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Thread: 1992 Camaro, cranks, gets fuel, no spark

  1. #1

    Exclamation 1992 Camaro, cranks, gets fuel, no spark

    Alright, so, my younger brother has a 1992 Camaro RS, 3.1 V6, automatic

    What happened was this, he was going up the road, car started to loose power and would outright stall at idle. Then, once it got hot, it got to where it would not start at all. Worse case scenario 'cause he just got a job, middle of the pay period so we can't really afford to put gas in my fathers '86 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser. Basically if we don't find a quick fix, we're screwed. He's had the car for about 380 miles, and about a week and a couple or few days since he bought it. He put a tank of gas in it, not cheap stuff, Shell gasoline, which around here is good. Now it has become a red lemon with a bad clearcoat.

    After some looking, my father and I discovered that no spark is being generated, the fuel pump seems to be functional, sending fuel, everything seems good until the engine gets to the normal operating temp of around 180F. Then, the car sputters, and stalls after a while, it will not start until ti gets cold again. Occasionally it will send a spark, but, it spits and sputters, doesn't catch.

    What I do know about the car is this, the previous owner bypassed the fan sensor and jammed a wire into the ignition fuse, so the fans come on when the ignition is on, and, the previous owner somehow bypassed the coded ignition key system, I haven't a clue how. Also, the engine was resealed, it has a new oil pan, and the transmission was replaced. It would be a shame to have to give on it at this point. Though we did none of this work too it.

    We have tried the "paperclip" in the OBD plug to flash the SES light, no luck. Just keeps flashing 12 three times which means nothing is wrong.

    So, basically, if anyone has any idea's, tell us. We do not want to go through the whole "Replace these parts and hope for the best' mess. We simply cannot afford that, financially, or, the time it would take.

    On a side note, we where going to pull the coil and dis from another 1992 Camaro we have that is going to be sold soon, temporarily, until we saw the nightmare that is. We did try the computer out of that other Camaro just for the reason of running out of idea's. Same mess, no go. A friend of mine said it might be a crank sensor, had another person tell us it could be a whole load of things. I expect the same answer here, but, I'm remaining hopeful for a solution.

    Thanks in advance for the quick response,

    -Ben

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  3. #2
    Because stock sucks... pocket-rocket's Avatar
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    It sounds like a classic example of a bad ignition module, but I didn't know the 92's were DIS. If it's DIS, and you have another Camaro sitting there, that's the first thing I would do, swap the module and coils. It could also be the crank sensor, but DIS is easier to get to and change, so I would start there. If that's no go when it gets warm, then move to the crank sensor (I would get a new one though, not used and www.rockauto.com has them for $5.53 + shipping).
    -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
    91 Black Lumina Z34-5 speed
    92 Black Lumina Z34 5 speed (getting there, slowly... follow the progress here)
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  4. #3

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    Try pouring cold distilled water over the ICM/Coils and/or the crank sensor below the ICM on the block (hard to reach) when it starts to act up. But turn the car off first, even though you probably could pour distilled and not short out (distilled is non-conductive). I'm sure others will say tap water is fine, but I prefer distilled water for anything regarding the engine.

    If the problem gets better with that, your ICM or Coil(s) are bad. You should test all 3 front spark plugs for spark, just in case you have a bad coil. 1 bad coil will cause 2 cylinders to misfire, making for a nasty stumble then die.


    If all else fails, try.............
    Check the contacts for the Engine Coolant Temp sensor (by the T-Stat housing)
    Inspect spark plugs for cracks
    Measure resistance in spark plug cables.
    Make sure battery connections are strong (weak connects can create heat and increase resistance)
    Check the twisting wires leading to the Crank Sensor at the back of the block.
    Try unplugging the upstream O2 sensor (downstream is the one behind the catalytic convertor)

    The big clue you have is the car stalling when warm. That rules out a lot of stuff. And since you are not getting spark, I agree with Pocket Rocket.

  5. #4
    Site Coder bszopi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmieder View Post
    You should test all 3 front spark plugs for spark, just in case you have a bad coil. 1 bad coil will cause 2 cylinders to misfire, making for a nasty stumble then die.
    Its in a RWD car, so e should basically be able to test all...
    -Brad-
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  6. #5
    Yeah, it has a dis, last year of the ones with the dis, I think. 1993 was 4th gen, that much I know. Also, the 1993 and 1994 Camaro's where transition year models, they had OBD1/2 setups, nightmarish mess if I've ever seen one. We can't simply pull the parts off the other Camaro, don't want to risk breaking it, we're gonna try to sell it soon. It's a black 1992 Camaro RS, V6, 5spd, T tops, hoping to get about $1,800 out of it. Runs and drives, well it will when we put it back together anyway. Good car, it's just that we don't feel like putting the money into it to complete it.

    Anyway, we tried to fire up the red 1992 Camaro RS, the one which is giving us problems, it is not firing at all now. I hope the idiots that owned the car before didn't screw anything up, oh, and on a side note, it appears this Camaro once had a five speed as well. We aren't 100% sure on that yet, but whenever we go under the car we'll find out.

    We ordered a ALDL OBD1 cable for the red Camaro, we're hoping we'll at least get some errors out of it so we can figure out what the hell is going on. Probably won't, but it's worth a try, if this doesn't work, it's going to the shop, if it costs more than a grand, we'll just part the damn thing out. New trans under it is worth a couple or few hundred around here, plus we've got an IROC-Z hood on it.

    Anyway, is the distilled water supposed to clean any gunk out of the coil or dis? We pretty much know it is one of those three at this point, the coil, ICM, or dis. We are a bit afraid of going through this thing and replacing stuff piece by piece, could dump $400 into it and never get it to start. I will make a note of the advice here, we'll look into it tomorrow before we start working on re-assembling the black Camaro.

    I'll keep y'all posted, hoping to resurrect the thing soon.

  7. #6
    Because stock sucks... pocket-rocket's Avatar
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    You know, most parts stores do free module testing. You could always pull the ICM off and take it in since it's not firing at all now, so that now works in your favor as far as testing parts goes.
    -60v6's 2nd Jon M.
    91 Black Lumina Z34-5 speed
    92 Black Lumina Z34 5 speed (getting there, slowly... follow the progress here)
    94 Red Ford Ranger 2WD-5 speed
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Leno
    Tires are cheap clutches...

  8. #7
    Where is the ICM located? I'll take a look and figure out what it takes to get the thing off.

    I'll mention that news to my father, he isn't here today, he's up at a nearby junkyard, he does odd and end stuff there so he can afford to put gas in the car for a week or so. I'll have to convince him it's worth it if the part isn't hard to remove, though I need to know what it looks like and where it is before we can decide that.

    Also, you did read that the previous owners bypassed the coded key security system, right? Could have that affected the ICM?

    Anyway, it's supposed to get up to nearly 90F here today, I have to get out and sand some brackets and braces for the front end of the '92 black RS. Rusty parts on a car don't sell as good as shiny ones. Oh, by the way, nice Lumina, I saw one similar too it, same color anyway, Z34, they had it for sale for $2,400 or something around there. I've only seen a few Lumina's like that around here, I have seen a few Cavaliers with the 60 V6, 3.1's and 2.8's. I don't like the 2.8 that much, but the 3.1 is a great motor, when idiots don't foul up the electronics on it anyway.

    Thanks for the help so far,

    -Ben

  9. #8
    Alright, looked over it a bit, found some bad wiring, not sure what on, but when I moved the wires away from the part that was being shorted out, it didn't help.

    Here's a pic of the bad wiring on whatever this thing is, I am not entirely sure what it is.



    And, here are two photo's of the hack job someone did to make the fan run, if it helps. At some point the orange wire becomes the red wire, two lengths of wire probably out of someone's shed.






    And, some strange device which is not on the black Camaro. Nor any that I have seen as far as I can recall.

    http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...g?t=1308440120

    I only linked that one to keep from clustering the page with photo's.

    Lastly, here is a link to a photobucket album with all the photo's of both Camaro's I have taken, if you are interested:

    http://s55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...ros/?start=all

    The guy asleep in the black Camaro is my younger brother.

  10. #9
    Bisong eater :P CNCguy's Avatar
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    There seems to be some confusion about the ignition system. When people refer to DIS they are talking about the "Distributorless Ignition System". Since your car has a distributor, it has a pickup, ignition module and coil. Although it could be any of these items causing the no spark condition, I would suspect that the module inside the distributor is going bad assuming you have verified power is being supplied.

    The part with the bare/taped wires is the EGR valve. The other part pictured that isn't on the red car is a high current relay. For many years, Ford used them as starter relays. Why it is on your car, I have no idea.

  11. #10
    Someone bypassed the electronic key-coded ignition, I guess they used that for the starter. They used it to backdate it to an ignition from a much older Camaro.

    As for the thing with the bad wiring, I thought that was the EGR, but I wasn't sure, it's in kind of a strange place. Thanks for confirming what we thought though, could be any of 'em that's gone bad. I think this car is destined for the garage soon if that wouldn't cost too much. We'd have to borrow money to fix it unless we sell the black one, so we might as well just put it in the shop instead of go in blindly.

    Sorry about the confusion, I've always abbreviated distributor as dis, didn't know that was an acronym for a different setup.

    Thanks again for confirmation, and new information. If we get it running I'll slap a thread in "pushrod general" titled "IT LIVES!", I'll be sure to thank you guys for the confirmation as to what we expected was wrong, and the information on some other odd and end stuff.

    Thanks again,

    Ben

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