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Old 08-11-2019, 09:22 PM   #1
roberto92
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Default 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Hello, last week my sl2 would crank, but not turn over. It had been a little sluggish recently so I was planning on putting new spark plugs in when I had a chance (NGk copper). I put the new plugs in and it still wouldnít start.

After doing some digging here, I thought it might be the crankshaft position sensor. Ordered one of those, swapped it out, and the car started up, but idled very rough. I had enough for the day, and was just content that it started.

Today, I tried to take it for a drive, and it was just as rough, if not worse. It seemed like the engine was cutting in and out, almost stalling, but not quite. After sitting in it for a bit, it calmed down at idle(in park) but when I put it in drive, it started cutting in and out again. Sat with it in drive, and it calmed down. Once I started to drive, it started cutting in and out again, and I couldnít get faster than 5-10 mph(in drive, 3, or 2).

I donít know what to do next, especially since it was running fine before all this. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated, Iím fairly limited in my experience working with cars, but thought I would check here before taking it to a mechanic to see if it is just time for a new car.

Thank you.

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Old 08-11-2019, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Did you perhaps miss-route the spark plug wires when done with the plugs?
# 1 and #4 (viewed on Left hand side when facing the engine from the front)
should be run parallel (and right next to each other) from the lower wire loom up as far as they can go before the #1 wire goes to the far passenger side plug.

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Old 08-11-2019, 11:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

I double checked that this afternoon; I figured I had to have messed something up and that was all that came to mind. I traced the wires and they were routed in the proper order according to this site and others (1 2 3 4 left to right cylinder to 4 1 2 3 left to right on the coil).

That was the only small thing related to the work Iíve done I could think of, unless there was some bigger underlying problem that led to the cps going out.

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Old 08-12-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

If the plug wires aren't crossed, then you should perform a compression test. I think it is a coil/ICM problem.

You could try swapping the coils around and see if the cylinder misfire changes its cylinder.

You should have a service engine soon light. A scanner can tell you which cylinder is misfiring.

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Old 08-12-2019, 05:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Sounds like you have a defective CKP or it is not seated properly. Get a mirror and see if it is all the way in. If it is fully seated take it back and by a SMP brand.

By the FSM CKP replacement requires a crank position relearn. To try that warmup the engine to full temperature. Shutdown. Pull PCM B fuse and leave out for 2 minutes and replace. Start engine and keep your foot off the gas and let it idle, watch the SES. If the SES starts flashing increase engine RPM to 3000 3500 RPM and hold it ther until the SES quits flashing.


If this does not happen then get another CKP and if that fails head to the pick and pull for a new complete ignition module, 2 coils and the ICM.

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Old 08-12-2019, 07:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Saturn night: I do have the SES light, but unfortunately I donít have a scanner, so I canít pull the code.

Old Nuc: Does SMP=OEM? I used the ac delco part, and It popped in during installation. I couldnít see it, but made sure it was flush in there.

I thought I read that the relearn was only necessary for the Ď96 year, and it sounded like I needed a scan tool to do it. I followed your instructions, but the SES light didnít come back on for a minute or two. I stepped on the gas peda and got it up to about 2k rpm when it started the same almost stalling but catching itself. It appears that happens mostly when I step on the accelerator. Could that mean anything different? Also, I thought a faulty ckp wouldnít let the car start.

Unless there are any other possibilities, I think Iíll have to limp it to the shop down the road to get diagnosed and see if itís something worth fixing.

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Old 08-12-2019, 08:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

I told you how to do a relearn for your car. The SMP is quality, ACDelco is a reboxer and I have no idea what they are selling. You really need to pull the codes but if all this happened after changing the CKP then the new part is a fail.

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Old 08-12-2019, 09:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

If the SES didnít start blinking after removing/replacing the pcmb fuse per your instructions, does that point to the ckp being bad?

Sorry, I donít know what smp means, is that a specific brand?

I appreciate your patience and help, like I said earlier, Iím pretty limited in my experience.

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Old 08-12-2019, 11:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Yes SMP or BWD are specific brands that are probably at the top of the aftermarket quality pile.

If the ses does not start flashing after the engine returns to idle then the PCM is not seeing a huge mismatch in the previously learned timing and the present. Then you go for ICM/coils and/or another CKP. If no flashing I would be inclined to suspect the ignition module if the plugs and wires are new.

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Old 08-21-2019, 04:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by roberto92 View Post
Saturn night: I do have the SES light, but unfortunately I donít have a scanner, so I canít pull the code.

Old Nuc: Does SMP=OEM? I used the ac delco part, and It popped in during installation. I couldnít see it, but made sure it was flush in there.

I thought I read that the relearn was only necessary for the Ď96 year, and it sounded like I needed a scan tool to do it. I followed your instructions, but the SES light didnít come back on for a minute or two. I stepped on the gas peda and got it up to about 2k rpm when it started the same almost stalling but catching itself. It appears that happens mostly when I step on the accelerator. Could that mean anything different? Also, I thought a faulty ckp wouldnít let the car start.

Unless there are any other possibilities, I think Iíll have to limp it to the shop down the road to get diagnosed and see if itís something worth fixing.
The local parts stores can scan your codes.

I am going to put a link to a used part search tool, in case you need an ignition control module.

CKPs are a magnetic pickup off the reluctor wheel of the crankshaft. They rarely throw a code, but if it does come up it will be a 6X code because there are 6 notches on the reluctor wheel.

I did a complete engine swap and didn't need to relearn the CKP. I have never heard of such a practice on any car. Most of the time, a CKP is a "plug n play" replacement.

The ECM/PCM detects the pulses and uses that to send the signal to the ICM.

www.car-part.com

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Old 08-21-2019, 08:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

roberto92, was the coolant sensor replaced? Original round nosed plastic ones failed and sent incorrect signals to the pcm. The pcm runs the engine rich all the time, flooding some engines on startup. The flat nosed brass one cures this problem. Another problem not often mentioned - catalytic converter damage preventing exhaust flow, strangling the engine from running.

The easiest way to determine if the catcon is blocking exhaust flow - remove the exhaust manifold mounted O2 sensor for an exhaust path before the catcon. Once the O2 sensor is removed, drive around the block. The exhaust will be LOUD but either the engine has renewed power or not. Sudden renewed power suggests the catcon disintegrated internally and choking off exhaust flow. Banging the catcon resulting in rattles like marbles is another hint of a damaged catcon. Catcons are made of solid heat resistant porous substrates containing platinum to covert exhaust gases into harmless byproducts.
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Old 08-21-2019, 10:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: 97 SL2 running rough after changing crankshaft position sensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn Night View Post
The local parts stores can scan your codes.

I am going to put a link to a used part search tool, in case you need an ignition control module.

CKPs are a magnetic pickup off the reluctor wheel of the crankshaft. They rarely throw a code, but if it does come up it will be a 6X code because there are 6 notches on the reluctor wheel.

I did a complete engine swap and didn't need to relearn the CKP. I have never heard of such a practice on any car. Most of the time, a CKP is a "plug n play" replacement.

The ECM/PCM detects the pulses and uses that to send the signal to the ICM.

www.car-part.com
The FSM directs a relearn every time the CKP is replaced. There is no way you will know if it is just a little off.

The OPs problem may very well be a failing ICM or a cracked coil tower.

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