Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denver, CO (SE)
Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue
I don't know about fuel pressure stuff.
However, it looks to me like there is still uncertainty about whether or not you're getting an ignition spark. As a general rule, if the engine sputters and tries, then dies, it's a carb/fuel problem; if it just dies and flatlines, it's usually ignition.
Let's find out if you have a spark or not. Try this:
Ignition Off. (doublecheck).
There's a heavily insulated wire (as thick as your spark plug wires) running from your spark coil/ignition coil to the __center__ of the distributor, where all those spark plug wires go to the spark plugs. Pull this wire out of the __center__ of the distributor (pull it out gently by the "boot" at the end, not by tugging on the wire; you can pretty easily break these wires).
Now, if you look in the end with a flashlight, you'll be able to see the shiny metal end of the wire. The other end should still be in the coil.
Now take anything electrically conductive and stick it into the end of this wire. It's well insulated; we need to help the spark to out of the end of the "boot". A paperclip works great! Bend it so it fits all the way up the boot and doesn't fall out, and is long enough so it will conduct the spark electricity a bit below the insulation boot.
Doesn't have to be clever. A graphite writing pencil (a normal ol' pencil) will usually work, it's very conductive, but the color of the spark flashes will be the color of carbon arcs, very very bright. I've used, oh, screwdrivers, a popsicle stick that I carefully got wet first (hey, lots of things are conductive to this much electrical pressure), and one time the tinfoil wrapper from some chewing gum. Anything that will reach into the boot insulation and give the spark a way out. It only has to work for a couple of seconds.
Now put that cable&end within a quarter inch of the engine block or metal frame. Do not put it on the carb, as a spark is going to jump, and you don't need gasoline fumes being ignited! (If your carb is open to the world, this would be a good time to lay a towel over it). If it's still hard to get it to hold still this close, just use some ducttape. Again, get it within one quarter inch or so; that is not a precise, it's a guideline, and it only has to work for a couple seconds.
Now have a buddy, or someone off the street, come in, and have them try to start the car for only few seconds, then turn the ignition all the way off, while you are watching that quarter-inch-gap.
IF you have a good ignition system, you will see a bright bluish and white spark jumping from the paperclip (or whatever) to the engine block many times, and you'll hear a rapid "ZAPZAPZAPZAPZAP!" sound that is unmistakeable.
If you have a weak ignition, you will see a reddish spark that can barely make the jump. Something is wrong and needs fixing in your ignition.
If you see no spark, you have a broken ignition, or your ignition is just not getting power. Most obvious thing here is your fuse box. Go through your fuses one by one. This car has a bit of age and fuses can get oxidation on their contacts, and every now and then it can be a good idea to pull the fuse and reinsert it, which tends to scrape the crud off.
Give this spark test a try and tell us what happens, will you? Check over your fuses in any event, and let us know. It'll help us diagnose what's up.