Question about 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue

20 Answers

Sudden stop then slow starter motion and backfire

A few days ago I purchased a 2000 Olds Intrigue with about 160,000 miles on it and a blown head gasket. Water had gone into the oil in it. The person I bought it from had gotten the radiator replaced, the head gaskets replaced and even gave the car a fresh coat of paint (he owned a body shop). I started the car for just a few seconds and the engine sounded good, it was smooth running, no lifter noise, so I immediately shut it down. I had the car flat bedded to my house. Someone had pulled out the thermostat and destroyed it, So I purchased a new one ($36.00, ouch) and mounted it. I purchased K-SEAL to stop the leak (at least temporarily) , FRESH OIL and 2 GALLONS ANTI-FREEZE. I drained the oil fully. (It took about an hour). Then I put in Fresh Oil and a new filter. I mixed the K-Seal with some water and pored it into the upper radiator hose and then filled that part with water, and sealed that back up. Then I added more water via the overflow tank. I then started the car up and immediately started adding water to the overflow tank (per instructions in the owners manual). This engine, 3.5 liter V-6 is derived from the 4.0 liter Northstar used in the Olds Aurora.
Within a minute after I started the engine and started to put more water into it. It stopped abrutly (it was running very smoothly up to that instant). When I went to restart it, it cranked very, very, slowly and stopped. I put jumper cables on it and tried to charge the battery thinking it might be weak. No result. The next day I took to battery to be tested, it had a shorted cell, so I purchased a new one.
I installed the new battery and the engine turned a little bit faster but it was still too slow. It also backfired once. I figured that the timing chain may have broken so I checked through the oil fill hole with a flashlight and saw that the timing chain was still in position.
Someone had installed new valve cover gaskets. Below the front gasket,
the starter motor resides and it is soaked with oil. I figure it would be a good Idea to pull the starter, clean it up and get it tested. If, when cleaning it I find oil on the brushes, I can clean that and reinstall.
The question I have is what would cause a very smooth running engine to stop abrubtly. Bang. Just like that. I figured a broken timing chain, or perhaps a spring on the timing chain idler (if that exists on this car). or Some sort of sensor, like a crank sensor. I looked at the fuse panel under the hood and there are no blown fuses.
So far, as far as the starter is concerned, I checked to ground to the chassis and it is 0.5 ohms on my multimeter.
I would very much appreciate your help on this. Best Regards,
Mark

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  • 34 more comments 
  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    Please read and understand my post before you answer. The answer I received was not expert. I would like an expert to address the issues and multiple symptoms. Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    Thanks for this answer. This engine has a two ignition modules, each with 3 ignition coils each on them. NO SPARK PLUG WIRES. These modules fit against the tops of the spark plugs. I wouldn't know how to check for spark as my conventional tools i.e. timing light, etc. don't apply. The car does not have a physical distributer. Obviously something triggers these coil systems. What would that be.

    Also I made a mistake in my post. On the third line it says the head gaskets were replaced. They were not. The valve cover gaskets were replaced.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    Wouldn't they be hydrolocked if they were FULL of water??

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    I pulled the front 3 plugs the other day and they had not water in them. I'm going to check the rear three. And I'm going to pull the starter
    and see where I get to with that. As a group your help is very good. I'll get back with you when I've done all the tests I could. About those modules with three coils each. How do I get those tested. What about the crank sensor. Can that stop ignition if it has failed. Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    Now I have plenty of things to check. So I'll get back to you as soon as possible and let you know what I found. Thanks,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    Now I really have a lot of things to test. Thanks guys. I'll get back to you soon.
    Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    I respect your knowledge and training
    The engine does crank SLOWLY It did come to a stop instantly. However it did not slam to a stop
    like another engine I had which really did hydrolock. That other engine really made a metallic slamming sound and later on, one of the connecting rods broke. If you evaluate this new clarification of data, which was missing from my earlier posts, Do you still think it's hydrolock? Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    "To me this sounds like you got water in the master cylinder and possibly cracked the head. I would check the head gasket and see if they are worn if your lucky you could only be losing pressure from a hold gasket. Unfortunately if not I think you may have cracked your head." Tell which one of the 6 cylinders is the master cylinder?? Your joking, of course? And what is a "hold gasket". Am I missing something here? What was
    in your coffie this morning?. Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    I just conducted the first test. I took the remaining three plugs out of the rear 3 cylinders. and there is NO WATER IN THEM. YESTERDAY I TOOK THE THREE SPARK PLUGS OUT OF THE FRONT 3 CYLINDERS. THERE WAS NO WATER IN THEM.
    THE STARTER MOTOR TURNS SLOWLY WITH NO SPARK PLUGS IN THE ENGINE. sO AT THIS POINT I AM GOING TO TAKE OUT THE STARTER MOTOR AND THEN I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT.
    THANKS,
    MARK

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 20, 2008

    As regards to the last comment. I mistakenly said in my very first post that the head gasket was replaced. That was my bad. It should have said that the valve cover gaskets were replaced.
    The head gasket is still blown. That is definite because there was water in the oil. Right now, as a result of not finding hydrolock, I am going to check the starter motor,which is covered with oil and also check the ground to it and check the brushes/and or take it out and have it checked. TO THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR. Seriously, You folks are doing an excellent job helping me here, even if I joke around with you. The interesting thing is that the only person who told me he was an authority and was ASC certified came up with the wrong answer about the hydrolock issue. I went on to your site to get the technical support necessary to successfully repair my car. So far that process is working fine. Thanks,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Here is where she stands as of this moment. I am yanking out the starter motor (unless I find an obvious battery grounding failure which I can correct) so that I can examine it. It turns at about 1/6th the speed that it should turn. It is covered in oil, so therefore it is possible oil is inside the starter interfering with the conductivity of the brushes. If that is the case, I will clean it re-install and test. If it is clean inside and turns freely, I will take it to a parts store and have it tested. What do you folks think of this as my next step?

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Folks, I'm not in the position to purchase a rebuilt engine. I'm having to do the peasant/pauper solution. The engine sounded very smooth when I initially tested it knowing about the head gasket failure and water in the oil before I purchased the car. Since it has only been run for not even a minute since that time, It should be possible to restore that operating condition before I attack the head gasket itself. The only thing I can now observe is that the starter is turning way too slow but there definitely is no hydrolock. If the starter is grounded properly and turns at the right speed, the engine should start and run. If the engine doesn't start after the starter is working, then I think the next step should be to check the cam sensor as one of your guru's suggested. What do you think?

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Zappanut, I remember Frank. I had "uncle meat" when I was in school. This engine has a timing chain instead of a belt. Does that make a difference? I didn't pay much for this car. Does anyone know where the Crank Position sensor is located on this engine (3.5 liter 6 cyl short star).
    Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Benimur, I don't know if you got my response or not so I'm going to repeat it here. Initially when I started the car the starter motor was turning fast. Now, as you know it doesn't so the oil commutator contamination issue is what I thought as well. As far as the spark issue is concerned. The only way I can test this (because the car has 6 coils and no spark plug wires and GM is emotionally involved in giving birth to coils) is to pull each coil/ignition module out and run a spark plug wire set from the coils to the tops of each spark plug. Then I can detect the high voltage pulse with my old fashioned primative timing light. From the olden days when automobile engines needed one coil and people could afford parts.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Shotta1. The K seal was only in the engine while it was operating for thirty seconds. So it has not even had time to get warmed. It is still sitting in the radiator. The engine has fresh oil in it so I hope to God that it is not Seezing. But I think that it could be possible. I'll know more when I get the starter out. I'm crossing my fingers hoping it is oil in the starter. Thanks,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Bibleman01, I went ahead and checked the rear three cylinders. I pulled the plugs and put paper towels into the holes leading to them to absorb/detect water. No Water. What else do you think it is?

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi emissionwiz,
    I pulled all of the spark plugs out of the engine and then put paper towels in the holes. I did this to detect the presence of any water that would be causing hydrolock. THERE WAS NO WATER AND THE STARTER STILL TURNED SLOWLY. I once had a Ford Windstar that had an interesting problem. It hydrolocked very badly on occaision. When I went to start it it would crank and then SLAM to a stop when It got to the offending cylinder. The sound was a very loud mechanical crunch. The type of sound that was so loud that it emitted dollar signs. It would happen when I went to start the car on a rainy day. Don't ask. I have no idea why. I found if I took a wrench and very very slowly turned the engine the liquid would would go into the exhaust manifold and I could then start the car normally without it slamming to a stop. The slamming eventually broke one of the con rods.
    I then converted my V-6 to a V-5. That is a story in itself. It lasted about 10 months until the transmission went to heaven, as happens to all Windstars.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Benimur. Interesting!! My car has one of those alarm/ignition/security immobilizers. Is that resettable?? Besides the starter that would, of course stop all ignition, as that is it's purpose.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    I don't mind if someone makes an incorrect suggestion or a reason that won't work. ALL of you are trying to help as much as you can. To me that is the most important thing. I APPRECIATE IT MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi doin12volt,
    Your suggestion regarding a bearing problem seems very possible. I will try that test.
    The engine stopped as though someone shut off the ignition. Then the starter was turning it very slowly. There was a shorted out cell in the battery. The battery is now replaced. I will test this tomorrow when it is light out.
    Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Machadojr_fe,
    You don't have to apologize. But when you say "master cylinder" I keep thinking of a the Brake system master cylinder. So I got confused. Hence the suggestion about what did you put into your coffie this morning. You guys are great and you are doing a great job. Thanks so much!!

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Tom,
    My car is front wheel drive so the engine is oriented with the front toward the passenger side. On this engine (3.5 liter 6-cyl. Shortstar) The starter motor is on the driverside front of the car. So in relation to these orientation points where the crank sensor be. Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Roscoe,
    I'm not sure if I'm on Jepardy so I'll give it a try. "What are bearing?"

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Pierre, That is a good suggestion. I'll let you know what happened,
    Best, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 21, 2008

    Hi Machadojr_fe,
    So the "Master Cylinder" is #1. Understood. Thanks for the clarification.
    Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 22, 2008

    Hi Zappanut, Oh that was a low blow "fix-a-flat". I had a good laugh out of it.
    I never got to pull the starter today.
    I got a question about the characteristics of ceased bearings. Do they cease suddenly like a switch turning off the motor or is there some indicator that you can detect prior to it happening? This engine was starting and running effortlessly. It stopped and then the starter could not hardly turn the engine. Nothing in between.
    Years ago, I had an old Iron Block engine overheat from a bad thermostat (68 pontiac) and shut down, even it gave me some warning characteristic sounds. It started right up as soon as it cooled down. Thanks, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 23, 2008

    Hi Guys, Couldn't do testing today. It will be on the 22nd. I'll keep ya posted.
    Best Regards,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 23, 2008

    Thanks Flapveri? (That's a name?). I appreciate those suggestions for testing. I have an old compression tester that I pulled from moth balls.I think it will do the job. Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 23, 2008

    Hi Zappanut,
    Thanks for the link. Today (the 23rd) is going to be test day. I'll let you know.
    Best, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    Hi Guys,
    Here is the update. I pulled the starter motor and brought it down to Autozone. My starter tested fair but they wanted to sell me a new starter for $165.00 Plus Core Charge. How Generous! I located a company that does rebuilds. Then I rebuilt it myself. Parts cost
    $20.00 for a new bendix gear plus a set of female star sockets, etc. the clutch was going)
    I've put the starter in and It still doesn't start. I'm not getting ignition. I located the cam sensor on the front of the engine head on the "left" side of the engine if you are facing the serpentine belt. Is there a way to test this thing? Is it possible that a magnet that is attached to the cam shaft has fallen off?? Do I need to buy an OBDII tester??. Let me know. Best Regards, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    Hi Benimur. I hope you and everyone there) had a Very Merry Christmas. So you probably know, I rebuilt the starter. There is plenty of fuel. I have plenty of pressure on the fuel bus that serves the injectors. I simply don't have ignition. I "think" the engine managment computer is operating because the guages and warning lights are working. However sometimes I get into trouble for thinking. I located the Cam Sensor and that is easy to pull out. The only way I can think of to check it is using a test meter and a magnet. I assume that it is some sort of magnetic switch. Would that be the cause of a total ignition failure. Is a there a "limp-mode" in the engines computer to take over if the cam sensor goes out. I don't know.
    Is there a "Crank Sensor" in addition to a cam sensor on this engine? (It's a 3.5 liter V-6 based on the Northstar). Does the magnet attached to the cam that trips the cam sensor ever fall off on this engine. I've heard of that happening. Tell me what you think.
    Best Regards,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    HI Darklord, I didn't fully understand your last instruction about the Starter. Could you clarify it for me. I have a meter I just got with an amp clamp on it. My starter is supposed to draw no more than 110 amps after it stabilizes. I'm going to stick that on and see what I get for a read. What do you think? Best,
    Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    Dear emmission wiz. I apologize for criticizing your remark about my "hydro-locked" engine. It didn't happen to turn out to be hydro-locked. You asked me about why I told you there was a slamming sound connected to hydrolock and I relayed my story about my ford 3.8 liter V-6. I will grant you that you may have seen something very similar to but not necessarily identical to what I am describing. Unfortunately you actually are not here where I am and it is unlikely that you have the ability to look down into the insides of my engine from where you are. That is OK as this forum is for me to accomplish fixing my car. I don't happen to have thousands of dollars laying around to buy a car or to fix a car. So I have to succeed by determining precisely what is wrong with MY car and then act to correct it using my own hands and my own ability, and the considerabley excellent advice of the people (which include you) helping me in this forum. I hope this helps. Best, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    Hi Benimur, Thanks for the good wishes. Same to you. When you say "B" +12 are you referring to the Black wire from the multi-meter to ground. The +12 is obvious. I think I need to get my greasy fingers around a schematic or at least a wiring diagram for this car. Best, Mark

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 28, 2008

    Hi DarkLord, (where did you get that name?). Now I get what you are talking about. In other words, Bypass the system with a new one. OK. So I need something like a starter Solenoid such as used in old Fords. What comes to mind is the set up in a old Lincoln. I used to have an 88 Town Car with the solioid on the side wall of the engine compartment. So I would run the heavy cable from the battery to the solinoid, then from the solinid town to my Olds Starter. Then use the small wire that goes to the Olds starter to trip both relays. Or I could go buy what you suggest and that would work as well. Wadaya Think?

  • Mark Freedman
    Mark Freedman Dec 30, 2010

    A couple of year ago, I had a miserable time with an Oldsmobile Intrigue. Of all of the people that gave me suggestions, yours were the most accurate. If I offended you, I apologize. What happened to this Oldsmobile was, I'm sure now. A cracked head. I was not working while trying to fix that car and I tried about 20 solutions. I wasn't a happy camper. I junked the car and purchased an 88 mercerdes 300E for 1400.00 with 134,000 miles on it. It has 165,000 and it is going very strong with only the most minor of repairs necessary. Not even any Starter Motors, Alternator, Water Pumps, Radiators, etc. Nothing. I love it. Even though you didn't make any income from this cycle. I do appreciate the help that you gave. Best Regards, Mark Freedman

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20 Answers

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  • Master
  • 409 Answers

"When I went to restart it, it cranked very, very, slowly and stopped." Before you go chasing ghosts!!!
First get a good starter installed so the engine cranks at normal rpm's . Next pull all spark plugs and run a compression test to check for a blown head gasket. To check the coils just pull one out, install a spark plug into it, ground the base of the plug and have someone crank the engine while you watch for a spark. The car might start and run after you get a good starter in it. I have learned in 35 years of fixing vehicles of all tyoes that its best not to over analize things. Your first complaint was engine cranks slow so repair that first then move on. 

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

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  • Master
  • 2,427 Answers

Hey mate!!,, ok here is what you need to do,,

1. Check your gas for water in it... Pull the hose from the filter stick it in a bottle, turn the ignition on and let some gas pump into the bottle. examin it for traces of water..

2.) service the fuel injection system / carburator ,, the hard start is most likely a lack of gas..

3.) Check to see if the engine block is broken or cracked.

4.) do an engine job,, Change pistons , rings etc..

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

  • 4 more comments 
  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    Also ,, 1 thing i forgot to mention which you should check fist is the power going to the starter, if there any problems with the amount of current going to it (not getting enough power,, that will cause the issue) You can check it with a multimeter,,, You can use a 4 pin relay from the orignal starter connections to the relay which will draw power from the battery and give you enough juice top start the car. When you buy the relay the guy will show u how to connect it.. In, Out, Switch, ground.. And tell you what goes where.

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    Hi,, Ok What i mean is this,, the starter needs a certin amount of current, volts and amps, if it isnt getting enough power it wont tumble the engine enough for it to start. The amount of power needed depends on the vehicle,engine and starter. Check to see that yours is getting enough. If it isnt Which i believe your problem is, You will need to buy 4 pin relay. The relay takes power driectly from the battery and uses the current starter wire to triger the relay to send the current directly from the battery to the starter. The hook up depends on the manufacture of the relay so when you buy it ask the guy how to connect it and he will show you how.. I believe this is your problem.. Reasons for loss of power = old wiring, corrosion, ECU malfunction, inline relay etc, the causes are numerious and a full fix involves tracing the entire circuit for what causes the loss of power. Its easier just to add a relay and bolt it somewhere on the firewall ..

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    Let me know how it works out.

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    U dont need a diagram.. Its easy as pie.. There are 2 wires connected to the starter as you already know. The one bolted on the body is the fround and the other in the middle of the back is the tip.. (hot) when you tumble it tips up and becomes hot. Check this voltage as you tumble. if you trace that wire it goes into the outside harness then the main harness and the inner harness to the inside of the car to the switch (where you put the key) .. from there back outside to the fuse box next to the engine. and its connected to a relay which is connected to the main hot!...which leads from the battery.

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    Yep you got it... but buy the relay its easier to connect and cheaper.

    The hot wire that connects to the starter is removed and connected to the relay, one from the battery is connected to the relay, the other pin is connected to the ground or body of the vehicle and the last pin goes to the starter.. just 4 pins, 4 wires less than a dollar.


  • Rishi Roshan Ali Dec 28, 2008

    well actually its dark_lord_tnt ,,,,,tnt means Trinidad and Tobago, dark lord is a handle i used ,, I'm fear not dark but i dress gothic with long hair black nail polish etc.. people called me my lord cause of the problems aI'm able to solve quickly darklord1 i used here cause the whole name didnt fit lol

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  • Master
  • 365 Answers

Try to check whether there is any blown fuses or not .the fuel may not be pumped to the engine .try to clean the fuel tank and the accessories.thank you

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

  • JITHIN ANTONY Dec 28, 2008

    i think the better way is to consult with a technician or just visit the site www.autoshop101.com.i think it can help you.thank you

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  • 393 Answers

Pull starter and have checked if your compression test shows 160 pr cyl. then head gaskets are fine. cam sensor tells coils when to fire crank sensor tells computer engine is cranking. the timing being off or the starter being junk are the most likely causes of slow cranking

Posted on Dec 22, 2008

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  • 327 Answers

It could be a fuel or oxygen sensor. check out this

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 2,039 Answers

Ok with spark plug out engine should turn faster if you would have no spark engine should turn faster manuelly turn the engine with no plug in it should turn by hand and engine locking like that rod bearing whent on top of each other there no miracle stop checking cam sensor spark or whatever if you can turn the engin e by hand with spark plug out connecting rod bearing or crank bearing problem or in dip s$$$$ second hand engine the cheapest way to go let me no pierre

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

  • pierre laplante Jan 27, 2009

    so how did it turn out pierre

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  • 101 Answers

Connecting rods where they meet crank.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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  • Master
  • 740 Answers

I believe that you may have cracked a water jacket and the k-seal is getting in the cylinder walls and its like gum and slows the engine rotation. If you are getting 12+ volts to starter and the starter was tested and its good the only other explanation for this problem is that something in the engine is slowing the rotation, or engine its self might be seizing slowing from bearing locking up or one weird situation I saw like this with a slow rotating engine it was a bad fly wheel. Good Luck Hope I helped, if I didn't please contact me when you find the problem.

Posted on Dec 21, 2008

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  • Oldsmobile Master
  • 959 Answers

If the motor is cranking and you are not getting it to do more than misfire , I am thinking it is a timing belt issue.
160 rounds ... blown head gasket.... Hope ya didnt pay too much for it.
The crank possition sensor is what tells the coils to fire off to the spark plugs..
Coil tests are covered in the haynes manuel , as are starter tests.

The good thing is that you will be right there at the timing belt when ya do the head gasket. :)

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • ZappaNut
    ZappaNut Dec 21, 2008

    OK , lets stick to the starter then , for now... as that could have caused the shut down issue being as it is the pos. connection to your electrical system. (Northstar engines have the starter in the center of the eng. under the intake , so be glad you dont have a northstar when thinking starter problems!)



    The fact that it is turning the engine over at all is leading me away from the starter. Though it could be drawing so hard that the electrical voltage beond it is so low it wont alow the correct voltage past to the rest of the electrical parts to opporate at full capacity..as every electrical sensor opporates at a givin certain voltage...



    Chains can break / stretch too , especially with 160 rounds on them. So my initial thought about the timming is still a valid point.

    Your vehicle would have either a cam pos sensor or cam angle sensor. Do you have a Haynes or Chilton for your vehicle? ( I always buy one for each of my vehicles).



    When you do get it running to circulate the fix a flat , be sure your heater is on so it can circulate thru the heater core too.



    please keep us all posted to progress!

  • ZappaNut
    ZappaNut Dec 22, 2008

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  • 272 Answers

At the least you will have to replace the head gasket. With 160,000 miles it will be wise to fit new big end bearings and new piston rings. Recondition the cylinder head, fit new stem valve stem seals and grind in the valves. If the cylinder head or engine block is beyond repair then a fully reconditioned engine will be on the cards. A good engine re-manufacturer can recondition the whole engine for you and also give you a warranty.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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Welcome-

first off spark plugs will not cause your problem. if you have a cracked head or block the easyest way to check that with out pulling everything apart is by looking at your dip stick. if it is white creamy looking then ya you have water in your oil if not then most likely your gasket is shot. but if you do a compession test on each cylinder and they come back as good then the gaskets are ok.i would the replace the camshaft sensor for that tells your car computer which cylinder is ready to except spark and to tell the computer the position of the valves.

thanks

tom

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • Thomas Dec 21, 2008

    hi mark-



    here is two options on where the sensor is:




    1. Lower right hand side of the engine just above the oil pan. Theres a single bolt that holds it in.

    2. it should be behind the left exhaust manifold. You will need to remove the starter to gain access.

    hope this helps you of you need anything else just let me know.



    tom

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This is sounding like your head gasket has breached and faild Replace!

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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Hi , How can I help You.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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To me this sounds like you got water in the master cylinder and possibly cracked the head. I would check the head gasket and see if they are worn if your lucky you could only be losing pressure from a hold gasket. Unfortunately if not I think you may have cracked your head.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • machadojr_fe Dec 20, 2008

    I apologize I mean head gasket not hold gasket.

  • machadojr_fe Dec 21, 2008

    The master cylinder is usually the first cylinder in most cars I've worked on.

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I have seen this problem before.. It led me to believe it was the crank position sensor, but it wasnt. The car would start, run GREAT for about 10 minutes, and just die. sound familliar? If this is what yours is doing, then I suggest you check your MAF (mass air flow) sensor. It is the black plastic square mounted on or near the throttle body. If you unplug the sensor, it will allow the car to run (IF it IS the MAF) you should still replace it, but it will be ok to run it without an MAF for a bit..
The car I had doing this to me would run great until the MAF killed it 5 or 10 minutes in, then the engine would just crank, never start... UNTIL i unplugged the MAF. 
like I said, unplugging is for testing, then if that is the problem replace the maf, or your fuel milage will suffer.

the started sounds like its weak, but check the cylinders too so yo uknow there is not any coolant in there causing a hydrolock.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • Josh Crager
    Josh Crager Dec 21, 2008

    just curious here... Have you pulled all the plugs out and tried turning the engine over by hand to make sure a main bearing is not spun and partially seized? I could see this happen if the oil was very contaminated with water--  This would also make the starter seem slow.

  • Josh Crager
    Josh Crager Jan 12, 2009

    is this car diagnosed yet? I am just curious as to the outcome....

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Check you exhaust for restriction is there any flow when you start it? Have someone step on the gas while cranking the engine and look to see if there is any flow from the exhaust. good luck buddy if you are getting flow good.try cleaning the carburetter, you should aslo do a tun up.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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Your cylinders are full of water guy take all the plugs out and drain them

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • 2 more comments 
  • Greg Wilkins
    Greg Wilkins Dec 20, 2008

    They almost are but some of the water is going back into the crankcase i'm sure

  • Greg Wilkins
    Greg Wilkins Dec 20, 2008

    Your bet bet is to check the last three cylinders because if even one fills up it will stop engine because the water can only go out the valves when they are open. You coils and ignition cannot cause you engine to just stop.

  • Greg Wilkins
    Greg Wilkins Dec 21, 2008

    will the engine turn over with the plugs out? Thats what we need to know because water will run through the rings but if you was to start it it wouldn't get rid of the water quick enough for it to run. Because i think myself you have a busted head and when its running its sucking the water into the cylinder. See it only takes one cylinder to stop the engine. If its not to much trouble could you pull all the plugs and try to turn it over ?

  • Greg Wilkins
    Greg Wilkins Dec 21, 2008

    Thomas_heime a cracked head cannot only bleed back into the crankcase it can bleed back into the cylinder only also. Which would cause it to come to a sudden stop.Because water cannot leave the cylinder fast enough. Or other hand water in the crankcase will not cause the engine to suddenly stop unless a bearing freezes up. So if you don't know what your talking about why don't you keep your remarks to your self. Because anybody with automotive experience at all is going to know that crankshaft sensors don't have any purpose except telling the plug when to spark we had these kinda problems way before there was ever such a thing as a crankshaft sensor LOL

    Excuse me everyone this is just like a lot of these preachers today.They have just enough truth in them to send everyone to hell. Amen


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Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Initially, pls check:

  • the sparkplugs;
  • check your oil/water again;
  • do a compression test.
There would only be one possible reason the engine died abruptly, loss of spark. Fuel issue would be gradual like choking but based on your description it was like as if a switched was turned off. Aside from the above, the first recommended check would be for the presence of spark at the plugs.

The starter problem could be explained both by the dead cell in the battery and/or the oil in the starter motor. Dirty brush/commutator segments would weaken the current flow thus making the starter motor spin slower.

Good luck and Thank you for using FixYa. Happy Holidays.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • 3 more comments 
  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 21, 2008

    Hi again,

    Appreciate your comments/postback (and the jokes).

    With your indulgence, to sum for the moment (based on my initial post):


    • starter (even with plugs out) turns slow, contaminated carbon brush ends and commutator segments. In case needed, the commutator segments are the thin slivers of copper/brass (narrow, long) cut in rectangular strips encircling the one end like w wristband of the armature;

    • water/oil, I guess you already know the implication(s) and hot to address that;

    • probable no spark, initially check for the presence of IGN B+12 on at least 1 of the wires going to the ignition modules and the ignition coil with the ignition key switch to ON.
    Cheers.

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 21, 2008

    I hear you new/old friend. In my country, there are some vehicles we work on that still have contact points and therefore we have to attend to.dwell angle and point gaps. And yes, I still use an old timing light to #1 while turning the distributor assembly.

    Back to your concern:


    1. the starter would be relatively easy for an old hand. might as well check/replace the bushings;

    2. the spark - it would be very rare for all spakplugs to go dead or not spark not unless:


    • the engine management computer is dead or is not getting a trigger from any of its sensors cam/crank position sensor;

    • lost of IGN +12. pls test any of the wires. you only need to establish presence of IGN +12;

    • if the car is equipped with an alarm/security/immobilizer that has been falsely triggered.


  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 24, 2008

    Any updates? Still, perhaps after the holidays. But hey, Merry Christmas!

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 28, 2008

    and hello again old timer. how was the Christmas?

    To your last queries:


    • crank sensor, yes there would be one, often, rear of the engine at the bell housing right on top where the flywheel would be;

    • cam sensor, again a yes, would be under the valve cover, often near front of engine right above where the camshaft would be.
    Your description "I've put the starter in and It still doesn't start. I'm not getting ignition.", I assume means that the engine is now cranking as expected (starter now good), it is just that the engine will not fire/run?

    If yes, pls be reminded:


    • check the IGN B+12 on the computer box;

    • check IGN B+12 on one of the wires of the injector and a pulsating one at the other when cranking;

    • of course you still remember the alarm/security/immobilizer possibility?
    Cheers.

  • Louie  Role
    Louie Role Dec 28, 2008

    "IGN B+12" would refer to ignition 12 volts as supplied by the Battery when the key is switch to ON/RUN.

    Perhaps this partial list of wiring, color code and purpose as well as voltage checks would start you out. Pls click here.


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Back fire can be caused by different faults. first is to much fuel because of worn carburetter, or wrong adjusments on carburetter. choke sticking will cause backfire. timing be out of adjustment will cause backfire exhaust leak can cause backfire. bad spark plugs, or plug leads , distributer cap worn of cracked will cause backfire as for fuel in muffler, if it combusted in muffler , the muffler would split open it is not that. and i dont know of any rubber on an exhaust that would take the heat aexhaust manifold gaskets could be problem but if they were rubber they would melt 

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

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Before I answer this question let me give my EXPERT credential's, 30 years as an automotive tech on GM, Ford and some imports, I worked in a Oldsmobile dealer for 10 years, I am an ASE master technician. That said
You had a blown head gasket on a Northstar engine, nothing will correct that, no type of sealer, the reason to me for the sudden is no mystery, U liquid locked at least one cylinder, this brings the engine to a stop in an instant, this most likely not any kind of timing chain issue or loss of ignition spark, just water/coolant getting into the cylinders and locking up the engine, remember it only takes about 60 cc's of water to lock the cylinder, very little, pull the heads have them leak tested and have the block tested as well, your best bet on the Northstar engine is to by a re-manufactured unit, why? because once this engine is overheated it is pretty much through, which sounds like the case with yours, u may have bent connecting rods as well when the engine liquid locked, I am sorry to give this unpleasant news but it is based on years of field work on this engine.

Posted on Dec 20, 2008

  • 4 more comments 
  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 20, 2008

    I have never heard any metallic noise with a liquid lock, the engine stops suddenly, I would say the sound is kind of like a straining noise or a slow crank until enough water is present, then the engine stops, the piston some times will bounce back a few degree's or u can get a back fire, I stand by my first post, and in the end u will see that I am correct about water in cylinders causing the issue, the engine will need to be torn down and most likely replaced.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 20, 2008

    One last note, I have seen this issue 1st hand many times, I am not guessing about this.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 28, 2008

    give it up and have a professional technician look at this u just slam every suggestion we make.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 28, 2008

    Good for u on the starter repair, but it does not change the fact u need a engine rebuild, u always seem to slide by the part about the water in the cylinders.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 28, 2008

    I think as a 30 year veteran of this business u are beating a dead horse, but best of luck to u, le us move on, do you have spark?, do u have any PCM trouble codes? does the check engine light work? Is the fuel pressure ok as of this posting.

  • yadayada
    yadayada Dec 30, 2010

    If the information i gave you was correct why the POOR rating? Spent allot of time explaining what might be wrong based on my many decades of experience. Happy Holidays

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