Question about 1983 Oldsmobile Delta 88

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Vacuum line or spark plugs?

My car kept stalling and stopping on me the other day, later i realized that a large hose(in diameter) was disconnected from my distributing cap. I plugged it back in and my car ran a little better. A friend told me that it sounded like i needed new spark plugs so i took it to a "friend of a friend" and they changed them. In the process, they told me that my vacuum line had holes in them, they took them out and replaced some and didn't have enough hose to complete the job, but they said that it would be okay. now my car is running worse, it shakes and now everytime i start it, it stops again. Could he have put the spark plugs on wrong or did he screw me by taking off the vacuum line? PLEASE HELP

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  • Lmyeishia Apr 13, 2009

    thanks for answering so fast daves944. I have a 307 engine and i also forgot to mention that in the process of it stopping in the first place, it fired off a couple of loud sounds like a gun or something, do you know what that was? That's i got the spark plugs changed in the first place. A friend told me that was the problem. Does that sound accurate?

  • Lmyeishia Apr 13, 2009

    Thanks johnboy6118, that was a very detailed answer. Do you know why it was stopping in the first place? It started running again before i took it to him, but it stopping in the first place is why i thought it had something to do with the spark plugs.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    The back firing sounds could be caused by a number of things. It could be an ignition problem, crossed wires perhaps, or a timing chain that has jumped.

  • Dave  C
    Dave C May 11, 2010

    You have been screwed, see if you can get the guy to put it all back the way it was, even the plugs, then take it to a shop and have it done properly. You'll probably have to write off the money you gave him because he's probably blown it by now, your goal here is to have the vacuum lines returned to there original locations.


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If the vac. line went to the distributer cap you need to get a new 1 take off the line and take it to the auto parts store and get a new 1. What that vac. line does is adjust the timing when you give the car gas. Did he make shur to gap the plugs to the wright gap? If he did and you put a new vac. line on check all of the vac. line if they have cracks change them. If the still runs ruff he might have moved the distributer, or he might have got the wires wrong if he changed the spark plug wires. Change the vac. lines first they are cheap.

Posted on Apr 13, 2009

  • johnboy Apr 14, 2009

    It could be a number of things to make it back fire. 1 thing if the distributer has been moved. 2 The wires were put on in the wrong order on the distributer cap. 3 You could have a crack or mosture getting in the distributer cap. 4 It could have a loose timing chain making it not have the right time of spark. It was my car I would have someone that you know that is good working on cars work on it.If not you could make it worse, first have them check the gap in the plugs make shur it is wright. Get a book on the car at auto parts store. Look in the book for the firing order for the distributer cap to the plugs. Then if it still is doning the samething you are out the money for the book so far. Than take the dis. cap off look at the out and inside for crack's. See if it has carbon on the metal tabs on the inside of the cap if so u can take a pice of sandpaper, and clean them. If it has a crack in it get a new 1 and up the wires in the same order!! Now if that don't fix it it needs new timing belt. Book 15.00, cap 20.00, sandpaper 2.00. Did you put new wires on it?


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