1988 Pontiac Firebird Engine has no go

Tiny
TRISTANB
  • MEMBER
  • 1988 PONTIAC FIREBIRD
Engine Performance problem
1988 Pontiac Firebird V8 Two Wheel Drive Automatic ?????? miles

I have a 88 Firebird Formula with a 5.0L TPI. Here is what I have expreienced and tried....
I can drive at a normal pace and everything is fine but if i want to give any kind of acceleration above normal driving it bogs bad and doesnt do much of anything. and if i hold it to the floor it just kinda craps out and will surge just a little, doesnt die though. I was getting a light with codes 32,33,34,45. I took the MAF? off and cleaned it out and repaired the pigtail. Its not throwing a light and I havent checked for codes since but no change in performance.


Part II
ok so I went in and replaced a bunch of deteriorating vacuum lines, not quite all of them but 90%. I got the bad ones replaced anyway. I also went in and clean the MAF? (whats inline on the intake) and repaired its pigtail. it still acts the same, so I will include a vid just to kinda clarify what I mean its doing. btw after cleaning the MAF i only get a check engine light 20-30% of the time

after the initial rev, im hlding the pedal to the point where i should be revving quite a bit higher but it just drops to about 22-2500..... It acts the same when driving allowing me to accelerate just above grandma style.


http://i301.photobucket.com/player.swf?fil...yd/112_5859.flv

okie so, based on the advice of someone else I replaced the TPS along with the fuel filter. For a brief period (a matter of 45 seconds) after installing fuel filter and TPS (i had forgotten to plug the IAC back in) the car wasnt 100% but there was a huge difference.... after that initial period it ran like crap and died. I then remember that I had forgotten to plug the IAC in and fixed that... now after doing that and adjusting the TPS to .55v, I am back at square one, runs exactly the way it did before I started

I'm throwing no codes at all now, still having the same issue. I tested fuel pressure on the rail and at idle it was holding within specs but when i gave it a rev the fuel pressure dropped to 10 or less... I then replaced the fuel pressure regulator... no change.
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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 AT 9:07 PM

15 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
From your description, my first thought is fuel pump. It's pumping enough pressure, but not enough "volume". It's working great for driving around town "grampa" style. But not putting out enough volume for when you stick your foot in it. I'll bet if you drop the tank and pull the pump, you'll find the "sock fitler" is plugged and collapsed. Let me know what you find.
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Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 AT 9:46 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
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I haven't had the time to drop the tank with work and all, but I tried a crazy idea with putting some compressed air to the tank side of the fuel line behind the fuel filter to see if maybe I could force the debris if any off of the filter, crazy idea I know but I had about 10 minutes to tinker so I tried it. I actually saw a small improvement! Now when trying to rev it does much better and bogs at only 26-2900 RPM now, noticeable difference driving around town. Based off of this (im sure you think im insane) so you think we are heading in the right direction?
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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 AT 5:10 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
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You're hot on the trail. I would have done the exact same thing you did. Only thing is, you may have blown the sock filter off the pickup tube. Not that you have, but you may have. Keep me posted.
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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 AT 5:47 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
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I doubt that I did. I fitted a rubbrer hose on the fuel line and the other end on the air nozzle. It was no where near free flowing air at all in fact the hose ended up popping off the fuel line.
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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 AT 6:19 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
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Sounds good.
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Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 AT 6:41 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
  • MEMBER
I wont have the chance to drop the tank till monday, I am now throwing an occasional code 32 and a code 36? I know what 32 is-EGR, I can not find any info on a code 36 though. Someone also suggested that maybe the MAF is shot? Idk.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2009 AT 11:37 AM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
It could be a problem with the MAF, but thet're spendy, so we don't to blame it just yet. Take a look at the posted info and see what you think.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_1_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_2_1.jpg

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Saturday, April 18th, 2009 AT 9:38 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
  • MEMBER
It has been a frustrating day. We got the fuel pump pulled and the sock looks good, we replace the small bit of hose that connetected the pump to the line. That seemed to help the pressure a bit, we also adjusted the timing because it was off, set to about 3 or so. We set it to 6. Out of daylight and the car is even worse. I can barely run 65mph. Before I could at least hit 90, bit it would take a while.
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Sunday, April 19th, 2009 AT 7:24 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
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What is the timing supposed to be for this car? The badge isnt under the hood and I cant seem to find it online, the only thing I can find is people saying "usually 6" but with the way its running now that cant be right. I did make sure to unplug the auto advance in setting it and plugging it back in afterwards, it was a booger to start this morning and smoking a bit, looks like unburnt fuel?
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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 11:55 AM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
How much slop do you have in your timing chain. Pontiacs are notorious for bad chains in this era. A retarded camshaft will do just what you describe.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_1_2.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_2_2.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_3_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_4_1.jpg

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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
How much slop do you have in your timing chain. Pontiacs are notorious for bad chains in this era. A retarded camshaft will do just what you describe.


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_1_2.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_2_2.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_3_1.jpg



http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/248092_firebird_4_1.jpg

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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 8:34 PM
Tiny
TRISTANB
  • MEMBER
So if the timing chain is worn and stretched it could have jumped a tooth or two and set the cam behind causing my symptoms? I'm guess is resetting the timing doesnt fix it then pull the cover and check the chain?
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Monday, April 20th, 2009 AT 10:53 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Usually, if a GMtiming chain gets so lose it can jump, it usually jumps so far, it won't even start let along run. But, the chain can be so worn that it retards the cam far enough to make them hard to get the spark timing set right.
You can check how much "slop" you have in the chain by turning the crankshaft back and forth. You'll be able to feel when you take up the slack and start to turn the cam. On a good chain, you should have very little free play in the crank movement.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 4:16 AM
Tiny
TRISTANB
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I wanted to thank you for your help! Problem solved, fuel supply line was twisted/kinked (the metal line). Which was allowing pressure but not volume. Thanks again.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 10:19 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
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Glad you found it, and thanks for the reply. Anything else, you know where to find us.
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Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 AT 11:12 PM

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