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Trans am won't start

This is a discussion on Trans am won't start within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I just bought a 98 trans am from a police auction. The car has a procharger and nitrous installed. There ...

  1. #1
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    1998 trans am

    Trans am won't start

    I just bought a 98 trans am from a police auction. The car has a procharger and nitrous installed. There is fuel pressure (has a fuel pressure gauge on the pillar) but I don't think that I am getting a spark (car turns over but does not even try to start). I hooked a timing light up to it and did not see any flashing when it turns over. Fuses under the hood all appear to be good except for the horn. I used an OBD scanner on it and there are no codes. It has been sitting up for several years so I put 5 gals of fresh gas in it.

    Any ideas where I can start troubleshooting? Is there a a place to test if the coil packs are getting juice?

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    00 LS1, WS6, V8 Gremlin
    96 & 98 GTPs, 64 'Cuda

    Simple voltmeter on one of the coil packs will tell you if you've got voltage to them.

    Rules #1 and #2:

    1) Do you have spark? Remove a wire and hook it to an old plug. Have someone look as you crank it.

    2) Fuel is harder to test for. Grab a can of carb cleaner and spray it into the intake while cranking but don't go overboard on this. Also - DO NOT use starter fluid, if the timing's off it could cause damage.

    You have a car that's been modified so it takes a bit more thinking. Trust me, this forum will guide you through it.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    what he said.
    First verify you have spark and fuel. You'll just have to see where your at after you find out those 2 things. I would suggest hooking a pressure gauge up to the fuel rail and seeing how much pressure you have at the rail when the pump primes up. How much is your pillar gauge saying?

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    I think gauge was reading in the 45-60 pound range. I will pick up a plug tommorow and see if I can get a spark.

    Do you think that stale gas would cause it to not start? It appears to have aftermarket fuel rails (and I assume injectors). There is not a schrader valve on the end like normal rails so I am going to have to figure out how to purge the fuel if needed.

  5. #5
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    after re-reading your post you're saying the light wasn't pulsing? That was with the inductive clamp right? Sounds like no spark if that's the case.

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    Yes I was using the inductive clamp on the timing light (clamped to front right plug wire).

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    yeah, sounds like a no spark issue but I would still hook a plug up and make sure. Even if you got that light pulsing it wouldn't help you any on these engines.

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    I looked at the GM techline software and tried a few things. this morning.

    - checked pink wire at a coil pack for B+ (good)
    - checked INJ1, INJ2, ENG CTRL, ENG SEN, A/C Cruise fuses for B+ (good)
    - unplugged MAF and tried to start (no good)

    Next steps
    - check for spark using a spark plug.

    If spark is good and I have fuel pressure then I am not sure where to go from there. Drain gas? Crankshaft position sensor check?

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    I squirted a little wd40 up the intake pipe this morning and tried to start again. I did not get any hit at all.

  10. #10
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    If it's been sitting for so long i would even try putting a new battery in it

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    I did put a new battery in it. The old one would not charge.

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    00 LS1, WS6, V8 Gremlin
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    WD-40 won't start an engine, grab a can of most any brand carb cleaner such as STP or B-12 Chemtool.

    It is going to be easy from here.

    If you can't get at least a cough after spraying some carb cleaner in there go smell the exhaust - any raw gas smell? If so you're getting fuel and it may well be flooded.

    Get that spare plug and check the spark.

    If you have spark and no fuel smell the next thing to do is see if the injectors are firing. Any sort of small 12V bulb like the grain of wheat ones from Radio Shack will work as a "noid"

    Carefully unhook the connector from one of the injectors (there's a nasty clip that holds these on) then shove one bulb wire into each of the connector holes. Have someone watch as you crank. If the PCM is firing the injectors you'll see that bulb light.

    This is so easy to do someone ought to do a writeup for basic no start.

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    Ok some good news. I hooked up a spark plug to one of the plug wires and saw a good spark. I am not sure why my timing light did not flash when I tried this before. I bought some STP and sprayed it in the throttle body (just used the hole in the hose where the nitrous jet goes). The engine turned over but did not try to start.

    The battery was pretty much done by this point so I went ahead and put in on the charger. I will try the STP and light bulb on the injector tip Tuesday morning.

    Thanks for the help.

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    00 LS1, WS6, V8 Gremlin
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    Excellent, get the fuel into the equation.

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    yep, that's a start. Spark is a good thing. I'm going to assume a few things like you're hearing the pump prime and what not. Have you chased down the fuel pressure gauge to see where it's getting pressure from? It'd be nice to be able to check the pressure at the rail. Is the N2O a dry or wet shot? If it's wet where are they drawing the fuel from? Key on at the rail you should see ~58psi. Try the carb cleaner like steve suggested. If you're getting spark and no fuel the carb cleaner should at least make the car fire over. With that many mods there's really no telling what you're gonna find at the end of the rainbow but I'm assuming you got a pretty good deal on the car so when you get it worked out it will all be worth it. Post back up what you find out about the fuel situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crowe View Post
    This is so easy to do someone ought to do a writeup for basic no start.
    I nominate you.

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    I removed the up rubber hose going in to the intake so that I could shooot some STP right up there. I move the throttle back and squirted a few shots up there. The car cranked but did not try to start. I then tried a little ether but had the same results. Unless the plugs are really fouled then this should have fired the car right? I am going to try to pull some of the plugs tonight and see what they look like.

    I used a 12 volt test light to check one of the injectors and did not see a flash but I will try again when I can get someone else to turn the car over while I hold the test light on the harness (i sort of rigged it this morning so I could see it from inside the car).

    The fuel pressure gauge appears to be hooked up to the gas/nitrous selenoid on the throttle body. There is an aftermarket fuel pump under the car but I am not sure if they hooked it inline with the existing fuel pump or if the OEM one was removed. I do hear something in the back run when the key turns on so I assume that it is the fuel pump (no, it is not the power antenna

    Here is a shot of the fuel pump under the car (not a great pic but it is the blue thing)



    Underhood



    Any ideas what this connector is for?


  18. #18
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    yeah, that connector is for the old EGR hook up. That other pump you're seeing is just an inline pump, the one you hear when you turn your key is the stock one. I would like to see a close up of the engine. Looks like a mess to me. With this much work someone on one of the boards has to know this car. I've never dealt with inline pumps so I couldn't tell you how to check those but if your gauge is getting pressure from the solenoid then that would tell me the rails have pressure. So when you sprayed the intake it tried to fire? Get a helper and verify those injectors are firing. That's the next step. Never mind. I re-read your post and see that it didn't. Checking those plugs wouldn't be a bad idea along with verifying the injectors are firing. See if they're fouled or gas soaked at all.

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    Todays update

    Went out at lunch and bought a set of blue point fuel injector noids from the snap-on truck (note to self, check harbor freight first next time DoH!) Got home and put the GM noid on the front right injector harness and I am getting the injector pulse.

    Pulled a plug out of the drivers side and it seems to be pretty fouled but not wet at all. I had my wife turn the car over while I grounded this plug and I did see a very faint spark.



    I am leaning towards replacing the plugs (as many as I can reach with my fat hands) and trying to purge the gas out of the lines as my next step. What do you think?

    One other note ...

    When I dropped my wrench I saw that there is a chunk of the bellhousing missing which is not a good sign.

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    Looks of those plugs I'd replace them as well as the wires.

    Next thing is to find out why they're oil fouled, or running under an extremely rich condition.

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