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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

I'm a new user to this forum, and was recommended by a friend, here's my
story.

I was given a 1996 V6 Camaro by my in-laws, it has 75,000 miles on it. When I was given it I was told that they believed that the only thing wrong with it was the Catalytic converter. It ran incredibly rough, it would jerk if you accelerated more then a hair, and anything above about 45 miles an hour got very rough and almost violent. Stalls, sunned RPM boosts, etc etc.

Since then, this is all the things I have done:


  • Replaced spark plugs (Rusty, very burnt out)
  • Fuel filter
  • Added K&N air filter (old one had leaves in it, completely clogged)
  • New Cat Convertor
  • New Oxygen sensors
  • New spark plug wires
  • Carb cleaner poured into tank

After all this was done, it ran INSANELY better then before, I could peel out anytime I wanted, would almost knock you back in your seat when floored, even at high speeds. (Very impressed with the power in that lil’ guy!) The unly problem is once it warmed up. All this was done in the summer months, so after about 20 minutes of driving, it would very slowly start to jerk. At stop signs I can feel it lag, then start to lurch forward, while the RPM’s go from 800 and spike to 1300. I let it sit until now when I had some money to take it to a dealer.

Dealer tells me they can find nothing wrong except that only one Spark plug has a little steel (or aluminum, I have no idea which) sleeve that the spark plug goes in, and that the were “positive” that it had them on all six out of the factory. They gave me some random ones they had “laying around,” charged me nothing if I put them in.

So, yesterday I started to do it, only to find that there is absolutely no way they would work. The only other odd thing was that the plugs were VERY dark and still had rust specks on them. Keep in mind that these plugs have less then 100 miles on them. I test drove it last night, and although it did take quite a bit longer in this freezing weather, it still started doing the same thing after about 40 minutes.

I’m at my wits end, anything and everything will help! I’m only remotely mechanically inclined, just enough to get me in trouble, and not enough to get me out of it.

The only other thing is that I also had to replace the spark plug wires twice, I’m assuming the heat was arcing the first set, so I put the cheap plastic over wrap on the second. It’ll get so hot that the over wrap will actually melt, and the spark plug wires will damn near (if not) burn a finger to the touch. The wires are ran exactly how Chilton’s has them btw.

Thank you again for all the help (I hope!) and sorry for the wall of text!


Skull
 

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Regarding the new spark plug wires-the 'sleeves' they were talking about-were they the ends that go on the spark plug wires? If the wires are the custom made kind they will have them but if they are the kind that you cut to length, you have to put these ends on when you install the wires. These ends go on the plug end of the wire although some do have ends that go to the distributor.
Have you had a scan done to get any fault codes? Most parts stores will do a scan for stored codes for free.
You might want to change the fuel filter again in case of trash in the tank.
Another thing is to check the fuel pressure when it warms up. It could be a fuel pressure regulator going bad. Hard starting when the car is warm is one problem caused by a faulty fuel pressure regulator.
 

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im pretty sure the sleeves they are talking about are the spark plug boot heat shields

go back and take a look for any of the wires near or very close to the exhaust manifold.. it sounds like the boots are too close to the exhaust and they are getting melted

what kind of wires are you using?
 

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with the plug wires, i had the same problem with my sons 94 v6...i took some 3/8 fuel line and slit it and ran the plug wires inside it........i only had that problem on the passenger side by the EGR valve......since i did that he's had no problems. it doesn't take 20 minutes for that car to warm up.......i would change the fuel filter.........it could be plugged and if it is the car would slowly slow down..........the other thing is the ignition module under the coils........sometimes when they get hot they break down which can cause what you're describing. those v6's run pretty good when everything is working :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies!

I asked the local dealer if anything came up on the scanner and he said no, although i don't necessarily trust them.

From everything I can tell, it is also on the passenger side that I'm getting the biggest problems, (by the EGR valve is where it's melting). Is it spoused to get that hot? I'll try another fuel filter, and haven't looked at the ignition module, I'll have to do some research to see what that is.

Thanx again!
 

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it starts but barely moves

i have a 2000 v6 camaro, that when you put it into gear an hit the gas it barely moves, the engine rpms go up an it seems to let you put into gear easy. it is a manual trans an as of about 3 days ago ran fine. i checked all the fluids an they are good but now i am at a lost. it moves when you put into gear but not enough to go any where but it does move just very very slow. i know you guys can help you have done it before
 

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Re: it starts but barely moves

i have a 2000 v6 camaro, that when you put it into gear an hit the gas it barely moves, the engine rpms go up an it seems to let you put into gear easy. it is a manual trans an as of about 3 days ago ran fine. i checked all the fluids an they are good but now i am at a lost. it moves when you put into gear but not enough to go any where but it does move just very very slow. i know you guys can help you have done it before
Sounds to me like it is time for a new clutch. I have never worked on one that new but I don't think there is any adjustment to it, all hydraulic. I may be wrong though, the Dodge dealer told my Dad there was no adjuster on his 3/4 ton Dodge. One day I climbed in it and just about rammed through the damn door. Crawled under there to take a look, right where it was supposed to be was an adjuster!
 

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Thanks for the replies!

I asked the local dealer if anything came up on the scanner and he said no, although i don't necessarily trust them.

From everything I can tell, it is also on the passenger side that I'm getting the biggest problems, (by the EGR valve is where it's melting). Is it spoused to get that hot? I'll try another fuel filter, and haven't looked at the ignition module, I'll have to do some research to see what that is.

Thanx again!
Sometimes problems don't show up on the scanner for some reason. They do make a heat wrap cloth that you could wrap the wire in. If the parts house doesn't have it, check with your local welding supply store for fireproof welding blanket. You can cut the stuff with a sharp knife pretty easy and it won't burn...unless it gets soaked in oil! I learned this last part at work!
 

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These 3.8 are bad about coil packs and modules makeing them missfire
And easily picked up with a bi-directional Tech 2 with a roadtest/brake torque while viewing current misfire data.
Random misfires will show up in History data if the event lasts long enough to trigger a Type A code p03xx.
Randoms show up on the Tech 2 while they occur..should be an easy find for a trained tech imho.
 

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Thanks for the replies!

I asked the local dealer if anything came up on the scanner and he said no, although i don't necessarily trust them.

From everything I can tell, it is also on the passenger side that I'm getting the biggest problems, (by the EGR valve is where it's melting). Is it spoused to get that hot? I'll try another fuel filter, and haven't looked at the ignition module, I'll have to do some research to see what that is.

Thanx again!
try the fuel filter and put the fuel line on the plug wires and you'll probably be good to go.......if those wires have been on for a couple of days, they could be burnt already......i went through 3 sets in a week and a half before i figured out what to do......it's been over a year since i did that and they are still fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
With the help of a buddy I have also realized that the only time it lurches is when it is in gear, the engine (although it still doesn't sound quite right) runs much smoother in neutral, with no burps at all, this mean anything else? I'll be picking up the new fuel filter and such tomorrow.

Is there an easy way to test the ignition module? A new one is a couple hundred dollars locally, and want to be sure it's bad first.
 

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change the other stuff forst.....do the module as a last resort. don't forget to recheck those plug wires.....at idle there is no load on the motor so it will mask some of the problems that you will see under a load.
 

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Re: it starts but barely moves

i have a 2000 v6 camaro, that when you put it into gear an hit the gas it barely moves, the engine rpms go up an it seems to let you put into gear easy. it is a manual trans an as of about 3 days ago ran fine. i checked all the fluids an they are good but now i am at a lost. it moves when you put into gear but not enough to go any where but it does move just very very slow. i know you guys can help you have done it before
Sounds to me like it is time for a new clutch. I have never worked on one that new but I don't think there is any adjustment to it, all hydraulic. I may be wrong though, the Dodge dealer told my Dad there was no adjuster on his 3/4 ton Dodge. One day I climbed in it and just about rammed through the damn door. Crawled under there to take a look, right where it was supposed to be was an adjuster!
IIRC there is an adjustment, but i dont remember how to do it/where it is.

that problem doesnt sound like a clutch to me, usually a clutch just desnt work fine one day then all of a sudden slip so bad the car wont even move.. sounds more like a hydraulic issue personally.

i would try to bleed the system.. but since the clutch has already slipped, you are going to have to replace it.. i would look into getting a new clutch kit with a new slave cylinder
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick update, took it into the Transmission shop for a free scan, mechanic there found that it did indeed have a bad ignition coil. Running like a dream now. Thanx a million for all your help, I'm sure I'll be back asking for more in the future:)
 

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shame that on all these new cars you need a computer to hook up to tell you whats wrong.........on the flip side if you have access to one, it helps with the diagnostics....
 

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shame that on all these new cars you need a computer to hook up to tell you whats wrong.

With up to 24 modules all yakking together at the same time..being it LAN,uart,class 2..the scan tool does not tell you what is wrong.It only allows you to communicate with the modules and read what pi$$ed them off enough to flag a dtc and illuminate the mil alerting the driver.
I say this only..because i hear some auto suppliers offer free dtc reads with a print out and then the owner buys a part that he/she does not require.
For example..Lets say your car has an egr code stored..you rush right in and buy an egr valve and 200 miles down the road,a seasoned tech tells you your catalytic converter is restricted.The pcm will open the egr on decel and watch the map for change.With a plugged cat..depending on what test is running at the time..you could flag an egr fail/map sensor or catalist or pre and post 02 sensors.
If your application is not speed density..I would expect to also see a mass air flow code stored.
Scan tools are only as good as the person reading them.
 

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This is Skull's buddy, just wanted to say thanks, I knew the crew here would help figure it out! Still the best group of guys I have been a part of for a hobby, work or anything else online.

Adam
 
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