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Where'd my power go?

This is a discussion on Where'd my power go? within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello, Could the lack of power be from the ethanol in the fuel Tilly...

  1. #21
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    Metallic Silver
    1999 Camaro Z28

    Hello,

    Could the lack of power be from the ethanol in the fuel

    Tilly

  2. #22
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    Allright, I took it to a shop and had the guy hook it up to the computer. Apparently, everything checked out good. So what can we rule out from this? I'm guessing any vacuum leaks or problems with the fuel/air mixture would have shown up? How about just low fuel pressure?

    Quote Originally Posted by Liquifire
    CKramer-Did your throttle body have any oil in it?
    I'm waiting to check that when I install my lid, and thunderracing is out of stock of the breather filter right now... If it does have oil in it, what does that mean? I just need to clean it every now and then, or does it indicate a problem with the PCV system?

    Quote Originally Posted by stevo5662
    Even though u changed the fuel filter its still possible that you could have sucked some debris into the injectors.
    Ok. I'm learning as I go here, so is this something I can check out myself, with minimial tools? Would putting some fuel system cleaner in there do me any good?

    Thanks for all the suggestions, and keep em coming...

  3. #23
    Member mikeaford's Avatar
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    What did they check for on the computer? Compression? Leak down test? Im debating whether to have this done or not what did the ammount approximately come to hour wise? I'm trying to see if I can hook up someones known good MAF to test this theory out as well = easier said than done can you test the MAF to see if it is functioning properly with an ohm meter? Thanks someone in the same boat!

  4. #24
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    I still haven't gotten the breather to install my lid, but I went ahead and checked out the throttle body anyway, and it looks like new. I didn't take it off or anything, but from what you see just taking off the rubber connector in front, it was very clean, no oil. There was a little black right near the disk, and I cleaned that off with some sea foam, but it doesn't look like there is any problem there. (unless I need to actually take off the TB to check for oil?)

    As for what they checked on the computer, I guess they just hooked it up to see if there were any trouble codes, and there weren't any. It only took em a couple hours. I'm still wondering if they even could have found anything that way given that I didn't have any check engine lights coming on...

    Earlier today I also reset the computer following Sarge's instructions: Resetting the computer. So far I can't tell that that did anything for me performance wise. I also put some fuel injector cleaner in the tank, so we'll see if that helps any.

    Otherwise, I don't know what else to try right now. It really runs very smooth, great idle, no missing, etc., just seems bogged down when I get on the throttle. There's got to be something.

  5. #25
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    Hello first off all im new here and would like to say hello to all!
    Anyway Im having the same issure i think in my 99 m6 z.Mine will take off slow or bogged down and then all of a sudden BAM the power kicks back in and it runs fine,also sometimes at lighter throttle it will bogg and go and bogg back down again ,it this what yours is doin>?I think maybe a bad TPS or possibly a partially plugged cat may be the cause but since Monday I dont have my car anymore,its at the bodyshop I recked it Anyway after the body works done i hope to figure this problem out.On the bright side of things im getting a cowel hood out of it and have been saving an ass load on gas with the POS KIA OpTima the rental company gave me Hope you figure out your problem

  6. #26
    Junior Member caseyWS6's Avatar
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    My TA was running like shit at the end of the season last year. It would cough and backfire when you stepped on it and again when you let off the gas, put in new plugs and the problems already gone.

  7. #27
    The Palmetto State Roadhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CKramer
    Hey guys,

    New member, this is my first post. I'm driving a 2000 Camaro SS with about 50k miles. It's been taken care of real well, and never raced or driven too hard. It's completely stock. I always use synthetic oil and fill it with premium.

    I've had it for a few years, and my problem is that within the last 5 or 6 months, it hasn't been performing like it used too. It honestly feels like I'm just running on 6 cylinders (or even less). I'm sure I don't have to tell you guys, but when I got it (with about 22k miles) it was a beast, and I actually had to be careful not to break loose in turns, etc. But now, the throttle response doesn't seem nearly as good, and it just doesn't feel that fast.

    Has anyone ever seen something like this before?

    The air filter has been replaced recently, so I don't think it's that. I've never changed the spark plugs, so I'm wondering if anyone's ever had a problem with their plugs (although the mileage seems fairly low for that) that led to a noticeable decrease in power. Only other simple thing I can think of is the fuel filter.
    I got my car at 2x,xxx my also and it ran like a raped ape. Now I'm having the same feeling in my 2000 SS MM6. I think the problem is that we are just "used" to the cars now.

  8. #28
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    Change the #8 plug! When I first got my TA I was having the same problem. Thought the motor was bad or something, until I changed my plugs and found that 7 and 8 were still stock! As you know they arent easy to get to and chances are they are older than the others. Change the wires while your at it. MSD's are the best, $70.

  9. #29
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by z28cobraeater
    Anyway Im having the same issure i think in my 99 m6 z.Mine will take off slow or bogged down and then all of a sudden BAM the power kicks back in and it runs fine,also sometimes at lighter throttle it will bogg and go and bogg back down again ,it this what yours is doin>?
    Hmm, that sounds similar to mine, but not exactly. Mine does bog down, but it pretty much stays bogged over the whole rpm range, and I never feel like it kicks in like it should. It's pretty damn frustrating, huh? When I took it to the shop to have em hook it up to the computer, and they didn't find anything, the guy took it out to drive it, and said "couldn't reproduce customer's complaint, car has normal amount of power". I said, that is my complaint, it has a normal amount of power!


    Quote Originally Posted by notsomellow
    Change the #8 plug! When I first got my TA I was having the same problem. Thought the motor was bad or something, until I changed my plugs and found that 7 and 8 were still stock! As you know they arent easy to get to and chances are they are older than the others. Change the wires while your at it. MSD's are the best, $70.
    Ya, I'm planning on getting to #8 very soon, but I'm doubting that it's my problem. All the other plugs I took out looked to be in pretty good shape. I can't be sure, but I doubt any of my plugs have been changed yet, so if 1-7 were ok, 8 prolly is too. But hearing you say that gives me some hope at least! Btw, any easy way to tell if they are the original plugs? I've still got the 1-7 that I took out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Roadhouse
    I got my car at 2x,xxx my also and it ran like a raped ape. Now I'm having the same feeling in my 2000 SS MM6. I think the problem is that we are just "used" to the cars now.
    Man that's what I've been afraid of. I'm not buyin it yet though, I still think the way mine's running now, it will dyno about 200 rwhp.
    Last edited by CKramer; 05-06-2006 at 08:44 AM.

  10. #30
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    2002 TransAm collector ed

    I've been right where you are. If you have the car go change the #8, trust me. When I changed my plugs the first 6 looked good (AC delco) but 7 and 8 not so good. When I felt my car start I was in shock. So first thing took it to the highway and hit 100 in a few blinks of an eye and laughed all the way back down to 0. I bet you will to.

  11. #31
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    PS the #8 isnt that bad from underneath.

  12. #32
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    Your problem could easily be the plug wires too. stock wires suck!. research the msd's.

  13. #33
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    I dont think its wires or plugs,im not bragging but im a ASE master certified auto mechanic and this isnt a missfire.im 100% positive of that.As i said i havent really checked into the problem yet it just started doin it not long ago and then i got into the accident. Anywho just so yall know i work on vws and not chevys but i will get to the bottom of the problem soon after i get my poor baby back.I work on my own car of course.But in general just vws.anyway keep posting any new ideas please!you guys dont think it could be faulty throttle position sensor?

  14. #34
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    Update

    Ok, a couple more things to check off my list. I finally got around to changing that #8 plug, and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! I got it from underneath (and I don’t even have headers), and for me it was easier than the 3 other passenger side ones. All I needed was the regular spark plug socket and a straight wrench (no swivel or universal joint needed). My wrench is extendable, though, so that helped. I also got a set of MSD plug wires, and put those on too. Unfortunately, neither the #8 plug nor the wires solved my problem.

    But while I was under there I noticed that the exhaust pipe just rear of my passenger side cat is dented a little bit. Could have happened when I accidentally went over a curb one time about a year ago. Could this be causing some kind of clog and resulting in the power loss I’m seeing? It wasn’t a huge dent, but it was definitely noticeable.

    Let me try to describe my problem a little better. I’m having significant power loss, but my engine seems to be running very smooth. Say I’m in gear at about 2000-2500 rpms, and I step on it: it doesn’t do much of anything. It slowly spools up, and I don’t get much acceleration at all. I remember when I first had it I could easily break the tires loose doing something like that (i.e., without using the clutch). This makes me think it could be something with the throttle not responding correctly…but it seems to rev ok in neutral. I’m also wondering if it’s just not getting enough fuel for some reason? If anything, I think my low end power is suffering the most. Unfortunately, the low end torque is one of the things I like most about these cars, and I usually take advantage of that in my driving, zipping around while keeping it under 3500. No one has ever seen this problem before, on an engine running smoothly?

    Keep in mind that I did have it hooked up to the computer and everything checked out fine (however, I just noticed that on my receipt from that it said that I had “one o2 code”. The mechanic didn’t mention this, and didn’t seem concerned about it. Should I be?). So given that the computer checks out, and that I’ve replaced the plugs, wires, and fuel filter and checked the PCV valve, we should be able to start narrowing this down, right? Somebody mentioned bent rods, worn rockers or valve springs, but I don’t get any valvetrain noise, and the car has never been driven that hard.

    So right now I’m thinking maybe clogged cats, something with that dent I mentioned above, a fuel system problem, or a throttle issue. Is there anything I can do to check out any of these issues myself? Any other things it could be? Thanks for the help, this is getting pretty frustrating….

  15. #35
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    Try and clean your mass air flow sensor or see if its dirty.Thats the first thing im going to do when i get mine back.In like 2 weeks i hope,just ordered all the parts.Also mine was tripping an o2s code once and awhile the light comes on and then goes out like a day later.I think my car is running lean which could be tripping the o2s code.Let me know how you make out and if yours is dirty. BE VERY CAREFULL CLEANING>NO HARSH CHEMICALS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. #36
    Crinkle, Crinkle
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    This unexplained power loss I've seen before with a clogged catalytic converter. No other symtoms, no codes. It happened with a 2000 suburban I sold to my sister. I had chipped it with an off - the shelf programmer when it was new. After I sold it to her, she thought there was a transmission problem because it would downshift going up hills, and it would accelerate some, shift up, then bog down and downshift again. Turns out the richened mixture clogged the converter. After a dealer raped her for dealer rates for a new converter, no more problems.

    --NinerSevenTango--

  17. #37
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    I picked up a vacuum gauge, and I'm still not finding any problems with my car. The vacuum at idle was about 20 in. and stable, indicating no leaks or internal problems. The accel/decel test also passed, indicating I don't have excessive backpressure, i.e. a clogged exhaust system. I'm sure most people here already know how to use a vacuum gauge, but for those that want to learn, in addition to the Hayne's manual, check out Using and interpretting a vacuum gauge. It shows you how to diagnose all kinds of different things with just a vacuum gauge, which only costs about $20.

    I still have not checked the fuel pressure. Is it possible that this could be causing my problems? It seems to rev ok in neutral, just bogs down when accelerating. Also, I've noticed that the problem seems to be the worst once the car has warmed up. Right after a cold start, I seem to have more power. Any other thoughts?

  18. #38
    Junior Member CKramer's Avatar
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    Aha!!!!!

    This lack of power issue has still been plaguing me, and it has really been starting to bother me. Recently, I had started to believe that it was a fuel pressure issue. Finally, I got around to purchasing a fuel pressure gauge, and looks like I have finally made some progress towards finding my problem.

    Test 1: 46~48 psi at turnkey, 60 psi at idle
    Test 2: ~52 psi at turnkey, 60 psi at idle

    Wow, definitely a problem here. It's supposed to be between 55 and 60 at turnkey, and then drop 3 to 10 when you start the engine and let it idle.

    Although it is a little low at key on, it does the opposite of what it's supposed to do when you start the engine!!! Wierd. What kind of problem does this sound like to you guys? Should I suspect the regulator since it didn't drop, and actually rose instead? Should I also suspect clogs, restriction, or fuel pump since it was low in the first place?

    How can I get down to the bottom of this problem? I have pretty limited knowledge and tools here, so unless it's something easy I can check, I may have to let a shop take a look at it.

    But God it feels good to finally have an idea what was causing this damn problem.

  19. #39
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    i'm thinking you mis shifted and bent some pushrods

  20. #40
    Crinkle, Crinkle
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    I don't have a shop manual, but I think the pressure is supposed to stay put under all driving conditions, not drop to 3 to 10.

    If you had an air leak, your idle would be terrible. If you had a fuel flow delivery problem, the idle would be OK but the engine would run very rough while losing power at high fuel flow conditions. You say it's smooth but sluggish all throught the RPM range.

    If your cats aren't clogged, then perhaps you have a bad knock sensor. If it keeps indicating knocking, the computer will retard the timing up to some max value to try to make it stop.

    You could probably save yourself some time by hooking up with a shop that has tuner software, at least they could read it to see if knock retard is going on.

    Good Luck!

    --97T--

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