I changed the coil packs and timing chain in my 1988 grand am Quad four engine and it still will not run. it will turn over and backfire then start for about a minute then it will die i also changed the fuel filter. i'm not sure what the problem is. could it be the crank sensor where is it and how do you get at it?
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Lets start at the beginning. Did anybody check to see if the timing chain was really in need of replacing ? Did you replace the starter and solenoid because it would not crank ? Is it now getting spark to the plugs, and fuel to the injectors ? Are the injectors getting voltage and a ground signal from the computer ? Do the cylinders have proper compression ? Is the rotor in the distributor turning when you crank the engine ?
That looks like the Quad Four derived(2.4 liter?).They have a "coil on plug' design-the early Quad Fours were one of the first with this design.It sounds like one of the coils is going bad,causing a miss under load(or it just gets worse under load).Change the ignition coils and plugs(under the large cast aluminium cover on top).
I hate to give bad news, I have forgotten when Chevy started putting Coil packs on that particular vehicle. If it has a Distributor pull the distributor cap and crank the motor over while you are watching the rotor assembly. If it doesn't turn the Timing Chain Broke. If it has a coil pack, pull one of the Valve Covers and crank the motor while watching the valves. If the valves don't cycle the the Timing chain is broken. Now, assuming the timing chain hasn't broken then you need to check the fuel pump.
There are few things that you will have to check.
1) Is the battery properly charged.
2) Are you getting spark at the spark plugs, when you crank the car to start.
3) Is there proper fuel in the car.
If the battery is not charged properly the car will not start.Check the voltage of the battery .It should be exact 12volt.
If there is no spark coming when you crank the engine then its the problem of either the spark plugs or the coil pack.the spark plugs gets power to spark from coil packs.Also check the fuel pump and fuel filter.If the fuel pump and fuel filter are worn out then it will not supply the fuel properly to the engine and this results in no-start problem. If all battery, fuel pump and spark plugs checked out OK then its time to check the wiring connections between the battery to starter and battery to alternator.This will help.
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If you have a dohc quad four type engine, if you did not get the chain alignment absolutely correct, chances are that you have severe engine damage if you cranked it over. Both cam gears must be locked while putting chain on and must be perfect (not close) otherwise the first time you crank it the valves will hit the pistons. (did you get the tensioner on correctly?) Don't attempt to start it, tear it down again.