: Fleetwood Sadness.....



DopeStar 156
07-20-09, 01:48 AM
Took my Fleetwood on a bit of a trip today up to NY state and had a few problems with the car on the drive back. First thing that started happening was my lights and all that got very dim which I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. I sat in traffic the entire time I was on the NY Thruway with a very dim instrument panel, slow moving power windows, autodimming mirror, and a rough shifting transmission. When I got to 287 South in Jersey and the traffic dispersed, the lights and everything returned to normal. Drove all the way back to my town with no issues except when I got off the highway. At a stop the car was shaking at idle. Once I got home the car stalled on me as I was trying to park in my spot. The car is idling pretty weak and ran poorly while trying to park.

I'm starting to think that there might be a major vacuum leak somewhere since my Cruise Control is for the most part inoperative. Is this accurate of is my poor car royally ****ed?

Aron9000
07-20-09, 01:51 AM
Sounds like it could be a vacume leak. Check under the hood real good for a loose or rotted out hose, and also scan the computer for codes.

EDIT:

Forgot your car is carbed, so I don't think it stores codes like my TBI Chevy.

sven914
07-20-09, 02:18 AM
You haven't had your air cleaner off, have you? One time, when I first got my car (before I started having issues with vacuum) I took the air cleaner off to see the carburetor. When I put everything back together and started the engine, it ran horrible and kept stalling out on me. It turned out that I forgot to hook the PCV system up to the air cleaner; the passenger side hose was sucking air.

If your do have a vacuum leak that is bad enough to kill th engine, it would be making sound. Open the hood and start the engine with the door open, and listen to it idle. If you hear a hiss then there is an air leak, somewhere. If you can't hear anything, either get the car to idle on it's own, or have a friend throttle it to keep it alive, and get up close to the engine to pinpoint any hissing sounds.

I drove my car with half the vacuum lines disconnected (including an open PCV system, all thanks to MONRO), at night, and did not notice any issues with the lights dimming, but had plenty of stalling. I would have the alternator tested, because I heard of bad alternators causing more strain on the engine, thus a rough idle conditions.

DopeStar 156
07-20-09, 08:56 AM
You haven't had your air cleaner off, have you? One time, when I first got my car (before I started having issues with vacuum) I took the air cleaner off to see the carburetor. When I put everything back together and started the engine, it ran horrible and kept stalling out on me. It turned out that I forgot to hook the PCV system up to the air cleaner; the passenger side hose was sucking air.

If your do have a vacuum leak that is bad enough to kill th engine, it would be making sound. Open the hood and start the engine with the door open, and listen to it idle. If you hear a hiss then there is an air leak, somewhere. If you can't hear anything, either get the car to idle on it's own, or have a friend throttle it to keep it alive, and get up close to the engine to pinpoint any hissing sounds.

I drove my car with half the vacuum lines disconnected (including an open PCV system, all thanks to MONRO), at night, and did not notice any issues with the lights dimming, but had plenty of stalling. I would have the alternator tested, because I heard of bad alternators causing more strain on the engine, thus a rough idle conditions.

I really hope there's no problem with the alternator, I replaced the thing last year. I was keeping my eye out for the CHECK ENGINE or NO CHARGE light but neither one showed their faces. I'll have to have the alternator tested though. For now I'll start examing vacuum lines when I get home later.....

Bro-Ham
07-20-09, 11:43 AM
It will be OK. It is frustrating when our beloved cars don't work as they should yet there is always a solution and luckily it takes an aweful lot to kill these cars. :)

sven914
07-20-09, 07:28 PM
Some garages have smoke machines, used for emissions leak testing. They basically pump pressurized smoke (heated baby oil) into the lines and look to see where it comes out. They can also be used to find vacuum leaks, from bad hoses to a cracked rear main seal. I would look more toward the dealership to have one, because they deal with emission problems on a warranty basis. A Muffler shop may have one because you can also smoke the exhaust to find leaks.

DopeStar 156
07-20-09, 11:04 PM
It will be OK. It is frustrating when our beloved cars don't work as they should yet there is always a solution and luckily it takes an aweful lot to kill these cars. :)

Yeah, I tend to get pretty irritable/down whenever my car has problems....

One other thing I wanted to mention is as of recently, maybe a few weeks or so I noticed decent sized oil spots on my driveway. I noticed that the car leaks oil in the general vicinity of the oil filter when running only, or shortly after running. The filter is wet with oil but tight, but it still seems to be leaking from that area. Where do you think that could be happening from? I'm gonna do an oil change this week and would like to try and find the source, and possibly fix it if anyone could help with that I'd be really thankful.....

Dcarlson
07-21-09, 12:03 AM
Replace your filter. It may be double gasketed, or the seal may be kinked. As for the rough running if it was the alternator, you would HEAR it. Bearings piling dont sound nice. I'm with the vaccume leak theory. The way i diagnose vaccume leaks is with a little propane torch. I just open the valve, (dont light it) run the end of the propane torch around the intake manifold, vaccume lines, etc. If she starts to smooth out, you've found your vaccume leak. Oh yeah, be mindfull of things that spark. I am not liable for your facial hair.

DopeStar 156
07-21-09, 12:49 AM
Replace your filter. It may be double gasketed, or the seal may be kinked. As for the rough running if it was the alternator, you would HEAR it. Bearings piling dont sound nice. I'm with the vaccume leak theory. The way i diagnose vaccume leaks is with a little propane torch. I just open the valve, (dont light it) run the end of the propane torch around the intake manifold, vaccume lines, etc. If she starts to smooth out, you've found your vaccume leak. Oh yeah, be mindfull of things that spark. I am not liable for your facial hair.

Haha I don't have much anyway, it's the hair on my scalp I'm more concerned about.....

Tell me about the "seal being kinked" where the filter goes. I always thought the filter made a gasket to metal contact on the car? It's not double gasketed, at least I don't think so. I'm usually pretty good about checking for the old one on the filter when it comes off. Hopefully I can find this, it's a pretty nice sized leak.....

Dcarlson
07-21-09, 03:36 PM
If you put a filter on dry, without oiling the rubber seal lightly, the seal will sometimes grab the metal and sorta make the rubber ring an oval instead of a circle, and it will leak. You stretch the gasket. I've had a few filters that were just plain old defective from the factory.

DopeStar 156
07-21-09, 06:53 PM
If you put a filter on dry, without oiling the rubber seal lightly, the seal will sometimes grab the metal and sorta make the rubber ring an oval instead of a circle, and it will leak. You stretch the gasket. I've had a few filters that were just plain old defective from the factory.

Interesting.... I usually buy Fram filters and some people have told me they're bad, could it be the brand I'm using? My last filter leaked too and the one before that had become almost permenantly attached when I tried to remove it. I was planning to change my oil tomorrow and got a Fram Tough Guard filter as part of an oil change special at AutoZone. It was for a 5+ qt. jug of Valvoline Max Life oil which is what I regularly use, and a Fram Tough Guard filter all for $19.99 so I got that and saved money. Should I switch over to AC Delco or something else?

Dcarlson
07-21-09, 08:29 PM
I use fram as well. Just make sure the rubber o ring is in tact and lightly oiled before you screw it on. Also make sure the old rubber is off the mounting surface. If the mounting surface has the old gasket or is dirty, clean it.

I've never had a problem. Just make sure its nice and tight. But don't over tighten, that sure grip on the fram filters makes it tempting. Just 3/4 of a turn after its seated.

bicentennialcadillac
07-21-09, 08:54 PM
Use Delco filters. Made in USA and spec'd by the men who designed your car.

As a side benefit, that blue just looks right under there.

DopeStar 156
07-21-09, 10:07 PM
Just make sure the rubber o ring is in tact and lightly oiled before you screw it on.

This might be it.... I think I over-oil it. I know I'm gonna get crucified for admitting this but last two oil changes I just touched old filter to new to lube it and there was a generous amount of the old oil on there.....

I'm ready.... let me have it.....
:duck::thepan::helpless::nono::banghead:

Dcarlson
07-21-09, 11:40 PM
You've more then likely got some dirt and such on the gasket. Causin the leak.

jey
07-22-09, 01:24 PM
I prefill my oil filters to minimize the time the oil pump is dry. Once the oil filter had oil in it it's easy to dip a clean finger in there and just coat the rubber seal with fresh oil.

DopeStar 156
07-22-09, 06:22 PM
Went out today to try and fix some of the issues I discussed before. First thing I noticed was this, one of the sparkplug wires for cylinder number 1 melted to a part of the exhaust manifold.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/P7220030.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/P7220033.jpg

I had an extra wire lying around so I swapped it, that cap on the distributor that holds all the wires was a pain in the ass to reattach but I think I got it. Now onto the oil change. I removed the old filter (orange one pictured) and checked the gasket, looked pretty dirty so I took special attention to clean the spot the filter screws onto with carb cleaner and a rag. I lubed the new filter with a clean finger and a small amount of new oil. The leak seems to have stopped.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/P7220031.jpg
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/P7220032.jpg

Went to start the car up and it was pretty difficult to start. When it finally did run it ran very poorly in park with a shaky idle. I did some snooping around for vacuum leaks and came across this thing.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/P7220034.jpg

It had two vacuum lines going to it and one open spot. I'm wondering if I should cap it, or if there was a line going to it. Does anyone know what this is and if that's supposed to be open, capped, or connected to something?

I decided to hook a vacuum gauge up to the car while it was running by hooking the gauge up where the line for the air cleaner goes. This video shows what my car was doing at idle and what the gauge showed.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/th_P7220035.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/DopeStar156/1989%20Fleetwood%20Brougham/?action=view&current=P7220035.flv)

The car runs and drives pretty bad and I don't know why. In drive the gauge dropped down to 16 in hg. Does anyone know what the proper readings are supposed to be for this car at idle in park and drive?

csbuckn
07-22-09, 07:09 PM
I believe the vacuum reading looks good and that open connection is supposed to be like that if its your "VRV".

DopeStar 156
07-22-09, 07:40 PM
I believe the vacuum reading looks good and that open connection is supposed to be like that if its your "VRV".

Ok, I don't know what a "VRV" is.....

DopeStar 156
07-22-09, 07:49 PM
I also forgot to mention that the Check Engine came on when I first started it up, then went away. It ran too low for a fast idle and threw codes 21 and 45, TPS voltage high, and rich exhaust.......

Misfire? Did that melted sparkplug wire **** up my distributor?

Dcarlson
07-22-09, 08:45 PM
I don't know your car very well, but when my tps was on the fritz the thing wouldnt idle at all. I had to constantly rev it, otherwise i'd just stall. My caddi has the ht4100. The TPS should be the same though. Give us some details on your car here! It's got the 307 I assume with tbi?

DopeStar 156
07-22-09, 08:59 PM
It's a 307 with the Quadrajet carburetor, it's not TBI.

Dcarlson
07-22-09, 09:06 PM
uh oh, electronic carbs, the complexity of fuel injection with the unreliability of carbs. Unfortunatly carbs are out of my territory, a little to old for my training.

But lets see what do i know.

Well the purpose of the TPS in a puslewidth modulated injection system (TBI). Is to varry pulse width (frequencey of injector pulse) The linkage which controls air flow is still mechanical.

Now, lets Minus a TB and add a carb. What could the purpose of the TPS possibly be...
The only thing that comes to my mind in a carburated system is helpin out the electronically controlled Transmission... It may also control air flow into the carb, but i doubt it... Correct me if im wrong

someone who knows computer carbs step up to the plate!

Your distrubutor should be ok (thiretically). If the wire was grounding right out, should be easier on the distributor then a plug. Less resistance metal to metal then jumping a plug gap right? Ot
s also possible that it was jumping a wee little gap between your wire and the engine. I'd check it anyways. Mark your wires, Pull of the cap. Make sure are the little "points" (excuse me for not knowing the terminology) are in good condition, not melted or black. Check for physical cracks in the plastic housing, hole etc.

Looks like someone really overtightened your oil pan bolts, those cork gaskets don't like that!

csbuckn
07-22-09, 09:32 PM
Per service manual
VRV is vacuum regulator valve
VDV is vacuum delay valve
You do have a TPS but the code for it will set if you have a bad idle or a vacuum leak. Plus it says you have to drill in the carb to remove it. Have you tried the propane method of finding the leak? I havent tried it yet but it sounds like a good idea.

DopeStar 156
07-23-09, 03:33 PM
Per service manual
VRV is vacuum regulator valve
VDV is vacuum delay valve
You do have a TPS but the code for it will set if you have a bad idle or a vacuum leak. Plus it says you have to drill in the carb to remove it. Have you tried the propane method of finding the leak? I havent tried it yet but it sounds like a good idea.

I did a little googling and it looks like my vacuum readings are in the range of normal so I'm starting to shift towards misfire. The car's idle speed when properly warmed up sounds normal but it shakes, and drops way too low in drive with a very bad shake. When you try to take off from a dead stop the engine sounds all sorts of wrong, like it's struggling to move. The car also drives pretty bad in 4th gear, which makes sence because the gear ratio is in favor of the engine at that point. I checked the wires at the distributor and they all seem fine, cap looks ok, even pulls plug number 1 out and checked it for fouls, looks ok too so I'm starting to get really confused and desperate. I'm thinking about taking the car back to the guy who rebuilt my heads in November and confronting him on this since the melted sparkplug wire was definately their doing.

I also started to notice coolant disappearing and there seems to be a small collection of it around what looks like the intake/manifold gasket. Would a leaky gasket/improperly torqued gasket cause this?

Dcarlson
07-23-09, 04:01 PM
Yes, yes it would. Try my propane trick out.

greencadillacmatt
07-23-09, 07:43 PM
It very well could be a gasket issue. When the head-gasket went out on my HT-4100 it would leak into the combustion chamber. It would run like crap until it burned the coolant off. Misfires everywhere at that point. Did your old oil look frothy at all? It could be the shop that did your heads. You don't really hear about 307's with gasket issues. Good Luck!

DopeStar 156
07-23-09, 09:38 PM
It very well could be a gasket issue. When the head-gasket went out on my HT-4100 it would leak into the combustion chamber. It would run like crap until it burned the coolant off. Misfires everywhere at that point. Did your old oil look frothy at all? It could be the shop that did your heads. You don't really hear about 307's with gasket issues. Good Luck!

Yeah, I've decided to take the car back to the shop that did my heads and show them what's going on, they should take care of me.....

On a rather positive, yet interesting note on a hunch I decided to spray all the linkages with carb spray and threw a few blasts down the throat of the carb. Car fired right up and went into high idle, when I dropped it down it stalled, restarted it and it went into low idle. The low idle seems to have leveled out better, I didn't really notice any shaking or anything like that. When I went to put the car into gear once again the idle improved. I'm still getting a shake at a stop but when moving the whimsical "chug chug," I know and love returned. So in summary it's still rough idling (not sure about misfire anymore) but it improved with a simple carburetor bath. I did notice however that the carb hisses when it's running with the top of the air cleaner off, is that normal?

Sorry if I've seemed a bit grouchy since yesterday, I do get upset when my precious babygirl is feeling ill.... :crying:

csbuckn
07-24-09, 12:17 AM
Have you tried putting the bad spark plug wire next to a metal panel to see if it sparks while running? Otherwise a spark plug tester is only like 5 bucks. the carb will hiss, thats all the air your stock air filter blocks. Thats too bad about the intake manifold, those things are a pain to get on correctly.

DopeStar 156
07-24-09, 01:24 AM
Have you tried putting the bad spark plug wire next to a metal panel to see if it sparks while running? Otherwise a spark plug tester is only like 5 bucks. the carb will hiss, thats all the air your stock air filter blocks. Thats too bad about the intake manifold, those things are a pain to get on correctly.

Well it's a FelPro gasket with some red RTV to seal it up but I guess it was improperly torqued or something, either way it's not right. I didn't test the wire like that, I've had experiences getting zapped by disconnected ignition wires. I did however run the car with the new wire disconnected from plug one and heard the proper ticking sound so I know it's working......

csbuckn
07-24-09, 02:01 AM
I would probably do the propane thing next(or some kind of test to find vacuum leaks), but then again, a bad vacuum leak would have showed up on the vacuum gauge. I'm running out of ideas. Maybe someone here with a few more years of experience can help out. My next step would probably be...carb? just because the little cleaning did a big help.