92 no start - Team Camaro Tech
Troubleshooting Diagnosing problems done here.

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
Mark
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 5
92 no start

I'm a 1st time Camaro owner, and it's been 20 years since I had to work on a GM car (been a Ford truck guy all this time).

First a little background. I've had nothing but Ford trucks and Broncos for 20 years. I've never taken any of them to a shop. Always did the work myself or got friends advice/help. I've pulled transmissions, engines, pumpkins, repaired water pumps, wheel bearings, etc. I am NOT however, much of an electrician. I've only been living in South Jersey for a few months. My resources and contacts are limited, as in I have very little in the way of tools with me.

The car: it's a 92 Camaro, Anniversary Edition Z28, 5.7 TPI, it has a reconstructed title, one of the previous owners had an accident and the car was totally repaired passenger side (not sure when). The dude I bought if from only owned it for a few months, said the gas was killin him (high school senior). His Dad talked him into selling it.
Here's my issue: Drove it home. The next day I left the house (Sunday), drove 4 blocks to the store, shut it off, came back out and it would not start. It would crank strong, but no pop or sputter at all. I had no tools with me, so I called a friend. Before he could get to me I tried it again and it fired right up like nothing was wrong.
5 days later: Drove it back and forth to work all week, 10 miles each way, most of it highway, stopping for gas, coffee, etc...several times. Always started great. Until Friday. Drove the 10 miles from work, highway, to a convenient store. Shut it off, came out, wouldn't start. But this time it sputtered, bad...like it was flooding and I could smell gas. After a couple attempts, it would'nt even pop. I left it there and came back 2 hours later, still would not start, not even a sputter. Went inside the store, came out, tried it one more time before calling a tow truck and the damn thing started right up like nothing was ever wrong. I drove it home, then started it again half hour later and drove to work. Worked 2nd shift, started it and drove home that night no problems.
Saturday morning: Went out to go somewhere. Now then, the car has been sitting in the driveway since I got home from work 10 hours prior. I go to start it. Nothing. It cranks like a champ, just no pop, no sputter. Didn't have time to mess with it yesterday, so there it stayed.
Today: Still no start. So now I give you what little I investigated and symptoms.
1. I can always smell gas after cranking it 4-5 times.
2. I pulled a plug wire and checked for spark while cranking. Yes it has spark.

That's as far as I have gone. I have the Haynes manual but it really hasn't been much help as there is sooooo much that can be causing this problem. I am hoping any of you here may be able to better direct me, or ask me questions that I can go check on and bring back more info. I really like the car and don't want to take it to a shop and toss a pile of money at it. I would like to take care of it myself just so I have the peace of mind that it's done RIGHT.
I was a member at a Ford truck forum and they were a bunch of help there when i needed it, as I'm sure everyone here will be a great help also. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 09:01 AM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 5,277
Re: 92 no start

First off, welcome to team camaro. Second, f**d is a four letter word around here

Sounds like your car is flooding. There is probably a reason for that, but here is something to try next time it won't start. Whether the car is carberated or fuel injected, hold the throttle to the floor and keep it there until it starts and runs. This will open the throttle plates all the way letting plenty of air into the motor to vaporize the fuel. Of course this only works if it's flooded. If it fails to show any signs of life after cranking it for a for 30 seconds or so while holding the throttle down, it probably isn't flooded.

Assuming the motor is flooding, my first guess would be that the fuel pressure regulator has a ruptured diaphram. Find the fuel rail on top of the motor - pressurized fuel comes in one end and on the other end is the pressure regulator ahead of the return line to the tank. The PR will look like a little vacuum servo with a vacuum line attached. Pull off the line and see if it's wet with fuel next time it fails to start. If you see fuel, the diaphram has ruptured and raw fuel is being sucked into the motor.

Pulling the plugs and checking them is also a good way to see how the motor is doing. Look for differences between the plugs. For example, a fuel PR diaphram problem will likely keep a couple of cylinders much wetter than others.

Good luck. It may take us a couple of rounds to orient you to Chevrolets, but I assure you when it comes to working on them, you'll like them much better than pherds

Dave
========================
68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
Mark
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 5
Re: 92 no start

Thanks for the reply D.
Here's some more info: I checked for fuel at the Schrader valve on the fuel rail. Got gas there. (I saw the FPR you mentioned at the back of the rails) Anyway, I floored the skinny pedal and cranked. I could smell fuel again, but no pop.
I got my plug socket out and cranked again for a bit, then quickly took out a plug. Didn't look wet, but it distinctly smelled of fuel. The one I took out was the front drivers side so maybe the heavy soaking didn't make it that far. (Looks like I'll need a good set of ramps to remove some of the plugs from underneath when it comes time).
It's showery here today so further attempts may become hampered, but I appreciate the assist. May go the the parts store later and get a decent electrical tester, some ramps, and whatever else comes to mind.
One of the previous owners had hidden a remote start button under the hood. I found it while snooping around and knew that didn't look like a factory component. Makes it a bit easier during "one man" attempts at troubleshooting.
Thanks!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Bourbonnais, IL
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Re: 92 no start

I would check the fuel pressure.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 12:39 PM
Senior Tech
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Posts: 5,277
Re: 92 no start

Did you pull the vacuum line off the FPR to see if there was fuel in the nipple? Heck of a lot easier than getting to the plugs on these darn things. Also your shrader valve test might be worthwhile if you do it a few minutes after the last attempt to crank. If the regulator is working properly and you don't have a leaky injector etc. the pressure should hold up for several minutes after the fuel rail is pressurized. So if you check your shrader valve say 5 minutes after your last attempt and nothing squirts out, that at least tells you something. Could be a leaky injector or the FPR diaphram. A FP guage is invaluable for this. Perhaps you have an autozone near by that will loan you one.

Dave
========================
68 Coupe, 350 w/ Edelbrock Performer RPM heads, cam, intake, 700R4, Dave's small body HEI
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 28th, 10, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Mark
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 5
Re: 92 no start

I'm beginning to think it's the fuel pump or relay. I was at Advance Auto looking at stuff and just inquired about the FPR. They had only 1 in stock so I got it. Feeling somewhat adventurous, I took the plenum off and exchanged the FPR this evening. Put it all back together and still nothing. This time how ever, after cranking for a bit, I rechecked the shrader valve and got nothing, not even so much as a hiss. Maybe I didn't crank long enough. It was almost dark at that point and was relying on a shoplight to finish up as it was. I do not recall hearing the fuel pump come on either because I distinctly listened for it.
It's supposed to rain the next couple days so I'm screwed. But I have the Haynes manual for testing the fuel pump manually. When it stops raining i will look into that. If it is the pump, I will kick myself for just having filled up Friday night on the way home.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 5th, 10, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
Mark
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 5
Re: 92 no start

Ok 1 week later and I'm back on the road! It was the fuel pump. A guy I work with offered to tow it to his place, he has a lift in his garage and we changed it out Sunday. Thanks for all the advice! I know I will be back with more questions. In fact I posted another already, but not as urgent. This place is full of information, i'll be hanging out here on the regular.
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