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Old 02-26-2011, 01:53 AM   #81
Jetsa
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

FD, the MAP readings I am used to vary from .54 volts to near 5.0. This Saturn reads in KPA's and I don't know those near as well. I do see the numbers rise as load increases.

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Old 02-26-2011, 01:57 AM   #82
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

And I had a chuckle when I read that you said either the ECM or a sensor was intermittent. Totally agree that most likely a sensor is intermittent, however the "intermittent" I have always seen was an intermittent problem. This car has "intermittently" ran good....twice....and not for very long LOL.

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Old 02-26-2011, 02:21 PM   #83
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Puleeeese don't throw those specs at me. Wading through all that gives me information overload; I can only soak up what fits into the one cell between my ears, you know.......

I've read my service manual backwards, forwards, sideways and it still won't tell what's wrong with your engine!?

I must admit that I've forgotten the relationship between manifold pressure (vacuum) and fuel pressure regulation. It was either directly proportional or inversely proportional between vacuum and fuel pressure. High vacuum (idle)/low pressure, low vacuum (speed)/higher fuel presure. This brings up the question (that I can't find info on) of where the vacuum signal comes from. I would guess that its directly off the vacuum reservoir, the black plastic box on the left rear of the engine next to the egr valve? A loss of vacuum at idle; possible cracked vacuum line, loose line connection? This may be a moot point since low vacuum would mean higher pressure during acceleration/cruising - where you lost the power. 55 psi is what the specs says. Loss of vacuum at idle would cause higher fuel pressure; I remember playing with my first fuel injected engine that disconnecting the vacuum line to the regulator gave me some power at acceleration to correlate with the higher fuel pressure at idle for an instant (small) power boost. Remembering that as rpm's increased the pressure remained the same and became less influential the remaining 2/3rds of throttle opening was a long time ago until now.

The map readings; The MAP sensor voltage is converted by the ECM to an absolute pressure (kPa or psi). A high pressure, atmospheric pressure, produces an output of 4.5-5 volts, about 95-105 kPa (14-15 psi) absolute. A low pressure, engine vacuum, produces about 0.5-0.9 volts, about 37-50 kPa (5-7 psi) absolute. The MAP sensor is also used to calculate barometric pressure under certain conditions and for EGR flow diagnostics.

At engine off the map voltage would be close to 5v, idle would be around 1.7v(?) and as vacuum decreases (acceleration) the voltage increases. Here's a good link; http://www.aa1car.com/library/map_sensors.htm. There are other sites that chart kpa to pressure conversion too. It would appear that your readings match the chart in the link.

I noticed more than once you mentioning that closed loop drops out to open loop and that isn't supposed to occur with our "sophisticated" OBD II system using wide band O2 sensors. This is another hint of something gone awry.

Vacuum leak from a cracked vacuum reservoir?

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Old 02-26-2011, 07:01 PM   #84
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

If you have a vacuum leak then it can be quite a task to track it down. Try hooking up a vacuum gauge and then nudging and wiggling things. Don't forget to check your brake booster, its check valve, and the hose to it.

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Old 02-26-2011, 07:11 PM   #85
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

It was stated earlier that you couldn't see a diaphragm be intermittent (leaking). I have experienced just that. I had the brake booster fail on my 9-5 last year and it was indeed intermittent. I have also seen this in the past on things like vacuum advance actuators on mechanical distributors. You should consider an intermittent leak in the diaphragm of the fuel pressure regulator.

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Old 02-27-2011, 12:20 AM   #86
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Okay lets back way up here about 3 pages. I had a handheld vacuum pump and put it directly on the vacuum outlet on the throttle body where the vacuum to the regulator comes from. It is supposed to be ported vacuum (dont ask me how I know this or where I got it from cuz I dont remember at this time). Having said "it is supposed to be ported vacuum", on one of the GM manual pages I copied and pasted about the regulator, it clearly states that there should always be vacuum present and at high vacuum, there should be more fuel pressure. Then before that I posted that I never have seen the fuel pressure change 1 PSI from idle to full throttle. I did put the handheld vacuum pump on the regulator vacuum port and pumped it up....when I did that fuel pressure dropped considerably.

So the vacuum to the regulator comes off of a port on the throttle body which never has any vacuum. I have ran a wire up in the port to see if it were plugged up and the wire went all the way through with no restrictions. Something to ponder....IF it is ported vacuum, would the throttle plate have to be open "X" amount for vacuum to be induced into the port? If so, possibly the throttle plate isnt reading correct (I say this because I watch the throttle actuator on my Tech 2 and see it opening up..at least reading-wise). Had a friend with the car unplug the MAP sensor today to see what would happen and nothing happened....no change in engine performance (at idle he did this) and no service engine soon light came on. That seems odd (everything seems odd on this car now though).

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Old 02-27-2011, 12:22 AM   #87
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Born Again, if indeed there can be an intermittent vacuum leak at the regulator, and it turns out the regulator is the problem, that might explain why the car has ran perfectly twice.

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Old 02-27-2011, 02:58 PM   #88
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Most fuel pressure regulators work by increasing fuel pressure when the vacuum supply to the regulator drops. Most FPRs are connected to the intake manifold. When you open the throttle to increase speed, vacuum drops in the intake manifold. Now, maybe ported vacuum is done in a different way, so that it increases somehow when the throttle is opened. (?) In any case, no matter how the vacuum diaphragm in the FPR is configured, fuel pressure should increase when the throttle is opened. That's when you need more fuel.

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Old 02-27-2011, 03:22 PM   #89
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Well, this discussion made me curious, so I did a little research and found some sources that said that ported vacuum is created by drilling a hole very close to the throttle plate so that at idle, the vacuum is small, but as the throttle is opened it increases to the same vacuum we would see from a hole into the intake manifold. This makes a big difference at idle where vacuum readings are typically pretty high in the intake manifold. On the other hand, venturi vacuum (vacuum is drawn from the venturi (necked-down) region, typically in a carburetor), increases as the throttle is opened and the mass of air passing by increases. But fuel injected cars are not supposed to have venturis. I don't remember seeing a region of reduced cross sectional area when I removed and cleaned the throttle body on my L81.

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Old 02-27-2011, 09:20 PM   #90
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Okay so I have no vacuum reading on a handheld vacuum pump ever, idle or throttle up to wide open throttle, and thusly, no change in fuel pressure....ever....always 43 PSI.

Sounding more and more like a throttle body issue to me. Can I get some agreement or disagreement so I can make an educated guess LOL?

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Old 02-27-2011, 10:05 PM   #91
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Service manual says 55psi. You measured 43 psi............................

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Old 02-27-2011, 11:23 PM   #92
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

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...Learned that while the fuel pressure is steady at 43PSI or thereabouts, it never changes, even on acceleration...there is no vacuum coming from the throttle body vacuum port to the fuel pressure regulator, at idle or at the highest I can get the RPM's which I also learned is now around 4000RPM's (but it sure doesnt like to run at 4000 RPM's). So about the vacuum to the regulator, I hooked up a hand-held vacuum pump to the regulator and added vacuum while I had the throttle down and the car was running terribly as usual. The added vacuum dropped the fuel pressure down towards 30ish PSI but there is absolutely no difference with vacuum to the regulator or with no vacuum...it runs that bad. I would assume the vacuum to the regulator should be ported as to not hold the regulator open at idle where it should not be, but I never saw any vacuum on the hand-held pump nor have I ever saw the fuel pressure drop while snapping the throttle. "
...
I am sorry that this did not register with me the first time I read it. (At that time we were just finishing checking to see if your engine had jumped time, thinking of other things.) But, I'm thinkin' this constant 43 psi is a problem. It may not be THE problem, but it bears further investigation. Reading my FSM for 2000 L81 engine, I see the minimum fuel pressure to start and run the engine under low load conditions is between 39 and 49 psi. The minimum unregulated pressure is 65 psi minimum. The maximum (regulated, I think) pressure is 75 psi. The FSM procedure for testing is unbelievably complicated, requiring four separate tests and a special testing setup. These pressures are measured without running the engine, so may not be comparable to the 43 psi you measured with the engine running. (?) You will want to check this out with the Saturn tech who is currently working on it, but if you find you can only make 43 psi with the engine off, it seems to me that you have insufficient pressure to run the engine under load or much more than at idle. Maybe you have a bad fuel pump, plugged filter, or something else. That could explain why it's lean - you aren't providing enough fuel at the required pressure. The fact that you have no vacuum to the FPR is another problem in itself. But without any vacuum to the FPR, I'm guessing you should have between 65 and 75 PSI at the rail. Your test (lower pressure when vacuum is applied to the FPR) suggests that the L81 FPR works like all the others, increasing fuel pressure as the throttle is opened and vacuum drops. So, with no vacuum in the hose, I would think you should have way higher pressure than 43 psi.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:20 AM   #93
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Well it is no longer with the Saturn tech (I paid my "check out fee") and brought it back to my place to finish the diagnosis. He also did a fuel pressure check and said the 43PSI was sufficient. What he also did that I did not was restrict the fuel return line and he said the pressure went up to 80PSI, but was still running bad at 80 (at least I think he said he ran the car when the return line was restricted and the pressure was at 80). I have 43 PSI with key on or when running, be it at idle of under load. I think it should increase, even it is slightly (but it looks like it should increase greatly) under load, and to do this, the regulator is going to have to come into play.

Now, no vacuum at idle or any other throttle position. Yes vacuum should pull the fuel pressure down (which it does...I have put a handheld vacuum pump on the regulator itself and got the pressure to drop while applying vacuum)....but I am getting no vacuum so why not higher fuel pressure?

I read that very complicated 4 step fuel pressure test and I do not have that testing setup, but I'm going through the steps now...sec...

"Important: The minimum unregulated fuel pressure under flow at the fuel rail is 448 kPa (65 psi). "

This sounds to me like fuel pressure from the pump to the regulator should be a minimum of 65PSI and the regulator drops the pressure down to the normal 39-59PSI....at idle.

"Important: The pressure gauge reading should be approximately 276-345 kPa (40-50 psi)."


Okay this last statement in quotation marks is from the last test (of about 12 tests in the service manual) where you are checking for leaking-down injectors. Basically it is saying remove the fuel rail and leave it intact while turning on the key to energize the fuel pump. So if everything is still hooked up correctly, and the only thing going is the injectors are out of their holes, they are looking for 40-50 PSI fuel pressure with key on. I have that. What I dont have is higher fuel pressure which I believe it required for higher load conditions.

Wish I could find another 3.0 to see if it has vacuum at idle at the throttle body, and to put a fuel pressure gauge on it and see what happens to the fuel pressure when you put the car under load.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:25 AM   #94
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Ahh just another thought popped up. Friday when we were playing with it, I had a guy power brake it (put it in gear while giving it throttle) while I sprayed carb cleaner into a vacuum port. It made no difference in how the engine ran. If it were leaning out under load, one would expect the extra fuel (carb cleaner) to perk up the engine which it did not.

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Old 02-28-2011, 12:50 AM   #95
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Ok, ok already!? You don't have to twist my arm!?

I never had a need to measure fuel pressure with my old gauge (loaned out to someone and it still worked) but this seems like a good opportunity to see what mine reads. It also occurred to me to look over my vacuum lines to see where the vacuum reservoir gets its supply from. Please be patient as my one cell between my ears doesn't allow me to think ahead.........will try to post my findings tomorrow.

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:14 AM   #96
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Alright, here's the good news and bad news, depending on your point of view.

After the morning drive to work I shut off the engine and attached my fuel pressure gauge; ignition ON, engine OFF - approximately 40 psi, engine idling - about 43psi, above idle - small increases but still holding at approximately 43 psi.

My fuel pressure gauge has a short 10" or 12" fuel line so I had to angle the gauge face so I can look at it from behind the steering wheel as I revved the engine. At initial key ON (engine off) the pressure gauge went as far as 50 psi or so before settling down to around 40 psi. Once the engine started up the pressure stayed near 43 psi with some fluctuation of the needle going higher but not anywhere near 50 psi as I revved the engine to see if pressure rises.

I also searched my vacuum lines; the main tap comes right off the rear intake manifold runner next to the vacuum reservoir using a small diameter blue (nylon?) line. I posted a picture of a vacuum gauge reading awhile ago to answer a question about idle vacuum readings. My temporary set up was tapped off somewhere nearby. Initial vacuum readings were around 15" but further checking revealed a small leak and when corrected showed closer to 17"-18" vacuum @650 rpm.

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:54 AM   #97
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I thank you. But it sort of rules out a problem with the regulator on my car as your readings are quite similar to mine. One question....you refer to "main tap". Are you referring to the source of the vacuum to the resovoir? I would be more concerned with what kind of vacuum readings (if any) you get where the regulator gets its vacuum from. That is a vacuum port located on the side of the throttle body (front of the car side).... From there the plastic line runs under the upper intake (plenum) over to the regulator. I have yet to see any vacuum at that port and from your readings, I dont think I will.

Thanks again FD

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Old 02-28-2011, 10:55 AM   #98
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

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... At initial key ON (engine off) the pressure gauge went as far as 50 psi or so before settling down to around 40 psi. Once the engine started up the pressure stayed near 43 psi with some fluctuation of the needle going higher but not anywhere near 50 psi as I revved the engine to see if pressure rises....
This seems correct - vacuum is high at idle, but when the throttle is opened, it suddenly drops. Then, as the engine "catches up," increasing in rpm, the vacuum increases again. The manifold vacuum will respond to load as well. If you were driving up a steep hill, where you needed a lot of fuel, the vacuum would stay lower and the fuel pressure would remain higher. The fact that he sees no change in pressure when he opens the throttle points to a problem. In this case, probably the lack of a vacuum supply to his FPR, or a faulty FPR. Failure to increase fuel pressure under load may not be the only problem, but it is a significant one.

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Old 02-28-2011, 11:33 AM   #99
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

I forgot about the fpr and vacuum line going there. I'll try looking again this afternoon, in between rain drops. We're expecting rain showers. The few squirts of fuel onto my hands smells Awful!? Goes to show you how much I work on my car!?

When I removed my TAC for t-stat replacement I remember two small coolant lines (no coolant poured out) but not a vacuum line. Its so da@* packed around there that I can't see anything underneath it. All my vacuum lines are easy to see as they're all blue nylon. I'll know for sure as soon as I look under the hood again.......... I might have a hard time tracing the fpr vacuum line to the tac but I'll look.

The main vacuum tap on mine is directly next to the vacuum reservoir, the small black plastic box on the left rear intake runner. There's a brass fitting on the aluminum runner that's sized down (adapter) to take the small diameter nylon tube that connects to the vacuum reservoir. This is only for one or two vacuum needed items. The brake vacuum boost tap is somewhere else and uses a larger diameter vacuum hose.

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Old 02-28-2011, 07:27 PM   #100
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Default Re: Noob Here to Saturn but not to GM-L3000 Question/Help Needed

Ok, more good/bad news. The picture is my tac with the vacuum port(?) being sized down to accept a small diameter black nylon vacuum line going to the fpr, adapted back up to the rubber line attached to the bottom(?) of the fpr. If this is correct, I too do not have any (measured) vacuum on this port. Mind you, my car is working fine. The mystery to me is why a vacuum doesn't exist on this port on the tac...........

I'm going to presume that the tac somehow opens/closes this vacuum port at some time that doesn't seem to be explained in the service manual. Perhaps only opened (for vacuum) during either wide open throttle or very cold temps? I did not try to set up my vacuum gauge with a cold engine so I do not know if this is when ported vacuum is made available to the fpr.

We did have one Vue member that replaced his tac (same 3.0L V6 engine) that fixed an issue and also opened the old tac for viewing. Without anyone having a spare tac for disassembly, we're left to wonder how this port makes vacuum available to the fpr.
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