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Discussion Starter #1
Nice Buick Estate just won't go...

Hey guys:

I've been looking for a new daily driver, so today I decided to go check out a Roadmaster Estate I've seen along the road for the past month or so.

It is a '91, 305-equipped. 116k, second-owner, very clean and original.

The engine starts and idles very well. Doesn't make any noises or leak or smoke. Totally tight.

However, the seller thinks the catalytic converter is stopped up, because once in gear, it will barely pull itself.

It's not a miss or a trans issue or anything like that. Put it in gear and depress the accelerator to start moving and it just stumbles and coughs and will even stall if you push the issue.

It starts back up and runs normally, but I think it cranks a little longer than it should. It does rev ok in park but it seems sluggish compared to my truck.

I like the car and I also like the price he came down to, so I'm likely going to buy it. Its 50 miles from here and I'm thinking about taking some parts and attempting to get it running right without having to have it flatbedded home.

Any thoughts?

Thanks...
 

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unbolt it at the cat and see what happens.

fuel filter? maybe
 

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Could possibly be a fuel pump issue or fuel related with long crank. Not enough fuel pressure will cause same symptons as clogged convertor. Could possible have a timing or distributor issue. It is not as bad as you think unless it is a convertor but you can cut it out put in a test pipe.
 

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Bad cap, rotor, coil or coil wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey guys:

I just got my new wagon home. It's the '91 RMW I was asking about in the other thread.

It's too dark to get a picture, but, it's a white one with woodgrain, tan leather interior, with alloy wheels, 116,000 miles.

It is pretty loaded...it has auto climate control(which doesn't appear to blow any air), the snap-down floormats, cargo cover in the back, keyless entry and a compass mirror with the lights in it.

I guess it has a towing package of some sort. It has the air compressor under the hood for the leveling deal, and there are codes for HD brakes and the F40 suspension. It only has a 2.73 gear and no limited-slip.

I'll get a picture when there's daylight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I bought this car...now to get to the bottom of what's wrong with it.

Here is the list of parts it had installed shortly before being parked a year ago:

Battery
coil
temperature switch(ecm)
oil pressure switch
TPS
map sensor
plugs
plug wires
distributor cap
fuel filter
rotor button
module
p.u coil
thermostat gasket
water pump
antifreeze

So....the only thing I don't see on there is a fuel pump.

Time to investigate.
 

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My 92 Sedan had the same problem accelerating. Once I got it home it died completely in the driveway. after some testing I bought a new pump today to replace the dead one :(
 

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If you're continuing the topic you already started, there's no need to start a brand new thread. You've already stated that you were going to buy it in the other thread. Just a friendly note from one of the mods. Your threads will be merged.

And then, the question is... Did you get it running yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm pleased to announce that the new wagon is running PERFECTLY:D

I decided this evening would be a great time to start diagnosing the issue this car had. To recap, it started and ran ok, but was sluggish revving in Park, and would fall on it's face and die when loaded in gear, even from an idle. This was accented by backfires through the throttle body.

The first thing I did was perform a vacuum test to see whether the exhaust was plugged up somewhere like the seller claimed.

It passed this test with flying colors. The needle held steady at 20" at 2500 so I knew the exhaust wasn't causing the problem.

The next thing I did was check the timing, and this instantly revealed the problem. At some point the distributor had been loosed somewhat, and the base timing was about 7 degrees retarded from 0.

I got it rest back to about 4 degrees btc and it ran MUCH better. Best of all, it passed the load test perfectly. The entire problem was caused by something as simple as timing.

I got three reminders of things during this diagnosis:

1. TBI Chevies are just great, simple, reliable engines
2. TBI Chevies are PICKY PICKY about timing
3. NEVER just throw parts at a problem without performing simple diagnostics first.

I am going to attach a pice of this beast because I don't think you guys have seen enough white wagons yet..lol
 

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It should be 0 degrees. If your distributor is turned all the way to the CW, it may have skipped a tooth. You should be able to get to 0 easily, and you can even put about 3 degrees into it without upsetting your computer.
 
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