Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 14th 2020, 4:30am

MechBob wrote:I would clear code and take for normal test drive and see if it quickly resets code.


Hey MechBob, thanks for the tips. I'm not doubting this is a valid way to go but i just want to make sure i understand before going with it. What would that show if it comes back quick? or the other way, if it seems to not come back?

in addition to this, it looks like the torque pro app can count misfire events so i think i may hook that up at some point soon and see what i get as another no disassembly required option.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 16th 2020, 8:51pm

Well, MechBob you got your wish -- I went back to the car today, plugged in OBD2 before starting and checked codes with KOEO as a reference point. A couple apps on my phone said code gone, one still said P0300 was present (the one that originally reported P0300).

Took a drive around town. No SES light, no change in codes. Decided why not go to the exact hill where it originally happened, so I did. Car was warmed up, no moisture present either time. Thought It should be pretty similar conditions.

Couldn't get the code to throw. Watched misfire events from torque pro and got no increase in misfires. C4 has 438 historical, C3 has 2 historical. All the rest 0. No increases on this drive.

I will say, it did seem like the car behaved slightly differently.

When i originally got the code, it seemed like the car should have downshifted and jumped up in the RPMs to give a little more power to work with, however it didn't and instead just sat in the current gear with the throttle 100% and kinda felt like it was bogging the whole time.

This time around, the car "seemed more willing" to downshift on this particular segment of road, and did. I was still able to give it WOT but it downshifted and accelerated. Maybe i was at a slightly different speed? hard to say. I was within 5-10mph for sure.

Unsure on this one.

Double checked plug #4 as well, clean looking, no oil or anything. good connection to plug wire (fresh wire as well).
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 16th 2020, 9:05pm

Here is #4 plug currently.

IMG_20200816_115852.jpg


And here is what the one I pulled out looked like.

IMG_20200711_132639.jpg


perhaps someone else will spot something that gives some clues as to what's going on in that cylinder
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby Leeann_93 » August 16th 2020, 9:32pm

Nasty gas or additives left nasty deposits on the plug.

Of course the old plug was going to run like **** and of course the new plug was going to be fine.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 16th 2020, 9:35pm

Sorry that may have been unclear -- I changed the plugs several weeks ago. the misfire happened for the first time with the new plugs (first pic).

I should probably put "first time" in quotes bc apparently having a P0101 means the engine won't run misfire codes as it doesn't have a point of reference from what I read. so it's possible this was hiding behind the p0101 for awhile.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 16th 2020, 9:51pm

I guess one thing I would add as well, driving with the doghouse off it seems like at random times something in the engine bay sounds like a bunch of ball bearings rattling around. or like there's a loose screw in the distributor getting tossed around. something like that. one thing I noticed almost always seemed to do it on the most recent test drive was getting up to about 30mph and coasting. then put light pressure on the throttle, not much more than enough to maintain current speed on flat ground. as long as this throttle pressure was held, it would sound like the ball bearings noise.

Gas is 87 octane. base timing advance at idle fluctuates btw 16.5-18 deg
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 17th 2020, 4:23pm

Well, I'm a little confused by the fact that the codes disappeared (the battery did not die while sitting). here's what I'm thinking as next steps:

- test fuel pressure: i know the PO replaced the pump and i don't really trust anything they did. also not too hard to do & perhaps cyl 4 is "weak link" and just speaking up first
- See if i can get code to throw again. try to obtain freeze frame if it does.
- If it throws again and its P0304 then test compression on that cylinder
- If it throws again and it's P0300 (and the fuel pressure was fine/has been resolved) look to the distributor

Edit: I also recently replaced the fuel filter -- Wix brand. this was before the misfire.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby Leeann_93 » August 17th 2020, 9:54pm

Sometimes a P0101 will cause a misfire. In general, you work on the first code that comes up, then clear and see if anything comes back. The codes after the first easily could have been caused by what threw the first code.

If they haven't come back and you've driven the same place, the same way, then you're probably good.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 17th 2020, 10:23pm

So, when I got this misfire I had already fixed the vacuum leaks and cleared the P0101 code. It had been driven for awhile without any issue but not a whole lot so I figured I just hadn't come across the specific way to trigger this issue. so... this should all be post original code fixed (I think) unless I'm misunderstanding.

Either way, I'm not planning to go too deep unless the fuel pressure test turns up a problem as this is independently and objectively a problem OR the misfire code pops up again.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby MechBob » August 17th 2020, 10:27pm

"Sorry that may have been unclear -- I changed the plugs several weeks ago. the misfire happened for the first time with the new plugs"
Key statement right there,you probably caused the problem, such as a plug wire was damaged,or you cracked one of the new spark plugs.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 20th 2020, 3:39am

Drove again today, same section of road, was able to get pedal to the floor and have it sit at full load for awhile at a few different points. No code popped up. I cleared the ECU, so no more sitting codes, misfire counts are all 0. Guess we will see if it happens again.

I thought while I have the doghouse off, it would probably be pretty quick to pull the dist and check the drive gear, then pop it back in.. as long as nothing moves and I mark things, etc.

May try to do that over the next few days just for fun and peace of mind.

Have some noise isolation in the mail to slap on all the walls, will share some pics of that process.

Swivel seats ship date pushed out to October 9 at this point. so waiting for that for awhile apparently.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby Leeann_93 » August 20th 2020, 3:41am

No need to pull the distributor to check the gear. Pull the cap, twist the rotor. How much movement do you see? Now see if you can push it side-to-side. Any movement?

That’s all you need to do unless there’s a lot of movement.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 20th 2020, 3:48am

Leeann_93 wrote:No need to pull the distributor to check the gear. Pull the cap, twist the rotor. How much movement do you see? Now see if you can push it side-to-side. Any movement?

That’s all you need to do unless there’s a lot of movement.


I did that a bit ago, there's some videos on the first page of the thread. honestly I felt like it was pretty tricky to understand what play is or is not OK. I didn't get any radial play (shoving wide to side like perpendicular to the dist axle) but what seemed like a fair amount of rotational play. Which do you mean by side to side?
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 23rd 2020, 5:36pm

Alright so i just decided to go ahead and pull the dist (and i think i'm glad I did)... pretty easy honestly.. i think if you are in there wobbling the rotor around there's no real reason to not pop the dist out as well for a full inspection given the iffy-ness of this particular part.

The gears are looking pretty dang worn to me, and seem to line up with astro will's site and other photos posted here of what a problem causing dist looks like.

I think i'm going to go ahead and order one unless i get some real push back here that suggests this is not actually a problem. I think it's probably on the edge of being a "serious problem" ie not quite to the point of p0300 all the time / a seriously debilitating one but given i've been having on/off misfires of some sort.. i think i'm going to go ahead and replace this as it will likely need to happen soon enough. Also, when i pulled the cap (fresh as of a month or so ago, probably 1k mi) the arcing marks on all the poles wer distinctively "behind" being lined up properly which also tells me its likely the gears are causing the rotor to lag behind. although, i don't have a fresh dist to compare this to, but i'd imagine ideally all the arcs are happening dead up and down or at least the majority are.

IMG_20200823_102428.jpg


IMG_20200823_102552.jpg
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 23rd 2020, 6:15pm

went ahead and order here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AY ... UTF8&psc=1

based on some other threads, should be the higher quality "skip white" distributor. says sold by KMJ, oddly enough i could not find on their website directly.. so hopefully it actually ships. If not i'll go for the top street performance, it's just quite a bit more. Feeling pretty foolish spending $30+ on cap/rotor when this thing is $60 shipped... at least just for peace of mind and not having my dashboard in pieces every other week, i think just replacing the whole thing seems like the way to go?
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby dcsleeperdcsleeper is online! » August 23rd 2020, 6:29pm

You need a second opinion on that????
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 23rd 2020, 7:08pm

dcsleeper wrote:You need a second opinion on that????


I am guessing you are agreeing that the drive gear is toasted? if so, apparently i decided i did not need a second opinion as I have already ordered one. Just figured i'd leave it open to other opinions as this is the first one i've ever seen in person and i'm not trying to just throw money at this car.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby MechBob » August 23rd 2020, 7:48pm

That gear was worn out 2 years ago.
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 23rd 2020, 8:15pm

MechBob wrote:That gear was worn out 2 years ago.


haha well then. hopefully this resolves once and for all the weird possibly misfire issue i've been having bob!
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Re: Burl -- 2003 GMC Safari soon to be camper

Postby pmou [OP] » August 23rd 2020, 11:12pm

Well, since i couldn't do anything mechanical today, i decided to keep moving on pulling some of the interior out.

Pulled a bunch of interior panels. Eventually got to the point of pulling the carpet.. and what do you know -- a PO already cut a hole in the floor for me! i guess it's something like a catch 22 -- I was on the fence about cutting a hole in the floor, but felt like i needed to check the pump due to the POs being fools. Now the whole in the floor is taken care of for me, if only i could fix the POs being fools...

of course, they did a bit of a crap job but at least they kept the hole to a minimum. Apparently someone doesn't know how to use a soldering iron...

MVIMG_20200823_154533.jpg
metal fab work


IMG_20200823_154537.jpg
closer look


IMG_20200823_154812.jpg
oh nice twist connectors


IMG_20200823_160116.jpg
van without anything in the back


As i've been having weird fuel gauge behavior, i'm gonna test all the wires and then do a bit better job connecting them (with some solder and heat shield). Someone also mentioned that verifying that the fuel level sender bob thing looks ok and not bent is a good call, so i'll probably de-pressure the fuel system and see what's going on in the tank. The pump appears to be who the hell knows brand, maybe that's part of it as well. I'm pretty sure they said it came from autozone or something.
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