Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Leeann_93 » April 22nd 2020, 1:32am

Ah. It could be that the tuneup was long overdue and the damage had already been done. If it was rattling, the element inside broke up. If it stopped rattling, either the pieces went into the muffler and clogged it (happened on my ‘92 Lumina) or they melted and clogged the cat itself.

It also could turn out to be something else, like fuel pressure.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 22nd 2020, 1:53am

I did a fuel pressure test at the time of the tune up (granted that was 18 or so months ago) and all was good and within spec.

I'm looking deeper into the cats now.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 22nd 2020, 2:22am

Pulled the 02 sensor on the drivers side, before the cat and went for a drive.

It made it run considerably worse... And loud.

Though, I can hear rattling in the muffler when I shake the exhaust around.

Why on earth is there not a flange at the Y on the Y-pipe for the cat? That makes absolutely no sense to me...
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby augidog » April 22nd 2020, 3:38pm

Like you, I'll have to wait and see what the experienced members have to say about the sensor symptoms.

Is your power lag intermittent? Can you have someone rev it while you palm the exhaust flow out the tailpipe? Not too close, of course, but you should be able to feel the cylinders fire...if it's soft & steady, and hotter than expected, there may be a piece in the muffler partially blocking the outlet during higher revs.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 22nd 2020, 9:35pm

The van runs well at lower speeds around town. It really seems like acceleration once at speed and going up hills at speed, is the issue. Replacing the MAP sensor seemed to help, but it stills feels like I'm not getting the full power that I used to.

I don't have much to compare it to, other than knowing how it feels now compared to how it used to.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby SoccerMom4x4 » April 23rd 2020, 1:49am

My van ended up losing compression on cylinder # 4, actually all pressure. I bent a valve due to lots of oil sludge blocking a lifter. Is the check engine light on, throwing any codes? I had the same symptoms before losing my engine unfortunately. My guess would have been a clogged cat for sure
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby SoccerMom4x4 » April 23rd 2020, 1:50am

Another guess would be timing related, possibly misfiring at higher RPM, which would lead me to believe a bad coil. But I wouldn't just replace it, take it off and bench test it, easy enough to do and lots of info on how to test it.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 23rd 2020, 2:37am

No CEL - though I’m not confident in its ability. It doesn’t always come in when I turn the key on, so not sure how reliable it is.

It has been known to throw an O2 sensor low voltage code - I don’t recall the number or bank. I’m sure they’re original and ready to be changed.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 23rd 2020, 2:38am

It sure doesn’t feel like a misfire to me. But I don’t really know either way.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby SoccerMom4x4 » April 23rd 2020, 4:14am

Yeah I know what you mean, a misfire has a very particular feel. Could be a partially clogged fuel filter, fine around town/ worse under load? Sounds like it might be time for a decent tune up, when's the last time you did: plugs, wires, (at least check) dizzy cap, fuel/oil filters, o2 sensors? If you do, make sure to use AC Delco on everything you can, its worth it.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 23rd 2020, 4:47am

Did a full tune up - cap, rotor, coil, plugs, wires, fuel filter, etc. on it about 18 months and maybe 15k miles ago. All AC Delco from rockauto. O2 sensors are on my short list.

I’m thinking I’ll look at changing the fuel filter as cheap assurance.

I’ll get it scanned for any saved codes tomorrow as well.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 25th 2020, 12:49am

Jumping back here.

I was looking at the live data on the van and am curious where I would find the specs for the live data?

No freeze frames / codes.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 25th 2020, 7:25pm

Good news - I pulled the fuel filter and replaced it.

I poured some of the fuel from the the filter into a white plastic cup and found the fuel to be a dark charcoal color, with chunks coming out. Success.

That being said, this is the second time in ~18 months that I have had to replace the fuel filter due to clogging. Any solutions there? I assume there is some sludge floating around in the tank. Do shops still clean fuel tanks?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby AstroWill » April 25th 2020, 8:24pm

Yes, they will still clean a tank, but if you can drive it close to empty it's pretty darn easy to drop it and clean/inspect yourself.

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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 25th 2020, 8:27pm

Anything in particular to use to clean it out? Will any old degreaser work?
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby AstroWill » April 25th 2020, 8:54pm

Exactly, as long as the tank itself isn't deteriorating, just have to make sure to rinse and dry it well.

The metal tanks can be found reasonably cheap new if it does need replacing. I would probably try to grab one of the newer poly tanks from a 2000 and up if I had to replace the metal tanks on any of mine.

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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby costman13 [OP] » April 27th 2020, 4:56pm

Now that the van is running as it should again, we got out for a picnic last night.

It felt so nice to be out of the house.

IMG_1990.jpg


I still have this Chinese diesel heater kicking around my basement and have been toying around with throwing it in. I've been really excited about seeing folks mounting them under their van's which is likely the route I would go. I hate the idea of burning cabinet space.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby SportsBoy » April 28th 2020, 1:54am

Glad the fuel filter was the issue - gotta love an easy fix.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby FRAM » June 24th 2020, 6:33am

Love the van. I have the same color scheme.

Did cleaning out your gas tank fix your issues?

I've been chasing an intermittent P0172 and P0175. I've changed a lot of parts and in some cases twice. Changed the Cat recently and that helped with most of the uphill bogging down but I still have random bogging under initial acceleration and the odd rough idle at start. Usually there is a strong fuel smell at that stage too. Then it just goes away on it's own for awhile.
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Re: Cam's AWD Astro Camper Build

Postby Leeann_93 » June 24th 2020, 10:30pm

If there's a strong fuel smell, you have 1 of 2 problems:

Either you have a fuel leak only under high pressure or your spark isn't strong enough under demand to burn the required fuel.

Cats don't just die; they are killed. The easiest way to kill them is to dump unburned fuel into the exhaust.
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