85 Olds 98

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  #1  
Old 04-21-02, 05:57 PM
effox45
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Angry 85 Olds 98

My daughter has a 1985 Olds 98 with a V-6 Engine. She was driving along the other day and heard a noise and saw something bouncing in the road behind her. No clue what it was. Could have been a rock. About 15 minutes later, the car died and would not restart. It would turn over, but not fire.
I took a look at it and replaced the module under the distributer cap. The rotor, coil, plugs and wires were replaced about 6 months ago. At that time, I did not change the electronic module. When I had the module tested, I was told the low rpm side was bad. When I put the new one in, there was no improvement. It turns over, but will not fire. I can smell the strong odor of gas around the engine when trying to start it. No fuel is leaking from the fuel pump. It has fuel injection. No vacuum leaks that I can find. I checked the coil leads with a test light. I had my girlfriend turn on the ignition. I got a good light on both leads. So, I'm guessing that it can't be the ignition switch. I thought about the fuel filter or pump, but since I can smell gas, I thought that that couldn't be the problem. The car was also at my daughters work, so no tools to lift it and get underneath. What should I try now?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-21-02, 06:38 PM
Billdo49er
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Did you check for spark?
 
  #3  
Old 04-21-02, 07:45 PM
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well if it has lost spark, take the cap off and make sure the rotor is turning while cranking the engine over, also check for a hole burnt in the center of the rotor, if the above checks ok,you could have a bad coil, or pickup assembly.
 
  #4  
Old 04-22-02, 05:46 AM
effox45
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85 Olds 98

I checked for spark prior to replacing the module.
Spark was intermittent. I didn't recheck it after I replaced the module. I had the coil checked and it had continuity and I was told it was good. I'll check to make sure the rotor is turning. It appears to be in good shape (no burns in top). What and where is the pickup assembly? Thanks for your responses.
 
  #5  
Old 04-22-02, 06:11 AM
Joe_F
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Should get a repair manual for this model or check my signature file for some ideas.

The pickup is under the rotor on this car. This was the only year the front drive 3.8's like this used a cap and rotor. It was a hybrid type system.

Make sure you use good quality replacement parts. Some replacement parts are gum and don't last very long. Likely you may have gotten a bum module.
 
  #6  
Old 04-22-02, 02:26 PM
effox45
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Thanks, Joe. I went to NAPA for the part. One was available for $30 and one was $64. I got the more expensive one, so I'm assuming that the part was good. Although that may be an incorrect assumption. I understand that the fuel injection system requires high pressure to operate properly. Is it possible that, if the fuel filter were clogged somewhat, or the pump wasn't operating at peak efficiency, that I would experience these symptoms? I'd previously bought a Chiltons manual that covered this model, but it wasn't much help. It was too generic and unclear.
 
  #7  
Old 04-22-02, 02:58 PM
Joe_F
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That's why the REAL books that fix the car (the OE shop manual) cost more .

You should start with the links and posts in my signature file below before shotgunning and replacing expensive parts.
 
  #8  
Old 04-23-02, 11:29 AM
effox45
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85 Olds 98 Still

Is it possible for the Mass Air Flow Sensor to cause this condition? Someone told my son about it and he looked at it. It was pretty dirty. Apparently, the air intake hoses that cause the air to flow from the air filter through the sensor then into the intake were not hooked up properly. I noticed this when I was looking at the car, but didn't realize that it was what it was. I've priced the sensor at $160 to $179. Seems pretty pricy for a piece of plastic. Can it be tested? I know, I know, look at the links and posts in your signature block. I'll do that. Looking at selling the darn thing. Of course, that would be somewhat more profitable if it actually ran. Funny thing about most car buyers, they actually want a car that runs. Go figure.
 
  #9  
Old 04-23-02, 12:40 PM
Joe_F
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Whoa Nelley, stop the parts replacement. Figure out the root of the problem.

Parts can be tested by many parts stores before ordering new ones to determine fault. You may have gotten a defective module. Check that first.

That being said, yes a bad MAF can cause your issue. Try rapping on the body of the sensor with the handle of a screwdriver. If the car now starts, bad MAF. Some of them can be cleaned with electronics spray.

The early MAF sensors are quite pesky.

Yes, this is one heap of a car. I don't like FWD GMs of this (or really any) vintage. Very crude and poorly screwed together...the rear drivers were far superior. I wouldn't have bought it to start with (that's me though) and would have pitched it a long time ago.

My sister had an 85 Park Avenue which is vastly similar. Considering she paid nothing for the car from her father-in-law and kept it about 3 years (with me doing all the work) it wasn't a bad car. When it started to get lackluster, I had her sell it. Smart move. The subsequent owner wiped it out in accident but kept driving it all smashed (this person lived around the corner from me).

That being said, yes, do read my signature file.
 
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