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Old 07-18-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
blue98sl2
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Default Fuel/Ignition problem

Not sure what the problem is, but it seems like either something is wrong with the ignition or I'm running too rich. I just got through dropping the new engine in and its in a very drivable condition but something is definitely wrong. The engine sounds like its either being bogged down from too much fuel, or just not burning all the fuel. I just bought new spark plugs, and my wires and coils are both fairly new. I haven't had the o2 sensor after the cat for a while because the clip fell off while I was driving and it got ground down, and also I have LOST my IAT sensor/wiring, although both were the case when I had the previous engine in which did not have this issue. Also when in neutral if I bring the rpms over 2k and release the throttle, it will almost shut off. I tried replacing the o2 sensor in the exhaust manifold and nothing changed. Should I get the two sensors going and work from there? Anything else I should be sure to check?
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

The post cat O2 sensor is just there to make sure the cat is working. It won't effect the driveability of the car. You need to get that IAT thing fixed. That said, have you replaced the ECTS? That will have more effect on the F/A ratio than other sensors.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

Ok, I replaced the IAT sensor, left the battery disconnected overnight, tried it today and I still have the same problem. I haven't replaced the ECTS but the coolant temp gauge seems to be reading correctly. Could anyone give me a list or potential problems I really don't know what could be wrong here.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

I also switched out the spark plug wires today and nothing changed.
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Old 07-22-2008, 04:38 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

After the engine has run some whether on the road or not, pull the spark plugs for examination. The condition of the plugs is/was always one 'old school' way to determine many things occurring during a engine run; right plug for the right heat range, too hot or too cold using the wrong heat range plug, excess fuel burning by evidence of dark black carbon deposits, too lean a mixture by evidence of a white blistering appearance of the center electrode/cracked electrode, oil burning with ash deposits everywhere, etc.. All the major plug manufacturers have visual charts of plugs in various states of condition to compare yours with. Some other ways to check things may have to be separated into the three main areas that allow an engine to run; air, fuel, and ignition.

Assuming the engine isn't restricted from normal airflow narrows the problem down to the two other issues, fuel and ignition. Fuel handled by the filter, pump, pump relay, and wiring. The ignition is a little tricky but overall, if the crank position sensor doesn't continually output steady timing signals while the engine rotates the PCM won't be allowed to run the fuel pump, ignition system, and injector pulses. As long as the engine runs in general w/o dropping out dead at any time means the cps/PCM is co-operating together to run the engine. Misfires are caused by a single coil, single plug wire, plug, corrosion of the coil towers, coils, and ignition module. Excess fuel can also cause misfiring so plug examination will reveal whether a rich fuel mixture is causing a misfiring condition or an ignition problem is causng it. Fuel has to be under constant pressure and supplied to the injectors so a pressure check can be performed by one of two methods; the cheaper depress-the-fuel-test-valve-stem and look for a healthy spray of fuel or use a pressure gauge for a better look at pressures at ignition ON and engine idling. All the sensors may have to be checked for good connections and whether or not they were damaged during the engine changeover. Quite a few things to check but if separated into fuel system, ignition system, and sensor systems, each subsystem can be looked at in detail so they can be checked off from a master list. The engine itself may need a compression check just to be sure the mechanical parts are supposed to be new/rebuilt and timed correctly so that all four cylinders are compressing the air/fuel mixtures at the right time for ignition to take place. Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

I think I can cross off any ignition problem for now, I bought brand new plugs: no change, swapped out the plug wires: no change. Also I have 2 fairly new Accel ignition coils, and had one before that had a single tower go out, so I know how that feels. I will disassemble the coil pack and clean everything and see if that fixes the problem, which I highly doubt it will. So with ignition being ruled out, I can pretty much assume that I'm running rich. Also I pulled the spark plugs and it looks like there are some carbon deposits on them but its had to be sure of anything from this because the engine hasn't been run enough. I swapped out the throttle body, replaced the IAT sensor, O2 sensor, ECTS seems to be reading fine, replaced the MAP sensor, EGR valve, and I guess the CPS works or else the **** wouldn't even run as good as it does if at all. SO, that leaves me with the fuel system. But... I have no idea what would be causing the fuel system to put out too much fuel, save the pressure regulator, which has definitely not been adjusted since the car last ran right. Is it possible that it would need to be adjusted after swapping in an identical engine? One thought horrified/occurred to me, if coolant was leaking into my combustion chamber would it produce these symptoms? I'll be keeping an eye on my coolant levels to see if its disappearing, and if it is, I'm gonna **** bricks.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

Enough coolant leaking into the cylinders would be steam as part of the exhaust and noticing the coolant reservoir losing fluid. Your fuel pressure regulator may not be adjustable so you'll have to check and while you do that you can examine it for damage. If its the vacuum type regulator, the diaphragm can rupture and allow raw gas to go through the vacuum line and into the intake as extra fuel.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

Yeah the more I thought about the coolant issue the more I realized that such a problem would not go unnoticed, for the amount of coolant necessary to bog down my engine would leave me with a empty resevoir quick as hell. I have a 98 SL2 with the engine from a 98 SW2 so I'm not sure if its adjustable or not, I was for some reason under the impression it was but have never confirmed that.
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Old 07-22-2008, 11:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

If you have a 98 S series the pressure regulator is not adjustable and is located in the same can as the filter, back by the tank. Not separately maintainable. Check your fuel pressure at the rail schrader valve. A $10.00 bill will buy a pressure tester from Harbor Freight if you do not have one.
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Old 07-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

You keep saying the ECTS is reading right. I still say replace it. I've purchased 2 '97s and 2 '98s in the last year or so. They all had the cracked ECTS. The gauge isn't sensitie enough to show the problem. Here's one I got off a '98:

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Old 07-22-2008, 01:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Fuel/Ignition problem

I agree with Barn Owl. Working an ignition problem with my 98 Satty SL I had no signs or evidence that my ECTS was bad but after swapping it out I realized how my performance had diminished over time. It was a significant difference.
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