help.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:26 PM   #8
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Those coil screws are actually 5.5mm.
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Old 05-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #9
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I have had the same problem you are describing for over one year now and have done everything that has been suggested to do.

After reading and toying with it constantly I have learned to just live with it.I think it is pressure control solenoid related from what I have read at other sites such as gtp world.Alot of gtp owners complain about the same problem.Some have fixed it with tranny fluid changes but only for a short time and others have fixed it with the battery clean up while others have fixed it with ignition part replacement while others have fixed it with vacume replacement.

I have had no such luck and am starting to look at the trans as the problem.

Alot of people said the problem went away after replacing the pcs but it costs almost as much as replacing the trans itself from what I understand.

Not to gloat at anyone but I finally got sick of it and got a 06 gto 6.0,that has fixed my chugging problem!!!!!LOL!!!!But for sure I would really like to figure this one out because I still love the ssei alot.And the goat would suck to drive in the winter,rear wheel drive and all and all the torque,[email protected] when it rains it kicks out I could only imagine how bad it will be when the snow falls again!
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:20 AM   #10
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I think that I may have two problems at work, one being the misfire and the second is the torque converter clutch not unlocking which keeps the engine at lower speed and higher load, making whatever ignition problems there are worse.
In what little testing I've been able to do since I've been back, the TCC is unlocking at the slightest touch of the pedal. The chugging also hasn't shown up, either as a result of the work that I did or because the TCC is releasing appropriately or perhaps both.
The only thing I can think of on the TCC is that the transmission was fully warmed up whereas when I tried to test around here, it wasn't.
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