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Old 10-02-2008, 12:23 PM   #1
GmG
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Default 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

I had my 98 SC2 sit at my mechanic's shop for a couple months while I tried to find a used header downpipe. After it sat, it was running really poorly, barely running at all. We replaced the coil packs, cleaning the mounting surface well and applying dielectric grease. Now the car will idle fairly well, but is still dumping way too much gas. We've tried different wires and plugs, and after running for a couple minutes, two of the plugs come out soaked with gas, two come out black. We're doing a compression test later, but are kind of at a loss for what to do next. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Old 10-02-2008, 02:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

Pre-2001 fuel/air problem first thing to try is the ECTS.

Use the forum jump at the bottom of the page and go to the How-To Library. Near the top of the forum, you'll find instructions for replacing it.

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Old 10-02-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

You're gonna be kicking yourself when you find out a $14 part was most likely the cause of your problems.

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Old 10-02-2008, 04:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

I should have posted that we double checked the ECTS to be sure we had replaced it, and it was replaced with a new brass tipped one from saturn, as well as the connector/wires. I forgot to post that it is throwing one of the cam sensor codes, so we went through the procedure on the board and ruled out the ignition module.

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Old 10-02-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

The cam sensor codes (P0340 and P0341) indicate and ignition problem. How are the plugs and wires?

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Old 10-02-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

I can't find the thread right now, but it went over how to diagnose the "cam sensor" codes. We went through that, the wires tested with proper resistance, but we tried different ones anyway, to no success. We've tried new plugs. Compression is good (180-200). I mentioned to the mechanic that he may want to get a real-time readout of the coolant temp on his scanner to make sure the ECTS is working right, so he's going to do that tomorrow...

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Old 10-02-2008, 09:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

The cam position errors are from the flooded engine when you found all the plugs soaked/blackened from too rich a mixture. When you pulled the plugs did anyone blow out the cylinders by blipping the starter to blow out any remaining gasoline? This would have allowed another clean re-start unless the wet plugs were just put back in instead of drying/cleaning them of deposits.

There are several places where a rich fuel mixture would flood and engine; excessive fuel pressure, leaking injectors, disconnected ects, corroded ects connector, another faulty ects, blown fuel pressure regulator diaphragm where vacuum pulls fresh fuel into the vacuum line into the intake manifold.

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Old 10-04-2008, 09:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

That's a good point, I'll ask him about blowing out the remaining fuel before putting the plugs back in. He asked me about the fuel pressure regulator, and I remembered we had replaced the fuel filter on schedule at around 100k, so it has about 2 years/30k on it now, to take a guess. I believe I bought the filter directly from Saturn. At what point would you view a faulty regulator as the culprit? When he gets to the shop this morning, I'm going to see if he got a readout on the ECTS yet, just to confirm its proper function.

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Old 10-04-2008, 09:55 AM   #9
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1998 SC2
Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

I would check your key on engine off fuel pressure. Then I would monitor pressure decay. Max pressure is 51 psi and the acceptable range when running is 45-51psi. After pressurizing the system the pressure should hold above 45 psi key off for at least 5 min. That is an average spec not the minimum. The min spec is less than 8 psi drop in 5 min.

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Old 10-04-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

After checking fuel pressure, that automatically informs you of pressure and any leakdown immediately after just turning ON the ignition without running the engine. This takes care of injector and regulator leaks. One outside possibility of the rich mixture may be from a plugged exhaust system - the cat con rotting away to block exhaust flow while starting the engine after letting it sit for a few months. If engine running is still erratic, try removing the front O2 sensor and see if the engine runs better. The extra hole allowing better exhaust flow may help indicate a blocked catcon.

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Old 10-05-2008, 12:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

Thanks again for the good advice, that's what we'll pursue Monday and I'll report back when we know something.

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Old 12-06-2008, 07:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: 98 SC2 running poorly, dumping gas

I wanted to post a follow-up to my issues. We eventually ran out of things to test, so we decided to throw a used PCM at it, since it was only $50, which didn't work, then tried an ignition module, which did the trick. I don't know if we did something wrong when testing it in the first place, but she's running great again! So thanks again to those who helped out, and Merry Christmas to all!

...
George
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