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Old 12-21-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default 1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....

1st off my apologies if this isn't the right place to post this, I looked around for a bit and couldn't really decide 100%.


Anyways, I bought this 1996 caprice 4.3 v8, and it has dual straight pipe exhuast, and since I bought it, it ran fine, but had the check engine light on.

A while back, it started getting tough to start, then one day it wouldn't run, unless you helt the throttle to the floor and it would start and run very roughly on possibly not all cylinders.
Had to restart a few times to get it to the garage.

They put in new plugs, new distributor (or whatever it is, sitting on the bottom front of the engine that LOOKS sort of like a distributor, with the plug wires comming from it) and it was running good for about 10 minutes.

The garage things a new coolant temp sensor, and mass airflow sensor are required, but no scan tool was used, so I decided it would be a better idea to ask here before dumping cash into an old car.

I also wonder about the exhuast; The pipes are welded on close to the engine, there is no CAT or anything, just cherry bomb mufflers.
There is some exhust sensor that looks to be re-located on the new exhuast, and the garage mentioned that the sensor needs a certain flow past it to work right.
Is there a resistor I can hook to those wires to make it stop using that sensor?

Also is there a way I can test the coolant sensor or airflow sensor with an ohmmeter ?

I used to tear apart trucks and rebuild them, I've just never really had experience with electronic gas engines.

I miss driving my sweet ride :(
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:42 PM   #2
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Take it to autozone and get it scanned for diagnostic trouble codes (no charge) but it sounds to me like your fuel pump is failing. I would get fuel pressure tested.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Take it to autozone and get it scanned for diagnostic trouble codes (no charge) but it sounds to me like your fuel pump is failing. I would get fuel pressure tested.

Oh I forgot, there is no autozone, I'm in canada.

I don't THINK it'* the fuel pump, cranking it it smells like gas for 50 ft away, it'* almost like it'* flooded. Also runs good at full power, it'* just running way too much gas at idle and low power, WAY too much gas.

It runs better with the new plugs and distributor, but I decided to park it until I can figure out exactly whats going on and have to buy new plugs again.

Does it makes sense that it could be a sensor going bad, as it slowly got worse and worse to this condition?
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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a scanner would be a good investment if you plan on keeping it for a while and the ability to read live data is a valuable troubleshooting tool. you can test the cts with a ohm meter but you have to have the manual for your specific car. if you had a scanner you could just look and see if its about 195 in the pcm at temp. and knowing the codes would narrow it down from the host of possibilities that you could have going on. you have to have at least one o2, hooked up and operating properly would have been the one in front of the cat before. that tells the pcm how the engine is running and the pcm adjusts fueling accordingly
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:26 AM   #5
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Have you checked the fuel pressure regulator? Pull the vacuum hose off and smell for raw fuel.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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and buy a scanner.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jwfirebird View Post
a scanner would be a good investment if you plan on keeping it for a while and the ability to read live data is a valuable troubleshooting tool. you can test the cts with a ohm meter but you have to have the manual for your specific car. if you had a scanner you could just look and see if its about 195 in the pcm at temp. and knowing the codes would narrow it down from the host of possibilities that you could have going on. you have to have at least one o2, hooked up and operating properly would have been the one in front of the cat before. that tells the pcm how the engine is running and the pcm adjusts fueling accordingly
So the original exhaust had an 02 sensor in front of the cat, and another after?

Will it matter if the location is different; it looks like they moved the sensor when the exhuast got changed.

Also I found a piece of clear hose that looks like water or aquarium hose, about 1/8" to 1/4" running from the engine to inside the car under the dash; and it was sitting on the exhuast manifold and is burned, wonder WFT that was for...

Just curious, I have a tuner for my 2008 ford, it reads OBD codes I wonder if it would communicate with an older car like this?

Whats a good cheap code reader?
I'm thinking the likliness of more than 2 issues is almost impossible.

I don't really want to admit it, but I'm actually quite good with electronics, and also good with computers; yet this car actually is starting to frustrate me haha.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:07 PM   #8
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Have you checked the fuel pressure regulator? Pull the vacuum hose off and smell for raw fuel.

No I haven't.
I will check when I can get it into a warm garage.
a little iced up right now, she is.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:16 PM   #9
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heres a few pictures of the car.
I know it won't help, but anyways thats her.

Also a picture of a liquor induced diessel go kart project that still isn't finished
Attached Thumbnails
1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0049.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0054.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0055.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0057.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0019.jpg  

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Old 12-22-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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At the risk of hijacking and derailing my own thread, more go kart pictures.

I was going to get s10 axles cut down shorter, but now I think I'll ise FWD car parts for the front, and a solid axle with sprocket on the back. I don't know what I'm doing, I just drink enough till I figure it out. lol.
Attached Thumbnails
1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0017.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0020.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0021.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0022.jpg   1996 chev caprice v8 CEL and rough running....-dsc_0024.jpg  

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