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 Tracking down gremlins and need help

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gojo83
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PostSubject: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:22 pm

So to make a long story short I love this car but its always something but Ive addressed the big issues now this one is making me batty and with winter around the corner I need a rock solid reliable vehicle.
issues fixed/ upgraded
New water pump and metal reusable gasket
new idler pulley old one grenaded
plugs and fixed the bad wire
New aluminum LIM gasket
updated alt tensioner to a 99+ w body tensioner
Junkyard 140 amp (04 lesabre) alternator with soldered connections and new plug
Intense-racing 4 in intake tube and cone filter
ported intake manifold with egr and coolant holes blocked with set screws and jbweld, PCV system left alone, mild deburring of the casting, mild port matching, and the coolant restrictor removed.
97 TB with corresponding maf. cleaned IAC and the screen was good on this one the old one it was gone
IAT relocated
Added heat shield from a w body
1 3/8 rad with new hoses
180 stat
new coolant,
oil vortec 350 oil filter
trans filter and fluid
new injector o rings
replacement map sensor plug the old one broke soldered in
new 1.7 HS roller rockers and reusable bolts
new VC gaskets
fuel filter
battery
new coolant temp sensor
new elbows
newer PS pump and return line (the power steering work great now)
grounds cleaned
evap and egr and air system all removed


Issue
doesn't like to start and the red battery icon comes on when cranking trying to start.
when the battery charger is on and shows the percentage it seems to take all the juice to get going.
if I cycle the key like 8-12 times it will try and fire and on like the second try it will even if warm. I got it running last night and ran it for 2 hrs almost straight delivering pizzas and I went into auto pilot and shut it off after one run but it fired up just fine right away but at the end of the night while I was checking out I turned it off and it didn't want to start for another 45 mins. I am assuming the red icon either eludes to a dying battery or the alt may be DOA. any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
My curiosity is do these cars have a fuel pump resistor that can go bad like a regal or is voltage drop to the pump an issue. I am just frustrated when it runs it runs great when its cranky its annoying. it sat at work all last week while I limped the other car around.
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matt270avian
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:23 pm

I doubt you would be able to start/run the car like that if it was the alternator. Does it sound like the battery is dead when you try and start it or does it crank just like normal? There's a schrader valve underneath a cover on the fuel rail for you to check for fuel pressure.
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charlieRobinson
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:38 pm

red battery light can almost mean a blown fuse. I know this from experience..

you get crank but no start when you try to turn it over? can you hear the fuel pump prime when you turn the key to run?
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:47 pm

gojo83 wrote:
So to make a long story short I love this car but its always something but Ive addressed the big issues now this one is making me batty and with winter around the corner I need a rock solid reliable vehicle.
issues fixed/ upgraded
New water pump and metal reusable gasket
new idler pulley old one grenaded
plugs and fixed the bad wire
New aluminum LIM gasket
updated alt tensioner to a 99+ w body tensioner
Junkyard 140 amp (04 lesabre) alternator with soldered connections and new plug
Intense-racing 4 in intake tube and cone filter
ported intake manifold with egr and coolant holes blocked with set screws and jbweld, PCV system left alone, mild deburring of the casting, mild port matching, and the coolant restrictor removed.
97 TB with corresponding maf. cleaned IAC and the screen was good on this one the old one it was gone
IAT relocated
Added heat shield from a w body
1 3/8 rad with new hoses
180 stat
new coolant,
oil vortec 350 oil filter
trans filter and fluid
new injector o rings
replacement map sensor plug the old one broke soldered in
new 1.7 HS roller rockers and reusable bolts
new VC gaskets
fuel filter
battery
new coolant temp sensor
new elbows
newer PS pump and return line (the power steering work great now)
grounds cleaned
evap and egr and air system all removed


Issue
doesn't like to start and the red battery icon comes on when cranking trying to start.
when the battery charger is on and shows the percentage it seems to take all the juice to get going.
if I cycle the key like 8-12 times it will try and fire and on like the second try it will even if warm. I got it running last night and ran it for 2 hrs almost straight delivering pizzas and I went into auto pilot and shut it off after one run but it fired up just fine right away but at the end of the night while I was checking out I turned it off and it didn't want to start for another 45 mins. I am assuming the red icon either eludes to a dying battery or the alt may be DOA. any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.
My curiosity is do these cars have a fuel pump resistor that can go bad like a regal or is voltage drop to the pump an issue. I am just frustrated when it runs it runs great when its cranky its annoying. it sat at work all last week while I limped the other car around.

Answer me these:

- what year is your Riv?
- do you have an aftermarket alarm installed?
- have you ever replaced the crank or cam sensors?
- does your Riv have the factory-spec battery installed ?
- is the battery thermistor still installed?

Running the car low on fuel will fry the fuel pump because it depends on being immersed in gasoline for its own cooling. some quit outright and other go intermittent.

DO tell.

Albertj
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:32 pm

The riv is a 96. stock computer for the time being.
no alarm
The crank and cam sensors are stock still but only having 119 on it I doubt they would fail this soon.
The battery is the one that o'reillys said the car needed
I have no idea about the thermistor what does it look like.
I think I tracked down the issue to 1 of 2 things. its either A the FPR or when I had the injectors out and cleaned the dirt and gunk off some got on/in the tips and the initial pulse is not strong enough to dislodge it. I will take the rail off this weekend and soak the injectors in some mineral spirits and see if that helps the issue. it only other possible idea is that the elbow to the FPR has a crack and it is not spitting out consistent fuel. when she runs she pulls nice and hard.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:38 pm

When you say it won't start for 45 minutes... does it not crank? Does it crank but not catch?

If it's cranking, it's not a battery problem. If it has enough juice to turn the motor it has enough for everything else that needs to happen.

If it's cranking but doesn't run, you need to check for spark and fuel, just like the old days. Pull off a spark plug wire put it near something grounded and have somebody turn the key - do you see spark? Shoot a little carb cleaner into the throttle body - does it catch then die?

Is your security light on? If the ignition cylinder is going south the security chip might not be read correctly, preventing it from starting. Is the chip in your key clean or worn down?
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:02 pm

Chip is somewhat worn. I think its either the fuel injectors got some crap on them when the lim was getting redone or the FPR getting ready to die. It will crank just wont pop off but then other times it will catch and fire right away. The store was slow yesterday so I played with the car some and according to a couple other threads I read my suspicion lies heavily on the FPR or a gunked injector or injectors. I am running some injector cleaner through it today and I added a bit of the xylene I had left over and I am hoping that will clear whatever is possibly clogging the injectors to dissolve loose. the easiest way I could describe the issue is as if the line are not fully pressurized so I am wondering if I have a leaky injector that is bleeding off the pressure. if I cycle the pump 6-8 times it seems to be the trick to get it to fire more easily.

no security light is on and now the battery light isn't doing its thing again. I know we have spark and a mechanically minded coworker and I did the spark test the other night and it had plenty of spark. the only thing that has popped up today is if I leave the car running while I run in to pay a bill it will get past the middle temp mark with the heater and ac off but if I turn on the front defrost it drops like a rock to the 190 range and stays there. The coolant has been flushed twice at this point so IDK whats going on with that but it is a relatively hot day here mid to high 80s which is high for us up here at 6100 ft elevation.
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:56 pm

A bone stock Riviera will run about 210* normal operating temp. Middle of the gauge or just past is completely acceptable....
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:17 am

gojo83 wrote:
The riv is a 96. stock computer for the time being.
no alarm
The crank and cam sensors are stock still but only having 119 on it I doubt they would fail this soon.
The battery is the one that o'reillys said the car needed
I have no idea about the thermistor what does it look like.
I think I tracked down the issue to 1 of 2 things. its either A the FPR or when I had the injectors out and cleaned the dirt and gunk off some got on/in the tips and the initial pulse is not strong enough to dislodge it. I will take the rail off this weekend and soak the injectors in some mineral spirits and see if that helps the issue. it only other possible idea is that the elbow to the FPR has a crack and it is not spitting out consistent fuel. when she runs she pulls nice and hard.

Crank sensor fails due to age and thermal cycling, it would not surprise me if yours had become flaky. Most frequent failure mode I am aware of is that they become intermittent. When that happens with crank sensor the car won't start and due to the way the PCM is set up it won't set a code either.

you really ought to check the wiring at the coil pack for hidden breaks, they were kinda common on the 96 due to work hardening and embrittlement of the copper conductors in the wiring harness. most likely the wires near the corners of the connector.

get a factory service manual set, they are usually reasonably priced used on ebay.

the thermistor is attached to the battery positive terminal and goes to a circuit that boosts the charge from the alternator if the battery is cool enough. IF your positive cable has been replaced it might not be there which will lead to various stupid ad hard to trace problems. If your positive cable is replaced it will look "normal" just a single cable connection to a terminal not a terminal with extra wires besides the big cable coming out.

I don't understand your FPR troubleshooting and I think you need to try being cleaner when you pull/mess with injectors; you might want to send them our for cleaning -- somewhere on this site are recommendations for inexpensive and very good service on that.

Try to get a Delco ro Delphi FPR if you need a replacement.

I'll look for your further updates and try to help.

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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:34 pm

albertj wrote:

gojo83 wrote:
The riv is a 96. stock computer for the time being.
no alarm
The crank and cam sensors are stock still but only having 119 on it I doubt they would fail this soon.
The battery is the one that o'reillys said the car needed
I have no idea about the thermistor what does it look like.
I think I tracked down the issue to 1 of 2 things. its either A the FPR or when I had the injectors out and cleaned the dirt and gunk off some got on/in the tips and the initial pulse is not strong enough to dislodge it. I will take the rail off this weekend and soak the injectors in some mineral spirits and see if that helps the issue. it only other possible idea is that the elbow to the FPR has a crack and it is not spitting out consistent fuel. when she runs she pulls nice and hard.


I don't understand your FPR troubleshooting and I think you need to try being cleaner when you pull/mess with injectors; you might want to send them our for cleaning -- somewhere on this site are recommendations for inexpensive and very good service on that.

Try to get a Delco ro Delphi FPR if you need a replacement.

I'll look for your further updates and try to help.


The lim replacement was a tag team job and the motor was disgusting when I got the car. it was bought from an indian reservation and they are not known for having the best care habits of vehicles aka known as "res rides." I have brought it back a lot way from where it started. I wont say that the injectors are dirty dirty but its a thought and I have got it narrowed down to a fuel issue and there is really only 3 things I haven't addressed on it yet and that is pump injectors and FPR. The fuel filter is new and the only thing that leads me to the injectors is that little ring that holds the orings on the bottom were half missing or broken when the rail came off. The reason I think its the regulator or stuck injector is that I put the fuel pressure gauge on and it bleed down really fast. So if that is not the regulator or the injector what is your suggestion? dying pump? voltage drop? I am open to ideas
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:16 pm

My vote is for fuel pump. But...

You have a fuel pressure gauge on the rail? If you put it on when you aren't able to start, what do you show for fuel pressure? Put the gauge somewhere you can see it from inside the car. When you cycle the key on it should go up to about 50PSI, then drop as it bleeds down from wherever it's going back to. If you aren't getting good fuel pressure there, it's likely the pump.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Sat Sep 12, 2015 2:10 am

deekster_caddy wrote:
My vote is for fuel pump. But...

You have a fuel pressure gauge on the rail? If you put it on when you aren't able to start, what do you show for fuel pressure? Put the gauge somewhere you can see it from inside the car. When you cycle the key on it should go up to about 50PSI, then drop as it bleeds down from wherever it's going back to. If you aren't getting good fuel pressure there, it's likely the pump.

true that.
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:06 pm

The saga continues. Got a 97 pcm cleaned it up will send to a buddy to do a base tune. Then ill tune it with hptuners. Went to the ard and the only fp close to a riv was a 97 aurora that had a fp left. Would I be wasting my time to get a venturi racetronix 255 lph pump or would the aurora pump work. The jy guy said the aurora fuel pump only crosses to a l36 riv. Any help would be great. Off to swap the pizza car's trans for a trans with 4 gears and 3.29 gears instead of 3.05 and 2 fully functional gears. Its ugly but it was cheap and is pretty much a throw away car.
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deekster_caddy
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 15, 2015 2:23 pm

Solve your problem before you start modding or tuning.
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Abaddon
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:19 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
Solve your problem before you start modding or tuning.


WHAT!??!! You're supposed to actually fix the problem BEFORE you mod or tune??!!
I thought that we just throw more stuff at the car?
suspect

(This is a blanket statement and not intended towards an individual or the author of this thread)
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:22 pm

gojo83 wrote:
The saga continues. Got a 97 pcm cleaned it up will send to a buddy to do a base tune. Then ill tune it with hptuners. Went to the ard and the only fp close to a riv was a 97 aurora that had a fp left. Would I be wasting my time to get a venturi racetronix 255 lph pump or would the aurora pump work. The jy guy said the aurora fuel pump only crosses to a l36 riv. Any help would be great. Off to swap the pizza car's trans for a trans with 4 gears and 3.29 gears instead of 3.05 and 2 fully functional gears. Its ugly but it was cheap and is pretty much a throw away car.  

at what point are you going to try the troubleshooting suggestions you already received? case in point, the FPR (fuel pressure regulator).
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:47 pm

Its the pump it crapped out on me last night. I am emailing racetronix and working on getting a w body 255 lph pump so that I have no issues adding the corn and pulley later on.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 15, 2015 5:55 pm

gojo83 wrote:
Its the pump it crapped out on me last night. I am emailing racetronix and working on getting a w body 255 lph pump so that I have no issues adding the corn and pulley later on.

I suspect the standard pump would work fine in your application.

You still ought to check the FPR.

You may find the fuel pump problem is actually the connections on top.
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:31 pm

trouble shooting will be done this weekend working 2 jobs at 12-14 hrs a day leaves little time to wrench during the week and function like a human during the day and have energy on the weekend. Sent the roomie to get the canister from the 97 aurora in the JY will let it dry before I attempt any work on the pump or canister. Buddy who decided against going corn gave me a steal of a price on a walbro and so that will be installed Saturday. Hoping for very little rust as everything else has been rust free for the most part
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:12 pm

That gives me some context. good luck with your work.
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:25 am

do these trans not like colder weather? I have got the fuel pump replaced and now I go to leave from a stop and its like it has no acceleration till about 15 mph and I peddle it at 15 the acceleration is normal. I am going to guess the vac modulator is the most likely cause. Almost feels like when cold the vacuum isn't high enough or something.

BTW that ring on the FP is a pain to get off
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Fri Sep 25, 2015 11:56 pm

doesn't acceleration have more to do with spark advance?

Albertj
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gojo83
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PostSubject: Re: Tracking down gremlins and need help   Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:48 pm

I have gotten most of the gremlins fixed, a big chunk of it was a flaky ground I also need to reset the fuel pump in the canister down closer to the bottom and also remove that little rubber piece that covers the hole in the bottom and I think it will self prime easier and start quicker. When I went to go swap the FPR the snap ring pilers I had kept bending so its time to invest in a good pair.
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