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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,
Just replaced my starter, now engine cranks but won't fire. Engine ran fine 4 days ago. Car has about 1/3 tank of fuel & front end is still up on jackstands (not sure if this would make a difference).
Can hear fuel pump runs when ingition switched to key on. Is there an easy way to test for spark?
Thanks
 

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I've hooked up a starter before either missing a wire or getting one on the wrong post. It would crank but not start. Nosey, why did you replace the starter? As long as you don't have the car jacked a lot higher than a San Francisco hill then not an issue. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I figured an incline wouldn't prevent engine from starting. I replaced the bendix drive gear & solenoid in the starter because when trying to start the car, the starter motor would spin but the engine wouldn't turn over.
Only reason I figured starter might be cause of no start is if it couldn't crank engine fast enough, but it does seem to crank fast enough (I've got no way to monitor rpm while cranking)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've got spark & I can smell fuel at the tailpipe after cranking. I connected a scan tool to read rpm while cranking, it indicates about 150 rpm.
What is the minimum cranking speed required to start engine?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
UPDATE car started up this morning, I let it warm up, turned it off & started it back up 3 times in a row no problem. I let the car cool for an hour, came back and started it up no problem, let it warm up.
At this point I figured the starter is fine and maybe the car wasn't starting because something was wet. (I had a half inch of water on my garage floor)
I took it for a drive & the engine died at the end of my street. Still, no codes. I did notice that on the optispark end of the coil wire was a small red sleeve around the wire that is cracked. Does my optispark need to be replaced?
 

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Find someone with a live data scanner or computer program. It is easier to plug in to check than probe the OPTI. A intermittent problem is hard to work on, but if it does not start you should be able to get real information on the problem.


If you have spark and injectors the OPTI is working.(does not mean it is working properly) Do you still have these now?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, I had a battery charger on the battery between tries. Do you know what speed the starter should turn at?
Because the car died while driving, I think something else is wrong
 

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I'm not there to hear, but kinda thinking it's gonna be pretty easy (for anyone who's been driving even a few years) to tell whether there's even a hint of the starter dragging lower than normal speed. What's your ear tell you that you have a concern there? During the time to arrange a scanner or program I'd be pointing the most attention toward replacing that wire and making the business case to do new IC and ICM (always together) since they're normal maint. items after about a 1/4 century. And if the car's never gotten distributor tune-up parts then it's WAY overdue.
 

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Because the car died while driving, I think something else is wrong
Sorry I edited my first post when you reported back. I have no crank data but you got it to start.


The OPTI has two sensors one that senses coarse position of the pistons. If the PCM gets this data the engine will start but not run well. This data can be scanned on a 94/95 car. The fine data 360 pulses would have to be checked with a scope.


With no diagnostics I would carefully unplug the harness at the OPTI and use a ELECTRONIC spray cleaner on the OPTI and it's connector. There is a second connector on top of the manifold you could also unplug and clean.


I did notice that on the optispark end of the coil wire was a small red sleeve around the wire that is cracked.

I would replace a coil wire before changing the OPTI. Are the plug wires good?
 

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Not a smart ass comment but sounds like its simply low on gas.
Even if gauge show 1/3 tank, its probably a lot lower.
I'd check fuel pressure, and if low add 5 gal.
then check spark.

Nab
 

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^^^^

IMHO everyone should have a FP gauge to determine if FP is the problem initially before even posting "car won't..."

hearing fuel pump or seeing gas come out of the Schrader valve are not ways to check FP

It takes seconds to test FP, if good than move on to ignition. ICM/Coil are very likely suspects or Opti.....or the wiring going to all of those.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
UPDATE I had the car towed to the closest garage that said they'd look at it today.
A few hours later, the... office lady from the garage called me & said the car needs a new "coil pack". I said "just the coil?". She says "The coil pack, the whole thing. I'll be $220, all in. You can pick it up at 4:50". Great.
At 4:30 the mechanic calls me and says that he got the wrong coil pack. I asked him if it was only the coil that was bad. He says "It's not the coil, it's the distributor that's bad" and that he's having a hard time sourcing a replacement.
At this point I figure I've got 2 options:
1. leave the car at the garage that uses words "coil" & "distributor" interchangeably
2. Go to garage, pay them for diagnostic & have car towed back to my garage at home, replace distributor myself.
I'm strongly leaning toward option 2.
I go to mechanic's garage to find "Closed" sign in window. Office lady lets me in & I see that they've already removed water pump & distributor. Replacement distributor not yet sourced. Mechanic said he tested fuel pressure, got 40 psi & showed me the "wrong" "coil" that they sent him (I guess it was wrong because it was actually a coil). Since water pump & distributor had been pulled, I left the car at that garage until they tell me when my car will be fixed or how much it'll cost. As of quitting time today, they didn't know.

Can any of you guys tell me which distributor I need?

I've see that most manufacturers (delco reman included) list the same distributor part number for 94, 95 & 96 cars.World Power Systems lists DST1803 for 94 & 95 cars, but has DST1833 for 96. Cardone also has same number for 94 & 95 but different for 96.
I remember reading that some years had vented distributors, among other differences.

I miss my Quadrajet equipped Monte Carlo.
 

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The shop does not sound confident or competent. They probably replaced the coil to no avail and then decided to replace the distributor. The latter, if you go with ACDelco is a $450 part and there is a way to screw up the installation if they do not know what they are doing.
Replacing a coil pack should not really cost $220. To be honest, that shop looks scary to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'd rather have taken it to another shop, but they wouldn't be able to look at it until Tuesday. I was planning on going out of town on Tuesday.
I suppose I could tell them to put all parts they removed in a box & tow my car home.
But, if they were wrong about diagnosis I'm back at square one. I haven't got access to an oscilloscope to test if my spark plugs are firing.
 

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I'd rather have taken it to another shop, but they wouldn't be able to look at it until Tuesday. I was planning on going out of town on Tuesday.
I suppose I could tell them to put all parts they removed in a box & tow my car home.
But, if they were wrong about diagnosis I'm back at square one. I haven't got access to an oscilloscope to test if my spark plugs are firing.

Option #2 is best for you. God I feel for you. Freakin' idiot garage you went to. They will do more harm than good since they have obviously never seen one.

For reference - distributor for our cars - optispark - or opti as used on this forum.

DO NOT let them keep your opti as a core!!

Is it an original GM part? Look for GM p/n 1104032 etched into EDGE of housing. How many miles?

A new cap and rotor is available. And a new opti vent harness.
 

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UPDATE .... the... office lady from the garage called me & said the car needs a new "coil pack". I said "just the coil?". She says "The coil pack, the whole thing. I'll be $220, all in. ......

I shiver hearing your experience with them. A generic brand ignition coil runs $25. "The whole thing" had to have included the ignition control module and we'll give that $70. You can (and unfortunately too many garages to hike margin) get lower priced ones, but man I sure wouldn't. So, that shop appears to have used the highly scientific calculation that "labor equals parts" - plus a healthy markup on your parts. That is, --> IF <-- the ICM was included. So, --> IF <-- your ICM is new then I would unbolt it to make 100% positive sure there's the correct type and amount of thermal paste. Or you'll be buying it again.



Just a thought you might post up some pics and much wiser guys here than me can give you a remote consultation on at least the external quality of repair.

And just for reference when buying my Cady the previous owner stated he'd had a new "genuine dealer" opti installed 6 months earlier. The receipt for $1,100 did not break out parts and labor, and also did NOT refer to an oem brand ACDelco. It turned out to be a Spectra and I had to remove and repair it less than a year after I bought the car.
 

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OMG, a term I never used before. I have to agree with 96 on this one. Get your car away from that shop. It looks as if you would need protection from STD because you're going to get bent over.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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From your signature, you list option V92 - trailer option. Which means one mechanical, one electric fan. Is this still in place? Hopefully, it has been converted to 2 electric? We need much more info - we are here to help.

Nice upgrades have been done - Kudos.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Option #2 is best for you. God I feel for you. Freakin' idiot garage you went to. They will do more harm than good since they have obviously never seen one.

For reference - distributor for our cars - optispark - or opti as used on this forum.

DO NOT let them keep your opti as a core!!

Is it an original GM part? Look for GM p/n 1104032 etched into EDGE of housing. How many miles?

A new cap and rotor is available. And a new opti vent harness.
I don't have access to the opti right now since car is at the garage (which is closed for the weekend). However, car had 73000 miles when I bought it in 2016, so I suspect it's the original opti.
 

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From your signature, you list option V92 - trailer option. Which means one mechanical, one electric fan. Is this still in place? Hopefully, it has been converted to 2 electric? We need much more info - we are here to help.

Nice upgrades have been done - Kudos.
Yes, car was originally equipped with a mechanical fan & electric fan. I deleted the mechanical fan in October 2018, but have not yes installed a second electric fan since the weather locally doesn't necessitate it. That may change around June.
 
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