87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..
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HT4100 4.1, 4.5, 4.9 Discussion, 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving.. in Cadillac Engine Technical Discussion; The car had been running really rough lately and it would start showing the oil light(flicker) at light but when ...
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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    The car had been running really rough lately and it would start showing the oil light(flicker) at light but when I would drive, the light would go off.. the light only came on if the car was in gear and at a stand still.. so about a couple weeks of the oil light coming on and the car running rough, i did the plugs, wires, cap, rotor and a brand new battery. The plugs werent ever changed in the car since 87..(bought it brand new..87 deville.. 4.1..now has only 70k original miles. So I let the car run after the tune up and a junk load of carbon came out of the exhaust.. for a few days I would drive it up and down the street to clean out the carbon crud.. so now..the carbon stuff is all out of the exhaust but the car blows a light grayish color smoke from the tailpipe..even if its warm or cold, the smoke will be there ..its not dark nor does it putter out oil from the pipes.. The main thing is that even after the tune up, the car still idles rough and will stall after about 5-7 mins of driving.. When I try to start the car back up, it'll turn over but it wont start the motor.. So I have to wait about 45 mins and then the car will start right up and run for about 5 mins etc. The autozone diagnostics couldnt even tell what was wrong cause its a old car and all electric..any suggestions would help! The oil level is fine, the fuel and oil pumps seem to be working and there is 2 gallons in the fuel tank.

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    HippieD9 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    Sounds to me like you've got a cracked head gasket.... Don't know why it would stall it out though. I used to have an 87....... Hold off and warmer together, and post what codes you get back. I wouldn't drive it right now if you can help it, low oil pressure isn't something to screw around with if you like your car.
    D.

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    cool..thanks for the reply! my friend just checked it out and said it could be a bad coil.. so i may change out the ignition/distributor coil and maybe that may fix the problem.. he said the coil is bad and not giving the plugs enough spark. We shall see!

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    Has the coolant ever been changed in that 87 or has the coolant supplement been added to the cooling system regularily???

    The coolant in that engine needed to be changed every 2-3 years/24-32K miles...whichever comes first. And the coolant supplement pellets or sealant tabs MUST be added to prevent coolant intrusion into the engine internally. Internal coolant intrusion due to lack of cooling system maintenance can cause wear of cam lobes and/or distributor gear...either of which could cause your problems you describe. Not to say that that is what the problem is ... but if it turned out to be I wouldn't be surprised.

    In any case, if the coil fixes the problem you need to IMMEDIATELY change the oil and filter and substitute one quart of engine oil with a quart of GM EOS (engine oil supplement) available at a GM dealer. The EOS is fortified with large amounts of the antiwear compound ZDP which can help heal or prevent distributor gear wear or a cam lobe wear if it has not already happened. If a gear or love has scuffed it can burnish and heal with the extra ZDP in the oil from the EOS additive. ONLY the EOS will do this...not any of the other snake oil additives on the market....aftermarket that is.

    In addition to changing the oil you should drain the cooling system and replace the coolant with a fresh 50/50 mix of green silicated coolant/distilled water. In addition to the fresh coolant put in 6 of the GM coolant supplement tabs or 2 tubes of the BarsLeaks "golden seal" brand radiator/cooling system sealer. Add it to the radiator at the pressure cap before refilling the cooling system with the fresh 50/50.

    The intake gasket could become a future leak source on that particular engine at the coolant crossover passage in the intake. There is a factory intake "reseal" kit that is available from the Cadillac dealer that provides the later generation gaskets and fasteners for the intake to adapt the later sealing technology. Highly recommended.

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    i'm going to try the coil first today or tommorow and then if that doesnt help, i will try something else. Yes the coolant is changed every 2 yrs in the car.. Just 4 mos back I had the collant flushed and filled, a fresh oil change and a Auto tranny fluid flush and fill.. It ran so well till recent. If the coil works, i will change the oil and add the additive etc. I also replaced the coolant temp. sensor last year as well! Would the ignition coil be inside the ditributor cap? It doesnt seem like its hard to get to. I will have to get the part and see where it is around the distributor since I have never replaced a coil before.. thanks for the help!

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    Yes, the coil in in the top of the distributor cap...You can change it without taking the cap off I believe.

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    The other thing that you want to check here is the pickup coil. I assume when you said coil that you meant the high voltage coil on the top of the distributor cap...???


    There is another coil in the distributor that is around the distributor shaft. It gets the signal from the little star wheel inside the base of the distributor and sends it to the HEI module. Pop the dist cap off.... Look at the end of the HEI module....the end that has two wires connected to it. There should be two wires (two white wires I believe..) that leave the module and go to the coil wound around the star wheel that encircles the distributor shaft. Disconnect those two wires from the HEI module and use your VOM to check continuity across the coil. Wiggle the wires while checking for continuity and heat the pickup coil with a hair dryer to thermalcycle it while checking for continuity. If there is an intermittant on that pickup coil it can cuase the same problem.


    BTW....that car has an onboard diagnostics system that was pretty sophisticated for its day. It was the forerunner of the OBD2 diagnostic systems used later. Turn on the key and simultaneously press and hold the OFF and WARMER buttons on the climate control panel until the onboard diagnostics activates. Read off the codes displayed and post back.

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    wow..i didnt know the car had onboard diagnostics! I will start it up and wait a few mins till the lights come on and do what u said.. Hopefully the car will shoot some codes! Thanks!

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    You don't have to start it up or anything....any codes that were set are stored in "history" already. Just turn on the key, simultaneously press and hold the OFF and WARMER buttons until the system activates and write down the codes....

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    ok i got the codes! after a few seconds of holding the warmer and off buttons, the service soon and service now lights immediately came on as well as these codes on the digital trip meter on the left (E30), (E52), (. . F), (F48), and (.7.0) Hope this helps any!

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    E30...idle speed control circuit problem...if the ECM cannot keep the idle speed in the desired range by controlling the idle speed control motor then this code sets. Either the idle speed control motor is failed or disconnected or ???


    E52...ECM keep alive memory reset...could be a battery disconnect or a power loss from the battery

    F48....very low refrigerant...AC system is disabled to protect the compressor and needs recharging.


    nothing here indicates why you would have a miss like you describe. Plugs and wires could cause it without setting a code or the coil like you suspected. At least nothing with the sensors or electronic controls looks missing.

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    E30...idle speed control circuit problem...if the ECM cannot keep the idle speed in the desired range by controlling the idle speed control motor then this code sets. Either the idle speed control motor is failed or disconnected or ???


    E52...ECM keep alive memory reset...could be a battery disconnect or a power loss from the battery

    F48....very low refrigerant...AC system is disabled to protect the compressor and needs recharging.


    nothing here indicates why you would have a miss like you describe. Plugs and wires could cause it without setting a code or the coil like you suspected. At least nothing with the sensors or electronic controls looks missing.
    ya i put a new battery in the car a couple weeks ago and disconnected it a couple times when I was working on the car so that would explain E52 and the blower control module is unhooked and the A/C probably hasnt been on for 3-4 mos. explaining the low refrigerant.. I will look into a idle speed control module or where do I look for on the connections? If the module is bad, is it a dealer only part? You have been a great help bboby..i'll try little things here and there and hopefully get it fixed "cheap"

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    well the coil didn't help at all either.. i did check the oil and it has a few small creamy streaks in it so theres water/coolant in the oil.. which leads me to believe that maybe its a cracked head or head gasket? Is there any easy or enexpensive fix to this? I will probably just sell the car as is if it costs too much to fix

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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    I wouldn't draw any conclusions about the oil if I were you. Normal operation of a cold engine puts a LOT of condensation (moisture) and blowby and gasoline into the oil. Unless the engine has been thoroughly warmed up, you are likely to see the streaks of moisture. Probably perfectly normal for an engine that has been coldstarted repeatedly and not warmed up.

    Kind of getting back to basics, here.... When the engine stops running...is it due to fuel or spark?? Engines are still engines and they need fuel and air and spark to run. IF one is missing, it stalls. Figure out which one is missing and work on that.

    Put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel line and watch it when it stalls. Did it loose fuel pressure??

    Did you check the pickup coil in the distributor as has been described in several other posts??

    Guessing and replacing parts willy nilly leads to the sort of confusion and frustration that makes you give a nice car away when it could easily be fixed if diagnosed correctly.

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    Bobby C 01TA is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: 87 deville stalls after a few mins of driving..

    Quote Originally Posted by bbob
    I wouldn't draw any conclusions about the oil if I were you. Normal operation of a cold engine puts a LOT of condensation (moisture) and blowby and gasoline into the oil. Unless the engine has been thoroughly warmed up, you are likely to see the streaks of moisture. Probably perfectly normal for an engine that has been coldstarted repeatedly and not warmed up.

    Kind of getting back to basics, here.... When the engine stops running...is it due to fuel or spark?? Engines are still engines and they need fuel and air and spark to run. IF one is missing, it stalls. Figure out which one is missing and work on that.

    Put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel line and watch it when it stalls. Did it loose fuel pressure??

    Did you check the pickup coil in the distributor as has been described in several other posts??

    Guessing and replacing parts willy nilly leads to the sort of confusion and frustration that makes you give a nice car away when it could easily be fixed if diagnosed correctly.

    when the motor stops running, it'll automatically shut off and then the engine will turn over but the car wont start..maybe after 1/2 hr, the car will start again..but when the motor also stops running and i start it and give the accelerator some gas, the car will start up but then chug for a couple seconds and turn itself off... when i start the car in the morning or first time in the day, i'll let it warm up for a min or 2 and drive it around the block and soon the car will start running more and more rough.. then when i come to a stop or a light, the "oil pressure" light will come on and sometimes the service now and service soon lights will also come on. I replaced the pickup coil with a new one and that was of no help to making the car run good or even any better. I will try and get my friends fuel pressure gauge and get a read out. Right now the car has maybe a gallon left in it but even with 3-4 gallons, the car would do the same thing..arrrg.. i was also thinking about maybe replacing the fuel filter? but not sure if that would help any either.. but it may..

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