85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help! in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood FWD HT4100 Alright, I'm low on ideas for this car. I bought it recently, drove it home, ...
  1. #1
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
    Automobile(s): 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood FWD
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    85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    1985 Cadillac Fleetwood FWD HT4100

    Alright, I'm low on ideas for this car. I bought it recently, drove it home, and it sat for two weeks (don't know how long it sat before that). I replaced the O2 sensor in those two weeks and was able to drive it around for a few blocks, and then back home with no problem. One morning I drive it to the bus stop (didn't have plates or insurance). Got the plates and insurance that day, drove it a few blocks home, and it died just as I hit the curb for the driveway.

    I read around and pulled the codes, and replaced the two relays that hang down next to the battery (no fuse panel under hood as far as I can tell). They were very dirty. Oil Pressure Switch has not been replaced, but has been cleaned (but I don't think that would stop it from starting). I replaced the spark plugs (which were pretty bad), and it started, but it would only run for a few seconds (15 seconds max) before it died. That was with me flooring the pedal. Not flooring = no start at all.

    A few people told me it sounded like the timing, so today I turned the crankshaft pully until the timing mark was at TDC. Then I advanced the timing mark to the 10 degree notch (BTW, the notches for timing on my HT4100 are right above the crankshaft pully, and it's solid metal - don't know what all the talk about plastic ones is). After that I marked on the distributor metal casing where the Cylinder 1 contact point on the cap is, and rotated the distributor until the mark lined up exactly with the rotor tip. Still won't start. Tried adjusting it a bit each way, nothing.

    Right now I'm getting E19, E59, F40, and F41. Double and triple checked all the plug wires, cap and rotor look good, spark plugs should all be installed fine (removed and reinstalled front 4). I tightened down the negative that goes to the battery. Don't see loose wires anywhere. Don't see any vacuum leaks. Looked down the butterfly valves on the throttle body and it's all clean inside. I put some BG44k in the tank a few days ago, and it's been going through while I try to start it. Battery is also new, as is the O2 sensor (as stated earlier). Checked all the fuses on the far left under the dash, looked fine. Also, when you turn the key to the on position (or off), the pedal pumps itself about 8 times and you can hear a loud clicking from the engine compartment.

    Occasionally it WILL start to catch, and before we started messing with the distributor it was possible to start it for a few seconds (with backfiring, and it sounded like it was going to die - which it did).

    Does anyone have any clue what's going on here? I've had the car a month and I can't drive it!



    (P.S.: Checked the OBD, got within 5 degrees for temperature sensor and MAP sensor. Also get .0 for battery voltage whether or not the oil pressure switch is plugged in)

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  3. #2
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Check the MAP sensor and Coolant temp. parameters to make sure they're reasonable using the diagnostic feature. MAP should read near 100 with the car off. Coolant temp should be close to the outside temperature in degrees Celsius. Also check the MAP port on the throttle body for vacuum leaks and the MAP vacuum hose.

  4. #3
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Coolant read about 28C and MAP was around 22 (I believe). Haven't been able to locate the MAP sensor yet, but will look tonight. Sure I'll also find the MAP vacuum hose when I find the sensor. Checked last night and I am receiving spark. Also getting fuel (don't know the pressure though).

    Could it possibly be a plugged cat? I'm assuming nothing has been replaced on the vehicle since it was purchased new.

  5. #4
    NickySantoro is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Any chance the fuel filter is clogged?

  6. #5
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Found the map sensor, looked at a picture off the NAPA website (was on the firewall in engine compartment, book wouldn't say). Vacuum hose from MAP to TBI look fine. MAP reads in 20's when car is off and has not been run (obviously). I'll replace the fuel filter tonight.

    BTW, checking P.04 and P.05 for coolant/map temp.

  7. #6
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    I would remove no.1 plug and use something inserted ( screwdriver, old antenna mast?) in the hole and manually rotate the engine to verify piston rotates and is on top dead center, then remove the cap and verify rotor pointing correctly, then look at the dampner to make sure its also at TDC. I think the timing chain slipped.

  8. #7
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Before you do what carnut says, take this into consideration: if the MAP reads 22 when the car is off, that may be the problem. I don't know where you live (and what sea level you're at) but in Michigan, my MAP reads 99-100 MPa with the car off.

    I'd replace the MAP, and start there. 22 MPa has to either be incorrect, or you live on top of a mountain. This will cause your car to run VERY rich at startup and die out. That's why you've only been able to start it with your foot to the floor in "clear/flood" mode where the injector delivers only 20% of the normal level of starting fuel until the engine is running higher than 600 rpms.

  9. #8
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    I live in Grand Junction, CO (Elevation 4,593 ft). Should read about 85-80 kPa (Don't think you meant 100 MPa - that's the pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

    Replacing the fuel filter right now as suggested (had to break off the line right before the filter - couldn't get it off with a couple wrenches).

    If it doesn't work, I've got someone with more car experience coming over Thursday. If he can't get it figured out, I'll replace the MAP sensor (they're expensive).

  10. #9
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Hint: You can buy a new MAP from an autoparts store for about $30 and try putting it on, if it didn't solve the problem, just return it. They won't know it was installed for all of 2 seconds.

    Sorry, I did mean KPa. MPa would be just a bit much

  11. #10
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Replaced the MAP and coolant temp sensor. It went from surging every couple seconds during turnover to backfiring through the intake manifold strong enough to pop the air cleaner up. I never removed the distributor, but could the timing be 180 out? Or could the timing chain have majorly slipped the last time it ran?

  12. #11
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Sounds like the timing is way out. You'll have to remove the No. 1 plug and find TDC on that cylinder and make sure it aligns with the rotor position.

  13. #12
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Is there a good cadillac mechanic in Grand Junction, CO?

  14. #13
    awadecki is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    Don't know of one, but an easy first step would be to check and see if the camshaft is moving at all. Just remove the distributor cap and crank the car. See if the rotor turns.

  15. #14
    BrentNewland is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    I've been messing with the timing a bit. With plug 1 being towards the front, it backfires and causes the air filter to jump off. With plug 1 being at the exact opposite end, a puff of white smoke comes out of the intake manifold with a muffled pop when turning over. Plug 1 to right (from front) causes backfires in tailpipe.

    Any ideas? I'll keep fiddling.

  16. #15
    carnut is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 85 Fleetwood FWD Won't Start! Help!

    I say again, remove no. one plug insert tool to verify TDC, then check rotor location. Its out of time.

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