89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 09, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Hey guys,

I'm new to this but I figure this is the best thing to do besides being charged an arm and a leg at a dealership.

Ok, I have an 89 camaro automatic with a V6 2.8L engine with about 55,000 miles on it. I go to crank it one day and I get nothing. What I mean is that it will turn over but it just will not crank. I checked the plugs to see if there was any spark and I replaced them, so they are brand new. I also replace the spark plug wires and the car still will not crank, it just makes the same sound. I checked to see if fuel was getting to the engine and that checked out. I charged my battery up and the turn over process was much faster but it still did not crank. After a while, I tried cranking and it would turn over and then I would hear a POP and it would continue to turn over but still no crank. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME ON THIS PROBLEM. I don't know what to do, and I really need to be driving soon!

Thanks
CP
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 6th, 09, 06:00 AM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Need alittle more history.
You bought this car recently and at one point, it ran good?
Did this problem come on gradually or overnight?
Were the spark plugs wet with fuel?
Use a timing light to see if it flashs during cranking - good spark.
Is the spark at the right time - look at the timing marks while cranking?

As a learning suggestion, you might buy a Haynes manual for this model of car and read up. Better than nothing.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 7th, 09, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

I bought the car about two years ago and haven't had any problems like this. After the first year I had to replace the battery, and every since then the car has worked perfect. I was driving one day and the next day I was not. When we replaced the spark plugs they were dry, other than that everything else checked out ok, it just will not crank. I got it to crank maybe a day or two after it first happened, but it would not stay on, so I figured I just needed gas. Well, I put gas in and it won't crank up.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 09, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

I got some help from a friend, and he gave me a couple of ideas. He told me to take some starting fluid and see if that would get it to crank, but they didn't work. Then I replaced the Ignition Module, and the rotor button, and it still didn't start. When I was replacing the module and button I notice corrosion inside the dist. cap. Could this cause it not to start? Also, does anyone know the firing order for my spark plug wires??
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 09, 11:52 AM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Firing order is usually cast on the intake manifold
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 09, 08:46 PM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Dist cap corrosion could be sufficient enough to prevent firing.
If starter fluid sprayed into engine and no start, there is no spark.
Plugs are dry while cranking - no fuel? You should be able to hear the fuel pump hum for about 2-3 seconds with key turned to IGN. No pump, no fuel. Could be fuel pump relay.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 09, 10:46 AM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Everett is right about the fuel pump running 2-3 seconds. However I experimented with the engine controls from that generation and found that the 2-3 second running is not necessarily repeatable. It's like the ECM remembers it primed the pump within the last few seconds and won't run again. So if you toggle the key on and off repeatedly, you probably will only hear the pump run the first time.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 13th, 09, 03:01 PM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Does the check engine light turn on when you first turn the key on,this is an indicator that the ecm is being powered up, if not check all of the fuses, with a test light, both sides of the fuses, also some gm vehicles of that vintage had the fuel pump wired thru the oil pressure sending unit so if you lost oil pressure the fuel pump would shut off. You must verify 12 volts at the fuel pump when turning the engine over, with a digital meter, a test light is not good enough for this as they can light with only 6 volts.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 09, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

So, I replaced the dist. cap and still no cranking....The fuel pump runs every time I try to crank it, and my friend checked the shredder valve and fuel sprayed out of it....It still isn't starting and I don't know what else to do. I have two other parts that a friend told me to buy if the cap wasn't the problem and they were the pick-up coil and the ignition coil...could these solve my problem? Please someone help, this is really starting to cause many troubles!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 09, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

Could it be a timing belt problem? I am so clueless I don't know what to do
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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 09, 12:27 PM
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

This really sounds like an 88 Iroc that I had. I could crank it all day but no start up...tested all the fuses on the fuse panel both sides with key on and found one was burnt (ECM fuse?? i think) Put a new fuse in and it fired up second crank. One of the fuses in the panel will kill all your spark....cant remember for sure what it was like i said...i think it was ECM.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old May 9th, 09, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

I have done everything that I can possibly do, all the suggestions I have checked and everything is checking out...what about my starter could that be the problem...like I said it will turn over but it will not crank
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old May 10th, 09, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

could it be the fuel pressure being to low....what would cause it to get low? How much would do you think labor would cost me to get the fuel pump replaced?
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old May 11th, 09, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 89 Camaro Starting Problems...Please Help I don't have a clue

how much pressure do I need for the car to start?
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old May 11th, 09, 02:31 PM
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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.

Thanks,

Dave
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