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LS1 Broke down on way home from buying.

This is a discussion on LS1 Broke down on way home from buying. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; So I bought a 99 trans am. Took a 1/2 hour test drive and went over it with a fine ...

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    99 pontiac trans am

    Unhappy LS1 Broke down on way home from buying.

    So I bought a 99 trans am. Took a 1/2 hour test drive and went over it with a fine tooth comb. I have all the mechanical history of the car since it was new. On the way home after a hour of driving the car lost all power on the highway and had to gimp it to the gas station. I can start it and it will idle for about 3 seconds then sputters and dies out. Sometimes when I give it gas it will rev up slightly, but not for long. My first thought was a clogged cat because the lady that drove it would only drive on very short trips and it has the factory cat. Any help, history or well known problems would be helpful. Sorry for the book I wrote I am just very hoping to find someone who can give me some ideas. Thanks guys. Looking forward to my first LS1 experience.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    Update: There are no check engine lights or any other lights on. All fluids look clean. And once again it drove for over an hour and was running in the driveway before I left for 10 mins all before the problem.

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    The one time I had the same happen to my car, the guages were fluttering all over the place at the same time, and it was the alt. Actually twice. Both times it died. If I kept it wide open in 4th gear, it would go, but as soon as I lifted off the throttle, it died.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    If I can keep it running long enough I will to a charging test. When I lost power it did not really seem to effect the alternator and the battery seems to keep a charge. But it is somewhere to start. Thanks for the info

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Has it sat for a long while?

    Could be bad gas, clog fuel filter or fuel pump sock.

    How full is the fuel tank? near empty, 1/3, 1/2? The plastic pick up tube can crack over time and cause fuel issues.


    If you can get it running check the fuel pressure, there is a check valve on the passenger side of the fuel rail. Should read about 56 psi and hold it there when you first turn the key on.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    The car did sit for a while. I bought it with less than a 1/4 tank in it then put $30 worth of premium gas from a speedway gas station. It now sits at just over a half tank of gas. I am going to replace fuel filter tomorrow and as far as I know it has the factory fuel pump with 134k miles on it. Very helpful info and I will post when I get the tests results.

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    Welcome to the site!

    Certainly sounds like a fuel issue. You can "borrow" a fuel pressure test gauge from most parts stores. The port is on the front of the driver side fuel rail. The pressure should jump to 58 psi or so when the ignition is energized (without the engine being started) and it should hold pressure for a period of time. If the pressure jumps up and then falls right back off, it is most likely a pump issue. Had that problem on our Suburban recently and had to replace the fuel pump. After checking pressure with the ignition energized, start the car and then watch the pressure for a while to see what it does.

    Since you just bought the car, check to make sure the SES light comes on when the ignition is energized. You could have a blown bulb, or a prior owner may have removed it to avoid having it lit. Even if the light is functioning properly, go ahead and attach a scanner to see what you get. You'll sometimes find a pending code which means that a fault has been detected, but the parameters for setting off the SES have not yet been met.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    Seems the car does start easier if I cycle the key. The check engine light does light up but scanned it and there are no codes. I got the car to rev up slightly today and something is whining. Only when I rev it up. I also noticed that it makes a whining noise while reving it up sounds like a supercharger. Also it seems the car runs better with the pedal at certain positions like if I press it to hard it wants to die but if I let up a little or pump the gas it does rev up a little before wanting to die out again. Hope this info helps and does not confuse you more. Thanks again everyone. Love the site.

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    Member RONS98TA's Avatar
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    Is the battery gauge in the dash reading around or above 14 volts while the car is running? It sounds like a fuel pump issue until you mention the whining sound. Could be a bad battery connection, corrosion, loose ground, bad alternator, or bad battery. Check for a fully charged battery (11-12 volts minimum).

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    in my opinion your first step would be to check fuel pressure.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    First off. Thank you to everyone. I just went out again. The voltage runs at 11.8 while key is on then jumps up to 14.2 when running. I was able to keep it running if I hold the gas at "just the right spot" if I push harder it dies if I let off it dies. The whining is still there intermittent and after a while of running I did smell some kind of fluid burning it seems like trans fluid or oil may be getting on my exhaust. Still no lights on not even for a misfire, and when the car is idling it for sure has to be missing. My friend is on his way with a fuel pressure guage. But when I hold the pedal at that sweet spot it seems to run fine no problems. I also tested the TPS and it seems to be reading the throttle position right. I have a Scan Guage II that I am using. with some live data

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    Clean the MAF. that is the first answer for everything wrong with our cars. Should be something you do every oil change. Possibly a vacuum leak? A hose slips or fails and you will chase it around forever.

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    Senior Member theorangeguy's Avatar
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    Clean the MAF as mentioned above. Just make sure you let it dry and DO NOT touch anything inside the MAF. Just clean it with mass air flow cleaner. Might as well clean the throttle body too because you'll have everything out of the way...is the whining noise an electrical noise...a belt noise...an air noise...?

    If the "whine" sounds like air it could be a vacuum leak...but it would have to be one hell of a vacuum leak to cause the engine not to run.

    I had a cat issue with a 99 z28 I used to have and it made my car run like absolute crap...terrible idle problems, terrible acceleration, etc etc...you could hop under the car and tap them with a hammer a few good times and see if it runs any better. If it does, then you know its a cat...but i'd be surprised if it is that.
    Last edited by theorangeguy; 10-31-2013 at 01:43 PM.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    Well its confirmed a fuel issue. I did the fuel pressure test. When key is turned forward it reads around 15-20 psi then when it is started goes down to nearly 10 psi. If I rev the car up the fuel pressure goes up to almost 20 psi but the car will not run good. I changed the fuel filter and blew through the fuel lines to make sure there is no blockage. I am going to replace the fuel pump next but im worried that something electrical like the ecm or something because usually a fuel pump don't just go part way out usually it works or it dont. In my case just seems to be weak. Still allowing the car to run.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Might not be the fuel pump.

    There is a plastic pick up tubing that cracks. Take a look before doing a total replacement.

    I highly recommend getting a Racetronix pump if you still need to replace it. Great up grade for present and future needs.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    Where is the tube that cracks? I did notice while replacing the fuel filter that the fuel did not stop flowing. It almost seemed like it was stuck in a siphon

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    The tube is located between the pump outlet and the hose connections at the top of the pump assembly. It is all internal and cannot be viewed without removing the pump. With the work involved, and the reasonable cost of a replacement, I would just toss in a new one and be done with it.

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    Junior Member ls1newbe's Avatar
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    She is purring like a kitten!! Changed the fuel pump inspected all the lines everything looked good. So swapped out the pump and she runs beautiful. Thank you all so much for all your help. Oh and btw SMWS I decided to go with the Racetronix fuel pump. I think its a good choice for the long run Thanks again guys

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    Good to hear. Enjoy!

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    expensive tires az gt eater's Avatar
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    It's a good upgrade. I helped my buddy change his out not too long ago. Too bad you HAD to do it.

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