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  #21  
Old 10-19-2021, 10:05 AM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Your systematic approach to the problem will get your results. Your plan to swap modules is a good one. Your plan to continue going down the fuel path is not IMO. You have effectively verified a no-ignition issue when you had no response from starting fluid and cranking the engine. Starting fluid should have produced SOME response, even if the engine would not start. Should have had a jerky, uneven cranking sound, a pop from the intake, brief faster cranking. Something.. If it cranked just the same as with no starting fluid, you have no secondary ignition. To separate primary from secondary ignition issues, you could try cranking with your scan tool on engine data. Most scan tools are fast enough to read RPM's while cranking. If you get 0 rpm's while cranking, the primary ignition is dead. That's back to the crank sensor/wiring. If you read around 100 rpm's, typical cranking speed, the module is not working. I assume you have the 3 separate coil packs. I have never seen all 3 coils fail at once. If however you have Magnavox coil pack,(one coil block with 6 terminals), I have seen that coil block fail and no output from the coil secondary terminals. Actually fairly common. Good luck, I think you are close.

  #22  
Old 10-20-2021, 12:26 AM
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Lightfoot Lightfoot is offline
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Thanks for keeping up the support, guys. I appreciate it greatly.

The main reason I kept suspecting the injectors was no sputtering after the first batch of hyper flammables sprayed into the intake. I really couldn't be sure that I was getting enough vapors in there to do the trick.
After I got the new can of ether which had a powerful spray, I was finally at a point of confidence that I could to go back to the SPARK side of the equation.
Believe me, I do not want to start replacing the injectors if I'm not 100% sure they are faulty.

Brad, thats good feedback on the clogging/cleaning aspect. That will help me make better decisions in the future. I did replace the Crank sensor one year ago, so I'm pretty confident that it should be OK for the time being. I had a positive test result that the ECM was firing a pulse signal to the injectors, so that was tellng me the SYNC signal was being generated.
As for codes and SES lights, I have had none since this whole chapter of issues begain in August. Not a single code has been stored through all of it.

Now on to today.
The first order of business was to swap out the C3I (IGN) module that was new in 2016 for the one I took off back then. I don't know if that one was the factory original or not as I got the car in 2011 with 121,000 miles on it.
I had a hunch it might actually fire up, but I didn't want to get my hopes up too high.
Well I'll be dipped, it started up and ran. And unlike the last time I had that module in (OCT 2020), the SES light didn't come on and throw a code 41.
I let it idle for a bit, put it in gear several times to give it a chance to stall from RPM drop, then let it idle until the temperture reached 200. Nothing naughty happened.

So now I'm going to shop for a NEW C3I from either RockAuto or Advance or Oreilly. It depends on who has the best limited lifetime waranty. I'm open for opinions on what brands to avoid and whatnot.
The one I got in 2016 was a BWD. I won't be putting it back on the car, unless I have this same problem again in the future, and nothing else works. That older one that I have on the car now will be labled as a functioning spare and will be kept where I can get my hands on it.

  #23  
Old 10-20-2021, 01:33 AM
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Lightfoot Lightfoot is offline
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Question Coil Pack Question

I have the single block unit coil with six pairs of terminals. Mgarblik, is Magnavox what GM used from the assembly line or is that just a generic term for the style of it?
I've had four other 88-90 LeSabres with the 3800 and never had a coil pack or ignition fail. Nor a crank sensor or cam sensor as far as that goes. I drove those four cars for approximately 170K miles combined.
I've driven this current LeSabre about 34K since I took ownership.

I was wondering if I could interchange one of those newer style coil packs from the 1992-1999 series 3800 on my '89. Reason being, they are more common in salvage yards and my favs, the 88-91 style Buicks are almost non existant.

When I was transfering my coil pack from mod to mod today, I inadvertantly bent one of the spades on the bottom of the coil to almost 90 degrees off the base of the coil. It was a momentary lapse of concentration, as I know how important it is to avoid bending these any more than nessassary. Well I examined it, and it looks like it started to fracture the metal where it bended, dammit.
I very carefully pushed the wire on the spade about 3/4 of the way. I think if it is put on there fully seated, it will very likely break the next time it has to be removed. Which will render the coil junk. So I hope I can find a used one in a salvage yard before I need to swap the module again.
I know what to look for when testing with an ohmeter so I'm not to worried about getting a bad one from the salvage yard. Especially if it is dirt cheap.
I can take a whole IGN Module-Coil assembly if I find one of those cars. Plus bundle it with a MAF, IAC and maybe a TPS from the same vehicle.

Hope I can be so fortunate as to find one.

  #24  
Old 10-20-2021, 06:27 AM
skipp65 skipp65 is offline
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Could harmonic balancer have slipped throwing timing off? Not sure how to check, been years since Iíve messed with one of those 3.8ís

  #25  
Old 10-20-2021, 11:19 AM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Don't see or work with many of the old Magnavox ignitions anymore as they are getting pretty old. I also don't know about the ability to switch them with an AC Delco style. I don't want to say it will work or not without direct experience. The parts books always have a separate call out which makes me think they will not interchange or they would simply substitute the parts. Not to say it couldn't be done with some modification. It's possible though that the ECM has internal differences or resistance values to run either system. The AC Delco style is less expensive and MUCH more reliable unfortunately in your situation. As far as coils and module brands. I can tell you with confidence that the NAPA Solutions budget brand of these parts is complete crap and a DO NOT USE in my book and I am a NAPA master dealer. I have had multiple units, of coils and modules that were a no start out of the box. Echlin Branded ones, more expensive were much better. Autozone budget brands, BWD, (Borg Warner), and other cheap ones are probably similar crap. Good parts are SO hard to find. It's a hit or miss world in the replacement parts market. Magnavox was the OE supplier to GM for a few years until the AC Delco units took over thank goodness. No idea if a new Magnavox branded unit is still available. Possibly NOS on Ebay or something? Very happy you got it running again and know the area of concentration for the problems.

  #26  
Old 10-20-2021, 03:13 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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I should also mention that the Magnavox units were very sensitive to voltage spikes and open spark plug wires such as a misfire. This would regularly take those ignition systems out. So make sure your plug wires are in excellent condition. NAPA/Belden wire sets are high quality and had a major price drop a couple years ago. Sets that were approaching $80-90 are $35-45 now.

  #27  
Old 10-20-2021, 10:31 PM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Did a little research and found that yes you can indeed upgrade your ignition system to the much better, less expensive and more reliable Delco system. Here is a good link with very good information on the swap. Good luck.
http://www.pontiacbonnevilleclub.com...topic1684.html

  #28  
Old 10-29-2021, 09:49 AM
mgarblik mgarblik is offline
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Did you get your car straightened out to your satisfaction? Just curious.

  #29  
Old 10-30-2021, 06:42 PM
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Since I discovered the engine would start and run with the 'original' C3I module in place, I have not yet installed the new module/coilpack that I ordered from RockAuto.
I thought I'd run the old module set-up for a week or two to give me some confidence in it, that I can have it handy for a reliable back-up in the future.
The main reason I ordered a new coilpack was because I inedverdantly bent one of the primary tabs excessively when I was mating it to the old module to try. It appeared that there might be a stress crack from doing that on the tab where the crease is. I figure that tab is probably going to break off next time I try to disconnect, or reconnect it to another module, so there isn't going to be a next time. I slid the wire terminal on the questionable tab (while holding my breath) about 75% of a complete connection. It's all together and operates the way it's supposed to.

I wasn't too thrilled with the new coilpack that came from RockAuto. Only because the primary tabs on it look like they will not endure more than 2-3 connection cycles before they stress crack. At least I know I have to be extra careful in not bending them any more than nessasary. The brand I got is a WVE.
The new module is a United Automotive. It doesn't have the cooling vanes cast into the body like my two previous units, which I'm kind of bummed about. Also the wire connecters that are in series for one side of the coil were spaced too far apart to fit comfortably on the coil tabs. I got them on there but they are trying to push the two tabs apart because of the tension in the wire.

The main reason I selected those two brands was a combination of best warantee for the price. Plus I think they are both manufactured in the U.S.A.

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