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Old 08-19-2011, 04:09 AM   #1
gibvel
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2001 SC2
Default Running rough no power

Hi all. A little background first. 01 SC2.

Last drove it Sunday. (Don't drive it much in the summer I ride my bicycle and motorcycles to work) Drove perfectly no sign of trouble.

Yesterday I go to run an errand. Start it and it's running a bit rough. Stick it in gear and I'm getting stumbling and really can't drive it, no power. RPMs stay steady at 1,000 for awhile and then will drop and sputter then come up to around 1,000 again.

So I get it back into the driveway and stop it and pop the hood. Do a check for codes and all that comes up is Cam position sensor. This may be a stored code though as the wrench light came on and went back off after a few key cycles. That is the only code that came up, however.

Start it up again and it's running rough again. Then, after about 30 seconds it straightens up and sounds and feels perfectly normal... for about 30 seconds. Then it returns to it's ways.

All the time it's running badly the service engine soon light is on and flashing. The light went off when it started running right for that 30 seconds.

Feels, kinda, like it's not firing on all cylinders when it chugs but I can't tell.

I was going to change all the plugs and wires and see if that did it, but I thought I'd run it by you guys and see what you guys think.

Thanks
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:06 AM   #2
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Running rough no power

The car sitting without driving it may allow rust or corrosion to build on the ignition system - ignition control module and coils. The cam position error points to the ignition system misfiring. Try removing all three and clean off the corrosion with a wire brush or Scotch brite pad then use a little dielectric grease on the plug boots for corrosion prevention and lube for easier removal. If the wires are worn, try a night time water spray on the wires to see if arcing occurs to indicate worn out plug wires. Plugs should be replaced around 30k miles or at least cleaned and gapped to 0.040 for reuse. Check them anyway.
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:12 AM   #3
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Running rough no power

Thanks Fred. After mulling it over some more I was leaning toward the ignition control module area. Actually I replaced the wires and plugs less than 30k ago so I was iffy on doing it again.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Okay Fred, here's the latest.

I took off the ICM and cleaned everything up. There was quite a bit of corrosion on it. I took the plugs out and cleaned and re-gapped them. Cleaned everything up and put everything back together

The plugs happened to be way over the .040 gap.

It still does the same thing. It revs pretty well, however it wants to die under load.

rescanned for codes and now it comes up with a P0300 Random/multiple cylinder misfire detected and the P0341-Cam Position sensor A Ckt Rng/perform bank 1

Just happened to think, I could run a live scan if you'd like some other information. Let me know what you want if you'd like that.

Any other ideas?

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Running rough no power

S-series engines don't actually have a camshaft sensor. The spark from cylinder #4 is used to identify cam position. So the computer is basically saying that there are so many random/multiple misfires (P300) that it can't identify cam position and issues the P341 code.

Could be wrong on this, but seems like both cylinders #1 and #4 are misfiring, certainly #4 is misfiring, which are on a common coil.

As a simply test you could try swapping the coil from cylinders #2 and #3. If its the coil, you'll still have the misfires, but the cam position should be correctly identified and the P341 shouldn't come back.

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Old 08-20-2011, 03:00 PM   #6
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Running rough no power

Firing order correct? Coolant sensor brass?
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Old 08-20-2011, 06:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Yes. I changed nothing before this happened, firing order wise, and was sure everything went back the way it was before I took it apart.

Yes coolant sensor is brass.

Like I said this just happened out of the blue. I had driven it Sunday and didn't experience anything like this. The car sat from Sunday about noon until Thursday about 3:30. It was running rough the second I started it on Thursday. So there was really no warning.

Last edited by gibvel; 08-20-2011 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Running rough no power

Well, the engine running rough then fine then back to rough running is obviously an intermittent issue. The problem with intermittent issues is catching it in the act. Whether this is ignition or fuel related may require some monitoring of fuel pressure at the least.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Can't see how sitting for a few days would case a problem with the EGR valve, but hey could be electrical control. You could try blocking the EGR valve with the pop can trick.

Could also try changing the ignition wires, maybe the insulation has become spongy and taken on moisture sitting.

Have you actually been able to run the cart long enough to heat everything up and dry out any flaky connections?
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:22 AM   #10
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Running rough no power

Well, this morning I took the porch light being burnt out as a "sign from God" that I was supposed to mist the spark plug wires...

Could see no corona effect on the plug wires at all.

The car will stay running for as long as I want, it just runs like crap and doesn't have any power.

I had entertained the thought of the fuel filter, Fred, but don't have anything to check the fuel pressure with. But would that throw up the misfire codes?

BTW the incident of the car running fine for 30 seconds happened once and hasn't happened again so I wouldn't really call this intermittent right now. It just happened to do that one time.

Had also entertained the thought of someone shoving something up the tailpipe or something crawling up there. I looked at it and there's nothing I can see. I DID have the muffler, and actually the whole pipe from the CAT back replaced about 4 or 5 months ago but it ran great up till Thursday.

Can I measure the resistance of the coils to see if it's a problem with one of them? Would this reveal anything?

Thanks for the help guys.

Last edited by gibvel; 08-21-2011 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:19 PM   #11
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Running rough no power

Just changed the plugs. Went with Autolite copper. It idles much better and doesn't act like it's going to die but the power isn't there when under load.

I've attached a photo of the old plugs there are in order from left to right looking from the front of the engine.

What is the order of cylinders from left to right?
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Old 08-21-2011, 04:59 PM   #12
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Running rough no power

Those plugs look fine and as long as they're the recommended ones they can be reused.

Misfiring can occur from incorrect fuel mixtures or ignition issues. The key is to isolate each area and use whatever method is needed to monitor it. For fuel, a pressure gauge is the only method to monitor correct pressure as a low pressure issue from a clogged fuel filter, pump sock in the tank, foreign substances blocking flow, worn out pump, can contribute to low pressure and lean out mixtures that can result in misfiring. Ignition system problems can also contribute to misfiring and not the only cause of it.

Looking at the engine from the bumper, cylinder order is 1234 from left to right.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #13
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2002 SL1
Default Re: Running rough no power

How about putting in a big bottle of dry-gas and truing to drive it.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Put a compression test on all 4 cyls. You could have a burnt valve.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:27 AM   #15
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Default Re: Running rough no power

What is the proper fuel pressure supposed to be? Do you check it with the key on and the engine not running or with the engine running or both?
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: Running rough no power

From the service manual;

All of the fuel system tests will require operation of the fuel pump to measure pressure, evaluate pressure decay, or perform the pressure at calibrated flow tests.

Although the fuel pump can be controlled with the ignition, this is fairly awkward for the following reasons:

The pump is only energized for 2-3 seconds at Key ON. Then a wait of 10 seconds is required after Key OFF before the pump can be powered again.


40-55psi. Ignition ON should produce pressure above 40 psi with little bleed down after the pump shuts off.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: Running rough no power

It's a long shot and doesn't quite sound like it, but bad gas?
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:13 AM   #18
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by fdryer View Post
From the service manual;

All of the fuel system tests will require operation of the fuel pump to measure pressure, evaluate pressure decay, or perform the pressure at calibrated flow tests.

Although the fuel pump can be controlled with the ignition, this is fairly awkward for the following reasons:

The pump is only energized for 2-3 seconds at Key ON. Then a wait of 10 seconds is required after Key OFF before the pump can be powered again.


40-55psi. Ignition ON should produce pressure above 40 psi with little bleed down after the pump shuts off.

Thanks Fred!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: Running rough no power

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitcher View Post
It's a long shot and doesn't quite sound like it, but bad gas?
Well, I'm down about 1/4 on this tank of gas. Seems to me that, if it is bad gas, it would have shown up sooner than this. But I've thought about a lot of different things and that was one of them.

Thanks
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:41 AM   #20
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2001 SC2
Default Re: Running rough no power

I'm really believing this to be a fuel filter issue now. I'm assuming that the car sitting for extended periods of time allows for sediment to settle and, in my way of thinking, cause more of a problem with what the fuel filter sees.

Feel free to totally blow my logic out of the water, however.

Think I'm going to look and see what shape the filter is in and if it appears that it has ever been replaced. The car has close to 160,000 miles on it.

Last edited by gibvel; 08-22-2011 at 07:48 AM.
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