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Running issues with the hatch, blinking light in dash??????


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10 replies to this topic

#1 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:33 AM

So I'm gonna have to drive moms 88 hatch while the Brat is down for some work in the coming weeks, no biggie except I still have this issue with it running, the car has sat for the better part of the year because of; it's time to fix it.

The car runs great (EA81, carbed, Auto) 124k, doesn't even have the ToD yet, but sometimes (pretty often actually) the car will just be going along and start jumping, almost asif it's running out of fuel or getting no spark, the problem mystified me when I owned the car, but I may have a lead on the issue.

I noticed tonight when the car is idling that it would start to miss like every 20 seconds or so, I also noticed that there is a red led that is somewhere under the dash (right of fuse box) that can be seen under the steering column, and whenever the light would blink off the car would do the missing thing. For about the first half hour I drove it the car ran fine (it doesn't want to shift into 3rd until 5k or 40mph too) but after that it started this jumping thing again, it seems to do it at almost any speed, but I have kept an eye on the light and the problem seems to be related to it, when it goes out the car runs like crap.

It's rather wet here so I haven't had a chance to pull off the dash panel to check it out yet, but does anyone know what the light goes to and if it would be possible for it to be related to or be the cause of the problem?

Any help would be great, I've got to start driving this thing on a regular basis and I can't deal with it doing that, it's pretty unsafe to be driven as is.

Thanks

#2 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:42 AM

Oh, I forgot to mention, while the car does have a CEL it is NOT on. I also looked under the dash on my wagon (trim was already off) and don't see anything that looks like it would be the cause of the light, whats up?

#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:31 AM

You clearly have the feedback carb. I would guess I'm probably the only one on this board that has really delt with them in any depth.

1. Most important - don't pay any attention to anyone that posts info relating to the fuel injection vehicles (SPFI, MPFI, etc). It does not apply.

2. The light you see is the ECU. It's the 02 monitor lamp, and my gut instinct says you need a new oxygen sensor. I had one go out on my EA81 feedback, and unlike the fuel injection systems, the computer can't compensate, and in my case the engine would sputter and die. You can try disconnecting the 02 sensor. The mileage will suck, but the ECU will run without it connected, but wont run with a bad one connected. Weird, I know, but it's true.

3. The first thing to note is the feedback ECU has no memory capability. Every time you start the car, the system resets. There is a single set of test mode connectors under the dash, but to use them you need the 20 or so pages from the FSM to run all the tests. I would say that since your ECS lamp is not comming on, what you are seeing is the actual 02 monitor lamp, and the oxygen sensor is going rich and causing the ECU to cut off the fuel supply to the carb. If the system was giving you an actual code, it would flash it out in morse code, and the ECS lamp would come on.

If you *really* need the diagnostic stuff, I can probably take some pics of the FSM for you. It's a real mess tho.

GD

#4 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 12:20 PM

..... but the ECU will run without it connected, but wont run with a bad one connected. Weird, I know, but it's true.

GD


Well the car runs fine some of the time, so it's really weird.

I'll disconnect the o2 sensor and see if it makes it any better. Where is the o2 BTW? Would any of this expalin my trans troubles though?

#5 Sweet82

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:10 PM

I'd do a basic tune-up first.

I had something that sounds as though it may be the same thing.

It turned out to be my wires.

I'd do your basic cap, rotor, wires, filters...and then access the situation?

Good luck,
Glenn

#6 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 01:43 PM

I'd do a basic tune-up first.

I had something that sounds as though it may be the same thing.

It turned out to be my wires.

I'd do your basic cap, rotor, wires, filters...and then access the situation?

Good luck,
Glenn


It hasn't been that long since a full tune up and I still have the issue after.

#7 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 02:32 PM

Trans governor probably needs attention. I doubt it's related.

02 is in the y-pipe where the cat is located. You will see the wire. You'll need to pick up an 02 socket for installation of a new one.

GD

#8 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 04:23 PM

Well I disconnected the o2 sensor and took the car for a drive, it didn't help matters at all, the car ran exactly the same.... still doing the surging. Could the ecu be the source of both my problems? Does it also control the trans? The light didn't seem to be on much today that I've noticed.

#9 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 05:55 PM

The ECU does not control the trans. The trans is self-contained, and is vacuum/speed shifted by the governor on the side of the tranny. Three bolts will take the cover off and allow you to pull out the governor. There used to be an article in the USRM about how to check them out and make some light adjustments to the sliding mechanisms. The edges of the pressure valve inside them get "burred" and the mechanism starts to bind.

The surging problem will probably be a real mess to track down. I sugest you pull off the drivers side kick panel (4 little screws) and leave it off so you can read the codes it's flashing at you. You may have a vacuum leak, or a problem with one of the duty solenoids.

First thing - spray around the engine bay with a can of carb cleaner while it's running to check for vac leaks.

If your time is cheap to you, then you can try locating the problem. But the likely time investment it may require is more than the cost of a Weber. I did a Weber for my EA82 feedback carb (worse than the EA81) for about $190 - used carb. new jets, new choke, complete rebuild, and adaptor plate.

GD

#10 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 06:44 PM

What is the modulator thingie that screws in on the pass. side of the trans (what the vac. line connects to) called again? Could this be a partial cause, I had to replace on on my '83 Wagon once....

Anyway, I've been telling mom forever just to get a new carb and be done with it, I'll check for a leak and then get to checking codes if need be. Thanks for the help, I'll let you know if I need anymore.....

#11 GoldDiggerRoo

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 03:23 PM

Update, so I finally got a CEL with the o2 sensor unhooked but it really made no change in how the car ran, still surges. I have noticed though that even when the car is off and the key is removed from the ignition that the blinking red led still is on and blinking. Mom said her bettery kept going dead when she had it at her house too.

This light shouldn't be on when the car is off, should it?




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