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 Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#

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themba
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PostSubject: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 2:25 pm

Newbe Themba here! I need some major help. I am so close to giving up on my 1997 non supercharged Riv. Let's just say I got my moneys worth out of the car since I brought it new so I can't really complain. It has 250+ thousand miles on the original engine and trans. Lately I had major problems with rust in the fuel system. It kept killing fuel pumps. I finally cleaned the tank and replaced all the fuel lines with nylon lines and replaced the whole fuel rail and all the injectors, as well as installing the new fuel pump. Wish I had taken pictures for you guys before I ditched the old stull. Major rust plugged the injectors and pressure regulator, and stuff. Can't believe the original pump still ran aftera few cranks.

Well I thought I was good for a little while, but now I keep having problems with a no start. bonk When I try to start the engine everything flickers and I can hear a clicking sound and it won't start. I replaced the starter, with a used one so I am not sure if it is that again. The problem was intermittent at first, but now it is constant. Also, the battery gets drained. I do have a brand new battery in the car. I wonder if it is the alternator? When the problem was intermittent, I took it to Advanced Auto, when I got it to run, to have them test the alternator and they said it was fine. However, the problem was intermittent then.

I have put a lot of money into the Riv, and I have just about run out of funds. I checked for alternators and they are price at around 150+ with and additional core charge. Any ideas before I either take it to a shop and get reamed no , or replace the alternator? help help help
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turtleman
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:15 pm

I don't suspect your problem is your alternator. If the battery is good, it aught to run fine with a dead alternator, at least as long as the battery holds up which is actually pretty long on a healthy battery. Even if the regulator is bad and its womping out 16+ v, I really don't think it would cause that type of condition.

Other than telling you what it's not, It's hard to say what that would be. I can tell you that I have 97 with 168k on it and all the problems that ive had with it so far that are intermittent are electrical - wiring shorts/opens, bad connectors, perhaps pcm or icm failure. If you have a check engine light on, see what it is and check all the associated wiring with a multimeter first.

How's the wiring to your fuel pump? It's not unusual for that to go bad.
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themba
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:32 pm

I pulled the alternator and took to to Auto Zone to get tested. It tested fine. You maybe right about the wiring to my fuel pump. My last set of problems were fuel related of a different kind, so I would not be suprised. Also, I get the feeling I am having more than one problem. I wouldn't be surprised if the starter I have in there now is bad. It's just to freaking cold out for me to get under there. Maybe I will try taking it out tomorrow and taking it to get tested.
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96RIVMANN
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:19 pm

250K on the original engine and tranny! bow Holy S%$!. What's your secret? How often did you change oil and tranny fluid? Did you change the fuel filter lately?
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:40 pm

1) I thought the Riv fuel tank was plastic.
2) How do you bend a nylon line to replace a steel one?
3) When you have the 'no start' is the 'security' light on?
4) 250 K miles on a well-cared-for Riviera is no surprise. The GM 3800 engine and 4T65 transmission have a reputation for longevity if cared for properly
5) there was a service bulletin on the fuel pump wiring, requiring replacing the connector on top of the fuel pump/pressure sender/fuel level sender module
6) is the replacement battery a substitute or a replacement? Riviera calls for a rather large (capacity) battery.
7) check the *ground* line to the starter. It is on the front passenger side frame rail. If it is corroded or loose you will get a no-start with the clicking.

Albertj
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themba
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:11 pm

Quote :
1) I thought the Riv fuel tank was plastic.
2) How do you bend a nylon line to replace a steel one?
3) When you have the 'no start' is the 'security' light on?
4) 250 K miles on a well-cared-for Riviera is no surprise. The GM 3800 engine and 4T65 transmission have a reputation for longevity if cared for properly
5) there was a service bulletin on the fuel pump wiring, requiring replacing the connector on top of the fuel pump/pressure sender/fuel level sender module
6) is the replacement battery a substitute or a replacement? Riviera calls for a rather large (capacity) battery.
7) check the *ground* line to the starter. It is on the front passenger side frame rail. If it is corroded or loose you will get a no-start with the clicking.


The fuel tank is plastic. It was the fuel lines that were rusting from the inside. on the outside they looked fine, but on the inside they were rusting badly.

The nylon lines are more like rubber hose, so no problems with bending. Mostly problems with keeping the lines in certain positons.

Ground line to starter?? Isn't the starter grounded by being bolted in?? I have both dealer manuals for our car so I will be looking them over again.

Don't want to start talking, but I haven't had the faintess problem with my tranny. The engine does have a rear main seal leak so I have to add oil ever so often.

Quote :
250K on the original engine and tranny! Holy S%$!. What's your secret? How often did you change oil and tranny fluid? Did you change the fuel filter lately?


I do change the oil regularly. I changed the tranny fluid and filter only once. I had a defective tensioner pulley, and I changed the pulley and colant bypass valve and had the head gaskets done, and the Intake manifold replaced with the re-inforced one to prevent problems common to the 3.8 N/A original intake manifolds. I think the Riv could do another 250K if I could get over this hump.

I just changed the fuel filter. I have been changing it regulary in hopes of removing any possible remaining remnants of rust.
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96RIVMANN
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:49 pm

[quote="themba"]
Quote :
1)

I do change the oil regularly. I changed the tranny fluid and filter only once. I had a defective tensioner pulley, and I changed the pulley and colant bypass valve and had the head gaskets done, and the Intake manifold replaced with the re-inforced one to prevent problems common to the 3.8 N/A original intake manifolds. I think the Riv could do another 250K if I could get over this hump.
.

Where does one get the re-inforced gaskets you are talking about?
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themba
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:05 pm

Not re-inforced gaskets but re-inforced upper intake manifold. Apparently the original upper intake on non supercharged 3.8s would degrade around the EGR port. The upper intake touches the EGR stovepipe which would degrade the plastic over time. If degraded far enough, coolant could flow into the intake, and in turn the cylinders, possibly causing hydrolock or much worse. I replaced it with one that had some type of extra re-inforcement (fiber glass??)around that area to prevent that problem.

Well, there is definitely some type of Voodoo electrical stuff going on with my Riv. I took the starter in to get tested and it tested fine. My next move test the starter wiring, then to pull the dash /Steering column apart to check the ignition switch.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:48 pm

Sorry.

There is a grounding post on the passenger side front frame rail. If you disconnect the black cable from it, the starter will not turn at all.

Albertj
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themba
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:19 am

I checked that grounding post and it seems fine, no corrosion or anything. It runs to the engine block underneath. However, I will have to test it with a multimeter to see if it is ok.
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:48 pm

Yes, you have to disassemble it to check it, and you have to see that it still has contiuity with the frame. Should be zero ohms between a lead touched to the tip of the ground post and anoher ground nearby, say on the firewall. What has happened to me - the ground line has coroded and is no longer so good (green oxidation on teh copper line) and the place where ground post and terminal meet (on the termianl flats) corrodes over time (clean it, coat with solder and reassemble - if post breaks in this operation drill out and replace with stainless bolt, saw off head and use 2 nuts to lock in place, one to fasten and the other to jam).

Albertj
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Ridin-Rivi
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Mon Dec 03, 2007 1:54 pm

I would check all of your battery and ground connections. Make sure everything is tight and corrosion free. I had a clicking sound on my car and it was a loose ground wire to the battery.

Hope this helps
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themba
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:27 pm

Boy was I far off the mark as to the actual problem with my Riv. Actually, the car does have some electrical problems, but they are minor, and they were not the cause of the no start. My mechanic contacted me and the problem was with the upper intake manifold. bonk This was the same problem that started to creep up and I tried to circumvent two years ago when I had the upper intake changed. He found a small hole in the replacement, that was causing coolant to end up in the intake. Eventually enough went in there to cause the no start. A large enough hole, or enough coolant would have make its was into the rest of the engine and caused hyrolock. Replacement intake, gaskets and labor= 350+ dollars. shout shout And the replacement was suppost to be re-inforced. My guess is that the problem occurred at another point other than area prone to degrade. Which means that these plastic intakes are crap.

This really get's me steamed. GM sure knows how to ruin a good thing. Their Engineers probably didn't design for high miles. I guess that one good reason to get a supercharged Riv. lol
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AA
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Wed Dec 05, 2007 5:38 pm

Glad you solved this. This is a very common problem with the N/A Series II engines.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
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albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Ready to send my 1997 Riv to the crusher! @%^&#   Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:38 pm

I agree with Aaron - thanks for posting the solution, sorry about the rabbit chases on the way to a solution.

Albertj
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