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'80 Eldorado, '50 Chrysler Windsor, '92 Ford F-250 7.3 4x4
112 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone. My Eldorado has been sitting for a few months now because I haven't been able to pay for the insurance (I've been taking care of it though), but I recently got a job and I'll now be able to insure it again. I'm going to change the oil, transmission fluid, and the coolant for starts. Unfortunately, the car is on non-op so I'm sure California will want to see a fresh smog before it's registered, even though it shouldn't be due until next year. The car has a few issues, though, and I don't know how much longer it will pass.

First off, it has around 141,000 miles. It's a lot, and I doubt this engine will realistically go past 180,000, but I can't afford a rebuild at this point. So, I know that the high mileage doesn't help anything.

It never really ran right anyway, but it caught on fire one day, which resulted in lots of replaced electrical connectors, some new vacuum lines, a "new" air solenoid valve, distributor cap and rotor, and all new injectors. I may have replaced some other misc. things, but I don't remember. It has a reman ecm, new fuel pumps, all tune up things, and many other new parts as well.

Problem number 1: During the last smog, it passed, but it cut out between around 700 or 1000 rpm to about 1700 rpm. He said that the air solenoid valves (replaced after burned in the fire) are suppose to have a breather and when they are missing theirs, like mine, they get gummed up. I don't know the accuracy of this. Anyway, he told me to disconnect the egr and that might help :p . I don't think it really did. It's always seemed to misfire some intermittently. It seems to do this more after I use a half tank of gas, or if I cruise in the city too much.

Problem number 2: Smelly exhaust. I don't know how to really describe it. It smells kind of strong when idling. It doesn't smoke at all and it has a new catalytic converter. When I was driving it daily, I use to notice a black mark on the driveway right under the tail pipe.

Problem number 3: It seems to burn around 1/2 quart every two thousand or so. The compression is lowest in #1 at 135 pounds. One other is lower and around 140, the rest are closer to 150 or so. I've always suspected valve seals, but I don't know. I'll gladly replace them, but I don't have any clue on which type it uses, and I've also read that they may fail very quickly if the head needs machining, so is that a waste of time? I don't know if it needs machining or not.

Problem number 4: It may need a new exhaust manifold gasket on the passenger side.

And last, problem number 5: When I got the car, it had a bent intake valve on number 1 cylinder. My uncle helped me out with the work, but when we put the intake manifold back on, the rear valley seal puckered out on the end and left an open gap. This caused and oil leak. So, I cleaned the area and sealed it with form a gasket stuff and that stopped the leak. I've always wondered if that's causing a vacuum leak, though.......

I was thinking about replacing the egr and trying a new tvs switch, because when I was young and replaced that switch I didn't really know what I was doing; I replaced it twice, and the one that I had originally seemed to be different. I mean that, say, there are three ports. 1 (top), 2 (middle), and 3 (bottom). On the first one, 2 and 3 (for example) you could breath through, but 1 was blocked. On the new one, 1 and 2 were free, while 3 was blocked. I thought about picking one up from pick n pull, just to try it out.

So, after all that, what do you guys think? It may just be tired, but maybe something can be done. If it just needs a rebuild, I'll save up and do it, but I don't want to rebuild only to find that it needed other things. It always has passed, so we'll see....

Thanks for all the help,

EDIT: I wanted to add, after all the woe lol, that it actually doesn't run to badly at all. The miss is either intermittent or extremely small, because I don't usually notice it much. It does feel much more sluggish than it should. Also, it always passes smog very well, exept when tested for nox. It comes a bit close.
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