Tune Up for 88 Cutlass Cierra gone bad - Help!

Tiny
BURHOP
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 OLDSMOBILE
Hi all,

I've got a 1988 Cutlass Cierra 3.8L olds (60,000 miles) that I inherited from my grandfather about 10 years ago.

Its been running great for the last few years but started sputtering a couple weeks ago. I haven't changed the spark plugs so I figured it was time.

After changing the plugs it was running very rough. My son had disconnected a couple wires at the same time and I thought he had swapped a couple cables. I tried to "fix" his mistake only to find out he was right.

Now the car won't start at all and when trying to start, smoke comes out the air intake (wrong way!)

So I'm not sure if I've messed something up or if the original problem is what is causing this. Any help would be apreciated!

(PS donation on the way and more to come if I can avoid towing it to the garrage!)
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Saturday, May 19th, 2007 AT 11:13 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Verify the firing order

Firing Order: 165432
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Saturday, May 19th, 2007 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
BURHOP
  • MEMBER
Yes, thats what I first thought. My son had disconnected 3 and 5 at the same time and I thought he had them backwards. I swapped 3 and 5 to the wrong locations. When I put them back, it wouldn't start.

I went out and reverified. Engine is 2 4 6 in the back, 1 3 5 in the front and everything is wired correctly now.

http://autorepair.about.com/library/firing_orders/bl-fo-11421.htm
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 11:50 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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What's the deal is it back on the road or what?
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 3:27 PM
Tiny
BURHOP
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No, still won't start. BTW, the gap is correct (.045). I didn't change the cables which I might try next.

I'm getting some spark since I'm getting smoke but can't say for sure it is all 6 cylinders. Not sure what damage I might have done by incorrectly swapping 3 and 5 cable.
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 4:03 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
What color is the spark? Could also be the coil pack/ignition control module or a crankshaft position sensor.
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 4:22 PM
Tiny
BURHOP
  • MEMBER
The spark is a light blue. Noticed when I pulled the spark plug that it was soaked (if it was my lawn mower, I would say it was flooded).

First time, in checking the color, I did not get a spark but after reseating the plug in the cable it worked. Went back and made sure all the cables were tight on the plugs.

In starting the car, its not like the car is out of fuel. Stepping on the gas causes the sound to change to more of a deep gurgling and produce a lot of smoke in the engine compartment mainly from air inlet by the air filter.

I had a bad crank sensor a few years back and that problem behaved differently - like I got no fuel or spark. I've got an old ignition module someplace in my garage and will try to follow up on this. Now, where to find the darn thing after 10 years!
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 6:40 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
If it has an external pressure regulator check the vacuum hose if it has fuel in it the regulator is gone.

Try doing a compression check. Possibly it jump timing.
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Sunday, May 20th, 2007 AT 6:58 PM

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