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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was heading home in my 95 Caprice earlier tonight when the engine lost all power. It was still "running" if you could call it that, but no power at all. When I would try to give it a little gas it was making a sound similar to what Eleanor makes in Gone in 60 Seconds when "Memphis" is telling the car "Don't start with me...no Start" which I'm guessing was due to lack of oil circulating or perhaps something completely different (I always thought it was valve noise, but could be wrong).

So it was weird to me that it didn't totally just die, but seemed like it was still trying to run. My main thoughts were Optispark or something timing related, but those are only guesses that could be totally wrong for all I know. I tried re-starting it and it would "start" but continue not really running, so I turned it off right away.

Anywho, the main or only symptom I had recently was that the car would run rough at low RPM or idle, such as when starting from a stoplight....after a few seconds of stumbling it would snap back to normal. I had been planning to do some PM/repair work on the car soon which I guess means now. It had also just recently thrown an EGR code that I'm guessing would have contributed to the crappy idle and possibly stuttering during acceleration.

I also had an incident just a few days ago where the bottom bolts on the waterpump were slightly lose and dripping coolant, so I imagine Mr. Optispark was none to happy with that either. I tightened them and it seems ok now, but figure that wasn't good.

Any ideas appreciated.
 

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Check fuel pressure - s/b 41-48 psi while cranking. Ever changed your fuel filter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fuel filter is probably due, I know its been a while. I'll also check the pressure...guess I get to buy a new tool!!!!
 

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If you don't get to buy a fuel pressure gauge, you can "borrow" one from AutoZone. Theirs is a pretty good test gauge and a multi-function meter to check electrical connections, voltage, amperage, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I borrowed said gauge from Autozone (on second attempt....1st attempt nobody knew they had one).

Turned the key to the "On" position without cranking the engine over and the pressure steadies at about 42psi. Over time it slowly drops (were talking several minutes it may drop a couple of psi). I don't know if that's normal, but that's what its doing. I purchased a new fuel filter but have not yet installed it...so the readings are with dirty fuel filter. Car will not start or even hint that it wants to start (tried following the tests in the Haynes manual, but can't do any that involve a running car).

It cranks over fine but is still lacking fuel and/or spark.

What should I try next?
 

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Make sure you dont have a leak in the intake tubing after the MAF but before the throttle body. Last week I lost all power in my wagon on the highway got off and it died at the bottom of the off ramp. MAF came loose from intake tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I failed to see any sort of spark...so I'm guessing that is a large part of the issue. Tried to check the coil with a multimeter, but didn't really get any readings...so maybe its toast?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If I do need a coil what seems to be the best bet for a stock or somewhat upgraded replacement? I put a NAPA one in a few years ago...I have any parts store you could want close to home and work...including a Jegs.
 

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A stock replacement coil will be just fine. MSD's are often problematic. Also, take the ignition module and have it tested. If it is bad, you'll get no spark.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Just for kicks I pulled the ignition wire between the coil and Optispark to test for spark there and it most definitely was putting off some spark (the coil)...

So is it safe to assume if the Coil is sparking but the plugs are not that the Optispark is the weak link? Is there anything obvious I'm missing? I guess it might be a good thing I purchased a new Optispark about two weeks ago....

Also, is there a general rule for how many plugs I should test for spark before writing it off as not sparking? I only pulled one and checked last night. Should I pull a couple others just to make sure? I noticed the service manual said to check a couple, but I didn't read that until a few minutes ago. At the time I figured if one wasn't sparking, none of them were.
 

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I had a similar problem 6 months ago.

My car would run but off idle it would just bog down a barely move.

It was a voltage problem, the battery mainly, I also replace the positive wire and cleaned all the grounds.

All is good.
 

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How powerful was the spark at the coil? It should be white/blue. If it's weak, it won't even make it through the distributor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Checked every possible fuse and all was well there.

I know the battery is getting old. I hooked the car up to a jumper and that didn't change the car's attitude at all.

The spark was blue/white although I plan on checking the easy stuff again before tearing into the front of the engine just to be sure.
 
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