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low end torque went away... 1981 GL


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5 replies to this topic

#1 zyewdall

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:55 PM

My 1981 GL wagon is suddenly displaying a lack of low end power.  It's completely stock, except for an MSD ignition.  New plugs and wires last year.  It runs decently, though always was rough till it warmed up. 240k on it, so everything's pretty old...   The last two weeks we've been driving it a lot more because of the floods -- it handles the mud and bad roads a lot better than the prius :)   It just started having issues and running out of power if you try to accelerate under 2000rpm.  Above 2000 it still seems okay, but under, it seems to drop off very suddenly.  There's one hill on a jeep trail that it used to happily crawl up in 1st low, or zoom up in 1st high if you gave it more gas... now you have to keep the rpms up at 2500rpm or more in 1st low to even get up it, and no chance of getting up in 1st hi.  Also, an odd smell when it bogs down... kind of in between fuel and something getting too hot.  Ideas on what to check?

 

Another possible symptom is a lot of backfiring in the exhaust when going downhill under engine braking.  It always used to do this some, but it seems like more now.  Though not as bad as my '76 ford courier pickup... that backfired so bad in the exhaust that it split the muffler apart.

 

And, I went through a big stream/puddle about a foot or a little more deep, and it wasn't happy.... wasn't water in the disty which is what I suspected, but the idle got really rough and it really lacked power for a minute or two after that.  But... I went through the same puddle three more times, and it was okay those times....

 

Thanks

 

Zeke



#2 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:00 PM

I think  you may have a short showing up in one of your wires. Or possibly a bad connection somewhere.

The excessive moisture may be causing a short somewhere.

Also, check to make sure your exhaust isn't clogged and your air filter is clear.

Check you spark plugs after a short run time (before it warms up) to see if you have a cylinder misfiring.

Also, a quick shot of wd-40 in the disty and the wiping it out with a low lint paper towel/cloth may help relieve some of the issues.

Also double check all of your spark plug wires for solid connection and their respective wire connects on the inside of the boot.

 

Twitch



#3 zyewdall

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Posted 29 September 2013 - 09:51 AM

Good ideas.  It definitely sounds like it's misfiring when warming up and only running on all four cylinders later. I have a friend in town who also has an '81 GL, and his has had a lot of problems with shorts in the wiring :(



#4 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 01:26 AM

Another note, Di-Electric grease is amazing.

Put it on every connection.

 

Twitch



#5 coxy

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

Doesn't have a Cat does it as the symptoms are similar when they begin to block up or collapse inside.Most likely an Electrical fault but remember the old but true adage most Carburettor problems are in fact Ignition.

I concur with not driving a Prius when floods are around the Voltages involved and Amps would not be a pretty result when subjected to excessive Water, Your Subaru will not try to Electrocute you unlike the Prius.



#6 Twitch de la Brat

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 05:44 PM

Look into your MSD ignition. It may be causing the issues, as I know MSD's don't like water. At all.

Twitch




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