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LT1 is kicking my ass!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a discussion on LT1 is kicking my ass!!!!!!!!!!! within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Well. I have posted on this car before but now it's just Effing killing me. My car is a 95 ...

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    LT1 is kicking my ass!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well. I have posted on this car before but now it's just Effing killing me. My car is a 95 roadmaster sedan. .030 over, aluminum heads, screw in studs/guide plates, SLP headers and 40 series mufflers. KYB shocks, ceramic pads etc.........Well. My journey begins with a simple replacement of the opti and water pump. Simple enough right? The car ran but had a miss and the SES was on and off. So before all this I changed TPS and IAC. Since the idle was funky too. So after the opti install and water pump the car ran worse than before. I replaced module/coil and I still had no spark. I put the old opti on and it fired right up. So I called the company (eBay) and arranged for an exchange. They were happy to help. So, the new one came and on it went. Car cranked right up! All good right? Wrong. A few days later it began idling poorly and it wouldn't rev beyond say..1500rpm. It dies when you give it gas. And then I check for spark, no spark, again! A few hours later it fires up again. Idles like trash and won't rev and dies. Also a TON of rich smoke comes out when I rev it. And I mean I pat the throttle. I can't bounce it off the rev limiter. Just pat,pat,pat and slowly raise rpm. It will only do about 1500 before it crack,pops and dies. I tested an old module as well and it started with it. So I put it and a new coil on. No spark again. So WHAT THE F COULD IT BE???? A buddy who builds cars says the F/P could be not making enough psi at the rail, but when I checked I had a hair over 40psi cranking. Sounds right to me. I can't imagine I have another bad opti and at this point don't feel like putting the old one back on to find out. I really think it might be the ECM. I got it to start with IAC and TPS unhooked and made no difference in idle. I also had a code 34 mass/map before all this but the SES light went out once I got the new opti on. It's on now cause of how it runs. I hope I have given enough info for someone to help me. Thanks in advance.....

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    Well, since 35 of you read my problem and none of you are willing to help, let me give you more to go on. Today it fired right up, idled normally for 10 seconds, began surging and idling higher for another 10 seconds and died. Any attempts to restart have failed. Well, a few minutes ago I went out, turned the key it spun overtwice and coughed back through the throttle body. I saw a steam/vapor come from aroumd the intake elbow that smelled of 87 octane. Well. My question is this. The guy mentioned in my first post said I might have a plug wire on the wrong terminal, say 5/7 swapped. He says it will idle fine until the ECM figures out that they are out of order. I was extremely careful in swapping plug wires. I held the new opti in front of the old and one-by-one pulled off the old opti and plugged it to the new opti. So, if it is as he says backwards somehow, would it cause it not to start back up.? Seems to me it should still start. I've had this car 4 years and this is the first time I've been stumped. I will crawl under it to follow plug wires path to see if they are right but I know they are. I've had older motors with a wire out of order and it shakes like hell but starts up each time. So, what say you all??????

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    Junior Member faust's Avatar
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    patriot sunfire red
    1995 camaro z/28

    icm

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    Quote Originally Posted by faust View Post
    icm
    O.k. Now we're getting somewhere. I assume you mean ignition control module.? I have changed it out already and am on my OEM one I had on before all this started. I swapped all that out after I had trouble with the new eBay one (skipwhite). Only after I combined an old 96 opti from a formula and my stock 129,000 mile cap and rotor and the car started up. I had a miss since the cap and rotor were toast, but it ran. So they sent me a new one. The car wouldn't start with the one they sold me and my cobbled up piece ran, so I concluded the eBay one failed. Now I have the same trouble with the new eBay one. I am thinking of taking that old 96 base and putting their cap and rotor on it. If that works I'm good. If not. Maybe a bad Mass air or even a bad ECU?

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    Junior Member faust's Avatar
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    patriot sunfire red
    1995 camaro z/28

    have you scanned it. show any res problems. i;m thinking its the opti, cheap ebay is what you have right. i would get a real gm or a dynaspark like myself. there pricey but the warranty is unreal. they even went tru mine when i did my my 385. only cost me shipping

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    You dont need a GM opti. I used what some would call a cheapo e-bay version in my car and it worked like a gem. A of places, like where i got mine, rebuild them to better than stock and test them and have a 100% exhange policy. I went that route and the car ran like a raped ape. pajeff can attest as he rode in it.

    No codes at all? My car didnt show any either and it did exactly as you stated. I cleaned the MAF,TB, did wires, plugs, opti, water pump, fuel filter, air filter (and a cut lid), and it ran better than what I remember my friends 95 Vette.

    I take it that most of the issue is under load? My car I had to feather the sh!t out of it sometimes and then under load it wouldnt want to do much. It would buck and stumble and then catch and run ok. It was at mostly lower RPMs too. I cant say exactly what the issue was but I know it was one of the things I had to change.

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    You dont need a GM opti. I used what some would call a cheapo e-bay version in my car and it worked like a gem. A of places, like where i got mine, rebuild them to better than stock and test them and have a 100% exhange policy. I went that route and the car ran like a raped ape. pajeff can attest as he rode in it.

    No codes at all? My car didnt show any either and it did exactly as you stated. I cleaned the MAF,TB, did wires, plugs, opti, water pump, fuel filter, air filter (and a cut lid), and it ran better than what I remember my friends 95 Vette.

    I take it that most of the issue is under load? My car I had to feather the sh!t out of it sometimes and then under load it wouldnt want to do much. It would buck and stumble and then catch and run ok. It was at mostly lower RPMs too. I cant say exactly what the issue was but I know it was one of the things I had to change.
    Well before the first opti change I got code 34. MASS/MAP. After the opti change the SES went away. My thoughts was that the OEM opti had failed bearings among high mileage that caused erratic idle and poor shift patterns. It was 1-2 upshifting like 30mph and real hard. NOT good in a 2ton car. The one I got was real cheap. I won't say how much cause I should have known better. The voltage that runs through the opti is very high. Add to it the path for each plug wire is almost touching and you have trouble. I guess China or India should not be allowed to make opti's. Yes, most of the issue is under load. I can't even drive it since it only runs for about 20 seconds,dies and won't restart for an hour or so. I think I am just going the Delteq route..

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    I should also point out that I have new plugs and wires less than 20k on them. The plugs are AC's and the wires are from a company called engine works and they look like MSD's Actually better than them too. Less than 50ohms per foot resistance. MSD's are around 200 per ft which is good, way better than stock but I wanted some fire power!

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    Wow man, you can tell us though how much you spent on the opti....lol I will tell you I spent less than $100 on mine and I called the place, spoke to them (this is out west mind you), and any trouble I had they told me they would make it right.

    Have you checked your injectors? Not saying it is the issue causing it but it would possibly add to the crap you are going through.

    Perhaps the answer is a complete new engine? j/k

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    Wow man, you can tell us though how much you spent on the opti....lol I will tell you I spent less than $100 on mine and I called the place, spoke to them (this is out west mind you), and any trouble I had they told me they would make it right.

    Have you checked your injectors? Not saying it is the issue causing it but it would possibly add to the crap you are going through.

    Perhaps the answer is a complete new engine? j/k
    Well. I had purchased one for my friends 96 formula from eBay. It was complete for 89.00 shipping incl. Forget the seller. Mine was from skipwhite on eBay and I paid the paltry sum of 59.00. shipping incl as well. Honestly, it seemed well made and I was surprised at the quality. When my car died I called em and they replaced it no problem. Now, this one seems no good either. Each time I install the old case from the 96 and my cap n rotor it works fine, just a miss at idle. It has some serious wear on it, but it runs. I have rebuilt the engine at 90,000 it now has 129,000 on the car. New knock sensor, O2's, plugs/wires, oil level sensor,tps,iac and of course the opti. Now the performance stuff. MAF screen delete, cold air intake, SLP headers, alum heads and 40 series 2chamber flows.The car is well maintained and it's been too cold out to bother with it. I feel like if I put the old unit back on and it starts and runs I will have wasted so much time. I want to eventually do an LS1 coil conversion on it but right now I need more than my 94 e350 diesel work van and my 79 malibu to drive around in!

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    Not sure what to even say. No loose wires anywhere in the opti region that could cause this?

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    Not sure what to even say. No loose wires anywhere in the opti region that could cause this?
    Nope. The opti harness wire is brand new. I have been over this car a dozen times. Heck I have had this engine out of the car, apart and back together. I have installed an oil pan gasket while the motor was still in! I know this car front to back. It has to be the opti. I will take it off, buy a new cap and rotor and put it on my old 96 base. If it runs then skipwhite owes me $59.00

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    skipwhite....lol

    I have the opti off my 94 LT1 Corvette that you could have if you were closer. I replaced it and dont know what or if anything is really wrong with it since I changed a bunch of crap all at once. It skipped a little but would mostly miss when under load and in the lower rpm range till it would catch up and rev fine. I woudlnt say that was the opti problem but i wanted to change it over anyway. It just sits in the garage in a box.

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    skipwhite....lol

    I have the opti off my 94 LT1 Corvette that you could have if you were closer. I replaced it and dont know what or if anything is really wrong with it since I changed a bunch of crap all at once. It skipped a little but would mostly miss when under load and in the lower rpm range till it would catch up and rev fine. I woudlnt say that was the opti problem but i wanted to change it over anyway. It just sits in the garage in a box.
    That's a nice offer man. I just got back from Oreilly's Auto Parts (not sure if you have em up there) I lived in Westfield NY the first 20 years of my life and only saw them down south. But that may have changed. Anyway, I bought a Borg Warner cap n rotor kit for $170.00 (YIKES!) but it has a lifetime warranty and the terminal paths are routed apart so there can be no arc issues like factory shiznit has. It really is a well built unit. Haha I said UNIT...So once the temps warm a bit (it's 19 today in Mississloppy) I will put this on my 96 base and see what happens. The parts guy has experience with these motors and I told him everything I've told you guys and he agrees it has to be the opti from eBay. There is so much current passing through these things and cheap china stuff ain't cutting it. Plus, I don't feel like pushing it in to the garage. It's too far away and it's a heavy car.

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    You my friend need a 4-wheeler and a chain....lol Easy to move a dead car with one of those!

    Well, good luck with the opti crap and let us know how it goes. China makes some cheapo crap bud.

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    You my friend need a 4-wheeler and a chain....lol Easy to move a dead car with one of those!

    Well, good luck with the opti crap and let us know how it goes. China makes some cheapo crap bud.
    I'd love a 4whlr. But I am using the GM OEM base opti housing from a 96 formula and my ne Borg Warner cap n rotor kit. I'm heading out to do it now.

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
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    Thumbs up

    OK. Well first things first. Thanks to those who gave me advice. Second, it is running. I used my 96 base and the BW cap n rotor. Only thing is, the module cover that goes down over the base and the rotor bolts through the opening in it, well it cracked! I soaked it in scalding hot water to expand it to make it fit and I must of forced it too hard and it split. So, I just used the old one and a new gasket. I then put the rotor on and the cap. I swear, I had it all swapped out in 30 minutes. I hate that it took 4 times to get that fast! HAHA. As you can probably guess, skipwhite will be hearing from me. F eBAy garbage unless it costs more than $59.00......

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    Senior Member TLS_Addict's Avatar
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    Good deal Ken......yeah $59.99 is kinda cheap. Like said though. I had mine for just under $100 and drove it in the rain and over the course of a summer for probably 5k miles and it worked like a gem.

    My LT1 fired up faster than any other LT1 I have ever been around. About 1/2 crank it was fired up.

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    Member kensz28's Avatar
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    Red
    1979 MALIBU, SBC T56.

    Quote Originally Posted by TLS_Addict View Post
    Good deal Ken......yeah $59.99 is kinda cheap. Like said though. I had mine for just under $100 and drove it in the rain and over the course of a summer for probably 5k miles and it worked like a gem.

    My LT1 fired up faster than any other LT1 I have ever been around. About 1/2 crank it was fired up.
    Yea mine cranks good too. Only issue now is the low coolant light is on and I have the tank filled full. I bled it 3 times and have no heat either. I have had issues with the blend door actuator in the past. NOT EASY TO GET TO. I think it may be on the fuzz again, good thing is temps are in the 50-60 range next week. Still doesn't explain the coolant light though. Any ideas????

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Those coolant sensors are known for going out. Most likely the sensor causing the light assuming it is full and stays full. As for no heat: clogged heater core maybe? If the car heats up normally and doesnt overheat (suggesting a thermostat, radiator, or water pump issue)

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