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Falls on its face... Dealer stumped


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51 replies to this topic

#1 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 01:59 PM

Hello Suby Lovers...
I'm trying to love mine, a 88 MPFI turbo GL wagon. Fell in love with the car right away, started fixin it up... drove to Col. [from AZ] and broke a belt...[idler pully froze] fixed it, [thanks to your forum]... it ran good for a couple days, except once it lost power over 1500 rpm's but returned to normal after a 5 min stop and inspection. Left for home the next day and 15 miles out of town it lost power over 1500 rpm's again... stopped and rested at the next town, and a few hours later it started and accelerated smoothly to 65mph only to crap out after afew highway miles, to only 1200 to 1500 rpm and i limped back 40 some miles that way. The dealer here says he cant tell whats wrong... no erroe codes fuel pressures ok [says he couldnt check volume]... he said he'd go on lookingat $70/hour but I'm away from home... broke and staying with friends... sooo.. I'm gona fix it. I changed a slow fuel filter and got 2000 rpms [before crap out] disconnected the catalytic converter-tail pipe-muffler [thought it might be pluged] and got 2500 rpms before it falls on its face and stops pulling. I'm sure the cam timing belts are right and that wouldn't be an intermitten problem any way. Anyone ever heard of a problem like this... any educated guesses? I'm at a loss.
Boo
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#2 spanky_pete

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:00 PM

Sounds a lot like what my turbowagon did when the turbo started going bad on it.

#3 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:14 PM

Oh Yea... I didn't mention that the exhaust pipe coming out of the turbo looked cherry red [it was night]
I was thinkin turbo problem too... but the dealer said no, it would still run and get up to speed anyway, just not as fast... i was also thinkin fuel volume was poor and it was just getin enough fuel to the point where it craps out.

#4 All_talk

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:31 PM

When its doing it does it fall off in all gears from a stop? If its fuel supply it will most likely get worse with higher speed/gear. 1500 to 2500 is the normal range boost comes on, could be a turbo or boost leak problem, but I'm not sure how it would be intermittent. Any correlation with engine/coolent temp?

Gary

BTW, a bit of red glow at the turbo or up/down pipe is normal after some high load driving.

#5 KStretch55

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:37 PM

I'd say check the turbo carefully for bearing sideplay and any resistance to rotation. I disagree with your dealer. If the impeller isn't turning freely at the rpm it should be your airflow through the intake duct will be inhibited at least to some degree. Less air = less power, and I'm sure it would be most noticeable at higher rpm and under load, just as you described. I believe it's normal for the hot side of the turbo to get cherry red, especially under load. You are retaining an enormous amount of heat in the turbine section by redirecting the flow of exhaust gases to turn the impeller.

#6 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:42 PM

It Pulls fine... in all gear from the start... till the point where it falls on its face... even up hill it pulls and just starts missing at a certin rpm [2000 since i changed the fuel filter] That makes me think its getting a low volume of fuel... enough fuel and pressure at low rpm... but when the suply cant keep up with the rpm's the pressure drops and it vertuily runs out of fuel and pressure... which would make it run hot [lean] too. Does that make sence too. By the way, the turbo light comes on once in a while... does that mean its working?
Boo

#7 critical_max

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 02:55 PM

When you say the turbo light comes on "once in a while" that makes me think there is a problem with the turbo.

I can get the turbo light to come on almost any time I hit the gas, if I lay into it. Normal driving under 35 doesn't usually get into the turbo, but when I'm accelerating onto the highway and keeping revs above 3000 I'll see the light in every gear.

How many miles on the car/engine/turbo?

#8 Cougar

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:10 PM

I think you are on the right track Boo. I would try replacing the pump. It's a fairly common failure item.

#9 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 03:52 PM

Critical Mass... I cant get 3000 rpms... but, by once in a while, i mean like usual... when i get on it, pulling in a higher gear but below 2000rpm, as i cant get it to rev. I did that just to see if the turbo light still came on... hoping that ment it was still working... and it does. I hate to start just replacing things to see what happens... especialy the turbo unit [$$$] if it could run with it out to get me home i could live with that for awhile. Anyone out there have there turbo go out... whats it like?
Thanks...
Boo
PS it has 210.000 miles on it. been well taken care of, and i'e been replacing the wornout stuff to get it right... like hoses, drive axles, belts, water pump... but the engine seems good, dont burn oil or smoke, and everything worked... ran like a dream to Colorado... till the belt broke... then this.

#10 Do It Sidewayz

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:04 PM

you mention that you removed the cat converter....did you remove the downpipe then drive without that.

if you say that the exhaust right after the Turbo is glowing red, then i believe you have a plugged downpipe cat.

#11 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:07 PM

Sounds a lot like what my turbowagon did when the turbo started going bad on it.


Hey Spanky... thanks for the input... Did yours still run with the turbo out... whats the story with that.
Boo

#12 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:15 PM

Dear Do It...
Thanks... no i didnt drive it that way, I put it on ramps an just droped the pipe to see if that would help by removing a restriction... i did get 500 more RPMs but it didnt fix the problem. I didnt think to check the down pipe... Umm gotta do that.
Boo

#13 spanky_pete

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 04:25 PM

Hey Spanky... thanks for the input... Did yours still run with the turbo out... whats the story with that.
Boo


Yup, it ran after it went out, but it had no power above 2k rpm. I could still get it up to speed on the freeway, but it needed a downslope and a lot of room to get there. :lol:

It actually extended the life of my 3AT that way. Once I installed a fresh new turbo on it, the tranny began the slip of doom.
Now I have a nice new turbo, an AWD xt6 tranny and a bum motor. :-\

#14 ThreeEyedBandit

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:04 PM

I had the same problem on my RX and it turned out to be the plenum going to the intake was loose and when it would almost create boost it would blow off and vent all sorts of 'metered' air into the engine bay.


Matt

#15 KStretch55

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 05:07 PM

Hmmm, Bandit may have something there!!

#16 subyrally

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 07:09 PM

sounds like what happened to my rx when the plenum came loose, but then i also blew a piston ring. i think the ring went later though. make sure all the connections are good. also, when it crapps out, does it sound lie a blow off valve or a whooshing sound? if so, its most likely a intake component after the turbo.

#17 Roundeye

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 08:28 PM

Did the dealer verify MAF and TPS working?

You should hook up a manifold pressure gage (vac/boost) and a fuel press. gage and go drive it while watching the gages. That will tell you where to look.

#18 Boo

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 11:26 PM

Thanks everyone for the input... I've got some things to check tomorrow... the dealer didn't give me a detailed report but said he checked the error codes and he checked the fuel presure... but at idle or with the key on... he never drove it. I'll get back after some more tests but i dont have any gauges... just a box of wrenches and sockets.

#19 ausubaru92

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Posted 02 June 2005 - 01:45 AM

I second the downpipe cat

when my cat blocked, i couldnt rev over 2K and it got worse the hotter the engine got

Your blocked cat was prob caused by the broken belt -> Fuel was getting pumped in the cylinder but not being burnt -> unburnt fuel in cat melted it.

Mine melted when my carb was running too rich

#20 Boo

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 02:05 AM

I think I see said the blind man... is that large round thing on the down pipe off the turbo... with the heat sheilds around it... also a catalytic converter... as well as the one that unbolts with the tail pipe. I just unbolted the tail pipe in front of that cat and cleaned it out ... I didn't take off the down pipe... The Haynes manual doesn't identify that as anything but i see its only on the turbo models.... is that a second cat... just off the turbo and on the down pipe?

Lookin to see
Boo
PS thanks Cougar... Sideways... Bandit and the rest of you i cant remember now for your input...

#21 calebz

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 03:10 AM

is that a second cat... just off the turbo and on the down pipe?


Thats actually the first cat;)


My first vote is for a timing belt being a tooth off, but you said you have already looked that that. My second vote is for the distributor being a tooth off. I recently had my motor apart. Wasn't paying enough attention when I put the dizzy back in. idled fine, started right up.. but when I got to ~2500 rpm, it coughed and sputtered something fierce..

By 4k it wouldn't even run.

and that was just running in the garage. Under load it was much worse.

Needless to say I felt like a dumb ass when I finally got around to pulling the disty and restabbing it.

#22 Boo

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 08:24 AM

Thanks Calebz and Aussi downunder too... Today I'll get to the second... ahhh i mean first cat on the down pipe... i bet thats it, the problem. Hey Aussi howed you fix yours... its gonna be hard to pound a stake through it because of the bends in the pipe. well , thats next.
Boo
PS hope you get your Drive axle knocking figured out Aussi

#23 rubuild

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 01:21 PM

Hello Suby Lovers...
I'm trying to love mine, a 88 MPFI turbo GL wagon. Fell in love with the car right away, started fixin it up... drove to Col. [from AZ] and broke a belt...[idler pully froze] fixed it, [thanks to your forum]... it ran good for a couple days, except once it lost power over 1500 rpm's but returned to normal after a 5 min stop and inspection. Left for home the next day and 15 miles out of town it lost power over 1500 rpm's again... stopped and rested at the next town, and a few hours later it started and accelerated smoothly to 65mph only to crap out after afew highway miles, to only 1200 to 1500 rpm and i limped back 40 some miles that way. The dealer here says he cant tell whats wrong... no erroe codes fuel pressures ok [says he couldnt check volume]... he said he'd go on lookingat $70/hour but I'm away from home... broke and staying with friends... sooo.. I'm gona fix it. I changed a slow fuel filter and got 2000 rpms [before crap out] disconnected the catalytic converter-tail pipe-muffler [thought it might be pluged] and got 2500 rpms before it falls on its face and stops pulling. I'm sure the cam timing belts are right and that wouldn't be an intermitten problem any way. Anyone ever heard of a problem like this... any educated guesses? I'm at a loss.
Boo
Stuck in Colorado

Welcome to Colorado,
We have come upon this problem a few times, and it has been just after someone bought the car and now that I think of it, all were a turbo. Check the nylon mesh screen in the inlet side of the fuel pump. Unfortunately you will probably find some rust. If so, you can get to the fuel pump sending unit through the floor of the luggage compartment, pull it out and look inside. Someone may have figured it out and replaced the tank but not the screen. I've also fish out other items in tanks, blocking the pickup tube. And while your checking tank related problems, make sure you have the correct gas cap. After you get it going, take five, throw out a line and hope the fish don't bother ya.
Kerry
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#24 Boo

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 03:24 PM

Welcome to Colorado,
We have come upon this problem a few times, and it has been just after someone bought the car and now that I think of it, all were a turbo. Check the nylon mesh screen in the inlet side of the fuel pump. Unfortunately you will probably find some rust. If so, you can get to the fuel pump sending unit through the floor of the luggage compartment, pull it out and look inside. Someone may have figured it out and replaced the tank but not the screen. I've also fish out other items in tanks, blocking the pickup tube. And while your checking tank related problems, make sure you have the correct gas cap. After you get it going, take five, throw out a line and hope the fish don't bother ya.
Kerry
Roo-builders

Ok... I think your on to something.... I just took the downpipe off... thats not it... still cuts outjust above 2k with no pipe... the turbo spins freely with no excrsive play... I am now putting a new fuel pump on [junk yard] ... but that won't fix it if its pluged in the tank... is there anyway i can check that in my wagon [gl] can i blow on the line or is access behind the back seat, through the floor, above the tank.
This happened to me once be fore... in a chevy van... I replaced everything fuel from the front back and it was the last thing... a plugged screen in the tank... which i tore off and threw away... it fixed that problem.
Thanks back to work
Boo
PS... just went out and blew on the gas line to the tank [fuel pump off] and it seems real clear... i can hear it bubblingin the tank and when i stop gas comes spurtin out... think ITs clear .. now I'll make sure the pump intake is clear.

#25 Boo

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 08:31 PM

Hey Ya'll

Thanks for all the good ideas... the things i could check so far... nothin helps... turbo spins no side play.... not that... downpipe cat... droped the pipe, ran it... not that... fuel flowin freely... through new fuel pump... not that...ummm I'm back to the belts bein off again... I'll check that tomorrow...
Could i have damaged the electronics by runnig a wire from the battery to the +coil lead and turning it over, trying to get it to start?... I tryed to hot wire it when the belt went out and it wouldn't start so i put a hot wire to the coil to be sure it was gettin spark.
Well more tomorrow
Boo
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