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Old 10-16-2008, 02:29 PM   #1
dayco36
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Default 1991 SL2 engine prob.

a guy came to my shop a few weeks back with the saturn that woldn't run .i told him i would have a look at it . came in the next day handed me the title and said i don't many have to play to have it fixed so now i have a saturn that won't run .... last week a got it in the corner of my shop .. thinking it was the fuel pump and took the tank down ... tested the pump .. pump moves fuel good ... got the tank back up .. get to looking at the fuses.. and found under the hood had DIS fuse was blown ... Don't know why but i replaced it car started so i let it run for a few min then put the car in drive to drive to put a load on it and it back fired and died ........... so i tried to start it again... it spit pop back fired died .... so i took the PCV vavle line off the intake ..car started reved up to about 2100 rpm and stayed ... with the car leaned out it stayed runing as soon as i but the PCV vavle back on it the rpm droped and it back fired and blow the intake tube and PCV off shooting fire out .... now im back to fire run backfire die im at a loss on this guy .... it could be something i overlooked but .... hey im no saturn mechanic... i could use the help
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

Look in the How-to library's first three posts about the engine coolant temperature sensor (ECTS) and its two-wire connector. Most times this sensor fails resulting in a rich mixture but sometimes it fails in a leaned out mode with the exact same symptoms you described with dramatic backfiring up through the intake manifold. The coolant sensor detects engine temps for the crucial air/fuel mixture requirements throughout the engine operating temperatures from sub-freezing to desert heat. Buy the brass replacement from any auto parts store stocking it. Be sure you replace only the two-wire one and its connector if its corroded. The other sensor is the single wire one for the temperature gauge and hardly fails. You might want to replace the thermostat while you're poking around.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:23 PM   #3
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Dizzy Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

I got a new ETCS today and put it in ...... the car will idle sometimes barly idle but will idle... its missing badly ...... u tri to give it gas .. it will miss and rev up kind-of or die .........no code's ....... what do i tri next
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

NGK sparkplugs and wires. The mid priced direct fit wires are adequate. And the proper NGK plug is BKR5ESA-11 for DOHC and BKR4ESA-11 for SOHC.
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Old 10-17-2008, 07:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

just put new bosh plugs in it and i checked them a few min's ago and they where black as night all 4
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Old 10-17-2008, 08:01 PM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

I would assume that those are BOSH platinum plugs. Saturns do not like them. Use either NGK or AC copper. Now that you have a decent ECTS installed then next issue is to determine if the t-stat is shot. If you start the car and allow it to warm up where does the gauge point? Go take it for a 15 min drive to determine what he normal temp indication is.
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Old 10-18-2008, 08:49 AM   #7
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Dizzy Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

ok i'll pick up a set of ngk's ........ i would love to take it for a drive but every time i put it in gear it dies ..... wont move i put it in gear it starts miss really bad and dies ether in a backfire or just dies
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Old 10-19-2008, 02:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

Try disconnecting the EGR vacuum hose. If it runs, pull the EGR and clean it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 09:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

ok i'll tri that ... just a ? what dose the fuel rail line psi Need to be?
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Old 10-20-2008, 11:08 AM   #10
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Dizzy Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

checked the fuel psi and it was 39 with key on ..... took EGR vac. line off car started was able to drive back in the shop .. let it idle and warm up ... now it dies when i put it in gear ..... cleaned EGR ... seems to be working good plugged it back in .. with no change.. it seemd to idle better with EGR vac off
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:45 PM   #11
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

I have been running bosch single platinum plugs for the last 8,000 miles on the SL2 and the car runs 100% and gets great gas mileage. Maybe some people don't like the plugs but they should not prevent the car from running. If people think that is the case there has got to be something else majorly wrong.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:48 PM   #12
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

Platinum tip plugs have a very small center electrode, this increases the potential required to initiate the spark in a waste spark system. This leads to early degradation and failure of the coils and wiring. The BOSH sparkplug line by design has a narrow heat range. This can lead to excessive fouling or tip burning and preignition.

Maybe you like them but most of us have had enough of them in several different engines. They remind me of the Champion "N" series plugs of the 60s and 70s - junk. I was never so happy as when NGK started selling plugs in this country for the Kawasaki bikes.
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:03 PM   #13
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

ok guys ...when the car is cold it will run and move .... when it gets alittle heat in it it starts missing and will die when you put it into gear ...... but it will idle ruffly .... but it dies when you hit the gas ...............
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:11 PM   #14
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

Clean your throttle body. Sounds like the IAC is trying to keep the engine RPMS up under the load in gear and cant.

I suggest a full tune up- Plugs, wires, oil, filter, cleaning of the contacts where the ignition module meets the tranny, thorough EGR cleaning, etc ,etc
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Old 10-20-2008, 06:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

Exhaust restriction (i.e. clogged cat)?
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:08 AM   #16
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

alright here is whats been going on with the saturn

i have replaced MAP , IACV(ohms were not correct), PCV, ECTS, Plugs and wires,Unbolted and cleans throttle body, Cleaned EGR ,TPS tests good (volts and ohms) ran injector cleaner in tank ... and one bottle in the intake (to clean carbon on valves and intake runners , cleaned terminels and grounding points on block .... removed coils and Control Module cleans all contacts .... when its cold it starts and runs GREAT ! at about 160F it starts to miss and the warmer it gets the more it misses till u cant even put it in gear or rev the motor .. when you put it in gear it will die ... and then start right up and run ok for about 3 sec. then back to missing .... pulled the wire's on coils .coils are arcing between the towers but the #2 and 3 coil looked alittle weak so i swaped 1-4 coil with 2-3 coils and the weak side2-3 coil postion stayed weak .. checks the ohms between the towers on both coils ... 9500 on one 9400 on the other .... they seem to ohm ok ......... Thanks for all your help so far ....... on working on a saturn you seem to learn alot about them ... can't wait to drive this car
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:20 AM   #17
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Default Re: 1991 SL2 engine prob.

The weak pulse on the 2-3 coil no matter which coil is being used would point strongly at the ICM. The part the coils st on. Find one at the J/Y and swap it out. They are quite expensive and if its the problem the J/Y unit will prove the idea, even if the J/Y one has problems also.

Might also try blocking off the EGR intake port with a piece of can and see if that solves the problem, or helps.
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