4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; Alright, I admit to going about it half-assed, but lemme tell you my story... Awhile back it started to run ...
  1. #1
    consigliori's Avatar
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    4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Alright, I admit to going about it half-assed, but lemme tell you my story...

    Awhile back it started to run real bad. I got the code for no cam signal (don't remember exactly what it was at the moment) but I swapped out the whole distributor with one from the junkyard - problem solved. Fast forward a bit, I then ran it out of gas. Had to replace the fuel pump - problem solved. Every now and then it would'nt start- well, whoever the previous owner was had replaced the positive battery connector (the 3 cables) and just mashed them into a connector designed for a single cable. Sloppy, yes, but not that big of a deal- I just had to wiggle it a little bit once in a while and it would start. Other than that, the car ran fine. Some time later, I finally got my dream car, 1998 Eldorado, and the Seville got parked in front of the house. It sat in front of the house for a couple/few months I'd say, all the time telling myself to pick up a proper battery cable from the junkyard. I decided that I no longer need the Seville, and want to sell it. Well, now it won't start. I've gone back and forth with the battery connections, fuel, spark, coil, I've read hundreds of posts dating back to 2004, I'm on serious information overload..

    So, here's where I'm at.. The battery connection is good, checked with a voltmeter. The fuel pressure I half assed because I don't have a fuel pressure gauge - I just pressed in the pin of the scharder (sp?) valve on the rail and fuel shot out of it good (good as I can tell anyway, forceful) and I hear the fuel pump when the key is turned. At this point, I checked the coil in distributor cap, test failed, replaced the coil. Still no start. Cranks, but no start. Runs roughly if gas is continually dribbled into carb. So, now convinced (God knows why) that spark is my problem, I switched out the distributor again for one from the junkyard. Nope, still no start. If you've made it this far, I sincerly THANK YOU and here's my main problem - I need to start over, but don't know where... I've read so much about distributor caps and rotors and the distributor wire harness crapping out and the hall effect switch and fuel injectors and fuel pressure and filter and still suspect that damn battery and I won't even go into the whole craziness that the resistor in the VATS key somehow got messed up and theres a f**kin' wasps' nest in the damn door frame now and I hate even working on it 'cause its stuck in the street and hot as hell in the sun and I just want to get it running so I can sell the thing and get it outta here...

    But now I don't know where to start. I need to start over.

    Logic tells me to go and buy a fuel pressure gauge and make sure that fuel delivery is not the problem. My continued spiril into insanity tells me to go and buy a distributor cap and rotor - because when I swapped the distributor last time, I didn't swap the cap... (or maybe I'm off a tooth? Or maybe its the wires?)

    It all makes no sence because when I parked it there, it was fine.


    Please help me


    Where should I start... again

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  3. #2
    consigliori's Avatar
    consigliori is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    K, my first do-over plan of attack is to attach a timing light to a plug wire and crank it to see if theres spark. Sound good?

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    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    That's a good idea--and easy too. Check that, then check the fuel pressure. If it doesn't run and both of those are OK, report back to us.

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    behind-bars is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    when you turn the key over does the door lights come on?

    I had a similar problem, solution was really tightening battery cables, especially positive, Then giving it a good strong jump, or hooking up a battery charger for awhile.

    mine was all hooked up, but no accessories worked untill i really tightened the cable.

  6. #5
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    HUF
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Since the problem occured after the perfectly running car was sitting for two monts I would suggest a battery related issue too.

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    consigliori's Avatar
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Well, I swapped the battery from the other car to see if that was it, it wasn't. When hooked up to a timing light and cranked, I have no spark

  8. #7
    NickySantoro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Check the fuses for the fuel injection and the continuity of the three cables going to the positive terminal.

  9. #8
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    K, here's the scoop...

    Fuses are good. continuity of the three cables are good. And just to be sure- you mean by checking the cables at the point where it connects to the starter and the other point at the battery connector, right? Then the alternator to the connector, then the other cable from the connector to the frame near the battery, right? Those all check out ok.

    I put in a new battery connector, distributor cap and rotor. It fired up. It ran kinda rough at idle for a few minutes, smoking out the exhaust pipe. When I tried it give it a little gas, it didn't like it, sputtered and died.

    What should I be looking at from here?

  10. #9
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    And just to clarify, it didn't start after the cap and rotor, it was after I put in the new battery connector.

    also, sometimes it theres just a loud click when I try to start it. Sometimes the click follow by a hesitating crank, and sometimes just the hesitating crank into normal crank, and sometimes just the normal crank. Sounds like its trying to start...

    What the hell...

    I'm thinking I gotta go buy a fuel pressure tester...

  11. #10
    consigliori's Avatar
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    I got spark, that is, it lights the timing light now

  12. #11
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    next post

  13. #12
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Fuel pressure is next to nothin'

    Took off fuel filter, its not completly clogged because I can blow through it fairly easy. Out of curiosity I turned the key while the filter was off to see if any gas would come through the line from the tank - it didn't. Should'nt it have? I can hear the fuel pump go on... Where should I go from here?

  14. #13
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    is the tank full?

  15. #14
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    ya know, thats what came to my mind too..

    There's at least 3-4 gallons in there - and I'm kinda leary of putting more gas in just in case I need to drop the tank, but I think I need to, just to be sure.

  16. #15
    consigliori's Avatar
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    Re: 4.9L 1991 Seville driving me crazy - won't start

    Well Gentlemen, it's official - I'm a dumbass...

    I added an additional 2 gallons of gas and the car that drove me to the brink of insanity finally got what it needed. The fuel pressure jumped up to 40psi and then fired up and stayed running just as easy as a slap in the face... Jeez, lesson learned. Now I just need to fix my timing that I dicked up while trying to get it running with no gas (GOD!) and it's all wrapped up.

    Thank you to all who added input - I know my first post is waaaay to long and rambling for most to get through, but I was venting (could ya tell? heh) It's by the book trouble shooting for me now, from here on out!

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