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89 SSE sputtering on acceleration
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Author:  yogidad [ Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:02 pm ]
Post subject:  89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

Hi everyone. So we did the engine rebuild..sorted out some heater pipe issues to the throttle body, actually bypassed that feature as my pipes were bad and I couldn't find a source to get new ones. Not sure if it has any tie in with my current symptom.
Car starts right up, idles ok, but once I step on the gas pedal, it starts to sputter and has no power. Bucks even.
No codes were triggered initially...So we did as the FSM suggested, unplugged the TPS to see if the ECM/ADLD (sp) ? systems were working, it threw a 22 code , which is for the TPS, but also a code 26, for some part of the ECM unit that has 4 parts? So we just replaced the ECM, TPS, coil pack and ICM..most of which I had a LTW on thru autozone so didn't cost me anything. Still no change.
Oh yes, we had previously replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter and sending unit, as we were having a fuel gauge issue, Also new from the engine rebuild 300 miles ago are the plugs, wires, cam sensor, cranksensor, and fuel injectors. Any ideas?

Author:  MKMike [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

You didn't install Bosch plugs did you?
These seldom work well in the Bonneville engines.

First up, Id double-check the order of the ignition wires.
It happens all the time that a wire gets swapped with another--even pros make this mistake once in a while.
https://www.justanswer.com/pontiac/31er ... ntiac.html

Am I correct in assuming that you've checked the TPS for a very smooth voltage change as the throttle is opened?
Testing details
http://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/3.8L/ ... n-sensor-1
The TPS is an adjustable sensor on the 89, so if it has been removed, it needs to be adjusted, as follows:
http://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/3.8L/ ... n-sensor-4

You can unplug the MAF sensor and see if that improves the acceleration issue.
You can also test the MAF
http://easyautodiagnostics.com/gm/3.8L/ ... f-sensor-1

You can try cleaning the MAF sensor with MAF sensor spray cleaner.
Other cleaners leave dirt collecting residues which will cause a recurrence in a short while.
The computer uses the MAF sensor to determine how much load the engine is under.

Author:  yogidad [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

Hi thanks for your reply. Some other factual tidbits.. The sputtering would occur just about at 2000rpm.. It now throws a code 22.. The TPS.. Which we just replaced today.. And it didn't change the sputtering.. My mechanic friend will return tomorrow and adjust and /or check the wiring... The spark plug wires, if out of sync, wouldn't that give me a poor idle also? She starts and is idling pretty good...

Author:  MKMike [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

yogidad wrote:
It now throws a code 22.. The TPS.. Which we just replaced today.. And it didn't change the sputtering.. My mechanic friend will return tomorrow and adjust and /or check the wiring... The spark plug wires, if out of sync, wouldn't that give me a poor idle also? She starts and is idling pretty good...

A code 22 will appear if the engine is run while the TPS is disconnected.
If the code was cleared after you ran it that way, then the TPS adjustment or wiring are to blame.
Yes, wires should affect idle, if mixed up but it only takes 30 seconds to double check.
In addition to what I've listed earlier (TPS, MAF, bad plug), other suspects include clogged exhaust (easily checked with simple vacuum gauge).

With the engine warmed up at idle, there should be a steady reading of about 21 inches of vacuum.
Hold the engine RPM at 2000 and watch the gauge. The pressure should momentarily drop but then go back to being very close to what it was at idle.
If the pressure slowly drops, then you have a restriction in the exhaust system.
This would either be damage to the exhaust system or a clogged catalytic converter.

Author:  96 SSEi [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

sounds like a plugged cat - unbolt the cat to downpipe ( letting exhaust out)and bypass the cat - if it runs better, its the cat - replace or punch it out:break up the 'biscuits' so you get air flow:
dont drive, you will overheat and kill the engine.

Author:  yogidad [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

Hi.. The catalytic converter is maybe 15 months old. Maybe 1200 miles on it..? Had to replace it to pass my smog test here in ultra strict California last year.

Author:  96 SSEi [ Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

yeah I use the same one here - test it anyway - how is flow at tailpipe?

Author:  yogidad [ Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

The new mechanic working on it seems to think it is electrical in nature.. He's had the car going on 4 days and so far nothing has been found definitively...

Author:  yogidad [ Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

No new codes. It starts right up, idles ok, if cold stumbles and misses once step hard on throttle. If early can be ok. Once warms up still can only give it an easy poke with the right foot.. Otherwise misfires again... Gas is clean.. New rebuilt Bosch fuel injectors.. New fuel filter.. New sending unit and fuel pump..

Author:  yogidad [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

Still dealing with this problem. Brought it back to an electrical auto specialist, at least that's what his shop sign says. Lol..he seems lost too..had the car a week. Talking about starting with replacing the battery and alternator? I explained that the battery has like 200 miles on it. The alternator was rebuilt upping the stock 105 amps to 140 or thereabouts by a specialty shop about 2 years ago. I would think he could test that kind of thing and, really, will it have any bearing on the car running poorly when cold, but once warms up it's better.? Plus it starts right up and idles ok.
I had to remind him what all I have replaced since rebuilding the engine a few months ago and after this problem surfaced. : ICM, coil packs, TBS, fuel filter, sender and pump! HELP...lets wake up our 1989 SSE genius gentlemen on this fine forum and figure this one out..I've come too far to give up yet! Thanks..

Author:  J Wikoff [ Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 89 SSE sputtering on acceleration

Spritz water around the plug wires at idle in a dark place and look for arching. I once had a plug wire with very thin insulation shorting out.

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