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My '89 Reatta is still running rough!


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fun car guy

I've replaced the plugs and wires, the car starts right away, doesn't stall but is still running rough.  I understand the next step is to check the throttle position sensor located between the throttle body and the air intake but can't seem to find it.  Can someone please send a photo of this and tell me how to adjust it?  Also, my onboard computer is telling me my brake fluid is low, which it isn't, my oil is low, which it isn't and it's communications with the engine are faulty.  Do I have a bigger problem here or are these old diagnostics??

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fun car guy

Okay, just went out and started the car, cranking seems labored, maybe need a new battery but went to climate, touched off and warm, went to service and saw ecm codes ED01, 2 and so on.  However along the bottom of the screen are small triangular shapes and the "oxy" one kept flashing intermittently.  Meaning?

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Ronnie

Ok, check the codes again and write down the codes that are displayed. The ECM codes that are displayed first are what you are interested in right now. They should Begin with E0 and have two more numbers at the end. For example E041.

 

Ignore the triangles for now. The flashing OXY triangle is normal. It is telling you the O2 sensor is working.

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Philbo

The item labeled TPS is your throttle position censor.  Before you go replacing it though, I would follow Ronnie's instructions above.

20210316_175307.jpg

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2seater

I know that photo is upright relative to the manual but is almost upside down from the installed position. I totally agree to get into diagnostics and simply check the TPS for proper setting and operation. 
 

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rogold

The rough running and high idle sounds like a vacuum leak. Maybe the codes will indicate  something along that line.

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2seater

You can also turn individual injectors on and off from the drivers seat and I think you can cycle the three valves in the EGR. It has been a while since I have done so, but once warmed up with a decent idle, pull the connector on the IAC to prevent it from modifying the idle when you check cylinder balance. It should make the effect on idle more apparent as a cylinder is dropped.

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fun car guy
14 hours ago, Philbo said:

The item labeled TPS is your throttle position censor.  Before you go replacing it though, I would follow Ronnie's instructions above.

20210316_175307.jpg

I've suspected the TPS for some time but didn't know where it was, this Illustration clears a lot up, thanks very much.  I think I'll get myself a manual and go low tech with vintage high tech!

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ship
3 hours ago, fun car guy said:

..... I think I'll get myself a manual and go low tech with vintage high tech!

Always best to purchase a factory service manual right away for any car you own.  Great way to familiarize yourself with the goings on with your car.

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Have you tried a compression check on all the cylinders?

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fun car guy

Actually, no.  Just replaced the battery so I'll look into that.  Since it's not insured as yet and it's running so poorly, I haven't even had it out on the road yet but pretty sure, from all the maintenance records that came with the car and it's overall condition, that it's been well taken care of.

 

 

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fun car guy
On 3/17/2021 at 11:54 AM, ship said:

Always best to purchase a factory service manual right away for any car you own.  Great way to familiarize yourself with the goings on with your car.

Which manual would you recommend for a shade tree mechanic like me?  Haynes, Chilton's or maybe the factory?

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2seater

The best is the actual Factory Service manual for the Riviera/Reatta, preferably the final edition. I believe it was published by Helm and can sometimes be found on eBay.

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fun car guy

Having no luck at all!  Bought a brand new battery, tried to hook it up and got fireworks, hissing and whisps of smoke from the alternator, hope I haven't fried things!  Now, I believe the terminal with three cables is positive and the other with two is negative but since there's no indication, I'm not not sure anymore. Guess I should have taken a picture before I took the old battery out but usually positive is red but both are black. Also one cable came loose but I think it's from the one with just two wires.  Please advise.  BTW, I just ordered a copy of the factory manual.

 

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Ronnie

You will be very lucky if you didn't ruin the  alternator. The connector you are holding in this photo looks like the ground to me. The red plastic cover had probably been cut off the other one to make a repair.. that looks sorry as hell to me.

 

3.jpg

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fun car guy

So the one you're talking about is ground and the other with just a clamp holding three cables is positive?   I sure hope I didn't fry the alternator too!!  As I said, I just ordered a factory repair manual so I won't have to bother you all so much.

Thanks!  

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Ronnie

You're not bothering us at all. I don't know how many wires are going to the ground and hot cable. I would look but my '88 might be different from your '89.

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2seater

When the stock cables are in place, they cross each other at the battery. I agree with Ronnie the black one that is intact is the ground, which is normally the terminal toward the firewall if it has the stock battery style. I don’t have a car at home but pretty sure three different sized wires to the hot + terminal, one to the starter, one to the alternator output and one to the red terminal box on the fender panel. That poor looking connection to the battery isn’t doing you any favors and one or more connection may be intermittent? I know the factory cable is hard to come by but at this point may be better off with crimped and soldered individual connectors on the hot cables and stack them on a stud installed in the battery plus terminal. Temporary fix.

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fun car guy

Thank you both! That was my suspicion.  It was bad enough that I got the connection to the battery wrong, possibly doing damage but it pissed me off when the jerry rigged positive connector just fell apart!  While I feel bad to have possibly toasted my alternator, I feel the trouble is partly due to the hack mechanic who cut off the factory positive connection in the first place. 

By the way, I found the light bulb socket from the right turn signal hanging out and, upon inspection could see it had gotten hot at some point since the back of the fixture was partly melted so apparently, there was an electrical issue of some kind that caused the mechanic to cut off the positive connector.  Hopefully, when I find a suitable connector and hook it back up properly (I hate any temporary fix) I'll find the alternator still working but if not, I'll have to get a rebuilt alternator. 

I love this car and feel fortunate to have gotten it so, when I screw something up, I feel like a fool but to be sabotaged as well is adding insult to injury!

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